On average, every day of the year, nine scientific articles on malaria are published. This is an amazing number and a great indicator of how much malaria research is actually being undertaken around the world. But I have one simple question: How many of these articles do you actually read? From title to acknowledgements? Really, think back the last week. How many papers did you read in full? Let's suppose for a minute that you would read two full articles every working day - that's 10 per week, so at best 520 every year. That is a mere 16% of what is actually being published by all of us collectively. And so we have a problem...
Immunologists will read as much as they can regarding, well, immunological aspects of malaria. Ask them a question about indoor residual spraying and they go blank. Ask a specialist on rapid diagnostics about the latest developments in bednet technology and he goes quiet. Ask vector biologists details about the RTS,S vaccine and all they (perhaps) know is that it yields 50% protective efficacy.
I confess that I certainly can't keep up. Can you? And if you also can't, is there someone you know that does? And if you don't, then what is really going on? If, which I suspect, there is nobody out there that comprehends it all, then how can we move forward and make wise decisions?
Maybe this is an 'open door' story, but it is really intriguing once you start to think about it. Perhaps it is better if people inform you about interesting developments even though this may still be biased.
Have a look at our latest MalariaWorld Journal article. This article, by Geme Dori and colleagues draws some really interesting conclusions regarding herbal home remedies found to be very common in Ethiopia (and for sure in many other parts of Africa). This is about malaria in the real world - and so it is really important.
More interesting manuscripts are in the pipeline at the journal. We are seeing an increase in submissions, which is great. Next, we're looking forward to seeing yours.
Enjoy this week's MalariaWorld - the MW team.