There is a good reason for putting out a large variety of products with similar function on the market – like cars. It simply has to do with our innate differences in preference with regard to colour, shape, make, etc. Some like a blue car, others a white or a red one. And, suprise surprise, the great level of differentation means that almost everyone can find a car that matches his/her preferences at an affordable price....
Bart G.J. Knols's blog
Ninety years ago it was discovered that mosquitoes track us down at night by responding to the smell we as humans produce. Since then, many studies have focused on identifying the nature of the chemicals we produce with the aim to use them to lure mosquitoes to trapping devices, thereby interrupting bloodfeeding and thus transmission of diseases like malaria. But why is there still no trap available for use in the developing world where malaria hits hardest?
The statistics say it all: 70% of the transmission of infectious diseases is focused in and around the house. Including malaria, where the key vectors in Africa are almost exclusively feeding indoors and at night. The forum on MalariaWorld that discussed this issue was very well read (more than 1000 views), and although comments were limited, it was enough to move forward with the idea...
In most African countries bednets have become common and are contributing to saving countless lives of children. Scaling up of this intervention continues in the second decade of this millennium. Indoor residual spraying is widely practiced though a less common sight in many parts of Africa where spray teams do not reach far-off communities in rural settings.
It's that time of the year when we all get to see how well the battle against malaria is progressing: The World Malaria Report 2009 came out today. And, overall, there is much, much progress. Regretfully, and well-documented this time, there are also worries...
Andy Tattem and colleagues published a really interesting study in the Malaria Journal yesterday. They conclude from the study that anonymous mobile phone records provide valuable information on human movement patterns in areas that are typically data-sparse. Estimates of human movement patterns from Zanzibar to mainland Tanzania suggest that imported malaria risk from this group is heterogeneously distributed; a few people account for most of the risk for imported malaria.
Following the initial forum on the importance of architecture in the design of mosquito proof houses, nearly 500 members viewed the discussion, which is an excellent number to start. Several members actually commented on the blog, with ideas and suggestions.
'Mug: De fascinerende wereld van volksvijand nummer I' went on sale in Dutch bookstores last Friday. The book (in Dutch) was written for the general public, to become familiarised with the difficulties of controlling diseases like malaria in developing countries. Given the absence of malaria in the Netherlands since 1959, the Dutch population has now lived for five decades without the threat of a mosquito-borne disease. There is therefore remarkably little general knowledge about mosquito-borne diseases, notably malaria.
The atmosphere in the press room was one of excitement, when it was announced that Kenya would see its last case of endemic malaria in the year 2017.
This date came from the 2007 Malaria Indicator Survey, showing that malaria is on the decline in various parts of the country. Kenya has therefore chosen the path towards elimination, and will do so when having sufficient funding.
The 5th Pan-African MIM meeting on malaria was held in Nairobi last week, and brought together the largest number of participants since the first meeting that was held in Senegal twelve years ago.