A recent paper (K van Acker, J Plaizier, Malaria Journal, 2012-11 Suppl.1) confirms the concern raised by previous publications: “Stability of artemisinin derivatives has so far only been partially investigated and it is unclear how much this contributes to the reports of bad quality or substandard antimalarials” One of the conclusions of this study is that” Artesunate and amodiaquine can only be used in a fixed dose combination if they are physically separated”.
We know in our hearts that economic development and malaria affect each other. And we can make a pretty good guess at the variables involved. Snowden's book on the suppression of malaria in Italy lists them fairly precisely: literacy, education, agricultural productivity, government stability, etc.
For me, the end of malaria will also coincide with the availability of affordable and reliable electricity, and improved housing with metallic screens on the windows and doors.
This week I wrote on MalariaWorld about the constant email spamming by publishers to submit our manuscripts to them. After receiving yet another invitation today, this time from HINDAWI publisher (who constantly nag me by the way) I started thinking about the future of Open Access. When we started the MalariaWorld Journal, we wanted a journal with a focus on malaria where you don't pay to publish and don't pay to read, which we termed Open Access 2.0. The reasons for this were outlined in my other article this week but here I want to take this a step further and ask a simple question...why should we scientists, who have worked hard to get grants, do the science, analyse the data, and write up manuscripts pay for our work to be published by a publisher that wants to make profits? So perhaps it is time for Open Access 3.0?
John Wiley & Sons Publisher offers MalariaWorld subscribers a 20% discount on the book Integrated Vector Management by Graham Matthews.
Hardcover, 248 pages
October 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
£80.00 / €96.00
Special price for MalariaWorld subscribers: £64.00/€76.80
Every week I receive several emails from publishers that invite me to submit an article to their journal. I am convinced that the same happens to many of you as well. Frankly, I am getting very tired of this - the reason why this happens is not that these journals are approaching us because of what we do or who we are. It is all about money. Under the umbrella of 'our journal is Open Access' publishers have found a new way to generate income by lobbying hard for our manuscripts. For which of course we need to pay to get them published. Today I received another invitation from MDPI AG Publishers (Basel, Switzerland) which triggered me to do a bit of research...
This week we are publishing seven research articles that were all funded by the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations programme. This special series within the MalariaWorld Journal highlights the findings of seven GCE projects and is accompanied by an Editorial from the Gates Foundation.
At MalariaWorld we were keen to hear more about the fate of these generally high-risk projects. What was the grand idea that researchers had in mind? And what was the outcome of the $100.000 grant that they undertook in 12-18 months?
Read for yourself how these GCE projects all showed very interesting results and thus underpin the value of the GCE programme of the Gates Foundation.
MalariaWorld Journal is proud to publish these articles and any recipient of a GCE grant is encouraged to also send us a manuscript upon completion of the project. We feel that it is important that these results are shared in the broader scientific community.
MalariaWorld Journal continues to be Open Access 2.0: where you don't pay to read and you don't pay to publish. We look forward to receiving your manuscript in due course.
Link to the articles: www.malariaworld.org/mwj
Teun Bousema (Editor-in-Chief, MalariaWorld Journal)
SUMMARY OF RECENT AFRICAN MALARIA DIALOGUE at BENTLEY UNIVERSITY on 21 MAY 2013
Fifteen of us attended from Bentley, BU, Yale, Harvard and MIT, and from Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Canada and US. Derek Willis from Columbia U also joined us via Skype.
The Makerere University at Kampala has been able to demonstrate over the recent years that the regular consumption of Artemisia annua tea may lead to a strong preventive effect against malaria. ( PE Ogwang et al., Trop J Pharmac Res, 2012,13:3, 445-453; PE Ogwang et al., Brit J Pharmac Res 201, 1 :4, 124.132). This research effort sponsored by government of Uganda and Carnegie corporation USA, has led to the development of drug called Artavol® which is now available in pharmacies in Uganda. This product contains ingredients from three medicinal herbs.
Many of us work in laboratories where we study the intricacies of malaria. Where we study parasites and mosquitoes and where we develop new approaches that hopefully one day will help to reduce the malaria burden. Few of us, however, have worked in the trenches to combat malaria in the real world out there. Even fewer of us have dared to venture into places that are torn apart by civil unrest or war and do something about malaria there. We know of organisations like Doctors without Borders (MSF) but there are also people out there that risk their lives to accomplish nothing more exciting than to distribute bednets and anti-malarial drugs in remote parts of Africa that are at best unsafe.
Just recently, former TV icon Julia Samuel (Netherlands) and David Robertson (UK), who have been working for the Drive Against Malaria Foundation for years, were taken hostage in the Central African Republic by Seleka rebels. For days they were threatened at gunpoint and told that they would be killed. Miraculously, they managed to escape and make it back safely to Cameroon. Julia's story is remarkable. Whilst having a great career with Dutch TV she developed breast cancer, survived it, and then decided to devote her life to doing good. She chose malaria as her target. What does the above tell us and what are the lessons to be learned from this recent kidnapping?
Two competing chemotypes.
Already twenty years ago the possibility of two chemotypes for Artemisia annua had been suggested ( HJ Woerdenbag et al., Flavour and Fragrance Journal 8, 1993, 131-137) distinguishing between a Chinese and a Vietnamese chemotype, the former containing 0.17 artemisinin, the latter 1.0%.
D Fulzele et al. ( Phytotherapy Research , 5, 1991, 149-153) found that plants from Europe produced the highest level of artemisin and those from Lucknow produced the highest level of arteannuin-B.
As a malaria professional, you are probably aware of the unfolding tragedy with counterfeit drugs. Either completely fake (drugs containing nothing more than chalk, washing powder, or even brake fluid) or substandard (not containing enough active ingredient) or outdated drugs are flooding the African market on an ever-increasing scale.
Experts like Professors Paul Newton and Nick White have been ringing the alarm bells for years, but in spite of their efforts the problem is getting worse by the day. Read 'Phake', the excellent book on the subject by Roger Bate, and you will appreciate how serious the situation has become...
This Guest Editorial was written by Sir Richard Feachem. Dr. Feachem, PhD, DSc(Med) is Director of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco. From 2002 to 2007, Sir Richard served as founding Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Under Secretary General of the United Nations.
MalariaWorld is proud to have sponsored the Malaria Photo Contest that was organised by the Swiss Malaria Group. The winners were announced today in the following media release...
Harvard University organised a mini-symposium on malaria on 5 April titled 'Defeating malaria, from the genes to the globe'. It was the first in a series examining global public health problems like malaria. Noteworthy in that regard are the views that were expressed during this symposium regarding the malaria situation on Zanzibar. Assistant Professor Jessica Cohen, who reportedly advised the government of Zanzibar on how to move forward with its fight against malaria made some pretty remarkable statements.
Cohen's predictions showed that malaria on Zanzibar could be eliminated in just 5 years if everyone on the island (more than a million people) would sleep under bednets. Moreover, she noted that if 'only' 65% of the population would use nets, it would take 22 years. The bad news followed: If usage rates drop to 50% she predicted an increase in prevalence to 5% in just 3 months, up from the 2% prevalence now. Worse, if it dropped to just 35%, malaria would strike back and prevalence would rise to 18% in just 3 months.
She concluded that 'these gains can be erased in months'...
The following article was published in SLATE Magazine on April 4 by Brendan Borrell. Our association IFBV-BELHERB from Luxembourg is glad to read that some independent voices recognize the merit of Artemisia annua herbal medicine and proud to see that through R&D at their universities Africans will find their own solutions in the fight against tropical diseases. Hereafter excerpts from the paper. The full text is available at www.slate.com/.../wormwood_tea_to_treat_malaria
With many thousands of visitors to MalariaWorld each week, we wondered why only few of you ever comment on articles, blogs, forums, etc. After all, we hope that MalariaWorld becomes a '2-way' platform, where we not only provide you with professional information on malaria, but also like to have your input, thoughts, dreams, worries, etc.
It’s a useful reminder to consider what one must have for successful genetic control strains for mosquitoes. While the focus is often on effectors for specific population manipulations, there are other bits “under the hood” that, like an engine, can’t really be ignored. It’s easy to forget how necessary these are when concentrating on something novel. I’ll give you my bare-bones list of basic genetic control features that sooner or later, you simply must have.
Four years ago, in 2009, I wrote an article for a Dutch newspaper (Bionieuws) with the title 'It is not yet time for a party on Zanzibar'. My article was a response to Tachi Yamada's blog on CNN 'Where have all the malaria patients gone?'. Yamada at that time was touring the spice island together with Ray Chambers and Margret Chan, and for sure their trip must have been pleasant and satisfying. After all, the renewed impetus (largely through the US Presidential Malaria Initiative) in malaria control was starting to pay off. Indoor residual spraying and massive distribution of LLINs yielded a spectacular decline in malaria prevalence. Yamada ends his commentary with a pretty strong statement...
The contest is now open for votes!
Since the start of the contest on 15 February, photos that tell stories about malaria have been flooding in. We have over 700 stunning entries. Now we would like YOU to select the finalists.
Uganda Science Festival . African approaches against tropical diseases.
Listen to Dr Patrick Ogwang on BBC World Service, London Focus on Africa (radio) on Mar 28 3.30-5-30PM
Dear Moussa. Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss science in Africa. I strongly believe that Africa must set her science agenda if we are to benefit from science. Why? For the following reasons;
In a blog on LinkedIn yesterday, Ray Chambers, the Special Envoy for Malaria to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, sent out a public statement titled 'Saving the lives of 4 million children in 1000 days'. Making reference to the fact that the Millennium Development Goals end by December 2015, Chambers still holds the conviction that we can bring malaria mortality down to zero by the end of 2015. He asserts that the key players to accomplish this are in place, that the solution is simple and not expensive, and that we should do this. It sounds great - and given the comments under his blog ('Inspiring', 'Absolutely will join in an effort to save children', 'Few things could be more important') Chambers will certainly reach the goal of drawing more attention to malaria. Indeed, if you're not familiar with the malaria world, than it simply sounds outrageous that the world has not succeeded in putting every soul under a net in endemic settings, that we have not eliminated malaria in the south just like we did in the north half a Century ago, and that evidence (ca. 1 million deaths averted) over the last decade has clearly shown that we CAN save many lives. But is this realistic?
The ethnobotanical use of this flavone includes applications in the treatment of cough, diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes, cancer and malaria.
This morning I opened the newspaper and read about the breakthrough in science that we now have the complete biochemical 'routemap' of man, us. A few days ago I read an article about rats being capable of training other rats through electrical brain signals. Scientific developments are ongoing at an unprecedented speed - we live in exciting times.