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WHY WAS PALESTINE 'THE MOST PEACEFUL COUNTRY OF ANY IN THE MIDDLE EAST' 90 YEARS AGO? Probably because everyone there was so busy getting rid of malaria.

October 3, 2015 - 10:27 -- Anton Alexander

In view of the news of the tragedy, the barbarity and shocking loss of life in Syria, I felt this may be a timely reminder about how malaria elimination was, and could still be, a huge benefit to all mankind and an aid towards a calmer and more peaceful world. Palestine 100 years ago was as tribal and had been as fractious as Syria is now, and yet in 1925, the League of Nations declared Palestine to be 'the most peaceful country of any in the Middle East'.

The story behind a Bull Ent Res Paper

September 17, 2015 - 10:29 -- Derek Charlwood

Charlwood JD, Wilkes TJ. Studies on the age composition of Anopheles darlingi Root from Brazil. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 1979 67, 337-342.

Working on Anopheles darling with the great Tony Wilkes – perhaps best person that I know, and, apart from Gillies, certainly the best field entomologist that I have known. An enormous influence on yours truly, not just in terms of entomology and how to approach field work but how to approach life.

Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes" and Malaria Elimination.

August 10, 2015 - 19:49 -- Anton Alexander

When IBM dominated the computer world in the 1970s, an expression arose ‘No-one was ever fired for buying IBM’, even though competitors’ machines may have been more suitable for the task. Has a similar attitude now arisen towards bednets by those considering malaria elimination? Is the default position with regard to malaria elimination ‘No-one ever gets fired for buying mosquito bednets’? By 1970, Malaria was eliminated in North America and Europe. Were bednets extensively used there?

Has practical malaria-elimination in the field lost its way?

July 25, 2015 - 11:20 -- Anton Alexander

The quest for the anti-malaria ‘silver-bullet’/’magic-bullet’ drug or vaccine. Has this confused, distracted, mesmerised or misled the practical (cf theoretical lab-based) anti-malaria scientists?

Google’s definition of ‘Silver Bullet’ includes “ A simple remedy or a quick solution for a difficult problem”. Simple. Quick. And its definition of ‘Magic Bullet’ includes “A drug or treatment that cures a disease quickly and easily without producing bad effects”. Quickly. Easily.

Tomnod Teams up with UC San Francisco

July 22, 2015 - 20:53 -- William Shaw

Tomnod has teamed up with the University of California San Francisco's Malaria Elimination Initiative to develop a population map of Swaziland to assist in planning and implementing malaria elimination activities.

Tomnod uses DigitalGlobe satellite imagery to engage online volunteers to scan small portions of a large area. The volunteers scan the imagery and mark locations of interest to that particular survey. In this case the survey is looking for villages across Swaziland. When buildings are spotted by a volunteer in a polygon, that polygon is marked.

Durable Malaria Elimination – You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink

May 26, 2015 - 13:39 -- Anton Alexander

On 7th August 2012, Bart Knols brought to our attention a lecture by Margaret Heffernan entitled ‘Dare to Disagree’, and which can be seen at . Margaret Heffernan spoke amongst other things about a scientist, Alice Stewart, who, in the 1950s, investigated and demonstrated the incidence of childhood cancer and its connection with the practice of X-raying pregnant women.

LLIN, new products and the impact of/ on insecticide resistance

May 7, 2015 - 14:28 -- Rune Bosselmann

LLIN, new products and the impact of/ on insecticide resistance

In the past 15 years malaria mortality and morbidity rates have been halved. This owes not least to insecticide based interventions and in particular the Long Lasting Insecticidal Net (LLIN).  In recent years, increased findings of insecticide resistance have caused serious concerns whether these advances are threatened, although how much and how to respond remain topics for discussion.

The advantage of a vested interest in malaria elimination.

April 15, 2015 - 06:01 -- Anton Alexander

This article will focus on the improved likelihood of a successful outcome where malaria elimination is conducted by scientists who live in the affected area. The blog by Alvaro Pemartin of 22nd January 2015 entitled "Column: Public health concerns (too) far away from home. Who cares?" is both instructive and fascinating. He showed statistics that revealed the global burden of swine flu, avian flu and ebola is far lower than the losses caused by malaria. He demonstrated that the media seems to overlook this point.

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.

Durable malaria elimination - a picture is worth a thousand words

April 2, 2015 - 14:00 -- Anton Alexander

As is seen from the picture below, the national malaria elimination campaign, begun in 1922 in Palestine, clearly worked.
For different aspects of this campaign generally, see Aspects of the malaria elimination .
But in particular, for what was so unique that made this malaria elimination so durable, see Durability .

Survey on methods for improving idea generation and innovation among early-career researchers in Africa

March 11, 2015 - 23:25 -- Fredros Okumu

Many low and middle-income communities still lack affordable and scalable solutions for their priority health needs. We are aiming to improve generation of new ideas and technological innovation by early-career researchers in Africa, specifically in the health sector. As a step in the process, we wish to conduct an analysis of expert opinion on best strategies for encouraging these early-career scientists so that they can better identify priority health problems in their communities, and generate new ideas to address these problems.

New Cochrane Review and Protocol published (2015, Issue 1)

February 3, 2015 - 16:23 -- Dee Walshe

Hello all,

We've had a good start to the new year here at the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (, with one new Cochrane Review and one new Cochrane Protocol published, which may be of interest to Malaria World members.

2015, Issue 1 (Cochrane Reviews and Protocols published 1 to 31 January 2015):

New Cochrane Review: Intermittent preventive antimalarial treatment for children with anaemia (Athuman M, Kabanywanyi AM, Rohwer AC)

Effect of dams on malaria - rethinking

January 5, 2015 - 08:41 -- Solomon Kibret

I had written on this topic sometime ago. My present research on dams and malaria in Africa triggered me to invoke some more thoughts ( Several dams are under construction in sub-Saharan Africa. According to FAO database, some 118 dams are currently under construction while several more are planned. My analysis indicated that over half (57%) of these dams are located in areas with unstable/seasonal malaria. Previous studies indicated that dams in unstable semi-arid areas intensify malaria transmission.

Artequick: programmed for failure

December 13, 2014 - 19:28 -- Irene Teis

The competitive product Artequick which the Chinese launched against Coartem and Coarsucam is now confronted by resistance like any other monotherapy. A letter to the editor by DL Saunders et al., in NEJM July 2014 describes the dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine failure in Cambodia. The drug was adopted as first line treatment in this country in 2010. Three years later the efficacy has decreased from 92% to 64%. At 72 hours 56% of patients still had persistent parasitemia. A disaster for Cambodia now, but a genocide looming for African countries, after the failure of other ACTs.

World War 1 and Malaria

November 5, 2014 - 10:08 -- Anton Alexander

As this year is the centenary of the start of World War 1, perhaps readers may be interested to see how malaria may have changed the outcome of the war had the Turkish army managed to hang on after the last battle in 1918, as the British Army collapsed from malaria two weeks after that battle. See This may be used to serve as a reminder to those who choose to ignore the disease and treat it casually.

OPEN ACCESS New Cochrane Review

October 13, 2014 - 09:23 -- Dee Walshe

Hello all,

Several recently published Cochrane Reviews from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group may of interest to Malaria World members:

Artemether for severe malaria (new review)
Drugs for preventing malaria in pregnant women in endemic areas: any drug regimen versus placebo or no treatment (updated review)

Best wishes,

Pedro Alonso to replace Rob Newman at GMP

August 1, 2014 - 12:37 -- Clive Shiff

I am pleased to see that Pedro will take over the hard task that Rob Newman left. Rob was instrumental in bringing the Global Malaria Programme back to life, and now I would like to see it expand its influence. When one looks at the various malaria control operations in various countries and read the various blogs etc, it is apparent that there is a lack of coordination, and in most instances there are several agencies, donors, major players and national personalities operating.

Injectable artesunate: cure or killer?

June 27, 2014 - 13:16 -- Irene Teis

A document in Scientific American (June 2014) describes the activities of MVV Medecines for Malaria Ventures, a « non profit » organization (association sans but lucratif) located at Geneva. It is surprising to learn that they sell Artesunate in monotherapy for intravenous injection at high doses ; in cooperation with WHO and Médecins sans Frontières.

Prestigious NWO-Vidi grant to start a new malaria research group

June 3, 2014 - 11:37 -- Taco Kooij

Dear friends & colleagues,
I am extremely honoured, proud, and happy to announce that I have been awarded a prestigious Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to start my own independent malaria research lab in Nijmegen. Below follows a press release providing further details.

malaria and local blogging

May 31, 2014 - 19:33 -- Cliff Landesman

Why is there so little blogging about malaria from a local perspective? Those who live in regions of endemic malaria are not writing about it. As a result, it is hard to follow progress in combating malaria in a particular region. For example, I have an interest in malaria in western Kenya. However, it is difficult to know what programs are in place there, who is involved, what progress has been made. I am willing to bet that there is not a single blog anywhere where people living in an endemic region talk about malaria.

En Francais - Do you see patients with cerebral malaria? ...Or know someone who does?

May 30, 2014 - 01:34 -- Lakshmi Swamy

------------- Enquête sur le diagnostic du neuropaludisme--------------------
Nous sommes un groupe de médecins de l'université Duke aux États-Unis et de l'Université de Liverpool au Royaume-Uni. Notre objectif étant de mieux comprendre comment les médecins parviennent à poser un diagnostic de neuropaludisme, nous avons réalisé une enquête à ce sujet.

Need for some effective coordination in malaria control interventions

May 19, 2014 - 17:31 -- Clive Shiff

Wherever malaria has been eliminated, success was likely to have been based on the interplay of a series of mechanisms. In the United States it may have coincided with the advent of residual insecticides, but there were a variety of factors associated with the success. These were seasonal changes, environmental factors, political decisions that affected where people could live, the advent of improved treatments and increase in wealth and improvement of living standards. The same can be said of Italy and much of Europe in the early part of the 20th Century.

A need for coordination of projects, donors and various players

May 2, 2014 - 13:17 -- Clive Shiff

I feel that we should start a conversation about coordination. I attended Malaria Day here in Baltimore last week, and one still hears people speaking as if all we have to do is send more nets to Africa! Africa is swimming in nets, in fact there are NO plans that one hears of to REPLACE (key word) expended of torn nets in anything but an ad hoc manner. Yet Anopheles funestus (resistant to pyrethoids) is appearing all over Eastern and Southern Africa.

World Malaria Day - Special Collection available from Cochrane Library

April 25, 2014 - 09:58 -- Dee Walshe

It is World Malaria Day today (Friday 25 April), and to help raise awareness there are two new Special Collections available from The Cochrane Library - one for malaria diagnosis and treatment, and one for prevention and control.