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  • Reply to: Column: In the heat of the moment - by Jenni Lawton   22 hours 42 min ago

    Dear Nayna,
    Thanks very much for your thoughtful comments!

    - I absolutely agree that free education would make an enormous benefit to communities across the world and especially would benefit the developing countries whose endemic diseases cripple their own populations. But how to encourage governments to invest in open access to education when in many places (England included) it often seems that those from privileged backgrounds are more likely to have these opportunities and are precisely the people then making such policy decisions?

    - As Bart & Inga mentioned in their blog this week, it is poignant that the international community has only recently begun to respond to the frightening Ebola outbreak, despite warnings from the scientific community much earlier. Understanding more about malaria and other infectious diseases is crucial for developing therapeutics, which the research community has been striving to do since the discovery of these pathogens. Nonetheless, many potential parasite and vector control measures that we already know of fail to be implemented in a coherent manner, which our colleagues are urging governments and those financing large-scale initiatives to improve. This is a problem in the UK as well, where scientific advice is often sought and then ignored in policy making (see an excellent book by Mark Henderson: “The Geek Manifesto”). Perhaps the scientific community needs dedicated advocates who are able to promote the most effective strategies to the policy makers?

    - Dr Manuel Lluberas recently pointed out that many of the measures that were historically successful in malaria control today would not be allowed due to tight regulations and safety fears (http://www.malariaworld.org/blog/column-will-current-global-malaria-programme-pass-cochrane-review). [In fact the successful first uses of Zmapp™ were only permitted by the WHO due to the enormous mortality associated with this Ebola outbreak. A safety and efficacy trial has just begun, with GSK hoping to begin delivering treatment to health-workers in West Africa before the end of this year (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/17/ruth-atkins-first-british-volunteer-injected-trial-ebola-vaccine-oxford)]. Of course these restrictions have been imposed for safety reasons but as costs of developing new drugs and / or vaccines soar, there may come a point where such rigorous testing is not financially sustainable. Then we would have to weigh the possible adverse risks of new therapeutics against the likely ravages of disease without them.

    - I wonder what our MW colleagues think?

    Finally, may I just say that however people are feeling after the No vote, Scotland’s referendum has been an unusual example of widespread political engagement in a world where too few people have the opportunity to vote in democratic elections, and those that do often fail to bother. We are very lucky to be able to have a voice and the access to education when sadly these should not be down to luck at all.

    Best wishes,
    Jenni

  • Reply to: Column: In the heat of the moment - by Jenni Lawton   1 day 9 hours ago

    Thank you Jenni for an excellent account of the Scottish contribution to mosquito and malaria research, especially the part played by the provision of free education available in Scotland. If only free education was available to peoples of many more/ALL countries! Now that Scotland has voted 'No' to independence, how do you see us all contributing and working together to eliminate vector borne diseases? How can we all best work together? It's an excellent first communication!

  • Reply to: How did USA get rid of malaria?   1 day 10 hours ago

    Very interesting article. Thank you so much. For someone who has experienced winter in Ottawa, it may be hard to imagine that malaria was once a problem there, but such was the case. For any who are interested, here's a useful link:

    http://www.rideau-info.com/canal/history/locks/malaria.html

    Mark

     

  • Reply to: Research: Misdiagnosis of malaria using wrong buffer substitutes for rapid diagnostic tests in poor resource setting in Enugu, southeast Nigeria   2 days 5 hours ago
    "Even" RDTs do require training before usage...as shown also nicely in this beautiful picture report of a malaria outbreak in the Indian Tripura state: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/07/pictures-malaria-outbreak-indi-2014730101813379615.html Just putting the blood in the right well is apparently not that easy...
  • Reply to: NEW! Anonymous commenting...   6 days 4 hours ago

    Thanks you, I am damn sure, that anonymous commenting will help visitors to comment more. But one disadvantage of this handy feature is that, it will attract more spammers towards malariaworld.org.
    I think, Now its time to hire some blog comment moderators.