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Global Malaria News

US$225m milestone passed!

Against Malaria news - December 13, 2019 - 15:05

We have now reached a total raised of US$225,000,000 since AMF started and the donation that took us past that milestone was one from Tampere, Finland! Kiitos!

This equates to the funding of more than 104 million nets to protect 187 million people and an expected impact, once all nets are distributed, of more than 50 to 60 million cases of malaria averted, 70,000 to 80,000 lives saved, and economic improvement of US$2.7billion.

We have also just passed 480,000 donations received, with this coming from over 126,830 people in 192 countries!

As always, our sincere thanks to everyone for their wonderful support and generosity.

Safer viruses for vaccine research and diagnosis

Science Daily - December 11, 2019 - 19:47
A new technology to produce safer 'hybrid' viruses at high volumes for use in vaccines and diagnostics for mosquito-borne diseases has been developed.

AMF activity update: November 2019

Against Malaria news - December 5, 2019 - 16:30

A short update on activities going on this month.

  1. In Uganda, the first results of the study into the effectiveness of a new type of net have been published. Read more here. Our PDM partner has completed the 30-month PDM in some districts in the Eastern region and all data will be entered in December.
     
  2. In DRC, the distribution of 1.5 million nets in Équateur province has been completed. See photos below. Distribution data has been sent to Kinshasa, where it is being entered into AMF's database. In Haut Katanga, the registration of 1.4 million households has begun with a pilot of electronic data collection in three of the 27 health zones. This will be the first time that our distribution partner, SANRU (Santé Rurale), will conduct electronic data collection and this will be a chance to gain experience at scale before the registration of all provinces in 2020 and 2021 is performed electronically. This is one of the largest provinces in DRC where 4.1 million nets will be distributed in February and March. Registration in Sud Ubangi province begins on 17th December. Significant flooding has caused some disruption to the distribution schedule with an estimated 150,000 people internally displaced.
     
  3. In Togo, 3.5 million nets are being ordered for the 2020 campaign, following the signature of an agreement last month. Given evidence in some locations of insecticide resistance, we are considering a possible purchase of PBO nets.
     
  4. AMF is still hiring for two positions, an Operations Manager and a Full Stack Developer, with an application deadline of 6th January 2020
     
  5. In Ghana, we have completed the 9-month post-distribution monitoring (PDM), and we will discuss the results with the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) to understand what actions can be taken to improve net usage. The next PDM will take place in March 2020.
     
  6. In Malawi, our PDM partner has finished the first round of PDMs. Data is being imported into our Data Entry System, after which it will be analysed.
     
  7. In Guinea, PDMs will begin in February 2020 and we will shortly select our PDM partner. Investigations into a possible theft of AMF nets are almost complete (with positive news), and we will post an update in the next two weeks.
     
  8. In PNG, our partner RAM continues to distribute nets on a rolling basis. Distributions have been completed in 6 of the 8 provinces scheduled for 2019, with 650,000 nets distributed. The reminder of the one million nets funded for 2019, 350,000, are scheduled to be distributed in January and February 2020. Nets are on their way to PNG for the first province, Milne Bay, that will receive AMF-funded nets in the 2020 campaign with net orders for additional provinces being placed shortly.
     
  9. In Zambia, the 18 months PDM in Eastern province is now complete and our partner organisation is currently entering the data into AMF’s database.

  10.  

1940s blood samples reveal historical spread of malaria

Science Daily - December 2, 2019 - 17:46
DNA from 75-year old eradicated European malaria parasites uncovers the historical spread of one of the two most common forms of the disease, Plasmodium vivax, from Europe to the Americas during the colonial period, finds a new study.

New high-resolution images show how malaria parasites evade frontline drugs

Science Daily - November 27, 2019 - 21:14
The first-ever detailed images of a malaria protein, a known key modulator of drug resistance, show how the parasite evades antimalarials -- and may help scientists find ways to restore the drugs' potency.

PBO Net Trial Results Released (to 18 months)

Against Malaria news - November 21, 2019 - 15:30

Summary

AMF funded the largest trial ever undertaken to assess the effectiveness of a new type of net in dealing with those malaria-carrying mosquitoes that are developing some level of resistance to the insecticide used on nets. The results of the first 18 months of the trial have just been released.

The net type being assessed was the ‘PBO net’, so called as piperonyl butoxide is added to the net to counteract the resistance mechanism in the mosquito, thereby allowing the insecticide on the net to work as usual and kill the mosquito.

The results show that both conventional nets and PBO nets reduced malaria prevalence. PBO nets were more effective, both at killing mosquitoes and at reducing malaria in the population. Specifically, after 6 months (of usage) PBO nets were 26% more effective at reducing malaria, after 12 months 27% better, and after 18 months 16% better.

PBO nets are currently more expensive than conventional LLINs. However, manufacturing capacity is growing and, as it does, PBO nets are likely to become more attractive compared to conventional nets in countries (like Uganda) of high resistance.

Detail

The trial used an innovative design, being conducted as part of Uganda’s nationwide net campaign which began in 2017. It assessed new nets in the context of a mass campaign rather than in a separate field trial. AMF provided 6 million PBO nets and 6 million conventional nets to the campaign and the study took place across 104 districts, approximately half the population and land area of the country.

Data was analysed from blood tests of over 23,000 children 2 to 10 years old. After 18 months, malaria prevalence had declined with the use of both conventional nets and PBO nets. PBO nets were more effective in reducing malaria prevalence at each of the time points – 6, 12 and 18 months. This was reinforced by a very significant effect on the mosquito population. After 12 months, households supplied with the PBO-treated nets had 80% fewer malaria-carrying mosquitoes compared to households using conventional LLINs.

The results therefore suggest that although both PBO and conventional nets were effective, PBO nets provided better protection against malaria in the setting of high-level insecticide resistance.

AMF’s approach is to evaluate any malaria resistance data in an area to receive nets, then apply the most cost-effective net intervention on a region-by-region or country-by-country basis. We do this by applying the research to country data, and work in close collaboration with national malaria programme teams and other partners. We strongly encourage more data collection on resistance patterns and the nature of that resistance, and will continue to encourage research into this critical area.

AMF is very pleased that the research concluded on time, on budget and gained additional support from DFID (for the 18 month results) and The Gates Foundation (for the 24 month results to come).

We would like to thank the teams at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Makerere University Kampala for their hard work throughout the study.

We will add a link to the publication as soon as it is available, which we expect to be shortly.

Machine learning microscope adapts lighting to improve diagnosis

Science Daily - November 20, 2019 - 17:12
Engineers have developed a microscope that adapts its lighting angles, colors and patterns while teaching itself the optimal settings needed to complete a given diagnostic task. In the initial proof-of-concept study, the microscope simultaneously developed a lighting pattern and classification system that allowed it to quickly identify red blood cells infected by the malaria parasite more accurately than trained physicians and other machine learning approaches.

Malaria discovery could lead to better HIV and lupus treatments

Science Daily - November 20, 2019 - 12:07
A discovery about how the immune system responds to malaria infection could lead to better treatments for hepatitis C, HIV and lupus, say researchers. The research team showed, in laboratory models, that strong inflammatory signals caused by malaria infection activate molecules that trigger the production of highly potent antibodies to fight the disease.

Scientists and schoolkids find family soups have antimalarial properties

Science Daily - November 19, 2019 - 00:08
London schoolchildren have found -- with the help of scientists -- that some of their families' soup recipes have antimalarial properties.

Scientists close in on malaria vaccine

Science Daily - November 15, 2019 - 14:16
Scientists have taken another big step forward towards developing a vaccine that's effective against the most severe forms of malaria.

Mapping disease outbreaks in urban settings using mobile phone data

Science Daily - November 15, 2019 - 12:44
A new study into the interplay between mobility and the 2013 and 2014 dengue outbreaks in Singapore has uncovered a legal void around access to mobile phone data -- information that can prove vital in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

Breakthrough in malaria research

Science Daily - November 14, 2019 - 16:59
Cell biologists have systematically investigated the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium throughout its life cycle in a large-scale experiment. The researchers were able to identify hundreds of targets that are urgently needed in drug and vaccine development to eradicate the disease.

AMF funds 16.2 million nets for distribution in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2020/21

Against Malaria news - November 14, 2019 - 12:00

AMF has signed an agreement with the DRC Ministry of Health to fund 16.2 million nets for distribution from June 2020 to March 2021. This represents 67% of DRC’s long-lasting insecticide treated net (LLIN) need for the 2020/21 portion of their three-year rolling universal coverage campaign.

DRC is one of the two most malarious countries in the world with malaria responsible for the deaths of at least 100 children under 5 each day in DRC alone. Malaria is one of the primary health issues in DRC, with high incidence levels seen across the majority of the country.

The nets will be distributed in seven of DRC's 26 provinces, specifically:

  1. Kinshasa: 4.1m nets to protect 7.4m people, distribution during Q2/Q3 2020
  2. Kongo Central: 2.6m nets to protect 4.7m people, distribution during Q2/Q3 2020
  3. Tshopo: 2.2m nets to protect 4m people, distribution during Q3/Q4 2020
  4. Haut Uele: 1.2m nets to protect 2.2m people, distribution during Q3/Q4 2020
  5. Ituri: 3.6m nets to protect 6.5m people, distribution during Q3/Q4 2020
  6. Maniema: 1.7m nets to protect 3m people, distribution in Q1 2021
  7. Bas Uele: 0.8m nets to protect 1.4m people, distribution in Q1 2021

In total, 29 million people will be protected from the bites of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

These nets have the potential to play a major part in reducing deaths and illness. This quantity of nets could be expected to prevent 10,500 deaths, 5 million cases of malaria and make a material impact on the economy of DRC. It is estimated that the improvement in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), a measure of economic performance, would be about USD 385 million.

AMF allocates individual donations to specific distributions and so far we have allocated 50,310 individual donations from 12,990 donors from 105 countries. These figures will increase as further donations are allocated. Many donations, large and small, help fund these nets.

We will report openly on progress and performance throughout and after the distribution.

Key elements of our agreement include:

  1. AMF is funding 16,200,000 LLINs for distribution in 2020/21
  2. This is a co-funding partnership with non-net costs (shipping, pre-distribution, distribution) funded by the Global Fund
  3. To support accurate data gathering, re-checks of net need numbers will take place by re-visiting a material number of households chosen at random.
  4. Household-level data will be collected on paper or using electronic-devices and then entered into AMF’s Data Entry System (DES) for analysis and verification. This, and the above elements combined, are the basis for a highly accountable distribution.
  5. Post-distribution monitoring of net use and condition (PDMs) will take place every nine months for two and a half years in all districts. AMF will fund this.

Further information via the dedicated distribution page

Other DRC distributions
2019 Equateur and Sud Ubangi
2019 Tanganyika, Haut Katanga and Haut Lomami

Insulin can increase mosquitoes' immunity to West Nile virus

Science Daily - November 13, 2019 - 15:18
A discovery has the potential to inhibit the spread of West Nile virus as well as Zika and dengue viruses. The researchers demonstrated that mammalian insulin activated an antiviral immunity pathway in mosquitoes, increasing the insects' ability to suppress the viruses. Since mosquito bites are the most common way humans are infected with West Nile, stopping the virus among the insects would protect human health.

Scientists identify immune cells linked to malaria-induced anemia through autoantibody production

Science Daily - November 12, 2019 - 16:02
An autoimmune attack on uninfected red blood cells likely contributes to anemia -- a shortage of red blood cells -- in people with malaria.

How the Zika virus can spread

Science Daily - November 11, 2019 - 15:50
The spread of infectious diseases such as Zika depends on many different factors. Researchers were able to generate reliable maps for the transmission risk of the Zika virus in South America.

Mated female mosquitoes are more likely to transmit malaria parasites

Science Daily - November 7, 2019 - 21:07
Female mosquitoes that have mated are more likely to transmit malaria parasites than virgin females, according to a new study.

AMF funds 3.5 million nets for distribution in the Togo in 2020

Against Malaria news - November 1, 2019 - 12:59

AMF has signed an agreement with the Togolese Ministry of Health to fund 3.5 million nets for distribution from June to August 2020. This represents 60% of Togo's long-lasting insecticide treated net (LLIN) need for the universal coverage campaign. The last campaign was in 2017 where AMF funded 2.4 million nets.

The nets will be distributed in four of Togo's five regions: Kara, Centrale, Plateaux and Maritime and will protect 6.3 million people.

The latest Malaria Indicator Survey showed that all of Togo’s regions have a malaria problem that needs to be tackled, with the worst affected being Plateaux region where 47% of children aged 6 to 59 months show a positive result to a malaria microscopy test.

High prevalence may be due in part to increasing levels of insecticide resistance and AMF is evaluating the data to judge whether malaria outcomes can be improved if a portion of the nets funded were PBO nets, as these nets have shown better capability against insecticide-resistant mosquitoes.

The total of 3.5m nets have the potential to play a major part in reducing deaths and illness from malaria. This quantity of nets could be expected to prevent 2,300 deaths, 1.2 million cases of malaria and make a material impact on the economy of Togo. It is estimated that the improvement in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), a measure of economic performance, would be about US$83 million.

AMF allocates individual donations to specific distributions and so far we have allocated 5,220 individual donations from 3,967 donors from 64 countries. We are allocating more donations now so these figures will increase. Many donations, large and small, help fund these nets.

We will report openly on progress and performance throughout and after the distribution.

Key elements of our agreement include:

  • AMF is funding 3,538,200 LLINs for distribution in 2019
  • This is a co-funding partnership with non-net costs (shipping, pre-distribution and distribution costs) funded by the Global Fund
  • To support accurate data gathering
    • all registration data will be collected using electronic devices before being imported into AMF's Data Entry System (DES) for analysis and verification
    • all data collectors will be aware that a random selection of 5% of the households that each register will be re-visited
    • AMF will fund an independent monitoring organisation to be present during registration (and during distribution) in a material number of villages selected at random
  • The above elements are the basis for a highly accountable distribution
  • Post-distribution monitoring of net use and condition (PDMs) will take place every nine months for two and a half years in all districts. AMF will fund this.

AMF activity update: October 2019

Against Malaria news - October 31, 2019 - 16:53

A short update on activities going on this month.

  1. AMF is hiring for two exciting positions - an Operations Manager and a Full Stack Developer.
     
  2. In DRC, the distribution of 1.5 million nets in Équateur province began on 17th October and is being wrapped up in all health zones. Distribution data is being validated and sent to Kinshasa, where it will be entered into AMF's database. In Haut Katanga, the registration of 1.4 million households will now take place with a pilot of electronic data collection in three of the 27 health zones. This will be the first time that our distribution partner, SANRU (Santé Rurale), will conduct electronic data collection and will be a chance to gain experience at scale before the registration of all provinces in 2020 and 2021 is performed electronically. This has pushed back the registration to November. We have signed an agreement with our data entry partner, AGAPE, to put in place a data entry centre in Kinshasa to enter into AMF’s database the registration data collected on paper from the households in the remaining 24 health zones.
     
  3. In Togo, a new agreement has been signed with the Ministry of Health to fund 3.5 million nets for the 2020 campaign. The 24-month PDM has been carried out in all four regions (Savanes, Kara, Centrale and Plateaux) that received 2.4 million nets in 2017. Data was collected using electronic devices and will be sent to AMF shortly. Photos below show the challenges of reaching randomly selected households during the current rainy season.
     
  4. In Ghana, our PDM partner World Vision has completed data collection for the 9-month PDMs in regions that received AMF nets. Data was collected with electronic devices and 1.5% of all households that received AMF-funded nets were visited. The sleeping space coverage across these areas is 62% and the next step will be to discuss this with the National Malaria Control Programme to understand what actions can be taken to improve net usage.
     
  5. In Malawi, our partner the Malawi Red Cross Society has finished PDMs in Central region and data will shortly be imported into our Data Entry System. We have shared initial results with the National Malaria Control Programme who are considering actions to be taken to increase net usage where necessary.
     
  6. In Guinea, we are tendering for a PDM partner to carry out post-distribution monitoring at 9, 18 and 27 months across 1.5% of all households that received AMF-funded nets, collecting data electronically. PDMs will begin in February 2020. Investigations into a possible theft of AMF nets are ongoing, and we will provide a dedicated update in November.
     
  7. In Uganda, our PDM partner organisation Malaria Consortium, with their implementing partner PACE, is carrying out the 30-month PDM in the Eastern region.
     
  8. In PNG, our partner RAM continues to distribute nets on a rolling basis. Distribution has been completed in 5 of the 8 provinces scheduled for the year, with distribution ongoing in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB, previously known as North Solomons province). More than 500,000 nets have been distributed in 2019. Orders have been placed for the first province that will receive AMF-funded nets in the 2020 campaign, Milne Bay.
     
  9. In Zambia, the next PDM to take place will be in Eastern province at 18 months post distribution. We have signed an agreement with our partner CHAZ to carry out this work in October and November.
     

Research reveals how malaria parasite plans ahead, preparing blueprint to strike in humans

Science Daily - October 31, 2019 - 15:25
Within seconds after an infected mosquito bites, the malaria parasite navigates the host skin and blood vessels to invade the liver, where it will stay embedded until thousands of infected cells launch malaria's deadly blood-stage infection. Now, for the first time, a team describes how malaria Plasmodium parasites prepare for this journey. Researchers say this knowledge may help identify new strategies to block transmission of the parasite.

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