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Your mosquito stock: your responsibility

January 21, 2010 - 18:40 -- Mark Benedict

Those who colonize mosquitoes are rightfully protective of them. Some species require a large amount of work to establish in the laboratory, and many of you have given your blood, sweat, holidays, and earnest attention to ensuring they exist. When you distribute it, you are giving a gift.

Larval control: When the tools are fine but their application goes wrong…

January 12, 2010 - 12:26 -- Bart G.J. Knols
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In most African countries bednets have become common and are contributing to saving countless lives of children. Scaling up of this intervention continues in the second decade of this millennium. Indoor residual spraying is widely practiced though a less common sight in many parts of Africa where spray teams do not reach far-off communities in rural settings.

Stunning Feature of Life-shortened Aedes

January 2, 2010 - 22:24 -- Mark Benedict

I know this web site is MALARIA World. But the field of genetic control of vectors is so small that I hope you will indulge me in a blog that reaches into arbovirology and highlights the kind of technology we might anticipate against Plasmodia in Anopheles. Genetic control of vectors received another Christmas gift when a bonus remarkable phenotype due to Wolbachia infection - in addition to cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) and life shortening - was reported in Cell.

Realism will work best for attacking malaria

December 26, 2009 - 15:19 -- William Jobin

While it might appear that the call for eradication will bring out lots of enthusiasm, it is hard to see how we can mount a global program, based on fantasy.

And let's admit that the Gates and Clinton Foundations mean well but are divorced from reality, USAID and the PMI are mired in decades of bureaurocratic tangles, and the UN and WHO left the scene a long time ago, so the attack on malaria in Africa will progress as Africa progresses.

Realism will work better than fantasy.

Let's take Africa, where most malaria deaths occur. A realistic strategy would be to start in the stable, most democratic countries, and gradually develop competent national programs, employing nationals who live in the malaria zone, who can progress upward in their civil service by making progress against malaria in small and carefully measured increments.

So they would reduce malaria prev in school kids by 10% each year, at a cost within the national budget realities. That gives us a solid foundation for progress. Forget the magic bullets and fantasy. Malaria control takes careful application of proven methods - all of them - in a rational strategy that reflects budget realities as well as the ecology of malaria.

Start with the solid countries, where investments will not be wasted on some dictator and his cronies. Start with Senegal, Mali and Ghana. With Tanzania and Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and blessed South Africa. Grow those programs slowly and carefully. Use them as training grounds for folks around them who speak the same language. Realize that we are dealing with Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Swahili.

Final note: I think it is the third law of for attacking malaria in Africa - The dictators are as dangerous as the mosquitoes.

Willy

World Malaria Report 2009: Are we moving in the right direction?

December 15, 2009 - 21:21 -- Bart G.J. Knols

It's that time of the year when we all get to see how well the battle against malaria is progressing: The World Malaria Report 2009 came out today. And, overall, there is much, much progress. Regretfully, and well-documented this time, there are also worries...

 

Evolutionary biology, evolution-proof insecticides and malaria control

December 11, 2009 - 13:49 -- Yannis Michalakis

Yannis Michalakis & François Renaud GEMI, CNRS-IRD UMR 2724, Montpellier, France Yannis.Michalakis@mpl.ird.fr, Francois.Renaud@mpl.ird.fr

 

Evolutionary thinking started pervading vector control strategies and planning since it was used to explain and manage insecticide resistance. More recently it has been used in the planning of GMMs (Genetically Modified Mosquitoes).

 

A new promising avenue was recently opened by Andrew Read and his colleagues.

Clever use of mobile phone data to better control malaria?

December 11, 2009 - 08:22 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Andy Tattem and colleagues published a really interesting study in the Malaria Journal yesterday. They conclude from the study that anonymous mobile phone records provide valuable information on human movement patterns in areas that are typically data-sparse. Estimates of human movement patterns from Zanzibar to mainland Tanzania suggest that imported malaria risk from this group is heterogeneously distributed; a few people account for most of the risk for imported malaria.

CLOSED: Family Health International: Senior Monitoring & Evaluation Advisor

November 28, 2009 - 15:26 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
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Family Health International (FHI) is dedicated to improving lives, knowledge, and understanding worldwide through a highly diversified program of research, education, and services in family health and HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

CLOSED: Family Health International: Project Director

November 28, 2009 - 15:22 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Family Health International (FHI) is dedicated to improving lives, knowledge, and understanding worldwide through a highly diversified program of research, education, and services in family health and HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

 

'Mosquito: The fascinating world of public enemy number I' is out

November 27, 2009 - 11:22 -- Bart G.J. Knols

'Mug: De fascinerende wereld van volksvijand nummer I' went on sale in Dutch bookstores last Friday. The book (in Dutch) was written for the general public, to become familiarised with the difficulties of controlling diseases like malaria in developing countries. Given the absence of malaria in the Netherlands since 1959, the Dutch population has now lived for five decades without the threat of a mosquito-borne disease. There is therefore remarkably little general knowledge about mosquito-borne diseases, notably malaria.

Will Kenya eliminate malaria by 2017?

November 23, 2009 - 08:58 -- Bart G.J. Knols
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The atmosphere in the press room was one of excitement, when it was announced that Kenya would see its last case of endemic malaria in the year 2017

This date came from the 2007 Malaria Indicator Survey, showing that malaria is on the decline in various parts of the country. Kenya has therefore chosen the path towards elimination, and will do so when having sufficient funding.

Think globally: act ... area-wide

November 20, 2009 - 22:15 -- Mark Benedict
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MalariaWorld Newsletter recipients would need to have their heads buried in the sand if they were not well aware of numerous threats to the current methods for reducing malaria transmission. Whether the intervention is insecticides or drugs, their sustainability is threatened by failures which - it is hoped - will not become widespread. Of greater concern for those who are responsible for implementing programs are the complexities of applying control methods in different cultures, education in different languages and achieving sufficient compliance.

Malaria Elimination and Eradication: Starting as We Mean to Continue

October 30, 2009 - 09:36 -- Richard Feachem

The E words, Eradication and Elimination, are firmly back on the table after at least 2 decades in which they could not be mentioned in polite malaria company. The last two years have seen remarkable progress in translating these concepts into clear strategies and substantial action.

Zanzibar: Where have all the patients gone?

October 6, 2009 - 09:38 -- Bart G.J. Knols

In a recent commentary published by CNN, Tachi Yamada, President of the Global Health Programme at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, expressed his euforism about the malaria control activities on the island of Zanzibar. And not without reason. He visited a paediatric ward and found empty beds. No sick children, no suffering because of malaria. Indeed a reason to be happy. Zanzibar has hammered malaria over the last five years to the extent where it 'has virtually eliminated the disease' according to Yamada.

Eradication, elimination, and control: Knowing the past of malaria

September 18, 2009 - 08:37 -- Bart G.J. Knols

I attended a most interesting meeting yesterday in Wageningen (The Netherlands) where some 30 scientists and representatives of donor organisations gathered. Two scientists from disease-endemic countries (Rwanda and Kenya) presented case studies to the audience. These were followed by a mini 'open space' meeting where attendees could submit questions on post-its for discussion in small groups.

The scare about monkey malaria

September 15, 2009 - 20:00 -- Bart G.J. Knols

It has been an interesting week regarding the latest addition to the list of species of malaria parasites that can infect humans: Plasmodium knowlesi. I was interviewed by two Dutch radio programmes that picked up the scare from the BBC World website . Apparently there was also a Dutch tourist that returned back home from Sarawak with this 'deadly form of monkey malaria'....

Seven misconceptions about malaria prevention

September 14, 2009 - 12:06 -- Bart G.J. Knols
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Anyone serious about African safaris is serious about malaria. The sheer number of deaths caused by this parasitic disease simply puts the mosquito as the number 1 most dangerous animal in the world. Ten children will have died of malaria in the time it takes you to read this blog. I have never sat around a camp fire whilst on safari without malaria being discussed one way or the other. Some fantastic stories persist, and here are some really good ones:

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