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.
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Benito Mussolini was an Italian fascist dictator between 1922 and 1943. His quest to bring Roman glory to Italy brought his country war and misery. This is how we know him from the history books. What is less known is how Mussolini took important steps in the fight against malaria in Italy. Bill Jobin shares with us an interesting story about Mussolini's efforts to control malaria. Read Lessons from the successful national malaria campaign of Italy 1900-1962 here. An amazing story for sure.
The Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) is excited to announce the Republic of India has joined the Network as a Country Partner in 2015.
Mark Bennett passed away on 10 February 2015. Mark stood at the cradle of MalariaWorld. He will be missed and remembered.
Read below a tribute to Mark written by Julia Royall. Julia used to be the Director of the communications network of MIM (MIMCom) when she was the Chief, International Programs at NLM/NIH. Mark was appointed as Technical Director of MIMCom and helped 19 malaria research instutes in Africa to get (improved) access to the internet. His efforts have been invaluable to achieving free access to scientific information on malaria for all in need.
On the UK Parliament's 750 birthday, the All Party Parliamentary Group met to discuss collaborative initiatives in malaria
The column below was contributed by by Rasha Azrag & Guy Reeves.
In early 2015, the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) team will update the global P. vivax endemicity map (see 2010 map here) and use this to generate global estimates of clinical cases. The maps and case estimates have widespread policy and advocacy use, so it is important to make these as robust and up-to-date as possible. We invite you to collaborate with the MAP team to ensure that the map is fully comprehensive by sharing any parasite rate surveys you have. Read more...
Thanks to the collaboration of ASTMH, ImageAV and presenters, MESA is sharing various webcasts from malaria elimination session at ASTMH in New Orleans. Click here to watch and listen to 'The Global Technical Strategy for Malaria & the Global Malaria Action Plan 2' session: