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Column: Malaria in Shakespeare’s land

June 12, 2014 - 20:01 -- Bart G.J. Knols
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....”. Although actually this is one of the most famous introductions of the history of movies (and I am pretty sure that most of my readers have recognized it), this is also, in many senses, the way many health professionals think about malaria. Many western doctors and nurses see paludism (malaria) as a remote and tropical disease, even covered with a flavour of romanticism. The truth is that malaria has been prevalent in areas as far north as the city of Groningen (at 53º North) in Holland and has been active until the last decades of the 20th Century in countries as, among many others, The Netherlands, Spain or Australia. In some instances, as Spain or Italy, malaria was not completely eradicated until the 50s or 60s. For example, a breakout of indigenous cases of malaria was confirmed as late as 1972 in Corsica, the French Island of the Mediterranean Sea.

MIT Alumni suggest Exit Strategies for Malaria Suppression in Africa

June 12, 2014 - 11:42 -- William Jobin

MIT ALUMNI SUGGEST MALARIA ELIMINATION STRATEGIES FOR AFRICA

7 JUNE 2014

At a Reunion of the Class of 1959 in June 2014 under the Great Dome of MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, several suggestions were developed for an Exit Strategy from the fight against malaria in Africa. Malaria currently kills about a million Africans per year, mostly children who succumb to the extreme fevers transmitted by night-biting mosquitoes.

World Cup and malaria

June 10, 2014 - 15:19 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Roll Back Malaria today released a small video about football player Didier Drogba - who suffered malaria and is now an ambassador for our cause.

We ask our readers: What do you think of this video? Will it serve its purpose? Will it reach its target audience?

We are curious to know your thoughts. Is this good money spent on advocacy or a simplified message only mentioning nets?

The social press release is attached to this blog.

Column: No Substitute for Local Expertise

June 5, 2014 - 17:25 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
A regional powerhouse in operational malaria research, training and policy
 
A three year old boy cowers behind his mother, looking up at me with tears in his tired eyes. I quietly greet his mother in Chichewa, the language common to the Southern region of Malawi. It takes time to gain an audience not only with this tiny, frightened child, but also with his mother. I smile, being sure not to reveal my teeth, surely to bring on further tears and sit next to her on the bench in our workspace. She smells of wood fire kitchen smoke and sweat from her 5 kilometer walk to our malaria research center at the District Hospital in Machinga, Malawi.

Prestigious NWO-Vidi grant to start a new malaria research group

June 3, 2014 - 11:37 -- Taco Kooij

Dear friends & colleagues,
I am extremely honoured, proud, and happy to announce that I have been awarded a prestigious Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to start my own independent malaria research lab in Nijmegen. Below follows a press release providing further details.
Taco

Publication: Planning meeting for operational research on malaria elimination. WHO Meeting report May 2014

June 2, 2014 - 15:50 -- MESA Alliance

Number of pages: 9
Publication date: 2014
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/HTM/ GMP/2014.5

Main objectives: reviewing the malaria operational research landscape; identifying operational challenges, bottlenecks and priority research questions in the transition from malaria control towards elimination; and reaching agreement among the meeting participants on the next steps, roles and responsibilities.

malaria and local blogging

May 31, 2014 - 19:33 -- Cliff Landesman

Why is there so little blogging about malaria from a local perspective? Those who live in regions of endemic malaria are not writing about it. As a result, it is hard to follow progress in combating malaria in a particular region. For example, I have an interest in malaria in western Kenya. However, it is difficult to know what programs are in place there, who is involved, what progress has been made. I am willing to bet that there is not a single blog anywhere where people living in an endemic region talk about malaria.

En Francais - Do you see patients with cerebral malaria? ...Or know someone who does?

May 30, 2014 - 01:34 -- Lakshmi Swamy

------------- Enquête sur le diagnostic du neuropaludisme--------------------
Nous sommes un groupe de médecins de l'université Duke aux États-Unis et de l'Université de Liverpool au Royaume-Uni. Notre objectif étant de mieux comprendre comment les médecins parviennent à poser un diagnostic de neuropaludisme, nous avons réalisé une enquête à ce sujet.

Exit strategy for conquering African malaria

May 22, 2014 - 21:30 -- William Jobin

If we limit ourselves to the conventional approaches to fighting malaria - drugs, bednets and biocides - the future looks bleak. It looks like an endless war. The war started about 1950 when DDT and chloroquine looked like perfect weapons. But since then the development of resistance has shown us how ephemeral they were. The mosquitoes began to eat DDT for breakfast, and the malaria parasites learned to swim in chloroquine. Historians are showing us that malaria has incredible tenacity in Africa. We long for a solution to this horrible problem - an Exit Strategy.

Column: Could Gorgas succeed in the 21st Century?

May 22, 2014 - 20:53 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This year marks a century since the official opening of the Panama Canal, one of the most iconic structures, one of the greatest engineering feats of all times, a symbol of technological prowess and ingenuity, and a testament of the sheer determination of the human spirit. While commemorating the monumental accomplishment embodied in this gigantic undertaking, we should take a pause to remember the thousands of lives lost during its construction to accidents and mosquito-borne diseases.
 
Besides the sheer magnitude of the project, one of the greatest challenges the builders of the Panama Canal faced was dealing with mosquito-borne diseases common to the area. When the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal on May 4, 1904, the Isthmus of Panama was under the firm control of tropical diseases. By then, approximately 12,000 workers had perished during the construction of the Panama Railway and over 22,000 during the French attempt to build the canal. Many of these deaths were due primarily to yellow fever and malaria. In fact, construction of the Panama Railway was stopped several times due to the lack of healthy workers. American project managers quickly realized that previous disease control efforts were ineffective and something had to be done. Armed with the information provided by Sir Ronald Ross in India in 1897 that malaria was spread by mosquitoes, mosquito control methods were implemented as part of the Panama Canal construction project...

Malaria eradication: Doing it better the second time round

May 22, 2014 - 20:40 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This guest editorial was contributed by Dr. Carlos Chaccour - he and his team are currently running an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to further develop ivemectin as an anti-malaria strategy. Visit the campaign's website by clicking here.
 
The eighth World Health Assembly took action to “help put an eventual end to an ancient problem. Malaria, the single most serious worldwide communicable disease…” [1]. The meeting took place in Mexico in May 1955. In exactly a year we will mark the 50th anniversary of the launching of the Global Malaria Eradication Programme (1955-1969). Several reasons have been given for the failure of this multinational endeavour to achieve its primary goal. Vertical structures, a lack of community integration and the (almost) exclusive use of indoor-residual spraying are some of them. The resulting program was not particularly flexible nor quick enough to spot and correct some of these failures before international support was withdrawn [2]...

Need for some effective coordination in malaria control interventions

May 19, 2014 - 17:31 -- Clive Shiff

Wherever malaria has been eliminated, success was likely to have been based on the interplay of a series of mechanisms. In the United States it may have coincided with the advent of residual insecticides, but there were a variety of factors associated with the success. These were seasonal changes, environmental factors, political decisions that affected where people could live, the advent of improved treatments and increase in wealth and improvement of living standards. The same can be said of Italy and much of Europe in the early part of the 20th Century.

Milk, the forgotten antimalarial

May 19, 2014 - 13:30 -- Pierre Lutgen

It all begins in 1952 with the work of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (BG Maegraith et al, British Medical Journal, 1952, 1382-3). They found that in rats inoculated with Plasmodium berghei and living on a diet of milk there was a strong suppression of the growth of the parasites. This was valid for retail whole cow’s milk, reconstituted dried milk from different origins and human milk. Most rats on normal laboratory diet died in a few days.

Second paper on economic benefits of malaria suppression

May 13, 2014 - 17:12 -- William Jobin

Greetings,

I appreciate the publication of my first paper on economic benefits from suppressing malaria in Africa, printed in the MWJ of 2014 v5 n4 and cited on the MWJ webpage. I demonstrated that the return on investment in malaria suppression was about 6.5 to 1, a really good investment, don't you think?

New publications from WHO GMP

May 13, 2014 - 08:30 -- MESA Alliance
Tags: 
Safety review of 8-aminoquinoline antimalarial medicines
 
Written by external authors, this document reviews published and unpublished studies about the safety of primaquine and its precursors, with particular attention to haemolytic anaemia in G6PD-deficient individuals. The study was prepared for and discussed at a 2012 meeting of the WHO evidence review group on the safety and effectiveness of single-dose primaquine as a P. falciparum gametocytocide.
 
Elimination scenario planning
 
WHO has published a manual to help malaria-endemic countries to assess the feasibility of moving towards elimination. The new guide provides a comprehensive framework to assess different scenarios and timelines for reducing the disease burden and moving towards elimination, depending on programme coverage and funding availability.

Artemisia sieberi and bicarbonate : a revolutionary mixture from Palestine

May 11, 2014 - 18:48 -- Pierre Lutgen

The mode of action of quinine and chloroquine is almost exclusively based on the inhibition of the crystallization of heme into hemozoin, killing plasmodium in its own digestive rejects. In several papers M Akkawi from the Al Quds University in Palestine has shown that extracts of several medicinal plants : Salvia officinalis, Artemisia sieberi, Artemisia afra, Artemisia annua, Inula viscosa had similar effects, in some cases equivalent or better than chloroquine for the inhibition of beta-hematin (see literature references below).

Column: The IPCC, malaria and climate change: neither scaremongering or ignorant

May 8, 2014 - 18:51 -- Bart G.J. Knols
I freely admit that I have not read all 2155 pages of the draft report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released last month. Furthermore, I am not an expert on global climate change. However, motivated by this report and a recent comment posted to MalariaWorld entitled ‘IPCC, malaria and climate: scaremonging or ignorance’ (1), I will try to relate the IPCC assessments of climate change to malaria and the future...

Launch of the MESA Alliance YouTube channel

May 6, 2014 - 09:33 -- MESA Alliance
Tags: 
The MESA Alliance YouTube Channel highlights great lectures, R&D, and lessons from malaria programmes from all over the malaria community. The channel adds another tool to MESA's function of highlighting great science from the community to the community. Browse the various playlists from 'Basic Science' to 'Eradication Strategies', and subscribe to the channel so you receive notifications when new content is posted.  Please send video suggestions to MESA@isglobal.org.

Column: Mass Drug Administration – A Kaleidoscope of New Opportunities?

May 5, 2014 - 20:19 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Mass Drug Administration (MDA) is a tantalizing tool that can support elimination efforts and help dramatically knock down malaria prevalence.  Why isn’t it more widely used?

by George Jagoe

The use of medicines on a mass scale to wipe out parasite reservoirs and improve individual patient health status is enormously appealing.   The annals of public health victories show how judicious mass-drug-administration (MDA) has rolled back the burden of horrific parasitic diseases (e.g. river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma).    At its best, MDA marries the optimal use of effective drugs with well-coordinated delivery to improve disease outcomes radically...

Rotary in support of Artemisia annua

May 3, 2014 - 17:33 -- Pierre Lutgen

In the April 2014 issue the magazine Rotary Contact from Belgium-Luxembourg duly recognized he efforts and results achieved by Rotarians from Ieper and Luxembourg in the promotion of Artemisia annua tea against malaria. Geert Flamang has launched plantations in Katanga and Pierre Lutgen has run clinical trials in several African countries which demonstrate an efficiency of >95%. These trials have allowed to show that the antimalarial potency can be increased by using the dried leaves in lieu of aqueous extracts, as powder in capsules or mixed with food.

A need for coordination of projects, donors and various players

May 2, 2014 - 13:17 -- Clive Shiff

I feel that we should start a conversation about coordination. I attended Malaria Day here in Baltimore last week, and one still hears people speaking as if all we have to do is send more nets to Africa! Africa is swimming in nets, in fact there are NO plans that one hears of to REPLACE (key word) expended of torn nets in anything but an ad hoc manner. Yet Anopheles funestus (resistant to pyrethoids) is appearing all over Eastern and Southern Africa.

World Malaria Day - Special Collection available from Cochrane Library

April 25, 2014 - 09:58 -- Dee Walshe

It is World Malaria Day today (Friday 25 April), and to help raise awareness there are two new Special Collections available from The Cochrane Library - one for malaria diagnosis and treatment, and one for prevention and control.

http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/details/collection/6117011/Malaria-dia...

OPEN ACCESS New Cochrane Review on malaria interventions

April 25, 2014 - 09:08 -- Dee Walshe

Hello,

A new open access Cochrane Review was released earlier this month by John Odaga et al. that may be of interest to Malaria World members:

Rapid diagnostic tests versus clinical diagnosis for managing people with fever in malaria endemic settings

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008998.pub2/abstra...

Jerusalem declaration on malaria elimination in Africa

April 24, 2014 - 19:46 -- J20 Jerusalem Conf

Almost a century after Dr. Israel Kligler initiated a malaria elimination campaign in Mandate Palestine, the undersigned met in Jerusalem to honour his exemplary approach that consisted of an integrated attack on malaria that ultimately led to its disappearance. 
In many ways, the disease burden of malaria in Africa today resembles that of Palestine when Kligler first arrived. His success – a toolbox that included larval mosquito control, swamp drainage, quinine prophylaxis and treatment, community education - played a major role in making the Holy Land habitable and productive.

Why this 2013 Jerusalem conference?

April 24, 2014 - 19:46 -- J20 Jerusalem Conf

Learning from Success

Over the past 60 years, conferences on malaria have increased from maybe one per decade to multiple conferences annually. The 1950 Kampala Malaria Conference set the parameters for the 1955 Global Malaria Eradication Programme, followed 40 years later, 1992 and 1996, with the meetings in Dakar and Amsterdam that galvanised WHO and international support to eradicate malaria. Roll Back Malaria, the Global Fund, the Gates Foundation and other major international donors took us to the 21st century goal of malaria elimination. 

Conference opening program & sponsors

April 24, 2014 - 19:44 -- J20 Jerusalem Conf

Rubin Hall, Forchheimer Student Center, Ein-Kerem Campus, Jerusalem

8:30-9:00 Coffee/Tea (reception area adjoining Rubin Hall)  
9:00-9:30 CONFERENCE OPENING - GREETINGS:

  • Prof. Yehuda Neumark. Director, Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Dr. Sanford F. Kuvin. Founder & Chairman of the International Board, Sanford F. Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Prof. David Lichtstein. Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Dr. Rob Dixon. Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy in Israel
  • Dr. Gabriel E. Alexander. Jewish National Fund/Keren Keyemeth LeIsrael

This week it's World Malaria Day: Read the Jerusalem Declaration on Sustainable Malaria Elimination in Africa

April 22, 2014 - 19:00 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This week it's World Malaria Day. A day during which, around the world, activities are undertaken to raise awareness for our cause: a world free of malaria. A day to reflect: How are we progressing towards our goal? A day to talk to our friends about what we do - raise awareness. A day also to celebrate the successes of the last decade - no doubt, these are impressive. But also a day to tell the world that without investments, serious investments, progression towards global eradication will slowly grind to a halt. A day to appeal with our governments and other funding bodies that the challenge is still huge, but that we cannot give up. We started with the 'e-words' in October 2007 in Seattle, now we have to live up to our pledge...

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