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How can MalariaWorld connect with the people responsible for fighting malaria ?

January 3, 2013 - 15:27 -- William Jobin

Malaria World has become a broad and wonderful forum for exchanging information on malaria, with about 7,000 members, coming into 2013. And lately there have been many items relevant to the big fight against malaria in Africa. These items have come from all over the world; the latest exciting one being the contribution by the people from Southern Africa who are showing us the way.

But there are important groups who are noticeable for their absence.

I don't recall seeing any contributions to these discussions about malaria by people from the major funding agencies:
the UN
the Global Fund,
the Gates Foundation
or USAID.

Nor have I seen contributions from the people guiding the operational programs in Africa, namely Rob Newman of WHO or Tim Zeimer of the USPMI.

For a New Year's Resolution, could we explore ways to draw them into our global discussion of the fight against malaria?

Perhaps we could invite some of these key players to submit editorials, outlining their hopes for the coming years? Or their suggestions on how we could help them in 2013?

The huge reserve of African scientists, physicians and health workers hooked into MalariaWorld are resources they could tap for free.

Frankly, they need our help.

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Comments

Bart G.J. Knols's picture
Submitted by Bart G.J. Knols on

Dear Bill,

I would love to see the organizations you pinpoint contributing to MalariaWorld and regret that we have not seen them here. Many of the most influential people in the malaria field are not even members and may not even be aware of our existence.

Yet I firmly believe that the way forward requires a much broader insight from many more people around the world, notably those directly engaged with malaria control in endemic countries. MalariaWorld is not merely a plaform for academics to discuss malaria; it is a platform set up to speed up the process of effective malaria control (if not elimination) through better dialogue.

An example: At MalariaWorld we discussed in a forum discussion the pros and cons of using pyrethroids for indoor residual spraying. The resolution was that these should not be used for IRS and reserved for bednet treatment. It was exactly a year later that we read the same recommendation coming from WHO...

I remain hopeful that MalariaWorld will reach the status where it becomes a truly global platform that serves our common purpose and enthuse these organizations to participate.

Bart