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Last week at MalariaWorld: Do I really care? Food for thought.

April 16, 2015 - 21:59 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Do I really care? I am asking myself that question. Do I really care about malaria and the devastating effects it has on so many peoples' lives far away from my (safe) home? 

I have lived a quarter of my life in malaria endemic countries, notably Africa. I almost died of malaria in Tanzania. I have witnessed the suffering it causes. But that was all some years ago. Now I am back in my home country far away from the malaria threat. 

We are running MalariaWorld. Why? Because I believe that any malaria professional anywhere in the world has the right to access available malaria information and publications. I believe that by sharing information, by networking and through collaboration we can make a difference. A difference that is needed to achieve impact on the ground. I am talking about saving lives. I am not just doing a job. I would be happy to lose my job if that would imply that we have eradicated malaria. So yes, I believe I care.

In this light I find it interesting to read that Anton Alexander emphasizes the importance of the contribution of scientists residing in malaria endemic countries to the succes of malaria elimination in his blog: "The advantage of a vested interest in malaria elimination". Here he builts on the issues raised by Alvaro Permatin in his column of January 22 "Public health concerns (too) far away from home. Who cares?". Interesting thoughts... when considering who makes decisions about malaria control and elimination and what the role of scientists (and other experts) who reside in malaria endemic countries in this decision process is. And also considering that (too?) many of us are so pre-occupied with publishing our results in renowned journals that there is hardly any time to even think about how to best achieve impact in the 'real' world. Give it some thought... 

And there is more food for thought and debate. Last week Pierre Lutgen shared with us a story about the effect of regular consumption of Artemisia annua tea as a prophylactic against malaria and he wonders when the World Health Organization is going to lift the ban on Artemisia annua. Read the story "Artemisia's incredible impact on health care costs" here. This week Pierre continues with a more scientifc story titled "Geophagia, Artemisia afra and Tuberculosis". 

Then there has been an announcement from MESA about MLW being the first African research centre to share their portfolio of malaria reearch on MESA's open database. Read "Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) shares research portfolio on MESA Track database" here.

Enjoy this week's MalariaWorld - the MW team (and we look forward to receiving your manuscripts!).

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MalariaWorld Journal (MWJ) is the only peer-reviewed Open Access journal on malaria where you don’t pay to publish, and you don’t pay to read. Read about MW and how you can submit your manuscript here.

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Comment for Malaria Action Plan GMAP2

April 4, 2015 - 19:21 -- Clive Shiff
As a comment to Bart's Blog, I would like to add our thoughts as requested by the Secretariat. The document was sent in before the deadline, so I hope it was read, and raises some thoughts. 
GMAP2 Document
Based on the consultative process so far (regional consultations, national and community level consultations, online survey responses, in-depth interviews, and a document review) seven areas where the GMAP2 document could usefully provide recommendations for action have been identified.

Scandal at BioMed Central: 43 papers retracted

April 2, 2015 - 16:53 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Last Friday the Washington Post published an article about fake peer review and how it has affected the UK publisher BioMed Central. At least 43 papers have been retracted so far and we have not found this list to see if it included papers published in the Malaria Journal or Parasites & Vectors. How is it possible that such scandals emerge, one could wonder...

Introducing Open Access may not believe it, but its true!

March 26, 2015 - 22:22 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The MalariaWorld Journal, now in its 6th volume, is the first truly Open Access journal with a focus on malaria. Where you don't pay to publish (authors) and you don't pay for access (readers). If you publish in the Malaria Journal, don't think its for free. You may not pay directly yourself, but your institutional library pays large sums of money for you to publish in that journal. True, they do give out waivers to developing country scientists, but at the end of the day it is all about money. And impact factors...

Survey: Identifying effective methods for promoting idea generation and innovation among early-career health researchers in low and middle income countries

March 11, 2015 - 21:26 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Dr. Fredros Okumu of the Ifakara Health Institute has started an online survey to identifying effective methods for promoting idea generation and innovation in public health.

Should we declare a state of emergency?

February 5, 2015 - 21:38 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Last week the Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group organised its 10th meeting in Geneva. Close to 200 vector control specialists from more than 30 countries attended the three-day event. What started as a small gathering years ago has grown to become what could be considered the equivalent of the annual ASTMH meeting but with an exclusive focus on vectors. And although this 10th meeting was ample reason for celebration, it wasn't. The meeting was officially addressed by WHO's Global Malaria Programme Director Dr. Pedro Alonso, who recently took office. His opening statements were clear: Insecticide resistance is as much a threat to continued successful malaria control, if not more, than the current Asian threat of artemisinin resistance. Pyrethroids were great and have undoubtedly saved many thousands of lives, but the era in which we could safely rely on them, is coming to an end. And that's bad news.

MalariaWorld celebrates 5 years of online reporting on malaria!

December 11, 2014 - 22:15 -- Bart G.J. Knols

As of December 2014, MalariaWorld, the world's largest and only online scientific and social network for malaria professionals, is celebrating its 5th anniversary. It's been an adventure that we never imagined would become what it has become today. Many of you will not know the history of MalariaWorld, so here's a brief summary.

Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance

October 11, 2013 - 09:38 -- MESA Alliance

MESA (the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance) follows-up on the malERA agenda and provides a dedicated platform for the community in order to accelerate the translation of the science of malaria eradication for impact. With the community, MESA monitors progress and takes the next steps to advance the science of malaria eradication. MESA reviews existing evidence and supports projects on research questions critical to malaria eradication. For more information, please visit

Read MESA's latest posts here.


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