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MalariaWorld celebrates 5 years of online reporting on malaria!

December 11, 2014 - 22:15 -- Bart G.J. Knols

As of December 2014, MalariaWorld, the world's largest and only online scientific and social network for malaria professionals, is celebrating its 5th anniversary. It's been an adventure that we never imagined would become what it has become today. Many of you will not know the history of MalariaWorld, so here's a brief summary.

News via MESA: Cross-sectional surveys needed for P. vivax endemicity map update

December 11, 2014 - 19:00 -- MESA Alliance

In early 2015, the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) team will update the global P. vivax endemicity map (see 2010 map here) and use this to generate global estimates of clinical cases. The maps and case estimates have widespread policy and advocacy use, so it is important to make these as robust and up-to-date as possible.

We invite you to collaborate with the MAP team to ensure that the map is fully comprehensive by sharing any parasite rate surveys you have.

News via MESA: Cross-sectional surveys needed for P. vivax endemicity map update

December 10, 2014 - 13:45 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

In early 2015, the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) team will update the global P. vivax endemicity map (see 2010 map here) and use this to generate global estimates of clinical cases. The maps and case estimates have widespread policy and advocacy use, so it is important to make these as robust and up-to-date as possible. We invite you to collaborate with the MAP team to ensure that the map is fully comprehensive by sharing any parasite rate surveys you have. Read more...

Could potassium explain the mystery of malaria immunity in babies?

December 3, 2014 - 18:41 -- Pierre Lutgen

Although 80% of malaria occurs in children under five years of age, infants under six months of age are known to have low rates of infection and disease. It is not clear why this youngest age group is protected. The perception that malaria is uncommon in young infants has resulted in the paucity of information currently available and the lack of evidence-based treatment guidelines in this population, Many children are dying before malaria is diagnosed and the death toll for infants under aged under six months is estimated at 200 000 – 300 000 annual casualties.

Droughts, Dictators and the Immunity Trap in Sudan

December 1, 2014 - 18:20 -- William Jobin
Tags: 

My field experience in fighting malaria in Africa started with five years in central Sudan where I helped organize the Blue Nile Health Project in 1979, aimed at protecting 2 million people in the million acre Gezira Irrigation System. I benefited a great deal from the malaria experience of my Sudanese colleagues, as well as from the Iranians and others in the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. I also benefited from the support of WHO Geneva, and from Letitia Obeng in UNEP.

Brought to you by MESA: ASTMH webcasts on the 'Global Technical Strategy for Malaria and the Global Malaria Action Plan 2'

November 27, 2014 - 21:49 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Thanks to the collaboration of ASTMH, ImageAV and presenters, MESA is sharing various webcasts from malaria elimination session at ASTMH in New Orleans. Click here to watch and listen to 'The Global Technical Strategy for Malaria & the Global Malaria Action Plan 2' session:

ASTMH 2014, webcast, David Brandling-Bennett

ASTMH 2014, webcast, Eric Mouzin

ASTMH 2014, webcast, Richard Cibulskis

ASTMH 2014, webcast, Discussion panel

ASTMH 2014, webcast, Pedro Alonso

Drought and Malaria in Angola

November 26, 2014 - 18:47 -- William Jobin

DROUGHT AND MALARIA IN ANGOLA

Drought in southern Angola 2000 to 2006

When I was asked by the US Agency for International Development to go to Angola in 2005 to start the Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI), I was told to begin spraying interiors of homes in the southern provinces of Huila and Kunene as soon as possible. I think they picked me because Portuguese is one of my favorite languages, and I had worked on malaria control in Sudan for 5 years, besides being with CDC in Puerto Rico when the island was finally declared malaria-free.

New from MESA: Tracking our research efforts to eradicate malaria

November 20, 2014 - 18:00 -- MESA Alliance

Over the past decades, Research and Development has played a key role in driving the achievements made against malaria with the development of tools such as rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs) and long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs). We have also made great progress in our capacity to disseminate the scientific information to the malaria community; open access journals, webs, blogs, twitter, emails, conferences, publications, etc. However, one of the questions that remained pending was, “is it possible to track all current research projects focused on malaria elimination and eradication?”

New from MESA: Tracking our research efforts to eradicate malaria

November 17, 2014 - 12:43 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Over the past decades, Research and Development has played a key role in driving the achievements made against malaria with the development of tools such as rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs) and long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs). We have also made great progress in our capacity to disseminate the scientific information to the malaria community; open access journals, webs, blogs, twitter, emails, conferences, publications, etc.

Two major problems with WHO Chemical Dependency Pathway to Malaria Suppression

November 11, 2014 - 21:12 -- William Jobin

Although these problems do not have much significance in the Environmental Pathway to Malaria Suppression described in my previous blog, they are two major problems for folks following the WHO Chemical Dependency Pathway. They are:

Successful Environmental Pathway to Permanent Malaria Suppression

November 7, 2014 - 15:35 -- William Jobin

Although I have presented these ideas previously, I found a new way of explaining the concepts which I hope you will find easier to understand, or to disagree with!

10 November 2014

THE SUCCESSFUL ENVIRONMENTAL PATHWAY TO PERMANENT MALARIA SUPPRESSION

Are Artemisia annua plantations killing fields?

November 5, 2014 - 18:29 -- Pierre Lutgen

Artemisia annua has strong allelopathic properties as was documented by Mediplant for the high artemisinin hybrid. In other words the plant becomes invasive and inhibits the growth of other plants or cash crop on fields where Artemisia has been planted for the extraction of artemisinin by Bigpharma.

With WHO's blessing Keasling's synthetic artemisinin replaces the natural product: an economical disaster for African families who have invested all their meager resources in Artemisia annua plantations, lured by the promise of big profits.

Column: The next generation of malaria researchers in Africa - by Jenni Lawton

October 30, 2014 - 19:42 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
The column below was contributed by Jenni Lawton.
 
Now in the ninth month since this alarming Ebola outbreak began, it shows no signs of slowing and could be beginning to spread worldwide. It has been harrowing to see how the healthcare workers putting their own lives at risk to treat and protect affected communities have also faced threats, violence and worse. [1, 2]
 

Brief histories of two contrasting strategies in the fight against malaria

October 16, 2014 - 18:25 -- William Jobin

Major differences in the two principal attacks on malaria during the Twentieth Century

It is fortunate that the international agencies responsible for attacking malaria are all in a state of self-examination this year, seeking better and more durable strategies. To this end, I have recently submitted suggestions to the World Health Organization, to the US Presidential Malaria Initiative and to the UN Roll Back Malaria Program, outlining how they could avoid repeating the collapse of the first Global Malaria Eradication Program, by broadening their current strategies.

Potassium in Artemisia plants, a key factor in malaria control?

October 14, 2014 - 06:54 -- Pierre Lutgen

 

 

Constant Tchandema and Pierre Lutgen

Potassium, the most abundant cation in the human body, regulates intracellular enzyme function and neuromuscular tissue excitability. Serum potassium is normally maintained within thenarrow range of 3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L.

Webinar 'Evaluating antimalarial safety' from ACT consortium, Oct 7th 2014

September 30, 2014 - 14:07 -- MESA Alliance

Clinical trials are not suitable to identify rare, potentially serious adverse effects of drugs, or to define their safety in high risk populations.

Artemisinin-based combination therapies (or ACTs) are considered safe, but there are concerns over their potential to cause damage to parts of the brain. There is also a concern about their safety in patients infected with HIV. 

Column: Ever heard of sand dams?- by Rasha Azrag & Guy Reeves

September 30, 2014 - 13:12 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

The column below was contributed by by Rasha Azrag & Guy Reeves.

"I am always wary of ‘technology-led’ solutions. The under-developed world is littered with rusting tractors and broken water pumps." [1]

Surprisingly, this quote is from a document that promotes a technology; which is pictured below. While it might at first glance look like a dried-up reservoir it is in fact a fully functioning sand dam that provides year-round clean water in a water scarce environment.

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