In an important step toward achieving malaria elimination, Vietnam officially joins the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) today. APMEN brings together countries in the Asia Pacific that have adopted a national or sub-national goal for malaria elimination, and connects them with a broad range of regional and global malaria partners to develop best practices for eliminating malaria and to efficiently address region-specific challenges, like Plasmodium vivax.
Dear Collaborators / Colleagues / Friends & Follower
Myself Dr. Manas Sarkar, PhD from India. I've started this new blog in Malaria World. I'm a scientist & technologist trained in molecular & medical entomology, vector biology, ento-epidemiology, insecticide resistance & mode of action. I was the Dy. Asstt. Director of National Centre for Disease Control in India. Now, I took over the charge of General Manager (Technology) of EntoGenex Industries and also heading the operation in India.
My brief credentials are as follows:
Researchers from The Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative published a study in Malaria Journal that tackles a challenging topic: the economic benefits of malaria elimination. Titled “The Economic Benefits of Malaria Elimination: Do They Include Increases in Tourism?”, the paper assesses trends for tourist arrivals and their relationship to malaria in Mauritius and Dominican Republic – two countries that have strong tourism industries yet very different malaria situations.
The day had been a hard one. Starting at 6am, it had been filled with hours in front of the computer trying to finish a grant proposal, finishing the review of a paper and looking at dozens of images of placentas... I got home after an hour of public transport in Sao Paulo (why in the hell I still believe that I should not contribute to this city's smog levels is beyond me!!) and my wife was performing some weird australian version of Yoga/Pilates that I'm sure no Indian teacher has ever mastered before. The usual "how was your day" does not work for us.
A regional approach to malaria control – the LSDI success story
Day 3 of the course started on anti-malaria drugs. We discussed who should take them and some of their effects, what they should be used for ( treatment? Prevention?) and against what (just Pf? Pf and Pv? All parasites?). The most heated debates arose when the issue of resistance came about. Someone mentioned resistance to artemisinin and immediately some voices rose to say that that is still not a given. There are indeed reported cases of treatment that had to be extended but not of treatment failure as such, which means that, real resistance is still not fixed in the parasite population.
I have just arrived (about 4 days ago) from a leadership course held at the Harvard Business School entitled Malaria: Science of Eradication. This course is a joint effort by Dr Dyann Wirth, Dr Pedro Alonso and Dr Marcel Tanner and is intended to be the first of many. The next course has already been allocated to Barcelona, home of Dr Pedro Alonso's ISGlobal.
The article or blog ‘How was malaria of 100 years ago eradicated in Palestine/Israel? And without vaccine?’ of 21st May 2012 seemed incomplete, and needed an additional essential point explained.
At the moment I'm waiting at Boston's International airport for a flight to Detroit to visit a friend, but in a couple of days I'll be back here to participate in a Malaria Eradication Course at Harvard's school of public health. I just browsed through the names and positions of the participants enrolled in the course and got a chill... Not many of us doing research will be there.
Gliding along, quite unseen,
So pleasant, life has never been,
I gobble up what you have in stock for me,
Though I’ve got zilch to offer thee!
When the stream begins to narrow down,
And your red has turned a lovely brown,
I try to stretch and give a gentle squeeze,
HELP TO MAKE OPEN ACCESS A WORLDWIDE STANDARD FOR PUBLISHING SCIENCE
A very important point to make about this campaign is that THE PETITION CAN BE SIGNED BY ANYONE over 13 years in age with an email address, and from all parts of the world. So by signing this petition YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The more signatures there are , the louder the message will be and the more chance there will be for rapid change.
Please sign and tell your colleagues, family, friends that they can sign too.
May 9th, 2012
I fly out from Sao Paulo, a true concrete jungle, for my very first trip to the Amazonian Rainforest. As I fly over it I see miles and miles and miles of untouched rainforest crossed by natural waterfilled highways, some black as the night others the color of clay. Suddenly, the Amazon River. A true inland sea slowly heading east. Even more suddenly, a city with highrises, traffic, smog... it's Manaus. I quickly leave Manaus and the infantile shock of having to conciliate my childish image of the Amazon and the reality of today's situation and head to the city of Cruzeiro do Sul, in the State of Acre.
How was malaria of 100 years ago eradicated in Palestine/Israel? And without vaccine?
The desperate state of the Holy Land 100 years ago may be appreciated upon reading the following:
"I have referred to the question of heat as one too often forgotten, but there are at the present time still great dangers in this semi-tropical region. Palestine suffers severely from that great scourge of the tropics - malaria .............
The Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) published 11 country briefings for the Asia Pacific which, for the first time, provide a comprehensive yet succinct overview of the history and current malaria situations in these countries.
The cost of endemic malaria to Africa is overwhelming. Yet the effects of the disjointed, unfocused and mainly misdirected control efforts are visible and significant. We saw 216 Million case of malaria in 2011 and had 650000 deaths due to malaria in the same timeframe. When compared with almost 250 Million cases and 863000 deaths just a short three years earlier, the effect is clear. In spite of the plethora of effective tools available to us, the elimination of malaria will largely remain a pie in the sky.
Now as I see it a blog is sort of a diary. So although I posted one the other day I would still like to share thoughts, bemusements, about the mosquitoes and malaria in Pailin, infamous for the fact that it was the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge (Pol Pot died from malaria here) and the place where resistance to artemisenine originated. More recently it should be infamous for the rate and degree of deforestation. This has, however, probably unwittingly been an extremely effective anti-vector measure. The vector in this neck of the woods is the forest dwelling Anopheles dirus.
There is apparently considerable discussion about early biting shifts in mosquitoes like An. arabiensis. (Why this might be so I hope to describe below – but be warned in a recent submission a referee questioned the number of Charlwood references quoted – I had to reply well they are really the only ones I know, and no one reads them anymore so why not – a bit like insinuating an obscure word that no one has ever read before into a text! - so you might at least know what to expect if I write anymore of them. i.e.
"If you walk over a paddle of water barefoot, the malaria virus and bacteria will get in through the soles of your feet and spread to the rest of the body
90 years ago, Palestine was deemed by the British Mandate to be almost "hopeless from the malarial standpoint". Much of the area was uninhabitable.
"Malaria stands out as by far the most important disease in Palestine.
For centuries is has decimated the population and it is an effective
Insects employ a variety of cues to find and identify resources. One of the most intriguing questions about insect behaviour is how chemical cues influence communication and orientation. When studying mosquitoes, research is directed at understanding how human-emitted odours influence orientation from a distance and landing on the host, and how repellents interfere with these behaviours. This has an immense value if we think of a way to prevent malaria mosquitoes from detecting human hosts.
I don't know about you, but this week my Facebook, email and news feeds have been flooded with the Kony2012 video and the many pro- and con- reactions to it. I myself have watched the video and, albeit feeling it was over simplistic and a bit Hollywoodesc, I felt that it was clever as a tool to make people more aware of child-soldiers, war-crimes and the people responsible.
In recent years, in Brazil and in South-East Asia at least, there have been reported decreases of P. falciparum cases that have not been coupled to a similar decrease of P. vivax. This has led researchers to focus more and more on P. vivax and it has also led to the ‘sudden’ realization that we know very little about it. Although numerous studies have looked at P. falciparum interactions with a myriad of other pathogens, virtually nothing is known in the case of P. vivax. Curiously, very little is also known between the interactions of both species with each other.
The disappointment and criticism about malaria elimination in Africa is palpable. There is an impression that the campaign of malaria eradication in Africa is sometimes rudderless, with money being thrown uselessly or ineffectively at the problem.
A new website has just been launched where people can tell their personal stories on how they have benefitted from access to research, or suffered from the lack of it. The new site is called Who needs access? You need access? has been developed by Mike Taylor who is an active member of the @ccess community. Its goal is to tell stories of many different kinds of people — teachers, doctors, artists, politicians, entrepreneurs — who need access to research papers.
This month was the 10th anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, considered by many as the start of the open access movement. In the past 10 years the term open access has come to mean a lot of different things. Publishers have been giving this label to very different kinds of open access. In many cases reading of the articles is all that is allowed but reuse and redistribution are often strictly forbidden. This is in marked contrast to the original definition of Open Access by the BOAI:
Platforms like MalariaWorld and so many others offer us the possibility of accessing freely information on malaria research and, importantly, offer us the possibility of engaging in public, healthy, constructive discussions on what we read. In some cases, we can actually have the ‘crème de la crème’ of the respective fields there, at our fingertips, to answer our doubts, our questions and sometimes, why not, our criticism.