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Brief histories of two contrasting strategies in the fight against malaria

October 16, 2014 - 18:25 -- William Jobin

Major differences in the two principal attacks on malaria during the Twentieth Century

It is fortunate that the international agencies responsible for attacking malaria are all in a state of self-examination this year, seeking better and more durable strategies. To this end, I have recently submitted suggestions to the World Health Organization, to the US Presidential Malaria Initiative and to the UN Roll Back Malaria Program, outlining how they could avoid repeating the collapse of the first Global Malaria Eradication Program, by broadening their current strategies.

Column: Ever heard of sand dams?- by Rasha Azrag & Guy Reeves

September 30, 2014 - 13:12 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

The column below was contributed by by Rasha Azrag & Guy Reeves.

"I am always wary of ‘technology-led’ solutions. The under-developed world is littered with rusting tractors and broken water pumps." [1]

Surprisingly, this quote is from a document that promotes a technology; which is pictured below. While it might at first glance look like a dried-up reservoir it is in fact a fully functioning sand dam that provides year-round clean water in a water scarce environment.

Column: In the heat of the moment - by Jenni Lawton

September 16, 2014 - 12:55 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
Tags: 

The column below was contributed by Jenni Lawton.

Scottish contributions to malaria research

 

With the Scottish Independence Referendum looming on the 18th September 2014, here we are all waiting with bated breath to see what the outcome will be. I thought this would be a good time to reflect on Scotland’s contribution to the understanding and treatment of tropical diseases, including malaria.

Column: Judgment day for the 2015 Millennium Development Goals - by Manuel Lluberas

September 11, 2014 - 16:21 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
The column below was contributed by Dr. Manuel Lluberas.
 
Judgment day for the Millennium Development Goals is less than 500 days away. While there have been significant progress made in many areas since the goals were set, there is much more to be done and there is a lot that needs to be reviewed.
 

Support strengthening of US Malaria Initiative Strategy

September 4, 2014 - 17:13 -- William Jobin

This is an urgent plea to you - the reader - to support strengthening of the strategy being used by the US Presidential Malaria Initiative of USAID in Africa. Please contact Tim Ziemer or his deputy Bernard Nahlen at USAID in Washington DC to support strengthening of their malaria strategy by broadening it to include all available control methods in the most cost-effective combination.

Their email addresses are tziemer@usaid.gov and bnahlen@usaid.gov.

Job: Technical advisor - nutrition/child health

September 1, 2014 - 19:30 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
Company: Population Services International
Location: Washington, USA
 
Malaria and Child Survival Department (MCSD). The mission of the MCSD is to provide PSI’s country programs with relevant and timely support to improve child health. The position will lead PSI’s efforts to expand health impact through launching and scaling up programs in nutrition and broader areas of child health. The full-time position is based at PSI HQ in Washington D.C. with 30% travel and reports to the Director, Malaria and Child Survival.

WHO should adopt a Generalist Approach to suppressing malaria

August 8, 2014 - 17:51 -- William Jobin

We propose that WHO should adopt a holistic Generalist Approach in their new malaria strategy.

submitted by

W.Jobin of Blue Nile Associates and F.Snowden of Yale University

and including deliberations with many malariologists resulting in the Yale University Declaration on Malaria in 2006, and the Jerusalem Declaration on Malaria in 2013, both of which are available on this website.

8 August 2014

Column: Viral panic is contagious - by Kate Dieringer

July 31, 2014 - 18:22 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
This column was contributed by Kate Dieringer
 
Is it fear or fatalism that clouds vector borne disease outbreaks?
Boom. Boom. A louder, more authoritative ‘Thwack’. Four men are pounding around the previously unscreened house, covering bits ripped by their efforts with smaller, make shift patches of screen. Inside, others are scrambling to hang previously disregarded bed nets. Patients are showing up to the hospital in droves, complaining of arthralgia, fever and malaise. Medical staff members are succumbing as well; affecting hospital and clinic based operations with increased patient volume and decreased clinical capacity. The offending illness is chikungunya fever (ChikV), not malaria or dengue, and it is gripping Haitian society in more ways than physiological. This Caribbean nation has been devastated by hurricanes, earthquakes and a too recent cholera epidemic. Adding to the burden of disease and bandwidth of citizens and public health officials, the current chikungunya outbreak is causing quite a disruption here in Haiti...

Yale Declaration on Malaria of November 2008

July 29, 2014 - 16:36 -- William Jobin

We are all pleased with development and posting of the Jerusalem Declaration on Malaria of December 2013. It follows in the footsteps of a previous Declaration on Malaria issued at Yale University in November of 2008. Please compare the two, they show remarkable similarities.

Both Declarations came after several days of discussions by people with a passionate interest in suppressing malaria in Africa, motivated by the reminder that a million people die of malaria in Africa every year, and most of them are children.

Column: Will the current global malaria programme pass a Cochrane Review?

July 24, 2014 - 21:12 -- Bart G.J. Knols
The column below was contributed by Dr. Manuel Lluberas.
 
Public health entomology was an exciting career during the latter part of the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century. During those years, the “let’s go” attitude of a number of public health entomologists made significant strides against vector-borne diseases like malaria and yellow fever. Their discoveries were so significant and earth-shattering that they were recognized by their peers, their governments and the world and continue to amaze many in the public health arena. Some were even recognized and rewarded with Nobel Prizes...

Link to WHO to advise on their global malaria strategy

July 22, 2014 - 16:30 -- William Jobin

Dear Friends with experience in malaria control in Africa,

On my previous blog I explained that WHO needs your comments,
but I left out the link. Try this:

http://who.int/malaria/areas/global_technical_strategy/online_consultati...

And please give them your advice, they need it, and in fact are asking for it!

Bill

WHO needs your comments on their malaria strategy

July 18, 2014 - 17:01 -- William Jobin

To their credit, WHO is proposing to revise their global malaria strategy, and have a 16 member Steering Committee who will take comments for the next few weeks.

However, I was devastated to read in the biographies of their Steering Committee that not one of them has field experience in fighting malaria in Africa!

So if you have ANY experience in fighting malaria in Africa, especially if you work for MOH malaria control programs, or perhaps with the US PMI, or with RBM, please comment on their proposed strategy. You are the people who know what is really needed.

Planes, trains and vehicles: The neglected role of passive transportation!

July 17, 2014 - 20:27 -- Bart G.J. Knols
I still remember the day ten years ago in a workshop in Sudan on the establishment of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) project for the control of An. arabiensis in northern Sudan. The discussion was mainly about the isolation of the area, in the middle of which old Prof. Osman Abdelnour, chief entomologist of Sudan who passed away two weeks ago, raised his hand and hardly pulled his body from the chair and asked: and what about passive transportation?...

Column: Vivax malaria, breaking the cycle of endless suffering - by George Jagoe

July 10, 2014 - 10:56 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
Tags: 
"And I saw Sisyphus at his endless task raising his prodigious stone with both his hands. With hands and feet he tried to roll it up to the top of the hill, but just before he could roll it over the other side, its weight would be too much for him, and the pitiless stone would come thundering down again on to the plain. Then he would begin trying to push it up hill again, and the sweat ran off him and the steam rose after him."
The Odyssey of Homer, translated by Samuel Butler
 

Column: World cup fever - by Jenni Lawton

July 3, 2014 - 19:01 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

At the time of writing, the World Cup is well underway and with the quarter-finals about to begin the competition is heating up. So too will any fans who’ve been unlucky enough to catch malaria! So what can the World Cup tell us about the global malaria picture?

Smell of infected people attracts more anophelines

July 1, 2014 - 11:13 -- William Jobin
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We are all aware of the Stinky Feet effect, in which human skin odors attract female anophelines in a dark bedroom. And to many of us, this suggests that we should wash our feet before going to bed.

Now, Mescher of ETH Zurich, De Moraes and others - in a recent article in Proc. of the National Academy - indicated that mice infected with Plasmodia are more attractive to anophelines than ordinary mice. SO

If this evolved as a durable trait in anopheline mosquitoes, it means it conferred either a survival advantage, or a reproductive advantage to the mosquito.

African Malaria Dialogue features 2013 Jerusalem Declaration

June 23, 2014 - 11:36 -- William Jobin

African Malaria Dialogue features 2013 Jerusalem Declaration about fighting Malaria in Africa

Dialogue on 18 June 2014

Our usual informal luncheon turned out even better than expected. We met in the outer courtyard of the restaurant ‘Au Bon Pain’ in Harvard Square of Cambridge, Massachusetts, on a beautiful summer day.

Column: Bad science is just filth in the brain!

June 19, 2014 - 20:05 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Bear with me…. This complaint is not new, I know, but it is one that should be reiterated many times over: there is an extremely large gap in knowledge between researchers and the general public, and this is not good!
 
Certainly you must have come across people’s scientific ideas on trams, buses and trains (for those of us who do use public transport) or maybe at a dinner party or BBQ you are attending, or even, like I did, while waiting for your take-away food. The topics that come up more often are related to nutrition (it seems that the 5:2 diet is all the rage right now), the benefits of certain exercises (how billions of people are alive today without ever having done Yoga is perplexing to some) and more and more, the dangers of vaccines. In all of these discussions, give or take, the ‘science’ facts that are discussed are simply quick scans of a newspaper headline or maybe the first paragraph of the news article or worst, a facebook post on a friends wall that was read last night or this morning. Somehow, these quick, unreferenced, snippets of information get stuck in people’s minds and actually help set the foundations to very strong opinions. Usually, pathetic ones...

Column: How fragile we are

June 19, 2014 - 19:47 -- Bart G.J. Knols
So you live in South Sudan. Your nation exists for just less than two years, but unfortunately has been the scene of rivalry and outspoken conflict. You, together with hundreds of thousands fellow countrymen have had to flee. You have arrived in Ethiopia, after a difficult journey partly by foot and partly by boat. You have arrived in Ethiopia, you are safe.
 
Ethiopia has arranged for refugee camps sites to be set up to accommodate many of you. Unfortunately, the area is seasonally affected by malaria. And although you are very familiar with the dark side of malaria, it is the least of worries to you now. You have to get registered; you need to get food, cooking materials, and accommodation. Accommodation is a big word for the variety of tents, tukuls, plastic sheeting and other forms of shelter you see. But you collect what you can, and you get a net...

Sudden jumps in per capita cost of US PMI operations

June 19, 2014 - 15:18 -- William Jobin

In April the US PMI issued their 8th Annual Report to the US Congress on their malaria suppression operations in Africa. In the first table of the Appendix One of this report they gave their total expenditures for Africa, and also the coverage they had in each country with their spray operations. Adjusting these figures to reflect only their African operations, it appears that there have been two sudden jumps in their per capita costs.

Who keeps track of it all? We're seeking nominations!

June 12, 2014 - 20:26 -- Bart G.J. Knols

As a malaria professional you are supposed to keep track of what is happening in our field. That's nothing new. As scholars, researchers, policy makers, doctors, students, etc. we read about new developments, we read scientific articles, and follow the news. And in doing so we are familiar with who is doing what, follows what approach, and is seeking for new solutions to end our common enemy. Again, that is nothing new. But allow us to challenge you... 

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