As the Keystone symposium on the science of malaria eradication has come to an end, the one thing I regret is that I wasn't there to participate. It undoubtedly must have been an exciting meeting, which is clear from the messages we received from the MESA group (read them here).
There are several recent papers examining the way that the US gradually suppressed and then eliminated malaria from the southern states which were sub-tropical, and also from the northern states in which summer-time malaria had always been a problem.
Malaria in Ethiopia, Jerusalem and Zanzibar
Eighth African Malaria Dialogue – Boston University USA 31 January 2014
Our informal African Malaria Dialogues started in the summer of 2012, meeting quarterly on the East Coast of the US in order to encourage interdisciplinary field research on African malaria. The dialogues are informally organized and participants cover their own costs for travel and meals. All are invited, and our next Dialogue will be in the Spring.
Please let me know if you wish to come. I will put you on our list.
The World Malaria Report for 2013 paints an optimistic picture when it reports a fifty percent reduction in global mortality due malaria since 2000. However, the same report states that in 2012, “in 41 of the 103 countries reporting, which account for 80% of estimated cases, it is not possible to reliably assess malaria trends using the data submitted to WHO” as “information systems are weakest, and the challenges for strengthening systems are greatest, where the malaria burden is greatest.”...
Stop the trade in fake malaria drugs and sign the petition at www.fakedrugskill.org
1/3 of all malaria drugs sold in Africa are fake. Criminals in China and India make huge profits from the illegal production of fake and counterfeit malaria drugs.
Watch the short films "Fake drugs kill" and " The story about fake drugs" here.
You are invited to join us for an informal dialogue on African Malaria at the Pardee Center of Boston University, 67 Bay State Road near the Kenmore Square Station of the MBTA, We will begin with coffee and tea at 9:30 am. continuing until 11:30 when a simple box lunch will be provided.
Our host this time is Prof. Jim McCann of the African History Dept of BU. Jim has recently returned from Ethiopia where he and colleagues have been conducting field research on agriculture and malaria. Jim is also writing a book on malaria in Ethiopia which will soon be published.
The science world is undergoing rapid changes, and so does the field of scientific publishing. The Lancet recently featured five articles on the current value and reduction of waste in biomedical research. An article in the Economist from a few months before titled 'How science goes wrong' is another eye-opener. Clearly, much is changing in the science world, and this includes us scientists working on malaria.
Here we are asking for your views regarding an issue we are discussing for the MalariaWorld Journal, entering its 5th volume this year: Should we continue with peer review, yes or no, or should we perhaps make it optional?
Why are there two completely opposing views about the value of direct attacks on anopheline mosquito larvae or on adults, for suppressing malaria transmission ?
In recent public and written debates, I have seen diametrically and vehemently opposed views expressed on the value of attacking larvae through eliminating breeding sites, as opposed to the current emphasis on reducing biting by anopheline adults through bednets and indoor spraying.
From 8-12 December, a conference titled 'Revisiting Malaria: Moving from Control to Sustainable Elimination' will be organised at the Hebrew University-Hadassah, Jerusalem, Israel.
The meeting conincides with the Centennial commemoration of the activities undertaken by Prof. Israel Kligler (picture, 2nd row, left), who was instrumental in eliminating malaria from Palestine. Malaria that in many ways was similar in intensity and impact as malaria seen in many parts of Africa today.
The meeting will be held in the form of a workshop and lectures, looking at past historical successes in malaria elimination, reviewing our current focus, and looking forward to identify what will be needed to move from control to sustainable elimination.
Also, workshop participants will work on scenario's for malaria elimination in island settings and ecological islands. The aim is to assist managers of NMCPs in moving forward in their country towards malaria elimination.
Participants have been selected from a variety of backgrounds that are considered essential in the planning and execution of operational malaria programmes.
Outputs from the meeting will be reported here on MalariaWorld, including a declaration by the participants.
The meeting is generously supported by the following organisations:
It is often asserted that there are two malaria vector interventions in widespread use: long-lasting insecticide treated bednets (LLIN) and indoor residual insecticide spraying (IRS). Are either of these vector interventions? I’ll argue that the answer is, “No!” What does this mean for the development of new methods?
MalariaWorld is looking for authors to write columns about malaria - in the broadest sense. What we all read in scientific articles on malaria is only the tip of the iceberg when it gets to the world of malaria. Our malaria world is shaped by funding agencies, meeting outcomes, opinionated individuals and politics, but also you.
MalariaWorld as of today has 8102 registered members. We continuously check the validity of your email address to make sure that we remain connected with you, so you and 8101 other subscribers receive the MalariaWorld newsletter every single week of the year. This November we celebrated our fourth year of providing services to you. This was also a time to once more review our progress, including the progress we are making with the MalariaWorld Journal. The journal is now in its 4th volume and it is maturing, but we identified some real difficulties, one of which I want to bring to your attention here: manuscript reviewing...
Dr. Linda Veronica Venczel of Seattle has been appointed BIO Ventures for Global Healths new Director of Program and Partnership Management. Most recently Dr. Venczel was Senior Program Officer, Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Deputy Branch Chief for Polio Eradication at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and International Advisor on Vaccines and Immunization for Bolivia at the Pan American Health Organization in Washington DC.
I am pleased to send you this brief summary of our most recent and interesting African Malaria Dialogue, held during a luncheon meeting on Wednesday 9 October at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
Dear Partners in Vector Control,
We are pleased to update you on the status of the newly-established Pan-African Mosquito Control Association. Comprised of vector control and research professionals from Africa and beyond, our membership base has been growing rapidly as we combine efforts towards an Africa free of mosquito-borne diseases.
We invite you to:
It is not very often that we see a talk exclusively on malaria at a global TED event. And now there is a new one. Anyone that has an interest in malaria by now should have heard about Sonia Shah. She wrote the excellent book 'The Fever' in 2010, a book that received praise around the world. Shah has now condensed the book in a 15 minute talk. She does so in a simple yet authorative manner that is clear even to someone that has never heard about malaria.
Basically she describes three reasons why it is so hard to tackle malaria in its heartland: Africa. First, the complexity of the disease and the challenges we continue to face to either combat the parasite or its vector make it a tough disease to conquer. True. Parasite resistance to drugs, vector resistance to insecticides, the difficulty of making a potent vaccine, it all adds up to what may seem an impossible task. Second, she talks about economics, the costs involved and the lack of the myriad of resources needed (health facilities, trained staff, control personnel and so on) to do a thorough job. Again true. And third she talks about indifference and the fact that malaria is as engrained in developing country nations as a simple cold or flu in the North. Hmmm, food for thought.
The film below was submitted to MalariaWorld by Dr. Pierre Lutgen.
On several occasions Patrick Ogwang from Uganda and Pierre Lutgen from Luxemburg have informed us on encouraging developments with herbal medicine in Africa, more particularly Artemisia annua. The film shows the program of the Makerere University sponsored by the Ministry of Health of Uganda.
Since my blog on MalariaWorld about Intellectual Ventures' invention to shoot down mosquitoes with laser beams, back in 2010, it has been very quiet. We have not seen any progress with this approach, but this week the TED talk by Nathan Myhrvold features in the Huffington Post (as part of their TEDWeekends section). I was invited to submit a blog in response to this renewed attention for this approach which I titled: Drones that combat malaria.
What do you think? Still a worthy goal or an idea that should be burried?
I am intrigued by the role that consumption of electricity has had in suppressing malaria throughout the world, so I took a quick look at the figures for Africa, to compare.
We know in our hearts that economic development and malaria affect each other. And we can make a pretty good guess at the variables involved. Snowden's book on the suppression of malaria in Italy lists them fairly precisely: literacy, education, agricultural productivity, government stability, etc.
For me, the end of malaria will also coincide with the availability of affordable and reliable electricity, and improved housing with metallic screens on the windows and doors.