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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"Role and status of bednets, IRS and insecticide resistance in Asia Pacific"
Ever since the inception of knowledge-based malaria control more than a century ago, vector control has been the primary strategy for combatting malaria. In recent decades, the focus has been on the use of Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITNs) and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) of insecticides. In Asia Pacific, much of the transmission occurs outdoors, and such outdoor transmission is a major driver of residual malaria. However, reducing historic emphasis of use of ITN and IRS risks resurgence of malaria due to resumption of high levels of indoor biting, so this has to continue. What is the current level of use of IRS as control tool, and of bed nets, and how are we doing in monitoring continued susceptibility of mosquitoes to insecticides?
Global Malaria News
Malaria mutations may be gaining a foothold in Africa, shows new data
News-Medical. Net, 15 April 2021
New data provide the first clinical evidence that drug-resistant mutations in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum may be gaining a foothold in Africa. The study, conducted in Rwanda, is published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal and finds for the first time that the mutations are associated with delayed parasite clearance, as was first shown in South-East Asia when artemisinin-resistance started to emerge.
Simple genetic modification aims to stop mosquitoes spreading malaria
ScienceDaily, 13 April 2021
Altering a mosquito's gut genes to make them spread antimalarial genes to the next generation of their species shows promise as an approach to curb malaria, suggests a preliminary study published today in eLife...
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