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Bart G.J. Knols's blog

The case for open access

September 3, 2012 - 20:14 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The article below was published in Index on Censorship on 30 August 2012. Click here for the online version.

For most of us, it’s entirely logical that medical practitioners should be familiar with the latest scientific knowledge and evidence-based practices in order to treat ailments. This forms our fundamental basis of trust in medical professionals. If your doctor suggests a CT scan or drug X, you follow that advice on the basis of trust. So how would you feel if your doctor confesses that he lacks the latest scientific information about your condition?

Psychology Unveils Pathways To Better Cerebral Malaria Therapy

August 22, 2012 - 08:33 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The article below was contributed by journalist Ntaryike Divine Jr. (Douala, Cameroon) as part of the SjCOOP project in collaboration with MalariaWorld.

Over the years malaria has remained unwavering in its ravages, killing hundreds of thousands worldwide yearly, defying drugs and sapping household coffers of hard-earned income.
 
The disease, prevalent in the tropics is transmitted via bites of female bloodsucking anopheles mosquitoes infected with parasites of the genus Plasmodium.  Of the five plasmodium species, research has proven that P. falciparum is particularly dangerous.

Margaret Heffernan: A must see for all MW subscribers!

August 7, 2012 - 09:14 -- Bart G.J. Knols

I am not sure if at all you are familiar with TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, with its motto 'Ideas worth spreading'. I love to watch these talks, they inspire me, provide energy, and are often fun to watch.

Yesterday I watched the talk by Margaret Heffernan with the title 'Dare to disagree'. This is a very interesting talk and it made me think of the world of malaria. First, have a look at what she has to say...

Malaria: a full-time problem addressed on a part-time basis by amateur entomologists

July 12, 2012 - 15:51 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The editorial below was written by Manuel F. LLuberas, MS IDHA, Public Health Entomologist

More than a decade after implementation, the global malaria control strategy has proven woefully inadequate. It has reported expenditures exceeding several billion dollars and relies heavily on passive methods like mosquito nets but has been unable to meet its goals of reducing an annual morbidity rate that continues to hover around half billion and a mortality rate equivalent to six Jumbo jetliners crashing daily. The time has come to get serious about this problem. Malaria vector control programs around the world need to be placed under trained public health entomologists who can implement comprehensive mosquito population suppression methods and deploy truly integrated vector control systems. Continuing in the current path is unacceptable and wastes quickly dwindling, limited resources.

Is the bednet era coming to an end?

June 22, 2012 - 12:47 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Whenever I teach on the history of malaria, I talk about the different time periods when certain ideas were fashionable and implemented, and then disappeared, and sometimes came back much later.

Take the 'chloroquine era'. Discovered by Bayer scientists in the early 1930s and saved millions of lives around the globe, followed by resistance popping up in SE Asia and Colombia in the late 1950s. Resistance spreading to Africa in the late 1970s, and its use now largely reduced. End of the 'chloroquine era'.

Time to give spatial repellency its rightful role in vector control

June 19, 2012 - 19:19 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The following Guest editorial was provided by Richard Tren, Kimberly Hess, and Donald Roberts.

Progress is being made against malaria. As reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria cases have declined by more than 50% between 2000 and 2010, and malaria-specific mortality has declined by 26% [1].  These gains are mainly due to the use of insecticides to control disease-spreading insects (vector control) through insecticide-treated bednets and indoor residual spraying (IRS). Despite the importance of public health insecticides in vector control, there is very little appreciation and understanding of how insecticides actually work in disease prevention.

Improving the vector control innovation process

June 7, 2012 - 20:41 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Insecticide resistance and the limits of our current vector control tools threaten our global progress against vector-borne diseases. Innovative vector control tools are therefore urgently needed, but some technical, financial and programmatic barriers may hinder innovation. In October 2011, a gathering of stakeholders including individuals from IVCC, WHO, donor institutions, industry, and other partners issued a joint call for a mapping of the current process to introduce new vector control tools for public health and the need to identify the challenges faced today in this process.

E-interview with Prof. Marc Coosemans (Belgium)

June 6, 2012 - 21:34 -- Bart G.J. Knols

E-interview with Marc Coosemans, senior full professor, medical entomology unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. The team and collaborators of Prof. Coosemans were recently awarded a $ 3 million grant by the Gates Foundation, to study the effects of community-wide use of topical repellents on malaria in Cambodia, when used in conjunction with insecticide-treated bednets.

Amazing statements by leading malariologists

May 21, 2012 - 20:51 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Last week, publication of the WHO report on insecticide resistance did not go unnoticed. It was taken up by the journal Nature, and in a news article by Amy Maxmen some truly remarkable statements by some of the leading malaria researchers are to be found. I trust that these people saw the article and gave consent to its publication, so any quote in it must really have come from them. Be prepared...

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