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Malaria Policy Advisory Committee to the WHO: conclusions and recommendations of the September 2013 meeting

January 24, 2014 - 17:07 -- MESA Alliance
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The Malaria Policy Advisory Committee to the World Health Organization held its fourth meeting in Geneva, Switzerland from 11 to 13 September, 2013. This article provides a summary of the discussions, conclusions and recommendations from that meeting. MESA is partnering with Global Malaria Programme to disseminate the report.

Column: looking for good news on the road to zero malaria deaths

January 23, 2014 - 20:40 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar. 
Traveller, there is no road. We make the road by walking.
Antonio Machado (1875-1939)
 
By George Jagoe
 
In 2011, RBM revised one of its key objectives for the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP):  it called for reducing “global malaria deaths to near zero by end 2015”. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Robert Newman, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme commented:  “Reducing malaria deaths to near-zero is the right goal, a goal that we need to make every conceivable effort to achieve. But, let us be clear, it is also a wildly ambitious goal.” (1)

Background reading Keystone Symposium The Science of Malaria Eradication, February 2-7, 2014 Mexico

January 22, 2014 - 17:06 -- MESA Alliance

Find the background reading for the Keystone Symposium here, for those long hours in the plane!

B. Fenton Hall and Anthony S. Fauci (2009)
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2009;200:1639–43
 
malERA group: Alonso PL, Brown G, Arevalo-Herrera M, Binka F, Chitnis C, et al. (2011)
PLoS Med 8(1): e1000406
 
Sibao Wang and Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena (2013)
Trends in Biotechnology, March 2013, Vol. 31, No. 3
 
Ashley J. Birkett, Vasee S. Moorthy, Christian Loucq, Chetan E. Chitnis and David C. Kaslow (2013)
Vaccine, Volume 31, Supplement 2, 18 April 2013, Pages B233–B243

New WHO Collaborating Centre in Geospatial Disease Modelling

January 20, 2014 - 14:35 -- Bart G.J. Knols
The University of Oxford has received designation as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre in Geospatial Disease Modelling. Based in the Spatial Ecology and Epidemiology Group (SEEG) in the Department of Zoology, this new designation primarily recognises the contributions of SEEG to supporting the modelling, monitoring and evaluation activities of the WHO Global Malaria Programme.

What should we do: Peer review or not?

January 16, 2014 - 13:36 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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?

Debate: adults or larvae?

January 7, 2014 - 13:15 -- William Jobin

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.

Audio: Outstanding ASTMH presentations relevant to malaria elimination: 2

December 16, 2013 - 21:55 -- MESA Alliance
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Did you miss unmissable presentations at this year's ASTMH?
Listen here:
 
 
'Establishing Malaria-Free Zones in Zanzibar and Zambia: Progress and Next Steps'.
 
Chairs: Richard Steketee (PATH MACEPA) and Anders Björkman (Karolinska Institute).
 
 
 
 
 
 
MESA will post other great sessions on malaria elimination for you to listen to and download, watch this MalariaWorld page.

Audio: Outstanding ASTMH presentations relevant to malaria elimination: 1

December 16, 2013 - 16:50 -- MESA Alliance
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Did you miss unmissable presentations at this year's ASTMH?
Listen here:
 
 
Fred L. Soper Lecture held at the 2013 ASTMH annual meeting.
'History of the regional initiative to eliminate river blindness from the Americas'. Speaker Frank O. Richards, The Carter Center.

"If you find Soper interesting, I really enjoyed the book by Prof Stepan, if you get a chance have a look" (Frank O. Richards). 

 PLAY 

 

Frank O. Richards has provided his slide deck, see attched file (5,7 MB).

MESA will post other great sessions on malaria elimination for you to listen to and download, watch this MalariaWorld page.

Press release: Malaria Conference Will Look to Israel’s Past for Modern Solutions

December 8, 2013 - 15:23 -- Bart G.J. Knols
MEDIA ADVISORY
INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE
 
Malaria Conference Will Look to Israel’s Past for Modern Solutions
Techniques that worked decades ago could help stop the annual 660,000 malaria deaths
Experts, field workers and historians will gather Dec. 8-12 in Jerusalem
Forgotten anti-malaria pioneer and his innovations to be recognized

Hebrew University - Malaria conference (8-12 December)

December 5, 2013 - 10:57 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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:

Kuvin Foundation, Braun School of Public Health & Community Medicine; Hebrew University, Faculty of Medicine-Hadassah; Hadassah; British Friends of Hebrew University; Pears Foundation (UK); Jewish National Fund/Keren Keyemeth LeIsrael; TEVA; and The Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases.
 

WHO/PAHO honours malaria champions in the Americas

November 21, 2013 - 19:20 -- MESA Alliance
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On 6 November 2013, WHO/ PAHO honoured initiatives from three malaria-endemic countries with the ‘Malaria Champions of the Americas Awards’. The Malaria Champions of the Americas awards were given to Colombia (Colombia Malaria Project), the Dominican Republic (National Center for Control of Tropical Diseases), and Brazil (Secretariat of Health of the State of Acre). The Malaria Champions of the Americas was launched in 2008 to identify, celebrate and inspire excellence in efforts to fight the disease.

Fact or Fallacy? Vector control is a major part of malaria interventions.

November 18, 2013 - 09:15 -- Mark Benedict

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?

PAMCA: Win a student membership (deadline 16 December)

November 14, 2013 - 08:24 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Following a generous donation by Dr. Brian D. Anderson, the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association is pleased to announce an essay competition for award of 10 student memberships. The competition is open to African nationals studying an undergraduate or postgraduate programme at any higher learning institute.
 
Essays should be: a) written for a general rather than highly technical audience, b) on a topical issue concerning mosquitoes (which may include mosquito control or mosquito-borne diseases), c) maximum 500 words in either English, French or Portuguese. Essays will be judged based on topic, content and readability. The focus should be on creating an interesting and engaging short piece.
 
Student essays should be submitted to info@pamca.org by 16th December 2013. Undergraduate and post-graduate entries will be judged separately. Winners will receive one year of membership to PAMCA. Winning essays will be featured on www.pamca.org and MalariaWorld along with the student biography. Further details are included in the attachment. Queries should be directed to info@pamca.org
 
Remember to mention MalariaWorld when you submit your essay.
 
Best regards,
 
Dr Tessa B. Knox
PAMCA Communications

Resurging Malaria Catches Cameroon Napping

November 12, 2013 - 08:34 -- Bart G.J. Knols
The article below was contributed by journalist Ntaryike Divine Jr. (Douala, Cameroon). 
 
In 2008, the government of Cameroon engaged a policy-swing designed to irreversibly roll back malaria.  The strategy entailed providing free treatment for simple malaria for under-fives and pregnant women, a countrywide gratis distribution of treated bednets, as well as increased consciousness campaigns.
 
Initially, the Ministry of Health appeared to be winning the war against the bloodthirsty mosquitoes that have hemmed Cameroon among malaria endemic territories over the years.  In fact, earlier this year, officials were upbeat about sustaining the victory.    
 
“If we make a comparison between the current situation and what we saw in 2008, we note that malaria-related morbidity has dropped.  Related mortality among under-fives has decreased from 144 to 122 per hundredthousand thanks to actions taken by the Ministry and we’re lobbying for another campaign to distribute free bednets in 2014,” boasted Dr Etienne Fondjo, permanent secretary of the Program to Fight against Malaria.

Keystone Symposia Meeting on The Science of Malaria Eradication

November 10, 2013 - 16:24 -- MESA Alliance
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Date: Sunday, 2 February 2014 - Friday, 7 February 2014
Location: Mérida (Yucatán) México
Scientific Organizers: Pedro L. Alonso, Chetan E. Chitnis and Lee Hall
Organized in collaboration with MESA – Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance

MalariaWorld is looking for columnists (deadline 15 December)

November 7, 2013 - 21:58 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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.

How to improve manuscript reviewing?

November 5, 2013 - 20:23 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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...

MESA opens call for proposals

November 4, 2013 - 22:06 -- MESA Alliance
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The MESA grants will support operational research on preventing the spread, or reintroduction, of malaria transmission between neighboring areas, or from hotspots/pockets of transmission. 
 
Proposals must address innovative approaches to reach zero malaria transmission, or to prevent the reintroduction of malaria, in a specific zone which has neighboring areas where transmission still occurs; e.g. within district, at subnational level, between island and mainland, or at cross-border areas.

BVGH Recruits Dr. Linda Venczel as New Program Director

October 11, 2013 - 13:34 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

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.

Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance

October 11, 2013 - 09:38 -- MESA Alliance
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MESA (the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance) follows-up on the malERA agenda and provides a dedicated platform for the community in order to accelerate the translation of the science of malaria eradication for impact. With the community, MESA monitors progress and takes the next steps to advance the science of malaria eradication. MESA reviews existing evidence and supports projects on research questions critical to malaria eradication. For more information, please visit www.mesamalaria.org.

Read MESA's latest posts here.

Message from the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association

September 18, 2013 - 15:54 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

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:

A must-see: Sonia Shah about malaria (TED)

September 12, 2013 - 20:34 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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.

Film: The magic tea: A cure and prevention for malaria

August 22, 2013 - 20:26 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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.

Mosquito laser back on the scene

August 20, 2013 - 21:35 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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?

Toward a theory of economic development and malaria

June 12, 2013 - 21:27 -- William Jobin

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.

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