This Guest Editorial was written by Sir Richard Feachem. Dr. Feachem, PhD, DSc(Med) is Director of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco. From 2002 to 2007, Sir Richard served as founding Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Under Secretary General of the United Nations.
MalariaWorld is proud to have sponsored the Malaria Photo Contest that was organised by the Swiss Malaria Group. The winners were announced today in the following media release...
Harvard University organised a mini-symposium on malaria on 5 April titled 'Defeating malaria, from the genes to the globe'. It was the first in a series examining global public health problems like malaria. Noteworthy in that regard are the views that were expressed during this symposium regarding the malaria situation on Zanzibar. Assistant Professor Jessica Cohen, who reportedly advised the government of Zanzibar on how to move forward with its fight against malaria made some pretty remarkable statements.
Cohen's predictions showed that malaria on Zanzibar could be eliminated in just 5 years if everyone on the island (more than a million people) would sleep under bednets. Moreover, she noted that if 'only' 65% of the population would use nets, it would take 22 years. The bad news followed: If usage rates drop to 50% she predicted an increase in prevalence to 5% in just 3 months, up from the 2% prevalence now. Worse, if it dropped to just 35%, malaria would strike back and prevalence would rise to 18% in just 3 months.
She concluded that 'these gains can be erased in months'...
The following article was published in SLATE Magazine on April 4 by Brendan Borrell. Our association IFBV-BELHERB from Luxembourg is glad to read that some independent voices recognize the merit of Artemisia annua herbal medicine and proud to see that through R&D at their universities Africans will find their own solutions in the fight against tropical diseases. Hereafter excerpts from the paper. The full text is available at www.slate.com/.../wormwood_tea_to_treat_malaria
With many thousands of visitors to MalariaWorld each week, we wondered why only few of you ever comment on articles, blogs, forums, etc. After all, we hope that MalariaWorld becomes a '2-way' platform, where we not only provide you with professional information on malaria, but also like to have your input, thoughts, dreams, worries, etc.
It’s a useful reminder to consider what one must have for successful genetic control strains for mosquitoes. While the focus is often on effectors for specific population manipulations, there are other bits “under the hood” that, like an engine, can’t really be ignored. It’s easy to forget how necessary these are when concentrating on something novel. I’ll give you my bare-bones list of basic genetic control features that sooner or later, you simply must have.
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Please join us this week, April 1-5, 2013, in a virtual expert panel to discuss current state and future configuration of anti-vector interventions designed to prevent malaria transmission through the suppression of anopheline mosquito vectors.
Four years ago, in 2009, I wrote an article for a Dutch newspaper (Bionieuws) with the title 'It is not yet time for a party on Zanzibar'. My article was a response to Tachi Yamada's blog on CNN 'Where have all the malaria patients gone?'. Yamada at that time was touring the spice island together with Ray Chambers and Margret Chan, and for sure their trip must have been pleasant and satisfying. After all, the renewed impetus (largely through the US Presidential Malaria Initiative) in malaria control was starting to pay off. Indoor residual spraying and massive distribution of LLINs yielded a spectacular decline in malaria prevalence. Yamada ends his commentary with a pretty strong statement...
The contest is now open for votes!
Since the start of the contest on 15 February, photos that tell stories about malaria have been flooding in. We have over 700 stunning entries. Now we would like YOU to select the finalists.
Uganda Science Festival . African approaches against tropical diseases.
Listen to Dr Patrick Ogwang on BBC World Service, London Focus on Africa (radio) on Mar 28 3.30-5-30PM
Dear Moussa. Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss science in Africa. I strongly believe that Africa must set her science agenda if we are to benefit from science. Why? For the following reasons;
In a blog on LinkedIn yesterday, Ray Chambers, the Special Envoy for Malaria to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, sent out a public statement titled 'Saving the lives of 4 million children in 1000 days'. Making reference to the fact that the Millennium Development Goals end by December 2015, Chambers still holds the conviction that we can bring malaria mortality down to zero by the end of 2015. He asserts that the key players to accomplish this are in place, that the solution is simple and not expensive, and that we should do this. It sounds great - and given the comments under his blog ('Inspiring', 'Absolutely will join in an effort to save children', 'Few things could be more important') Chambers will certainly reach the goal of drawing more attention to malaria. Indeed, if you're not familiar with the malaria world, than it simply sounds outrageous that the world has not succeeded in putting every soul under a net in endemic settings, that we have not eliminated malaria in the south just like we did in the north half a Century ago, and that evidence (ca. 1 million deaths averted) over the last decade has clearly shown that we CAN save many lives. But is this realistic?
The Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) met for its fifth annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia from March 4 to 7, 2013.
The ethnobotanical use of this flavone includes applications in the treatment of cough, diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes, cancer and malaria.
Are you looking for a new job in the field of malaria or do you know someone who is? then this may interest you: There are 2 vacancies at the ACT consortium: (1) ACT Consortium Technical Communications Officer (closing date 22 March 2013), and (2) ACT Consortium Policy Liaison Coordinator (closing date 20 March 2013).
This morning I opened the newspaper and read about the breakthrough in science that we now have the complete biochemical 'routemap' of man, us. A few days ago I read an article about rats being capable of training other rats through electrical brain signals. Scientific developments are ongoing at an unprecedented speed - we live in exciting times.
It is well known that creative thinking is affected by environmental variables. That's why researchers engage in 'off-site' events. Take them out of their comfort zone of the lab or office and miracles may happen.
What does the future hold for the fight against malaria in Africa?
A recent press release from Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute raised a lot of concern. Based on a scientific paper published in Nature, 13 June 2012, it appears that a single infected person could harbour many genetically different Plasmodium falciparum parasites. The team from Oxford University found that these parasite populations easily swap DNA to create new forms.
This evidently raises the question how far PCR (polymer chain reaction genotyping) can distinguish between recrudescence (or treatment failure) and re-infection by new bites from anopheles mosquitoes.
WINTER DIALOGUES OF AFRICAN MALARIA COALITION
MIT 26-27 JANUARY 2013
Despite the cold weather, malaria was definitely in the air in Cambridge during the last week in January. Shortly after the African Malaria Coalition held our Winter Dialogues at MIT, Harvard held a Malaria Forum just up the river. There were important differences in the two meetings, but the subject was clearly the same; how to strengthen the fight against malaria.
African Malaria Coalition and the Harvard Malaria Forum
Pregnant woman arrives at the Maternity. She is worried because she had to leave her kids at home and the River Jurua is about to flood the area, so coming to the Maternity (which involves getting a boat lift from a neighbour and then walking 1.5 km)is a great deal. She is 31 weeks into her pregnancy. Two weeks ago she had a malaria episode, Pf, and was given Quinine and Clindamycin. Now she has diarrhea, lower abdominal pain, 9 g/dL of hemoglobin, 29% hematocrit.
Jim Webb's forthcoming book on the history of the fight against malaria in Africa is a plea for all of us..... (for me that includes WHO and USPMI folks)..... to learn from history, especially the history of these clever mosquitoes who quickly learn to overcome any synthetic biocide produced by the chemical industry. He cites the experience in Turkey, Pakistan and Sudan where the malaria programs went through 8 major classes of biocides after DDT lost its effect..........
Many malaria vector control specialists also work on dengue mosquitoes. After all, both diseases overlap in geographic distribution and are endemic throughout the tropics.
I have been a member of Rotary International for the past three years. During that time I have met several people working on malaria that are also Rotarians. Rotary International is heavily engaged in the polio eradication campaign (through its international campaign 'End polio now' and has been instrumental in getting polio vaccination underway in the 1980s when the disease was still rampant.
The video below is an interview with Dr. Jo Lines posted online two weeks ago. Dr. Lines is currently with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine again after several years of serving the World Health Organization in Geneva. He has been one of the frontline people in the science surrounding insecticide-treated bednets, and later in advocacy and uptake of this simple technology that has saved an estimated 1 million lives over the past decade. A remarkable achievement no doubt. Have a look...
Resistance to drugs and biocides happens when we try to control malaria. It is a historical pattern we have seen repeatedly. And we know that ACT is about the only way to treat malaria now in Africa, especially since resistance to chloroquine has been widespread for years.
And we are also seeing that the use of permethrin for spraying houses - the same biocide used to treat bednets - is beginning to cause resistance in mosquitoes in Africa too.