Over the course of human history, malaria has been one of the deadliest tropical diseases encountered by humans. Malaria exerts a far more profound influence on progress toward a peaceful life in a given country than have any of the acute epidemic diseases, such as yellow fever. This is because a population stricken with malaria may suffer two negative pressures: acute fatalities from severe malaria, particularly in young children, and long-lasting debilitating symptoms and socio-economic impacts of recurrent and persistent malaria. Here, we present three successive historical stories, stepping stones, the second and third stones having learnt from the previous one, and which was to eventually lead to successful malaria elimination.
The MalariaWorld Journal
Arachidonic acid (AA or ARA) is an extremely important fatty acid involved in cell regulation. It is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (20:4n6) covalently bound in esterified form in membrane phospholipids of most body cells. Following irritation or injury, arachidonic acid is released and oxygenated by enzyme systems leading to the formation of an important group of inflammatory mediators, to the prostaglandins (PGE₂) by the cyclooxygenase enzyme. This paper describes the positive health effects of arachidonic acid on malaria and other tropical diseases.
Over the past decade, Cambodia has seen a significant decline in its malaria burden. The government has established the goal of eliminating malaria in the country by 2025. With PMI/USAID support, Cambodia is implementing a package of interventions as part of its efforts. This assessment aimed to describe the cost of malaria elimination activities in Sampov Loun Operational District (OD) between July 2015 and March 2018, to describe the cost per malaria case detected under PMI programming, and to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of the elimination programme per Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) or P. vivax (Pv)/Pf mixed case averted under the Cambodia Malaria Elimination Programme (CMEP) and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative. Opportunity costs of government workers were also assessed to understand the theoretical cost of sustaining this programme through government efforts alone. We conducted an empirical micro-costing analysis based on elimination activities alone using CMEP internal project implementation data and corresponding epidemiologic data from July 2015 to March 2018 and empirical findings from implementation to date. We then constructed a cost model in Microsoft Excel using empirical data and used a cost-effectiveness decision tree to describe programme effective-ness in the first three years of implementation and to estimate efficacy for the subsequent year. The total cost of malaria elimination activities in Sampov Loun OD from July 2015 to March 2018 was $883,096. The cost per case of malaria detected in 2017 was $1,304. Including opportunity costs for government staff from July 2015 to March 2018, the total cost was $926,000. Under continued CMEP implementation, the projected future total cost of the program would be about $110,000 per year, or $0.64 per Sampov Loun resident. The incremental cost-effectiveness of the elimination programme was $28 for every additional Pf or Pv/Pf mix malaria case averted, compared to the no-CMEP proxy. CMEP activities are cost effective compared to the no-CMEP proxy, as shown through an incremental cost-effectiveness of $28 for every additional Pf or Pv/Pf mix malaria case averted. The total cost of the project is 0.93% of the total per capita spending on health in Cambodia and about 5% of all government health expenditure. Continuing investments in malaria will be needed at national level for stewardship and governance and at local level for ensuring programme readiness in case of malaria outbreaks.
Current efforts towards malaria elimination include the discovery of new transmission blocking (TB) drugs and identification of compounds suitable to replace primaquine, recommended as transmission blocking post treatment after artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). High through put screening of compound libraries has allowed to identify numerous compounds active in vitro against gametocytes and insect early sporogonic stages, but few studies have been performed to characterize TB compounds in vivo. Here we propose a double TB drug Direct Feeding Assay (2TB-DFA), suitable to assess the combined effects of TB compounds. Plasmodium berghei GFPcon (PbGFPcon), BALB/c mice and Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes were used. Artemisinin (ART) and artesunate (AS) served as examples of artemisinins, NeemAzal® (NA), as a known TB-product with sporontocidal activity. DFA experiments were performed to assess the appropriate time point of administration before mosquito feeding and estimate suitable sub-optimal doses of the three compounds that allow combination effects to be appreciated. Suboptimal dosages, that reduce about 50% of oocyst development, were recorded with ART in the range of 16-30 mg/kg, AS 14-28 mg/kg and NA 31-38mg/kg. Ten hours before mosquito feeding (corresponding to 3.5 days after mouse infection) was determined as a suitable time point for mouse treatment with ART and AS and 1 hour for post-treatment with NA. ART given at 35 mg/kg in combination with NA at 40 mg/kg reduced oocyst density by 94% and prevalence of infection by 59%. Similarly, the combination of ART at 25 mg/kg plus NA at 35 mg/kg decreased oocyst density by 95% and prevalence of infection by 34%. In the 2TB-DFA, conducted with AS (20 mg/kg) and NA (35 mg/kg) the combination treatment reduced oocyst density by 71% and did not affect prevalence of infection. Applying ‘Highest Single Agent’ analysis and considering as readout oocyst density and prevalence of infection, cooperative effects of the combination treatments, compared with the single compound treatments emerged. This study suggests the 2TB-DFA to be suitable for the profiling of new TB candidates that could substitute primaquine as a post-treatment to ACT courses.
Malaria is endemic in 91 countries and territories. Currently, over half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria with malaria prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa remaining the highest in the world. Nigeria accounts for 56% of malaria cases in the West African sub-region. Malaria control is historically the oldest control programme in Nigeria, having been in existence since 1948. Malaria control in Nigeria is guided by National Malaria Strategic Plans. The goal of the NMSP (2014-2020) is ‘to reduce malaria burden to pre-elimination levels and bring malaria-related mortality to zero’ using strategies under seven strategic objectives. The theme for the 2017 World Malaria Day activities was ‘End Malaria for Good’. This theme indicates a sustained push for national and international commitments toward goal zero. Although the prevalence of malaria has dropped significantly, from 42% in 2010 to 27.4% in 2015, a lot of effort needs to be made to actualise a malaria-free Nigeria. This review discusses the current strategies in place to control and eliminate malaria. It also describes some future novelties available to sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria to ‘End Malaria for Good.’