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Bart G.J. Knols's blog

Guest editorial: “End Malaria for Good”- a few key messages based on the Cambodian experience

June 23, 2016 - 07:27 -- Bart G.J. Knols
The editorial below was contributed by Sara E Canavati and Jack S Richards. Contact details below.
 
World Malaria Day (WMD) is an international observance established in 2007 and commemorated every year on 25 April to recognize global efforts to control malaria. The theme for 2016 was “End Malaria For Good”, which focused on malaria elimination. Following the great progress made under the Millennium Development Goals, it is important to continue building on this success as we transition into the Sustainable Development Goals [1] and the recently launched Global Technical Strategy for Malaria (GTS) [2]. The aim of the piece is to briefly reflect on WMD 2016 and consider a few key operational issues on malaria elimination that may lie ahead for the coming year.

New report from WHO on malaria elimination

June 5, 2016 - 21:09 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This report, presented on World Malaria Day 2016, focuses on the third goal from the Global Technical Strategy for malaria: 2016-2030: malaria elimination. It offers a brief analysis of recent country-level progress towards elimination and spotlights countries that are poised to reach the finish line in the next  five years.
 
A number of countries have had remarkable success in controlling malaria, and these achievements are hard-won. But in many respects, the hardest work is yet to come. This WHO report highlights the considerable challenges countries will face in their e orts to drive down malaria cases to zero and to prevent resurgences of this deadly disease.

Quarterly report on recent developments in Vector Control

December 8, 2015 - 09:28 -- Bart G.J. Knols

This quarterly report, produced by Vector Works, is meant to update the malaria community in general, and particularly those interested in vector control, on recently published research related to the improvement or development of new or alternative vector control tools. The report summarizes relevant new studies and highlights possible interpretations and implications, and it provides links to the original work. Aspects of indoor residual spraying are not included here as they are addressed in another newsletter (http://www.africairs.net). Read on to discover the exciting new contributions to the vector control field.

Report: RBM-VCWG Consensus statement on housing and malaria

November 8, 2015 - 16:11 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This Consensus Statement on Housing and Malaria, released this month by the Vector Control Working Group of RBM, aims to review current evidence on the interaction between incremental housing improvements and malaria and to identify opportunities to contribute to global efforts for the control and elimination of malaria in line with the Global Technical Strategy (GTS) and Action and Investment to defeat Malaria (AIM). It is hoped that this docu‐ ment will encourage broader partnerships to realise the full potential of this promising complimentary approach and will help focus the research efforts required. Key actions for endemic countries and their partners are listed in the attached report. 
 
The full report is attached below.

Message from Dr. Pedro Alonso -Director, Global Malaria Programme (WHO)

October 30, 2015 - 07:23 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The message below, from Dr. Pedro Alonso, the Director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme was circulated today, 24 October 2015.

Dear colleagues and partners, 
  
In recent weeks, you may have seen press articles stating that the United Nations and partners are calling on the world to eradicate malaria by the year 2040. 
  
The World Health Organization (WHO) shares the vision of a malaria-free world and – to that end – we welcome the commitment of all of our partners. However, I would like to clarify the strategy, targets and timeline that our organization has endorsed at this point in time. 

Why do novel vector control tools have to be perfect if the RTS,S vaccine isn't?

October 22, 2015 - 21:46 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Last month there was great news for the malaria world: A detailed analysis of the impact of insecticide-treated bednets (LLINs), ACTs, and indoor residual spraying (IRS), showed that some 6.2 million deaths and 700 million cases were averted between 2000-2015, mostly since 2005. Add up the contribution of the vector control components, and it shows that 78% of all the gains originated from just these two tools: LLINs and IRS. Is it safe to draw the conclusion from this that vector control is and shall remain the integral and critical component that will lead us to a world without malaria by 2040? I think the answer to that is 'yes, very much so'.

In Memoriam: Dr. Alan Magill

September 25, 2015 - 08:38 -- Bart G.J. Knols

It is with profound sadness that we took notice today of the untimely death of Dr. Alan Magill, who headed the malaria programme at the Gates Foundation in Seattle. Below we copy the press release from the Gates Foundation.

I met Alan for the first time in Durban, South Africa, during the MIM meeting in 2013. This was not long after he had taken up his new position at the Gates Foundation. This was the man that everyone out of the 1500+ participants would like to talk to, and it was a great privilege that he took some time to sit down and chat with me. It struck me immediately how pleasant Alan was to interact with. Down-to-earth, direct, and above all with passion did he speak of his mission to free the world of malaria. And I vivdly remember his following words: 'Being with the Foundation now gives me the real opportunity to make a difference in this world'.

The second time we met was when I visited the Foundation in January this year. As ever, Alan was pleasant and at the same time razor sharp. He needed two words to understand your full story. Over lunch his passion got hold of him when he stood up and expressed his frustration that we were all going too slow - that we needed to get new technology to the field quicker. Every live mattered, and waiting would only lead to unnecessary waste of lives. So true.

The world has lost a great malariologist. It is now upon us to follow in his footsteps and end malaria.

Report: Landscape of new vector control products

September 23, 2015 - 19:37 -- Bart G.J. Knols

VectorWorks is pleased to announce the release of a new report, Landscape of New Vector Control Products written by Michael MacDonald. The report covers the spectrum of new vector control products, highlighting descriptions of how each of the tools work; general timelines for their implementation; and limitations of each approach. While these tools are unlikely to be as widely scalable as IRS and ITNs, they are promising components of an Integrated Vector Management strategy.

The report is attached below. 

E-interview with Dr. Silas Majambere (Burundi, 1975)

September 23, 2015 - 12:59 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Dr. Silas Majambere is a medical entomologist who took up the position od senior scientist with the Innovative Vector Control Consortium recently. MalariaWorld asked Silas about his past work and future ambitions in the field of malaria elimination.
 
You have been working directly in the field of operational malaria control in The Gambia using larval control. What is your current opinion on the role of larval control? Is it indeed a matter of ‘few, fixed, and findable’ sites or is there a wider role for larval control?
 
I have spent four years in The Gambia investigating the role of larviciding for malaria control. The program covered 400 km2 of floodplains with ground teams of spraymen applying Bacillus thuringiensis Israelensis (Bti) weekly to all water bodies we had previously mapped. This was indeed hard work at +40 degrees Celsius, and I commend the team that took the task. Unfortunately we only had a small impact on adult mosquito density and were not able to show a reduction in malaria prevalence following the larviciding program.
 
There were two main reasons we were not able to show impact: (1) the extent of the floodplains is simply too large to spray by ground teams, unless bigger teams are deployed; (2) Gambia river is highly tidal and Bti is likely to have been washed away after application.
 
Larval source management (LSM) has a role in malaria control, and it is not just my opinion, but it is historically proven (Brazil, Israel, USA, etc.). Although I understand the caution around “few, fixed and findable”, those terms are very relative and should not distract us.
 
Many African countries have adopted LSM for malaria control, and it is one of the tools in their Strategic Plans. While the scientific community is debating, the train has moved, and we’d better catch up and support the countries adopt best practices for LSM, including robust monitoring and evaluation, and use of WHOPES recommended products. With the technology we have today, I believe we can design better LSM programs than 80 years ago in Brazil.

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