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Should we declare a state of emergency?

February 5, 2015 - 21:38 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Last week the Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group organised its 10th meeting in Geneva. Close to 200 vector control specialists from more than 30 countries attended the three-day event. What started as a small gathering years ago has grown to become what could be considered the equivalent of the annual ASTMH meeting but with an exclusive focus on vectors. And although this 10th meeting was ample reason for celebration, it wasn't. The meeting was officially addressed by WHO's Global Malaria Programme Director Dr. Pedro Alonso, who recently took office. His opening statements were clear: Insecticide resistance is as much a threat to continued successful malaria control, if not more, than the current Asian threat of artemisinin resistance. Pyrethroids were great and have undoubtedly saved many thousands of lives, but the era in which we could safely rely on them, is coming to an end. And that's bad news.

News from MESA: The UK Parliament's 750th birthday & malaria research

January 29, 2015 - 19:00 -- MESA Alliance

On the UK Parliament's 750th birthday, the All Party Parliamentary Group met to discuss collaborative initiatives in malaria research.

In the historic setting of the Palace of Westminster, on January 20th, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (APPMG) met to discuss collaborative initiatives in malaria research. Last year, the UK Government pledged to increase funding for the fight against malaria up to £500 million every year, a goal the APPMG hopes to see achieved in 2015.

A Mosquito Repellent from Burundi

January 27, 2015 - 10:34 -- Pierre Lutgen

The association ACECI in Burundi (www.aceci.org) has developed a mosquito repellent based on Nepeta cataria (catmint in english, cataire en français, Katzenminze auf deutsch). The study by local students in medicine in collaboration with Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique together with the Government of Burundi showed that catnip oil reduced the number of bites from mosquitoes by 91.7%. The trial involved 60 volunteers.

Gallium, key element in the excellent Bamileke Artemisia?

January 23, 2015 - 16:58 -- Pierre Lutgen

Over the years IFBV-BELHERB accumulated puzzling data concerning Artemisia annua grown on the Bamileke plateau in Cameroon.

Among all the clinical trials we have run in several countries, the infusion from Cameroon gave probably the best results (Rosine Chougouo et al, Proceedings MIM Conf, Nairobi, Kenya, 2 Nov 2009, no 312). The results of the comparative study showed a significantly higher sensistivity for the Artemisia annua concoction (0% late therapeutic failure), much better than 12.5 % for artesunate and 14.3% for artesunate-amodiaquine.

Column: Public health concerns (too) far away from home. Who cares?

January 22, 2015 - 19:47 -- Alvaro Pemartin
The column below was contributed by Alvaro Pemartin.
 
The current Ebola outbreak was headline news for some weeks.  Public health was a hot topic on TV and radio and in the social media. There was an eager request for technical advise from epidemiologists, virologists, and vaccine experts, among others.

NEW from MESA: 'Assessing the human infectious reservoir of malaria', webcasts from ASTMH

January 15, 2015 - 19:19 -- MESA Alliance
By: MESA Project Officer Mar Velarde
 
Do not miss the webcasts from ASTMH on 'Assessing the human infectious reservoir of malaria'. The session highlights important scientific advances as well as gaps of knowledge in this field.  As the speakers explained during this session, currently we do not have a marker of infectiousness and we rely on mosquito feeding assays to assess infectivity. Although membrane feeding assays have shortcomings in estimating infectiousness, they can provide relevant information.
 

NEW from MESA: 'Assessing the human infectious reservoir of malaria', webcasts from ASTMH

January 15, 2015 - 15:08 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
By: MESA Project Officer Mar Velarde
 
Do not miss the webcasts from ASTMH on 'Assessing the human infectious reservoir of malaria'. The session highlights important scientific advances as well as gaps of knowledge in this field. As the speakers explained during this session, currently we do not have a marker of infectiousness and we rely on mosquito feeding assays to assess infectivity. Although membrane feeding assays have shortcomings in estimating infectiousness, they can provide relevant information. Read more here...

Artemisia stems, nitrate and malaria

January 10, 2015 - 16:30 -- Pierre Lutgen

Many anecdotical or scientific results indicate that leaves and stems of Artemisia annua have different therapeutical properties, often higher for leaves, sometimes lower.

Our efforts so far to elucidate key factors explaining these differences have failed. Artemisinin, polyphenols, essential oils are higher in leaves, scopoletin sometimes lower. If the therapeutical properties against malaria, bacteria or nematodes, really are proportional to the concentration of these organic key constituants the healing power of stems should be close to zero.

Africans are following the new WHO traditional medicine strategy

December 26, 2014 - 07:47 -- Pierre Lutgen

Following the recommandations in the WHO Tradtional Medicine 2014-2023 document published in Decembrer 2013 in several African countries Centers for Traditional Medicine are stepping up their activities

- Centre de Médecine Traditionnelle de Buta, abbé Léopold Mvukiye

- Homeopharma, Institut de Soins Naturels, Madagascar

- Centre de Médecine Tradtionnelle du Mali (Bandiaraga)

- In the Gambia the National Agricultural Research Institute

- Département de Médecine, INRS, Bamako, Mali

- In Uganda the Ministry of Health and the University of Makerere

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.

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