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Global Malaria News

AMF is hiring - Full Stack Developer

Against Malaria news - October 25, 2019 - 17:00

AMF's activities and commitments are steadily increasing, with expected annual distributions of over 20 million nets in the coming years. As a result, AMF is adding to the technology team and is now seeking exceptional candidates for the role of Full Stack Developer, specialising in ASP.Net, VB.Net and SQL Server.

Reporting to AMF's Head of Technology, and working closely with all other members of the AMF team, the successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:

Coding

  • ASP.Net, VB.Net, SQL Server; level of competence: excellent; likely years' experience: 5
  • .Net Core, C#; level of competence: good; likely years' experience: 1 to 2
General
  • Strong analytical capabilities – for both the website functionality and database design
  • Able to focus on detail whilst retaining the bigger picture
  • Strong project and time management skills
  • Self‐motivated with the ability to work to deadlines
  • Strong communication skills at both a technical and non‐technical level
Additional skills
  • Knowledge of non-web coding - i.e. console apps, desktop apps, web services - which may be required to support the site or back‐office users
  • Knowledge and experience of source-control solutions for code (specifically Git)
  • Awareness of social media platforms and how to best integrate/exploit them

The successful candidate is likely to be in the UK/Europe/Africa time zones.

Job description and details of how to apply.

Rhomboid protease in action

Science Daily - October 25, 2019 - 14:14
Rhomboid proteases are clinically relevant membrane proteins that play a key role in various diseases. Using solid-state NMR spectroscopy, researchers have now been able to watch rhomboid proteases in a native lipid environment at work. The obtained dynamic images will be useful for the development of new medication for diseases such as Parkinson's and malaria.

AMF is hiring - Operations Manager

Against Malaria news - October 21, 2019 - 16:00

AMF's activities and commitments are steadily increasing, with expected annual distributions of over 20 million nets in the coming years. In light of this, AMF is adding to the operations team and is now seeking exceptional candidates for the role of Operations Manager.

Reporting to AMF’s Operations Director, and working closely with all the other members of the AMF team, the successful candidate will

  • speak fluent French and English, have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to construct and maintain strong working relationships
     
  • have exceptional organisational skills, with an interest in managing projects to improve outcomes for the poorest communities
     
  • have strong analytical skills, attention to detail and Excel capability
     
  • be open, collegiate and enjoy working in a small, highly impactful team
     
  • be willing to travel to Africa between 6 and 10 weeks per year
     
  • be comfortable learning about applying their skills to AMF's internal operations

Prior experience in international development is not necessary.

Members of the AMF team work remotely. AMF meets all the costs of shared office space where this is preferred.

The successful candidate is likely to be in the UK/Europe/Africa time zones.

Job description and details of how to apply.

Immune reaction causes malaria organ damage

Science Daily - October 21, 2019 - 14:49
Immune cells can be the body's defenders and foes at the same time.

DEET gives humans an 'invisibilty cloak' to fend off mosquito bites

Science Daily - October 17, 2019 - 15:16
Since its invention during the Second World War for soldiers stationed in countries where malaria transmission rates were high, researchers have worked to pinpoint precisely how DEET actually affects mosquitoes.

Acaí berry extracts fight malaria in mice

Science Daily - October 16, 2019 - 16:46
Despite humanity's best efforts to eradicate malaria, the disease struck more than 200 million people in 2017, according to the World Health Organization. Worse yet, the parasite that causes malaria is developing resistance to many antimalarial drugs, including the mainstay, chloroquine. Researchers are actively searching for new treatments, and now, a group have found that acaí berry extracts can reduce parasites in the blood and prolong the survival of infected mice.

In Baltimore, lower income neighborhoods have bigger mosquitoes

Science Daily - October 16, 2019 - 13:49
Low-income urban neighborhoods not only have more mosquitoes, but they are larger-bodied, indicating that they could be more efficient at transmitting diseases. So reports investigating how socioeconomics influences mosquito-borne disease risk in Baltimore, Maryland.

Key uncertainties identified for models of mosquito distribution in the US

Science Daily - October 10, 2019 - 18:20
A computational analysis has identified key regions in the United States where model-based predictions of mosquito species distribution could be improved.

For the first time, professor observes crystallized iron product, hemozoin, made in mammals

Science Daily - October 1, 2019 - 15:08
For the first time ever, a professor has observed a crystallized iron product called hemozoin being made in mammals, with widespread implications for future research and treatment of blood disorders. Findings could be used to treat sickle cell disease and malaria patients, while opening up diverse research avenues across immunology, parasitology, neuroscience, microbiology, and even urology.

AMF activity update: September 2019

Against Malaria news - September 30, 2019 - 19:09

A short update on activities going on in-country this month.

  • In DRC, preparations are being made for the distribution of 1.5 million nets in Équateur province, which is due to begin mid-October. Nets have arrived in province and are being sent to the health zones in the correct quantities according to registration data. Nets are also arriving in Sud Ubangi province, where the registration of 600,000 households will begin in the coming weeks using electronic devices. Half the nets purchased were PBO nets, and half standard nets, and the effectiveness of these nets will be monitored. In Haut Katanga, registration of 1.4 million households will take place in October using paper forms. The printing of these forms is complete and we are engaging with our data entry partner, AGAPE, to put in place a data entry centre in Kinshasa. 8.4 million nets have been produced for the provinces of Tanganyika, Haut Katanga and Haut Lomami and are being shipped to the port of Dar Es Salam in Tanzania, and from there to Eastern DRC.
     
  • In Zambia, our partner CHAZ has just finished post-distribution monitoring in Western province, completing the first round of PDMs in all four provinces receiving AMF-funded nets. Across these provinces, the sleeping space coverage is 65%, with a hang up rate of 81%. This is low and we are investigating with our partners in country. One explanation is that AMF nets are generally being used, but too few were given out during distribution to cover all sleeping spaces. 3.0 million nets were distributed in 2018.
     
  • In Ghana, our partner World Vision has completed data collection for the 9-month PDM in Upper East region using electronic devices. Photos below. The results of the PDM in Brong Ahafo region have been imported into AMF's database and show a sleeping space coverage of 84% at 9 months post distribution.
     
  • In Malawi, our partner the Malawi Red Cross Society has collected PDM data in 6 districts in Southern region, which show an average sleeping space coverage of 73% at 9 months post distribution. Data is currently being collected in Central region.
     
  • In Guinea, we are currently investigating a possible theft of AMF nets and are working closely with all partners to 1) establish if the nets recovered in Mali are AMF-funded nets, and 2) conduct, as necessary, a thorough audit of the movement of all nets in country.
     
  • In Uganda, lists of specific households in specific villages, randomly selected by AMF, that will visited during PDM activity have been shared with our partner organisation Malaria Consortium for the 30-month PDM taking place in the Eastern region. Results from the 24-month PDM in selected districts in the Western region show a sleeping space coverage of 83%.
     
  • In PNG, our partner RAM continues to distribute nets on a rolling basis. So far in 2019, more than 395,000 nets have been successfully distributed in the provinces of Southern Highlands, Hela, Oro and Central. Distribution is ongoing in the New Ireland and North Solomons (ARoB) provinces. In total, about 1.0 million nets will be distributed during 2019. PDM activity has just been completed in Milne Bay, two years after the distribution, and data is being entered for review.
     
  • In Togo, preparations are taking place for the 24-month PDM which will take place in all four regions (Savanes, Kara, Centrale and Plateaux) that received 2.4 million nets in 2017. Data will be collected using electronic devices.

AMF investigating [possible] theft of nets in Guinea

Against Malaria news - September 20, 2019 - 13:05

Summary: It is possible that a number of tens of thousands of AMF nets have been stolen from the recent Guinea universal coverage net campaign. A quantity of nets have been recovered in Mali, across the border.

AMF recently provided 4.8 million nets for distribution in Guinea as part of a larger nationwide campaign. The vast majority of the nets were distributed as planned and are accounted for in our databases. However, we are currently investigating a possible theft of some nets. Our current estimate is that, if some nets have been stolen, the quantity is 2 per cent or less of the nets provided. However, we take any instance like this extremely seriously and are carrying out a thorough investigation. We also want to report on any such matter openly to our donors. We are working intensively to recover all nets possible and learn what process improvements can be made to reduce the probability of recurrence.

Detail: On Wednesday 11th September it was brought to AMF's attention that a quantity of nets with AMF labels and clear 'For Guinea' markings were in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Mali shares a border with Guinea.

The report indicated that tens of thousands of nets could be involved with a high probability that there were nets from all three funders of the recent nationwide Guinea campaign - AMF, The Global Fund and USAID. These three organisations informed the Minister of Health in Mali, who, late in the evening of Friday 13th September, with support from ministry department staff and the local police, visited a privately owned warehouse in Bamako. They reported that 800 nets were found with USAID-Guinea markings, as well as cut-off net labels and unused counterfeit packaging. After further investigation, on Wednesday 18th September, a second warehouse was visited and 98,500 nets (ninety eight thousand five hundred) were found in counterfeit packaging with the net brand labels removed. Both quantities of nets were placed under guard by the authorities. Initial indications are that there are four different types of nets involved, including PermaNet 2.0 nets, the brand funded for Guinea by AMF.

The authorities in Mali have so far responded quickly and decisively. In Guinea, the authorities have begun an investigation to establish where in the supply chain a potential theft of nets may have occurred.

We do not yet know the quantities of AMF-funded nets involved i.e. whether it is large or small.

Our immediate next steps, working closely with other net funding partners and the authorities in Mali and Guinea are to establish
1) the brands, quantities and provenance of the nets found;
2) if other quantities of nets may be found in other warehouses;
3) performing a full audit of net movements in Guinea
Identifying the brands and batch numbers of nets will help establish what quantity of nets has come from Guinea and, for any such nets, help establish from which region they came.

Given AMF collects detailed household-level distribution data, we have been able to establish an initial estimate of the ceiling quantity of nets involved of 80,000. AMF shipped 4.8m nets to Guinea and detailed household-level distribution records (which are currently being versified and cleaned as part of the normal process following a campaign, so the following numbers may change) records 4,551,694 nets were distributed. The difference is 248,306 nets. From this figure we subtract the current estimate of nets left over from the distribution and in the possession of the authorities in Guinea which is approximately 170,000. This leaves an initial ceiling estimate of 80,000 unaccounted nets. As verification is completed this number may stay the same or come down substantially.

Our longer term goals are of course to a) return the nets to their original destination such that they can protect the beneficiaries intended and b) understand what caused this and update our processes accordingly.

In the coming days we will provide updates and report fully on what is found.

Clinically silent relapsing malaria may still pose a threat

Science Daily - September 19, 2019 - 18:22
Nonhuman primates with clinically undetectable Plasmodium relapse infections still harbor parasitic gametocytes that may be infectious to mosquitoes, according to a new study.

New tool in fight against malaria

Science Daily - September 18, 2019 - 18:42
Modifying a class of molecules originally developed to treat the skin disease psoriasis could lead to a new malaria drug that is effective against malaria parasites resistant to currently available drugs.

Innovative candidate drug against malaria

Science Daily - September 18, 2019 - 18:07
A molecule once designed to cure the skin disease psoriasis appears to be particularly effective against malaria. The antimalarial properties were revealed thanks to one researcher's inspired hunch when the psoriasis drug discovery program came to a dead end. The candidate drug offers considerable potential for combating this infectious disease.

Anemia may contribute to the spread of dengue fever

Science Daily - September 16, 2019 - 18:40
Mosquitoes are more likely to acquire the dengue virus when they feed on blood with low levels of iron, researchers report. Supplementing people's diets with iron in places where both iron deficiency anemia and dengue fever are a problem could potentially limit transmission of the disease, but there are risks.

Malaria could be felled by an Antarctic sea sponge

Science Daily - September 11, 2019 - 17:04
The frigid waters of the Antarctic may yield a treatment for a deadly disease that affects populations in some of the hottest places on earth. Current medications for that scourge -- malaria -- are becoming less effective as drug resistance spreads. But researchers report that a peptide they isolated from an Antarctic sponge shows promise as a lead for new therapies.

Diversity of Plasmodium falciparum across Sub-Saharan Africa

Science Daily - September 5, 2019 - 18:54
Scientists have identified the regional character to Plasmodium falciparum across Africa. Malaria, infecting 219 million individuals in 2017, remains a threat to public health and regional stability. Human movement and the introduction of antimalarial drugs were drivers of this genetic diversity. Gene flow between sub-populations could spread resistance from one sub-population to the rest of the continent.

Genome mining reveals novel production pathway for promising malaria treatment

Science Daily - September 4, 2019 - 21:57
Researchers are exploring the relationship between microbial natural products and the gene clusters that enable their production. By learning to recognize what genes lead to what types of products, they hope to use genome sequencing to speed discovery of new natural products that may have key therapeutic properties.

By comparing needles to mosquitoes, new model offers insights into Hepatitis C solutions

Science Daily - September 4, 2019 - 14:07
Removing used needles does not reduce the spread of Hepatitis C virus -- instead, changing the ratio of infected to uninfected needles is critical, study finds.

Biomarker predicts if someone infected with malaria will get sick

Science Daily - September 3, 2019 - 15:33
Increased p53, the well-known tumor-suppressor protein, can predict whether malaria-infected children will develop fever or other symptoms, suggests a new study. The authors say the findings could lead to new strategies for dampening the harmful inflammatory responses associated with some infections and identifying individuals who might be at risk for such responses.

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