Research colonialism obstructs malaria elimination
On 30 March Science Development Net published an article titled Research colonialism still plagues Africa. In summary it reads: "African researchers are suffering from power dynamics that favour global North collaborators"; and "While some initiatives are helping build local capacity, others undervalue African collaborators." This of course is not new. It is common practice and we have known that for long. But now it has been published and illustrated with a recent case: this years announcement of PATH and the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative to launch a $30M global malaria project. A collaboration of seven US, UK and Australian partners to help African National Malaria Control Programmes to fight malaria and save lives. The announcement ends with "Let's work together to end malaria." I can't help but I read this announcements as follows: we, a north-north collaboration, received $30M because only we know how to control malaria and we only trust ourselves with this amount of funding. However, we will involve you (researchers and organisations from the South) because we need you to do the actual work on the ground. We believe that we can make this into a success that we can publish in Nature, Science or the Lancet. So, let's work together to end malaria! I surely hope that my interpretation is wrong. There is a way to find out. Malaria professionals from the South speak up! AND malaria professionals from the North listen! Trust, respect, and shared decision making are at the base of a true North-South collaboration. Malaria is besides being a medical problem, also a socio-economic disease that needs to be researched, prevented and controlled in its socio-economic environment.
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Founder & Senior Editor MalariaWorld
Director Dutch Malaria Foundation
On 30 March SciDev.net published an article titled Research colonialism still plagues Africa. In summary it reads: "African researchers are suffering from power dynamics that favour global North collaborators"; and "While some initiatives are helping build local capacity, others undervalue African collaborators."
Yesterday I was reading a very interesting Forum Interview from 1998 with Dr Mohyeddin A. Farid about malaria eradication, titled "The malaria campaign - why not eradication?" where malaria is discussed as a political disease. Dr Farid worked for the World Health Organization from 1949 until his retirement in 1972. Because malaria is intertwined with socioeconomic development he discussed malaria as a political disease and stated that "It is an explosive disease, not a silent one. When epidemics cause too much suffering, the people revolt and can bring about governmental changes...".
A few weeks ago I noticed the announcement of a new conference: the WiM—the Women in Malaria conference. I thought "wow, that's quite something" and expected that it would be some sort of (follow up on the) Women in Vector Control Workshop that the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA) organised just prior to it's 2019 annual conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon. I was truly moved by what happened during that symposium.
On a regular basis I receive the request if MalariaWorld can help 'getting a message across' to malaria professionals around the world. Of course, we can do that.
So often I realise that many of our members, like yourself, who have been with us for years, are not aware of the impact that we can generate for you. We can help you to reach more than 10.700 malaria professionals in 140 countries.
Mr Tony Wilkes MIBiol was a field entomologist at the East African Malaria Institute in Amani, Tanzania (then called Tanganyika), from 1958 to 1964 working on the main vectors of malaria in Africa. Returning to the UK in 1965 he worked on the behaviour of mosquitoes at the University of Sussex’s School of Biology, moving to Imperial College, Silwood Park, Ascot, in 1980, working on sand fly biology and behaviour, and in 1987 to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine working on mosquito biology and control until his retirement in 1995. The obituary below was contributed by Dr. Derek Charlwood.
Malaria is on the rise in more than 13 countries. And that is very scary!
This year's report shows that after an unprecedented period of success in global malaria control, progress has stalled. Data from 2015–2017 highlight that no significant progress in reducing global malaria cases was made in this period. There were an estimated 219 million cases and 435 000 related deaths in 2017.
The World malaria report 2018 draws on data from 91 countries and areas with ongoing malaria transmission. The information is supplemented by data from national household surveys and databases held by other organizations.