Sun

31

May

2015

Simple Suggestions For Learning About Tradesman Insurance and Its Importance

A lot of folks think that the taking out of tradesman insurance will never be too important for your small business. Insurance is a lot more like an investment, but many of them think that it is not beneficial if you won't be able to utilize it.

You need to know that accidents can't be avoided and if you are not prepared for them, you could see yourself being barraged by legal cases. This could be a big problem if you don't have the finances to manage all of them.

Small business insurance will give you lots of benefits, particularly to tradespeople and small businesses. Our TV screens appear to be full of adverts from lawyers pleading with us to try and claim for each and every mishap, there's no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody is to blame and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would be a very brave (or perhaps foolish) small business owner who made the decision that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Click the link to get an answer to your questions that you might have on tradesman insurance.If you still feel that this type of insurance will not be right for you, here is a few of the importance of liability insurance.

If you think that the cost of claims is the biggest difficulty when particular accidents happen, you're making an error. Defending claims is more of a financial difficulty compared to the price of claims.

There are times when the legal cases do not make it to court since the insurance businesses are doing their best to handle it through negotiation if feasible. It is a big difference since a small business does not have plenty of assets.



When you have small business insurance, they'll be covering the defence costs so you will not have tradesman insurance to worry about anything. Always keep in mind that a law suit can actually get your business out of commission so you have to think of this.

You need to also know that the number of legal cases and the sum of settlements are continuously growing as years go by and you can understand it through the recent statistics. In 2006, UK insurance companies have been paying £3.3 million every day since of small business liability claims and the amount jumped to £7 million in 2012. This is really a big issue for companies. If you'll look at this very closely, the majority of the small establishments managed to survive the legal cases since of the insurance businesses. You cannot survive a law suit against you if your company does not have tradesman insurance to cover the difficulties.

Your workers will be your accountability and any mistake that they make with regard to your company operations will be attributed to you. Humans are susceptible to mistakes so you cannot completely avoid this. You can protect your company from all these legal claims if you'll make an effort to opt for small business insurance. This type of insurance will really help cover your expenses if you will need to handle it in the court or for those who have to settle it with the one who filed the claim.

Never try to ignore the advantages of tradesman insurance, specifically if you're running a business. You should not forget that a single law suit can bring your business down.

0 Comments

Sun

31

May

2015

Choosing Small Business Insurance - Ideas Explained

Most people don't hear plenty of great news about insurance because all they learn about is the negative opinions of obtaining it. This is probably the key reason why some small businesses around the globe are not taking out small business insurance. They don't realise it is an important element of protecting the business. In some countries, especially in the UK, small business insurance is very essential because it can help small establishments survive in a harsh environment.

Legal claims and law suits are inevitable and your business may be charged anytime when you make an error. If you don't want to suffer a huge financial loss as a result of legal cases against your business, you need to know how small business insurance may help you.

The price of the law suits is undoubtedly a big difficulty, but you must also look at the costs related to the defence against these claims. Apart from this, it's going to also harm your reputation. This is absolutely something you will never want to experience no matter what happens and tradesman insurance will help you. Our television screens appear to be overwhelmed by solicitors pleading tradesman insurance with us to file a claim for any little mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody is to blame and they need to pay!. With this in mind, it would surely be an extremely brave (or perhaps foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Click the link to get an answer to any questions on tradesman insurance.Usually, the insurance providers check the price of defending the claims and try to settle it in any way feasible. Even when the law suit reaches the court, the insurance companies will still pay for your expenses so it is certainly a great choice for your small company.

You need to also know that the quantity of law suits and the sum of settlements are continuously escalating as years go by and you can understand it through the recent statistics. In 2006, UK insurance companies paid £3.3 million every single day simply because of small company liability claims and this amount increased to £7 million in 2012, which is really a large issue for the small establishments. Try to look at this carefully and you will see that the majority of the small establishments in the UK survived simply because of the insurance companies. If you don't have liability insurance and a law suit was filed against you, do you really feel that you have the money to cover it?

You should also remember that simple personnel mistakes can certainly result in more problems for your business because they're going to be your accountability. This is one of the essential things that you will not avoid simply because we are vulnerable to errors. If you'll go for tradesman insurance to help you, protecting your business will really be easier. This type of insurance can help cover your expenses when you have to manage the claims in court or if you need to make a settlement with the person who filed the legal claim.

Prior to deciding that tradesman insurance will not help you, attempt to understand its importance first. Instead of trying to look at the bad side of the insurance, try to check out the advantages that it can offer to your business.
0 Comments

Sun

31

May

2015

Major Criteria For Considering Tradesman Insurance and Its Importance Explained

Many folks feel that the taking out of tradesman insurance will never be too important for your small business. Insurance is a lot more like a good investment, but most of them think that it isn't beneficial if you won't be able to utilize it.

Accidents can't be avoided no matter what even if you're ready for them and it's possible that you will be susceptible on legal cases. This will be a huge difficulty if you do not have the funds to manage all of them.

Small business insurance will provide you with plenty of benefits, particularly to tradesmen and small establishments. If you still think that you can't get any benefits out of this kind of insurance, you should look at some of its importance.

Once your business obtained a law suit, the price of the claims is not the only thing that you have to think about simply because the price of defending might be a larger difficulty. Our television screens appear to be overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to try and claim for any little mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. With this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or maybe foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions on tradesman insurance.Generally, if it's brought to court, you will need to spend a lot of money to pay for the procedures since you'll need to defend yourself. You can try to ask for a negotiation instead of coping with this in court, but you may expect that your business won't have the finances to make this probable.

Obtaining small business insurance will permit you to handle the law suits tradesman insurance without paying a lot of money. You may make sure that the insurance providers will be working with the expenses.

The number of cases, claims and the sum of settlements are slowly growing, particularly in the uk so you have to realize how small business insurances may help you.

In 2006, insurance providers in the UK paid a total of £3.3 million each day for small company liability claims. This amount increased to £7 million in 2012.

If you look closely on these statistics, the number of claims and cases are growing on a yearly time frame and it's very alarming for small establishments. Just try to think of the difficulties that these claims may cause if you don't have small business insurance.

A simple error of your staff can completely bring down your business and these things are inevitable. These things are really common these days and it's happening to companies around the world.

If your business does not have small business insurance, you may expect that your business will be in big trouble if your workers made a mistake. You'll have to deal with the claims which will be thrown to you.

You will surely be held responsible for all the actions of your staff so you have to understand how to look after yourself through insurance. This is definitely a good suggestion because this type of insurance will benefit your company in the foreseeable future.

Never undervalue the significance of liability insurance, specifically if you are running a small business. You shouldn't forget that a single law suit can bring your business down.
0 Comments

Sun

31

May

2015

Necessary Factors For Picking The Best Liability Insurance and Its Importance

A lot of people have stayed away from insurances. Actually, this is the exact same thing with the businesses out there. Liability insurance is definitely an essential aspect of building a small company nowadays as this is the best feasible way to save your company from financial liabilities caused by law suits. It is never easy to defend against claims as it is financially stressful for any company or individual. Small business insurance gives you the possiblity to be free from these expenses because they will deal with these lawsuits and pay for them. If you are not convinced on how this type of insurance will help you, listed here are the things that you need to know.

The price of the legal cases is absolutely a large issue, but you should also look at the costs associated with the defence against these claims. Apart from this, it will also harm your popularity. This is something that you do not want to go through no matter what and small business insurances may help you with this. Usually, the insurance providers check the cost of defending the claims and try to settle it in any way probable. Even when the law suit reaches the court, the insurance companies will still pay for your expenses so it is certainly an excellent choice tradesman insurance for your small company.

If you're not yet aware about the increasing number of claims and law suits against small businesses, then you are missing a lot of important news. Our TV screens seem to be full of adverts from legal firms pleading with us to claim for any little mishap, there's no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody is to blame and they need to pay!. With this in mind, it would be an extremely brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who made the decision that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions that you might have on tradesman insurance.In 2006, insurance businesses in the UK compensated £3.3 million every single day and it has risen by more two folds in 2012 and became £7 million. It only implies that the legal cases filed against small establishments in the UK has grown steadily over the years.

This is already a wakeup call for the companies around the globe. They have to start using tradesman insurance before it's too late. Instead of risking the funds of your company, it's always better to pay your monthly instalments and opt for small business insurance to help you.

You need to also remember that simple staff mistakes can actually result in more difficulties for your company because they're going to be your obligation. Humans are vulnerable to mistakes so you can't entirely avoid this. The only thing that you can do is protect yourself and your company from these legal claims and opt for liability insurance to help you. This kind of insurance can help cover your expenses when you have to handle the claims in court or if you need to make a negotiation with the person who filed the legal claim.

You must always go through the significance of liability insurance before you decide not to take it out. Instead of trying to check out the negative side of the insurance, try to check out the benefits that it can provide to your business.
0 Comments

Sun

31

May

2015

Everybody's Favourite Doubts Clarified On Considering Liability Insurance and Its Importance

Lots of people don't hear lots of positive things about insurance because the media tend to show the industry in a bad light. This is certainly a reason why some small establishments think that they don't need liability insurance to assist them with anything. In some countries, especially in the UK, small business insurance is very essential as it can help small businesses survive in a harsh environment.

Law suits and legal claims cannot be avoided and your business is always vulnerable to them. If you do not wish to have any issues on your finances because of these legal cases, you should attempt to recognize the importance of using liability insurance.

The price of the claims will certainly be a big issue, but you should tradesman insurance know that the price of defending yourself from these claims will be a bigger financial problem. Fundamentally, if it's brought to court, you will need to spend a lot of money to pay for the proceedings because you'll need to defend yourself. You can try to ask for a negotiation rather than coping with this in court, but you may anticipate that your business won't have the finances to make this feasible.

Acquiring small business insurance will permit you to deal with the law suits without paying a lot of money. The insurance providers will assure that the expenses will be managed appropriately.

There has been a slow increase in the quantity of cases, claims and the amount of settlements in the UK. You have to realize this as it will tell you the importance of tradesman insurance.

In 2006 alone, insurance providers in the UK have paid a total of £3.3 million for small business liability claims every single day. The amount has grown by two folds in 2012 and became £7 million.

If you take a close look on these statistics, the quantity of claims and cases are escalating on a yearly time frame and it is very mind boggling for small businesses. Our television screens are flooded with adverts from legal firms imploring us to claim for each and every mishap, there's no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would be an extremely brave (or perhaps foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who made the decision that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Click the link to get an answer to your questions that you might have on tradesman insurance.Without having liability insurance, you'll have to pay a huge amount for these claims.

Your employees could be your responsibility and any mistake that they make with regard to your company operations will be blamed on you. Humans are vulnerable to mistakes so you cannot entirely avoid this. You can protect your business from all these legal claims if you will try to opt for small business insurance. This kind of insurance will certainly help cover your expenses if you'll need to manage it in the court or if you have to settle it with the one who filed the claim.

Always remember that liability insurance will be very beneficial for companies that cannot hold their grounds against legal claims financially. You still have to pay monthly instalments, but this is a lot better if you want to defend your business.
0 Comments

Sun

31

May

2015

Necessary Elements For Choosing Liability Insurance and Its Importance

Lots of folks have avoided insurance and the exact same thing goes with some companies that don't recognize its importance. Tradesman insurance is one of the most desirable insurances in the market these days, especially for the small business owners who want to defend their companies from financial liabilities due to legal cases. Defending against claims is financially stressful for anyone or business and it'll be very hard for you to handle. With the assistance of liability insurance, you will have the possiblity to be free from these expenses because the insurance providers will handle them. If you're not yet convinced on how it may help you, here are a few of the things that you need to know.

The price of claims is not only the problem when you obtained a law suit simply because the price of defending the claims might be a bigger problem. Our television screens appear to be overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to claim for any little mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody is to blame and they must be made to pay!. With this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or perhaps foolish) small business owner who made the decision that they didn't need public liability insurance. Click the link to get an answer to your questions that you might have on tradesman insurance.If the claim is delivered to court, you'll certainly spend a lot of money for the proceedings to protect yourself. You could think of negotiating everything instead of dealing with the law suit, but it may not be financially probable for your small company.

You can deal with this without spending lots of money if you can get liability insurance. You could make sure that the insurance providers will be coping with the expenses.

The number of legal cases and the amount of negotiations has been growing steadily in the past few years based on the recent statistics. In 2006, the insurance providers in the UK spend £3.3 million every day for small company liability claims and this amount jumped to £7 million in 2012, which is absolutely a big issue for companies. Try to look at this carefully and you will tradesman insurance see that the majority of the small businesses in the UK survived simply because of the insurance providers. You cannot survive a law suit against you if your company does not have tradesman insurance to cover the troubles.

You must also remember that simple personnel mistakes can certainly result in more issues for your business since they'll be your responsibility. This is one of the things that you can't avoid since humans are vulnerable to errors. The only thing that you can do is protect yourself and your company from these legal claims and opt for liability insurance to help you. This type of insurance will surely be a great help in covering the expenses of managing the difficulty on court or if you have to settle this with the one who filed the claim.

Never ignore the significance of liability insurance, especially if you are managing a small business. You shouldn't forget that a single law suit can bring your business down.
0 Comments

Sun

31

May

2015

Basic Information On Understanding Liability Insurance and Its Importance

For several years, plenty of people, specially the owners of small establishments, ignored the importance of liability insurance. A lot of them think that since it is a kind of insurance, you do not need one if you will not be in any type of difficulty.

You can't prevent accidents even in case you are already prepared to manage them. As a matter of fact, it is possible that lots of individuals are trying to file legal cases against you. Surely you will have a lot of problems with this if you do not have finances to back you up.

Liability insurance gives a number of benefits to tradesmen and small businesses. If you think that this insurance won't be of any help to you, it is best to understand why it is necessary.

The price of the law suits is certainly a big issue, but you should also look at the price associated with the defence against these claims. Apart from this, it'll also damage your reputation. Well, you don't want this kind of thing to happen to you so you will require liability insurance to assist you. Usually, the insurance providers tradesman insurance check the price of defending the claims and try to settle it in any way feasible. If the law suit reaches the court, the insurance providers will still be handling everything for you so it is really a good option.

The number of cases, claims and the sum of negotiations are gradually growing, particularly in the United Kingdom so you have to realize how small business insurances may help you.

In 2006, insurance companies in the united kingdom paid a total of £3.3 million every single day for small business liability claims. This amount elevated to £7 million in 2012.

If you look closely on these statistics, the number of claims and cases are growing on a per year time frame and it is very mind boggling for small businesses. These difficulties can cause serious damage to small establishments without tradesman insurance.

You should remember that personnel will be susceptible to mistakes and you will find instances when errors become legal cases. The mistakes done by your employees will be your responsibility. If they make a blunder, it'll likely be blamed on your business. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by lawyers pleading with us to claim for each and every mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or perhaps foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who made the decision that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer any questions that you might have on tradesman insurance.This is one of the risks that you need to deal with if you are a small company owner.



If you don't want your business to go bankrupt simply because of these legal cases, you must make an effort to consider small business insurances. They are going to cover the defence costs for you and you will not have to be concerned about the expenses.

Do not underestimate the significance of liability insurance, specifically if you are managing a small business. You should not overlook that a single law suit can bring your business down.

0 Comments

Thu

28

May

2015

Simple Tips For Learning About Tradesman Insurance and Its Importance

A lot of people have not taken out insurances. Actually, this is the exact same thing with the businesses out there. Tradesman insurance is one of the most beneficial insurances in the market today, especially for the small business owners who want to defend their businesses from financial liabilities due to legal cases. It is never easy to defend against claims as it is financially nerve-racking for any company or individual. Tradesman insurance will certainly offer you a possibility to be free from all these expenses simply because the insurance companies will handle them. If you are not yet persuaded on how it can help you, here are a few of the things that you have to know.

The cost of claims is not only the problem when you acquired a law suit because the cost of defending the claims will be a larger issue. Generally, if it's delivered to court, you will have to spend a lot of money to cover the procedures since you will need to look after yourself. You could consider negotiating everything rather than managing the law suit, but it may not be financially feasible for your small company.

Acquiring small business insurance will allow you to handle the law suits without paying lots of money. The insurance providers will guarantee that the expenses will be managed accordingly.

You need to also know that the quantity of law suits and the sum of settlements are continuously escalating as years go by and you can recognize it through the recent figures. In 2006, the insurance companies in the UK spend £3.3 million every day for small company liability claims and tradesman insurance this amount jumped to £7 million in 2012, which is definitely a big issue for businesses. If you will look at this very closely, the majority of the small establishments managed to survive the law suits simply because of the insurance companies. If you don't have any small business insurance to look after your company, do you really think that you can survive a law suit against you?

Workers will always be susceptible to mistakes and you could expect that these mistakes may turn into law suits. You need to know that any mistake done by your personnel will be your duty so the blame can be directed on your business. This is one of the risks that you need to deal with when you're a small business owner.

If you don't want your business to go bankrupt since of these legal cases, you should make an effort to consider small business insurances. They will surely cover the costs of defence claims and you won't have to concern yourself with the expenses.



You shouldn't undervalue the benefits of small business insurance, especially when you're running a business. Our television screens appear to be full of adverts from legal firms pleading with us to try and claim for each and every mishap, there's no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or perhaps foolish) small business owner who made the decision that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions on tradesman insurance.You should know that a single law suit can bring your business to the brink of extinction.

0 Comments

Mon

04

May

2015

Considerable Points To Consider Of Choosing Ways to Understand the Importance of Liability Insurance - The Basics

Most people don't hear lots of good news about insurance because all they read about is the negative opinions of obtaining it. This is most likely the key reason why some small establishments around the globe are not taking out small business insurance. They don't realise it is an essential element of protecting the business. In various countries including the UK, liability insurance is extremely important since it provides help to small establishments.

Legal claims and law suits are inevitable and your business can be charged anytime when you make a mistake. If you don't want to have any issues on your funds as a result of these lawsuits, you must make an effort to understand the significance of using liability insurance.

The price of the legal cases is absolutely a large problem, but you must also look at the price associated with the defence against these claims. Aside from this, it's going to also hurt your reputation. This is something you don't want to go through no matter what and small business insurances will help you with this. Usually, the insurance companies check the price of defending the claims and attempt to settle it in any way possible. If it happens that that law suit reaches the court, the insurance companies will guarantee that it'll be dealt with properly.

You have to be aware that the claims and legal cases against small establishments have been escalating gradually within the last few years. In 2006, insurance providers in the UK compensated £3.3 million every single day and it has risen by more two folds in 2012 and became £7 million. It only means that the quantity of law suits has risen gradually in the UK since 2006.

This is regarded a wakeup call for the companies around the world. They need to start thinking about liability insurance before it's too late. Rather than risking the funds of your company, you need to consider tradesman insurance and pay the monthly premiums.

You should also remember that simple staff mistakes can actually result in more problems for your company simply because they're going to be your accountability. This is one of the important things that you will not avoid simply because we are susceptible to errors. If you will go for tradesman insurance to assist you, protecting your business will surely be easier. This type of insurance can help cover your expenses if you have to manage the claims in court or if you need to make a negotiation with the person who filed the legal claim.

You should always go through the significance of liability insurance prior to deciding not to take it out.

With interest rates stuck firmly in the gutter, investors are searching elsewhere for investment opportunities. One popular opportunity is the buy-to-let market, you or if you have the funds available you buy a property and then get an income from the rent. With property holding its value nicely, it's an opportunity that offers a degree of security whilst offering good returns on your investment. Sadly, its not without its pitfalls. The following link has some answers to questions such as liability insurance.Instead of trying to check out the bad side of the insurance, try to look at the advantages that it can provide to your business.
0 Comments

Tue

14

Apr

2015

Abandoned coal mines could heat UK homes again

The Innovate UK-funded project explored redundant mines over a 30km area that have the potential to produce enough energy to heat 45,000 homes

The Innovate UK-funded project explored redundant mines over a 30km area that have the potential to produce enough energy to heat 45,000 homes

A research project from Nottingham Trent University has discovered disused coal mines as a viable source of renewable thermal energy in the UK.

The two-year study, conducted in partnership with renewable energy firm Alkane Energy, found that residual heat found in mine groundwater can be condensed and used to heat and cool buildings.

The Innovate UK-funded project explored redundant mines over a 30km area that have the potential to produce enough energy to heat 45,000 homes.

Sustainable extraction

A ground-source heat pump pumps water from the mine to the surface where the thermal energy is extracted using a heat exchanger. The six-year New york city campaign to ban fracking had been backed by hundreds of artists, musicians, stars and stars, such as Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono, Mark Ruffalo and the late Pete Seeger. There had likewise been huge opposition from 250 grassroots groups fearful of the effects of fracking on everything from tourist to property rates. However while the superstars and groups may have moved popular opinion with film, social media, music and conferences, it was the brand-new science that spoke most loudly to guv Andrew Cuomo and his advisers. Click the following link for more information on http://www.protectourcommunities.com/The temperature of the water is increased by condensing the energy and re-circulating it through a central heating-type system. The water is then returned to the mine to naturally reheat.

Even when solar and wind energy are insufficient to power the pump, the thermal energy was found by the study to be four times more efficient when running on mains electricity than a 90% efficient modern gas boiler.

The system has so far been tested at the former Markham Colliery in North East Derbyshire where the heat was used in an industrial building owned by Alkane.

Green generation

"In a way, we may never have previously envisaged, coalmines could once again be used to provide warmth to thousands of homes across the UK," said Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh from of the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, who led the study.

"But the key difference between yesteryear and tomorrow is that we now have the ability to harness their energy potential in a completely sustainable way. 

"Alkane has traditionally utilised gas contained in disused coal mines to power its core electricity generation business," Alkane Energy project director Keith Parker said: "The utilisation of heat from mine water gives rise to a further opportunity to make use of the mines to provide green, sustainable energy to homes and businesses in the UK."

Lucinda Dann

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http://www.edie.net/news/6/Coal-mines-could-heat-UK-homes-again/
0 Comments

Tue

14

Apr

2015

Mandela leaves $4.1 million to family, schools, ANC

Elmond Jiyane / GCIS via AFP - Getty Images

Nelson Mandela's widow, Graca Machel (C), and his ex-wife, Winnie Mandela Madikizela (R), arrive for Mandela's funeral ceremony in Qunu, Dec. 2013.

By Rohit Kachroo and Alexander Smith, NBC News

JOHANNESBURG -- Anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela left some 46 million rand ($4.1 million) in assets to family members, former staff, several schools and South Africa's ruling party, his will executors said Monday. 

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke told reporters that the former South African president's will had not been contested so far and that Mandela's third wife, Graca Machel, may waive her claims to the estate, according to a report by Reuters.

Mandela died in December at the age of 95. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/02/03/22556284-nelson-mandela-leaves-41-million-estate-to-family-members-others?lite
0 Comments

Tue

14

Apr

2015

Tribunal throws lifeline to coastal states facing foreign vessel threats to fisheries

Posted on 02 April 2015    



European trawlers at Dakar harbour, Senegal

© Jo Benn / WWF

Gland, Switzerland: Countries facing depletion of their fisheries by foreign vessels have been thrown a lifeline, with an international tribunal ruling that countries can be held liable for not taking necessary measures to prevent illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing operations by their vessels in the waters of other countries.

The ruling is included in an Advisory Opinion issued today by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)on the application of the West African Sub Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) - comprised of Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

            "No longer will we have to try to combat illegal fishing on a boat by boat basis"

 WWF, which has long sought clearer definition of flag state obligations for vessels, supported the action and filed two Amicus Curiae (friend of the tribunal)  briefs during the deliberations. 

 

"This is a very welcome ruling that could be a real game changer," said WWF International Marine Programme Director John Tanzer.   "No longer will we have to try to combat illegal fishing and the ransacking of coastal fisheries globally on a boat by boat basis." 

The Advisory Opinion stated that countries have a duty of due diligence to ensure that their fishing vessels do not engage in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the waters of other countries and can be held liable for breach of this duty.

 

The Advisory also holds that the European Union can have the same due diligence duty as a flag State, when they are the party to fisheries access agreements with other states.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in coastal waters costs the world between $US 10-20 billion annually, undermines fisheries management and robs coastal communities of food and livelihoods.

 

 West African waters are believed to have the highest levels of IUU fishing in the world, representing up to 37% of the region's catch. 

The due diligence obligation means that flag States will have to take enforcement actions to ensure their vessels comply with the laws of SRFC member states and take measures necessary to ensure that their vessels comply with protection and preservation measures adopted by the SRFC member States.

The Tribunal also strengthened the obligations of neighbouring coastal states to each other, stating that  'The conservation and development of shared stocks in the exclusive economic zone of an SRFC Member State require from that State effective measures aimed at preventing over-exploitation of such stocks that could undermine their sustainable exploitation and the interests of neighbouring Member States.'

 

WWF will hold a workshop  in Dakar, Senegal  in June to explore what the rulings can offer to coastal states in protecting fisheries and livelihoods. 

Further information:  Itlos.org , see Case 21

Jessica Battle, Marine Manager , WWF International  jbattle@wwfint.org  +41 79 477 3559

http://feeds.panda.org/~r/wwf/news/~3/ZbG4ACiFOi4/
0 Comments

Tue

14

Apr

2015

MESA News: News from MESA: Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) shares research portfolio on MESA Track database

MLW has become one of the first African research centres to share their portfolio of research relevant to the malaria elimination and eradication agenda in the open database 'MESA Track'. This is all thanks to the close collaboration of the MLW team and especially of Anja Terlouw (Malaria theme lead at MLW) who said: "This is an important initiative that I am keen to support".

MESA Track is a growing database of research projects relevant to malaria elimination. Click here to access the MLW portfolio. Projects include:

A study to develop new subdistrict-level surveillance tools to help guide the targeted use of interventions to reduce transmission;

Clinical studies of the safety of higher dose DHA-ppq in young children, which the researchers expect will contribute valuable data to determining safe dose regimens for MDA strategies;

A project that quantifies the role that human mobility plays in malaria transmission.

MESA Track is an open, growing database and researchers can directly submit their work via a simple online form. The MESA Secretariat is working with other research institutions and funders, including other Wellcome Trust partners to compile their portfolios and share them online. For more information, please email mar.velarde@isglobal.org.

http://www.malariaworld.org/blog/news-mesa-malawi-liverpool-wellcome-trust-clinical-research-programme-mlw-shares-research
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2015

British public thinks wind power subsidies are 14 times higher than reality

Whitlee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor, just south of Glasgow in Scotland. The six-year New York campaign to prohibit fracking had actually been backed by hundreds of artists, stars, musicians and actors, such as Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono, Mark Ruffalo and the late Pete Seeger. There had also been enormous opposition from 250 grassroots groups afraid of the impacts of fracking on everything from tourist to home costs. However while the groups and celebs may have shifted popular opinion with movie, social media sites, music and meetings, it was the new science that spoke most loudly to guv Andrew Cuomo and his advisers. Clicking on the following link will get you more information on Mobile Phone MastsPhotograph: Global Warming Images/REX/Global Warming Images/REX

The UK public believes that wind power subsidies paid by consumers are many times higher than they actually are, according to polling for the industry.

A survey questioned 2,000 people for industry body RenewableUK about what they thought payments for wind farms added to fuel bills, and found the average estimate was £259 for a typical £1,300 dual-fuel energy bill.

But the industry said the actual cost of wind power subsidies from domestic energy bills was around £18 a year.

The research also suggests people underestimate public support for wind power, putting backing at around 40% on average, while the latest surveying by the government show support is at 74% for offshore wind and 68% for onshore wind farms.

And people underestimate how much of the time wind turbines are generating power, the polling shows.

Some two-thirds of those questioned (66%) think they were generating energy less than half of the time, but RenewableUK said they the generate power - at different outputs depending on wind speed - between 70% and 85% of the time.

Three-quarters also overestimated the amount of wind needed to keep a wind turbine turning, putting the figure at 14mph or higher according to the polling by OnePoll, when they actually need just 7mph - a light breeze, the industry body said.

RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said: "These independent polls show there considerable misconceptions about the cost of supporting wind energy - it's much lower than people think, at just 35p a week per household.

"It's also revealing to see that wind has almost double the amount of public support than was estimated."

She said "the loud voices of a small majority" were trying to distort the facts.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/02/british-public-thinks-wind-power-subsidies-are-14-times-higher-than-reality
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Thank-you to our Brighton marathon runners!

12 April 2015

We want to say a huge thanks to all our brilliant runners at the Brighton Marathon on Sunday - you've done Team Panda proud!

Brighton Marathon 2015

Around 18,000 people took part in the event altogether, cheered on by crowds of over 100,000 as they raced, jogged or cantered through the town and along the Brighton and Hove seafront (several times) during the 26-mile course.

We'll have reports and photos from the Brighton run soon...

Find out more about taking part in this kind of event to help raise money for WWF.

http://www.wwf.org.uk/news_feed.cfm?uNewsID=7535
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2015

South Sudan rivals sign ceasefire deal

Str / EPA

South Sudan's government delegation leader Nhial Deng Nhial and the rebel delegation leader Taban Deng Gai pose for photographs as they shake hands after signing a ceasefire agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 23, 2014.

By Aaron Maasho, Reuters

South Sudan's government and rebels signed a ceasefire Thursday to end more than five weeks of fighting that divided Africa's newest nation and brought it to the brink of civil war. 

U.S. President Barack Obama, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. Security Council welcomed the news, but several diplomatic sources in New York said they were worried the killing could continue. 

Fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing the vice president he sacked in July, Riek Machar, erupted in mid-December. 

Thousands of people have been killed and more than half a million people have fled their homes, prompting the regional grouping of nations, IGAD, to initiate peace talks. More than 70,000 people have sought refuge at U.N. bases around the country after peacekeepers, in an unusual move, opened their gates to them. 

The pact is expected to be implemented within 24 hours of the signing, mediators said. 

But making the ceasefire hold could test Machar, whose forces include loyalists as well as more autonomous groups battling the centrally controlled government forces. 

"The crisis that gripped South Sudan is a mere manifestation of the challenges that face the young and fledgling state," Seyoum Mesfin, IGAD's chief mediator, told the signing ceremony. 

"I believe that the postwar challenges will be greater than the war itself. The process will be ... unpredictable and delicate." 

Obama said on Thursday the ceasefire was a "critical first step" toward peace in South Sudan, but added that leaders needed to work to resolve the underlying causes of the conflict, and must quickly release political detainees. 

"South Sudan's leaders must demonstrate their sustained commitment to a peaceful resolution of the crisis," Obama said in a statement, urging that "individuals who have committed atrocities are held to account." 

Sources told Reuters earlier this month the United States was weighing targeted sanctions against South Sudan because of the failure of the country's leaders to take steps to end the crisis. 

A delegate from Jordan, president of the 15-nation Security Council this month, told reporters in New York that the council welcomed the ceasefire and urged both sides to support and cooperate with the U.N. peacekeeping mission UNMISS, which has been the subject of sharp criticism from Kiir's government. 

U.N. chief Ban's press office issued a statement urging both sides to implement the ceasefire agreement immediately. 

It said Ban "underscores the necessity to continue without delay a national political dialogue to reach a comprehensive peace agreement, with the participation of all South Sudanese political and civil society representatives." 

Several diplomats expressed concern that the conflict could continue. "Ethnic, personal grievances, vengeance will dominate tit-for-tat actions, crimes, killings for some time," a senior diplomatic source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. 

South Sudan won its independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of conflict between the northern and southern Sudanese. 

Rebel prisoners

South Sudan's defense minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, told Reuters last Friday before the deal was reached that Machar did not have enough control to make a ceasefire stick in the oil-producing nation, one of Africa's poorest. 

"To the parties, we say: Enough! The killing must end now. The displaced must be able to return to their homes," said Alexander Rondos, the European Union's special representative for the Horn of Africa, at the signing event. 

The conflict has turned along ethnic fault lines, pitting Machar's Nuer against Kiir's Dinka people. Several other communities have also taken up weapons. Analysts say the ceasefire does not resolve the broader power struggle. 

"It is only the first step to allow space and time for a more substantive political dialogue to take place," said Douglas Johnson, a historian and author. 

Both sides had said several times since talks began at the start of January that they were close to a deal, but disagreements had pushed back a signing. Meanwhile, fighting raged, with the government retaking major towns from rebel forces. 

"This deal does not provide answers to South Sudan's current problems. We need a comprehensive political deal," said one rebel official in the Ethiopian capital. 

"We are only signing because we, and they, are under pressure." 

Ordinary people in South Sudan's capital, Juba, were also skeptical the ceasefire would swiftly end the political rivalry that underpinned the fighting. 

"It can solve some of the immediate problems but not all the problems," said 31-year-old Samuel Kuir Chok. "I'm not optimistic ... because this guy (Machar) wants to be president at all costs." 

The ceasefire was accompanied by an agreement on the "question of detainees". Rebels had demanded the release of 11 of Machar's allies, detained by the government and accused of attempting a coup. 

Seyoum, the chief mediator, told reporters the deal provided for the 11 to participate eventually in the peace process - but that they must first face due process of law. 

Shortly before the signing, rebel spokesman Mabior Garang said freeing the detainees was "not so much of a demand since everyone recognizes the need for their release". 

The rebels have also demanded that Uganda, which openly admitted to helping Kiir's forces in combat, leave South Sudan. 

Diplomats at the talks had said the deal would call for an end to "involvement by foreign forces," but Hussein Mar Nyot, the spokesman for Machar's delegation, said it called for a 'withdrawal of allied forces invited by both sides.'" 

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/23/22420930-south-sudan-government-and-rebels-sign-ceasefire-deal?lite
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2015

MESA News: News from MESA: Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) shares research portfolio on MESA Track database

MLW has become one of the first African research centres to share their portfolio of research relevant to the malaria elimination and eradication agenda in the open database 'MESA Track'. This is all thanks to the close collaboration of the MLW team and especially of Anja Terlouw (Malaria theme lead at MLW) who said: "This is an important initiative that I am keen to support".

MESA Track is a growing database of research projects relevant to malaria elimination. Click here to access the MLW portfolio. Projects include:

A study to develop new subdistrict-level surveillance tools to help guide the targeted use of interventions to reduce transmission;

Clinical studies of the safety of higher dose DHA-ppq in young children, which the researchers expect will contribute valuable data to determining safe dose regimens for MDA strategies;

A project that quantifies the role that human mobility plays in malaria transmission.

MESA Track is an open, growing database and researchers can directly submit their work via a simple online form. The MESA Secretariat is working with other research institutions and funders, including other Wellcome Trust partners to compile their portfolios and share them online. For more information, please email mar.velarde@isglobal.org.

http://www.malariaworld.org/blog/news-mesa-malawi-liverpool-wellcome-trust-clinical-research-programme-mlw-shares-research
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2015

Nigeria 'embarrassed' by Morocco row





13 March 2015

Last updated at 19:19



Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has said he is "highly embarrassed" that his officials said he had spoken to the Moroccan king when he had not.

Earlier this week, Morocco recalled its ambassador over the affair after the Nigerian foreign ministry insisted the two heads of state had spoken by phone.

The North African kingdom accused Nigeria of using King Mohammed VI as part an election campaign.

But Mr Jonathan denied it had anything to do with campaigning.

An investigation has been ordered into "the controversy".

'Unethical practices'

There were reports that President Jonathan, a Christian from southern Nigeria, had wanted use the conversation to curry favour with Muslim voters in elections later in the month.

But he said he had been trying to speak to various African leaders to seek their support for Nigeria's candidate for the position of African Development Bank (AfDB) president.

His office released a statement saying President Jonathan was "shocked, surprised and highly embarrassed by the controversy that has erupted" and that he had ordered the foreign affairs minister to find out how it had occurred.

"The regrettable furore that has developed over the matter is due entirely to misinformation as President Jonathan has neither spoken with King Mohammed or told anybody that he had a telephone conversation with the Moroccan monarch," the statement said.

Malaria is a common, life-threatening disease in lots of tropical and subtropical areas of the world, particularly Africa. There are currently over 100 countries and territories where there is a significant malaria risk, and these are visited by more than 125 million international travellers every year. Click on the link for more information on Which Anti-Malaria Tablet Should I Choose

The Nigerian foreign ministry had said on Sunday that "both leaders spoke extensively over the phone on matters of mutual interest and concern".

Mr Jonathan said he wanted the investigation "to identify all those who were responsible for the unacceptable act of official misinformation which has resulted in an unnecessary diplomatic row with another country and national embarrassment".

Announcing the withdrawal of its ambassador, Morocco had condemned Nigeria's "unethical practices" - saying the king had declined to talk to the Nigerian leader as it viewed the request to be part of the "internal electioneering".

Mr Jonathan is facing a strong challenge in the 28 March elections from opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, who is popular in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31880798#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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2015

Meet the ELF: A Pedal-Powered, Solar-Electric Hybrid



The ELF

Described as the "most efficient vehicle on the planet", The ELF is a solar and pedal-powered hybrid tricycle hand-built in the United States by Organic Transit. It is available in one, two and three seater models, and according to their website it gets the equivalent of 1800 miles per gallon! It is legally considered a bicycle, so it can be used on bike paths, parks and sidewalks and requires no gas, license, registration or insurance.

The solar-charged electric motor does not power the vehicle, but rather "assists" your pedalling with a boost of power whenever you need it. The ELF can travel at speeds over 25 mph, and the motor is geared low enough to handle climbing hills with ease. The battery has a range of 16 miles with no pedalling, and 30 miles with pedalling. It takes about 2-3 hours to charge using a normal standard wall outlet. The six-year New York project to ban fracking had been backed by hundreds of artists, actors, musicians and celebs, such as Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono, Mark Ruffalo and the late Pete Seeger. There had likewise been huge opposition from 250 grassroots groups fearful of the effects of fracking on everything from tourist to property costs. But while the celebs and groups may have moved public opinion with movie, social media sites, music and meetings, it was the brand-new science that spoke most loudly to governor Andrew Cuomo and his advisers. Clicking on the following link will get you more information on Building on FarmlandObviously solar charging times depend on the availability of sunlight. In direct sunlight it can be completely recharged in about 8 hours.

ELF Organic Transit

The standard ELF can handle a payload of 350 lbs, including rider. The trike itself ways between 160-180 lbs depending on accessories. The trikes start at $5495 and a variety of models and accessories are also available. You can even build your own! Obviously at that price, they aren't for everyone, but for some this could be a very smart transportation solution for those looking to reduce transportation costs in an Eco-friendly way.

Watch the video:

What do you think? Leave your comments below...

http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/elf-pedal-solar-hybrid/
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2015

Suspected Islamists kill 62 in Nigeria; 22 in church



By Imma Ande and Joe Brock, Reuters

YOLA, Nigeria -  Suspected insurgents armed with guns and explosives killed at least 62 people in northeast Nigeria, including at a church service, in a region where Islamist sect Boko Haram is resisting a military crackdown, witnesses said on Monday. 

They killed 22 people by setting off bombs and firing into the congregation in the Catholic church in Waga Chakawa village in Adamawa state on Sunday, before burning houses and taking residents hostage during a four-hour siege, witnesses said.

On Monday, a separate assault by suspected members of the shady sect killed at least 40 people in Kawuri village, in remote northeastern Borno state, security officials said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack.

President Goodluck Jonathan is struggling to contain Boko Haram in remote rural regions in the country's northeast corner, where the sect launched an uprising in 2009.

Boko Haram, which wants to impose sharia law on a country split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, has killed thousands over the past four and a half years and is considered the biggest security risk in Africa's top oil exporter and second largest economy after South Africa.

Its fighters' favorite targets have traditionally been security forces, politicians who oppose them and Christian minorities in the largely Muslim north.

The spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Yola, Reverend Father Raymond Danbouye, confirmed 22 people killed in the church were buried at a funeral on Monday.

The military and police did not respond to requests for comment but one army source confirmed the church attack, asking not to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak with the media.

Village razed

Waga Chakawa is near the border with Borno state, in which the second attack occurred that killed at least 40 people.

Several witnesses put the figure at 50, although none had counted the numbers of bodies themselves. They added that the militants had burned down the village and set off multiple explosions, shooting anyone trying to flee.

"The whole village has been razed by Boko Haram and there were still loud explosions from different directions as I left, with bodies littering the village," said resident Bulama Kuliri, who narrowly escaped.

An army spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jonathan replaced his chiefs of defense, army, navy and air force last week in a widespread military shake-up. No reason was given for the overhaul, but security experts believe there was a need for a change of tactics in combating Boko Haram.

Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states in May last year and launched an intensified military campaign to try to end the insurgency. 

Related 

This story was originally published on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:48 AM EST

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/27/22467383-suspected-islamist-insurgents-kill-at-least-62-in-nigeria-including-in-church?lite
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Malaria No More News

Malaria No More NewsTackling malaria in India with Facebook?(TM)s Internet.org25,000 children treated by the Best Fiends!Malaria deaths declineANNUAL BREAKFAST HONORS MALARIA CHAMPIONSMNM Board Member Sees Front Lines of Drug Resistance in AsiaThankful for Turkey, Partners, Interns and...Mother?(TM)s First Fundraiser a Big HitOutbreak Responder: A different game for a different future.Qamp;A with Ray Chambers, Challenge #5: Fuel the FightThis Baby Accepts Credit CardsThe shrinking malaria mapBill Gates: We can eradicate malaria in our lifetimesChallenge #5: Fuel the FightChallenge 4: Data amp; MobileChallenge #4: Data amp; Mobile ?" Ashifi Gogo, CEO of SproxilChallenge 3: Block TransmissionDress as something truly scary this halloweenChallenge #3: Block Transmission - Grey Frandsen, Kite PatchThis mosquito helps save lives from malariaChallenge #2: Complete Cure ?" Roger Waltzman, NovartisChallenge #2: Complete CureDeconstructing malaria with Femi KutiChallenge #1: Find the Parasite - Duncan Blair, AlereChallenge #1: Find the parasiteSolve For M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending MalariaDomenico?(TM)s ?oeCiao" to malariaEating Pizza with Katharine McPheeFrom behind the scenes to the spotlightThe World?(TM)s Deadliest Animal Gets AirtimeYoung Cameroonian comic joins the malaria fight

ntent-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8 https://www.malarianomore.org/ en Copyright 2009 2009-06-21T04:00:00+00:00 https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/tackling-malaria-in-india-with-facebooks-internet.org https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/tackling-malaria-in-india-with-facebooks-internet.org

Since our inception, one of the major pillars of Malaria No More's work has been health education in malaria endemic countries. Malaria is a preventable, treatable disease that thrives on misinformation, so one of our most important strategies is to educate at-risk populations on how to protect themselves. Our "NightWatch" education programs can be found across Africa - in the classroom, on television, on the radio, on billboards and we can even reach individuals through SMS. But the one medium that has always proven a challenge in malaria endemic countries has been the one we utilize most often here in the US - the internet.

But today, that changes.

In partnership with Facebook and the Praekelt Foundation, Malaria No More is launching its first endemic country facing educational website in India as part of Facebook's new Internet.org initiative. Internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative and dedicated to making affordable internet access available to the two-thirds of the world not yet connected. On top of the infrastructure improvements Facebook is working on, it also offers the Internet.org app, which provides essential internet services for free to subscribers of partnered mobile network operators, such as Reliance in India.

Malaria No More on Internet.org

Malaria No More on Internet.org

"Malaria No More is using every tool at our disposal to end this disease," said Malaria No More CEO Martin Edlund. "Mobile is already a key to health education and data-driven innovation throughout the developing world; Internet.org brings the internet into play in a big way by expanding access for the people most at risk from malaria."

It is in the word "free" that we have the biggest potential for success. The reason Malaria No More has not previously emphasized the internet in malaria endemic countries is not because of lack of technology, it's because of lack of adoption of technology. In Africa, it is estimated that there will be one billion mobile phones by the end of 2015. Today, there are more than 930 million mobile phone subscriptions in India alone. With the mobile explosion in Africa and Asia, mobile web access is most certainly available, but unfortunately it's prohibitively expensive - preventing online adoption from reaching its true potential. Through the Internet.org app, though, not only will important online services be available for free, but critical malaria-related information will be available to new internet users alongside basic internet staples such as weather information, news and Facebook. It's a prime opportunity to educate at-risk populations en masse, and we cannot wait to see the results.

Read the press anouncement from Facebook on Internet.org.

And what better way to increase reach then by starting with India: the world's largest democracy, a country with the second biggest population on the planet, that ranks among the top 10 largest economies? With our educational site launching in a total of seven languages - including English, Hindi and five regional languages - we hope to be able to reach as much of the 89 percent of the Indian population living in areas with malaria prevalence as possible. In 2012, malaria in India accounted for an estimated 19 million new cases, 28,000 deaths, and cost approximately $3.4 billion in lost productivity and treatment costs. This effort is just a start, but our hope is to eventually take this disease, that has a significant impact on the health, well-being, and growth of India, off the map.

The Indian website will serve as a model for future sites as Internet.org expands across Africa and Asia, and will become an essential part of Malaria No More's education strategy in at-risk countries.

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internet.org, Mobile and Malaria, 2015--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/25000-children-treated-by-the-best-fiends https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/25000-children-treated-by-the-best-fiends

In October, Malaria No More announced a new partnership with mobile gaming developers Seriously, and their new hit game Best Fiends. A natural fit for each other thanks to the game's handsome malaria-fighting mosquito Edward, we were amazed and encouraged by the outstanding levels of awareness and education sparked by MNM's integration into the game - including record setting web traffic to MalariaNoMore.org and Edward's online home.

Now that the game has really taken off, the Best Fiends are doing even more than spreading awareness about malaria - they are affecting real lives, and a lot of them! As part of the "Race Against Slime" promotion, five YouTube stars (including PewDiePie) raced to beat the most levels in a week - raising $25,000 that's been donated to MNM on behalf of Seriously and the competitors. Through MNM's Power of One campaign and partnership with Novartis, this donation will secure 25,000 malaria treatments for children in Africa, where 90% of malaria cases occur. That's 25,000 kids out of the hospital and back in school!

We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Seriously and the Race Against Slime competitors (listed below), for their generous contribution to the fight against malaria. We are looking forward to a bright 2015, where we will continue to work together to make malaria the first disease beaten by mobile.

The participants of the Race Against Slime campaign were awarded a total of $50k in cash prizes, half of which was donated to Malaria No More, and half to the charity of their choice.

More about the Best Fiends and Malaria No More:

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Mobile and Malaria, 2015--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/malaria-deaths-decline https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/malaria-deaths-decline

This morning, the World Health Organization released its annual World Malaria Report. The figures show incredible strides made in just more than a decade in overcoming one of the world's oldest, deadliest and costliest diseases.

Among the highlights - between 2000 and 2013, malaria mortality rates fell by:

47% worldwide

54% in Africa

53% in children under 5 worldwide

58% in children under 5 in Africa

In addition, malaria interventions - such as bed nets and medication - helped save the lives of an estimated 4.3 million people between 2001 and 2013.

64 countries are currently projected to reverse the incidence of malaria by next year, and 55 of those countries are also on track to meet the World Health Assembly and Roll Back Malaria Partnership target of reducing malaria incidence by 75% by 2015.

The report also highlighted the importance of securing additional funding for anti-malaria efforts, with the total funding only coming in at $2.7 billion in 2013. Although this marks a 300% increase since 2005, it's still barely half of the $5.1 billion needed to achieve global targets for malaria control and elimination.

To view the full report, click here.

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Malaria Progress, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/annual-breakfast-honors-malaria-champions https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/annual-breakfast-honors-malaria-champions

This week, we held our annual Champions Breakfast at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where over 90 attendees, including Congressional staff, diplomatic leaders, and members of the global health and development community, came together to celebrate honorees and the progress made in the fight against malaria.

Awards included:

The Malaria Vision Award: Presented to Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Senator Lindsey Graham of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs for their leadership in prioritizing resources, helping to save millions of lives and protecting the U.S.

The Malaria Action Award: Presented to the Right Honorable Stephen O'Brien, MP, a Conservative Party member of the UK Parliament and champion for global health programs including DFID's bilateral assistance and UK funding for the Global Fund.

The Private Sector Excellence Award: Presented to Alere for its cutting edge work in rapid diagnostic testing (RDT). While accepting the award, Alere's Vice President Ellen Chiniara announced a new partnership with the Gates Foundation to develop ultrasensitive RDTs.

The event highlighted strong bipartisan leadership and the enormous impact the U.S. and partners have made in this fight. Beyond the humanitarian impact in endemic countries, malaria remains a public health and national security threat for the U.S., as imported cases sicken our brave service members deployed overseas.

The breakfast also featured speaker Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, who reinforced the government's commitment to bringing an end to malaria. Other speakers included Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director at the National Security Council, who spoke about the President's Malaria Initiative's role in the fight, and Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund and former US Global AIDS Coordinator under President George W. Bush, who highlighted the global successes the malaria community has achieved so far.

Click here to view photos from the event. 

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Advocacy, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mnm-board-member-sees-front-lines-of-drug-resistance-in-asia https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mnm-board-member-sees-front-lines-of-drug-resistance-in-asia

As a member of MNM's Board, I receive updates from the team about the greatest achievements and biggest concerns in the malaria fight. After one specific meeting with staff, I became very interested in the emerging drug resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion, the exact location where resistance to the former go-to drug, chloroquine, built up and then spread to Africa. This resistance is of concern because artemisinin is the main ingredient in our current and front line treatment of malaria. As a result, my wife Courtney and I traveled to Thailand and Cambodia with MNM to witness emerging drug resistance in the region first-hand - and learn what's being done to stop it.

Our first visit was with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok where we met with representatives who work on malaria, including the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia's Office of Public Health, the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), as well as members from US Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science (AFRIMS) and a Health Specialist from the Australian Embassy. This kick off meeting provided an exciting brainstorming session that helped me understand the challenges of combating drug resistance in the region, such as counterfeit dugs, monotherapies, poor drug adherence of antimalarials and washed out roads. We also learned the intricacies of the various strategies for malaria control and elimination, such as mass drug administration versus door-to-door mass screening and treatment methods. Next, we traveled to the Ministry of Health campus, where we met with the CDC and WHO. It was apparent that more coordination between public and private sectors was needed. We also realized the true scope of the problem was much bigger than we had originally thought. It wouldn't be as simple as raising more money for malaria tests and treatments - but thankfully, the health specialists in the region have strategies in place to strengthen health systems and finish the job of eliminating malaria.

 

Chris Combe in Asia

Chris and Courtney hand out bed nets to and listen to malaria community health volunteers near the Thailand and Myanmar border.

To see those strategies in action, we took to the field, with one stop on the Thailand/ Myanmar border region and the other on the Thailand/Cambodia side. These eye-opening opportunities allowed us to meet the individuals fighting malaria on the frontlines, including dedicated staff from PMI and local volunteers. During our time in the field, we also handed out bed nets to those in need and followed a Malaria Inspector, as he tested Burmese families for the disease. We also learned about some of the creative ways malaria is being tracked in migrant workers. Because motorcycles taxis are the primary mode of transportation, USAID trains and equips drivers with malaria prevention tools to distribute to migrant workers as they cross the border.

Overall, this trip left an impression on both Courtney and myself. We now have an even deeper understanding of the scale of the problem and the nuances needed to stop the disease and the spread of drug resistance in the region. Traveling with the President's Malaria Initiative, the CDC, and other USAID workers gave Courtney and me a great perspective on the direct impact the United States has in rural regions half way around the globe. Seeing the challenges of impassable terrain coupled with the local community staff who dedicate their lives to keeping their neighbors safe from malaria was truly inspirational. With advances in technology, diagnostics, and data collection, we know we can stop the spread of malaria and artemisinin drug resistance, but we need the help of dedicated individuals from both the private and public sector - and we need it now. Malaria is preventable and treatable, and with the right tools we're hopeful the Greater Mekong Subregion will be malaria free.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and

Feast day is upon us and beyond being thankful for the turkey and all its glorious sides of steaming hot rolls, gravy, stuffing, potatoes and pie, we're also thankful for the things, people and groups that have backed us - and some for as long as eight Thanksgivings! In no particular order, we're thankful for...

1)   The 42% decline in the global malaria mortality rate - saving 3.3 million lives since 2000!

2)   The U.S.'s Government's leadership in the fight against malaria, including that of the President's Malaria Initiative, USAID, CDC and Admiral Tim Ziemer

3)   Major corporate partners Novartis, Alere, Exxon and Kimberly Clark

4)   Mobile partners, including Venmo for raising 70,000 malaria treatments, and gaming partners Global Gaming Initiative for their Outbreak Responder game and Seriously for the Best Fiends game and its anti-malarial mosquito Edward.

5)   Our celebrity ambassadors, including Katharine McPhee, for keeping malaria in the spotlight

6)   Super supporters, like the Combes family

7)   Novartis Employee Engagement winners Roger, Chinwe, Manishha, Inge, Domenico, Martin  and all the participants who helped raise $218k for malaria treatments

8)   Our African teams based in Cameroon, Chad, Kenya and Nigeria

9)   Our dedicated army of interns that support us during our most hectic times of year, including Andy, Bronte, Ella, Yeeji and others.

10)  And YOU. Some of you just happened upon this post, while others have been supporting us since 2006. You've recently helped us reach a major milestone of raising enough to fund three million malaria treatments for children in Zambia. Let's keep up the life-saving work!

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit

Malaria No More's Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common - a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Being a mother of three children, Inge was touched by our Power of One campaign's simplistic message - $1 given = 1 child saved - and decided to start her fundraiser. She learned about the campaign through her employer, Novartis, a company that has been committed to the fight against malaria for more than a decade.

Her boss at Novartis was the initial inspiration to get involved - and was one of her biggest supporters. "She was the first to donate a large amount of money to kick start the fundraiser," said Inge. "And she also reached out to her personal network that resulted in donations adding up to several thousands of dollars." Inge also shared stories with other co-workers who were also fundraising for the malaria fight.

Inge says the Power of One message made her first fundraising effort an easy one. "I just had to reach out to my family, friends and colleagues via email - and the results were amazing!" said Inge.

Inge's campaign was so successful that she kept moving her fundraising goal up! "Two days after launching my fundraiser I had to increase the target," said Inge. "One week before the end of the campaign, I was at 4400 treatments, so I raised the target again. I am proud that together, in the end we could raise more than 5600 treatments."

While this was Inge's first fundraising campaign ever, it doesn't seem like it will be her last. "Personally it has been a very rewarding exercise," said Inge. "I have been very blessed in many aspects and the campaign has given me the opportunity to 'give back' and feel the joy and pride in encouraging others doing the same."

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Power of One, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future

MNM is always looking for new and interesting ways to bring attention to the malaria fight. That's why we're really excited to partner with Global Gaming Initiative on its latest endeavor, which will benefit Malaria No More's Power of One campaign.

When we started Global Gaming Initiative, (GGI) we wanted to utilize technology for good by creating a fun and easy way for people to make a difference. Our solution - mobile games. The goal being to inspire the developed world to get involved globally and provide the developing word greater access to education.  This year we ourselves received a massive education in the realities of global health issues, specifically malaria. The reality that malaria is a completely treatable disease, which an estimated 627,000 still die from annually, was both beyond unsettling and urgently motivating. We partnered with developers who share our desire to create a future without malaria to create our combative agent, Outbreak Responder, as we know that nothing is possible without health.

Outbreak Responder - using beautiful graphics and strategic challenges puts the player on a mission to cure communities from the spread of malaria. The best part is, being an Outbreak Responder player, you literally become an agent of change as your in-game contributions unlock malaria tests and treatments for African children through Malaria No More's Power of One campaign. We have long admired the work Malaria No More does on the ground and are thrilled to partner with them to help you provide a healthy future for children with malaria. This is what fun and games and saving lives looks like. It's the power of the change in your pocket - so download Outbreak Responder, put your game time to good use and help us create a better future, one child at a time.

Learn more about Outbreak Responder here.

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #5 focuses on a crucial component of finally ending malaria - maintaining and growing funding. For more, we spoke to Ray Chambers, co-founder of Malaria No More and United Nations Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria.

1. What are some of the changes you anticipate in global financing for health over the next decade?

Funding has increased dramatically for global health since the world got serious about saving millions of children and mothers from preventable causes. The results have been impressive: Since 2000 the number of under-five deaths worldwide has declined from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. But continuing to fund these gains from donor countries is not sustainable, especially if we want to move toward the elimination of malaria. We need to support three existing trends that can shift us to a new funding paradigm.

Endemic countries must increase their domestic health budgets. Domestic financing for malaria increased over the period of 2005 to 2012, from $436 million in 2005 to $522 million in 2012, rising at an estimated rate of 4% per year - a move in the right direction. But most countries still fall short of the Abuja target of dedicating 15% of their domestic budgets to improving health.

We must approach financing of life-saving commodities more creatively. We're seeing early success from pay-for-performance social impact bonds that demonstrate the returns on investing in net distribution in Mozambique. An innovative tax on airline tickets to support work on AIDS, TB and Malaria has produced millions of dollars for AIDS treatment.

The private sector has recognized that healthier communities are better places to do business, and investing in the health of employees in the countries where they operate can help the bottom line as well.

2. How important have the Millennium Development Goals been to galvanizing support for malaria and other global health programs?

As a businessman I was drawn to the MDGs as time-bound, quantifiable targets against which we could measure our success. The inclusion of malaria in Goal 6 of the MDGs was essential to allowing the global health community to rally around the malaria targets. With this support came coordinated plans and, crucially, financing to enact those plans. Similarly with child and maternal health, by quantifying where we were, and where we needed to get, the MDGs provided the outline of a roadmap others could build upon and collectively enact. And with all 193 countries signing on to the MDGs back in 2000, their value has gone well beyond the tangible achievements of lives saved. They've linked all of us in a shared pursuit of something greater than our individual or even national selves. This shared global consciousness will carry the spirit and ambitions of the MDGs well beyond 2015.

3. How do you expect the funding landscape to change at the end of 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals deadline hits?

Relying on outdated models of north-to-south donor contributions will eventually hit a wall, and some would argue that the fatigue has already begun to set in. If we continue to think creatively about how we finance life-saving programs and commodities among a broader community - leveraging previously untapped resources, especially from the private sector - funding for health should continue to grow. Companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Unilever and AngloGold Ashanti have demonstrated the leadership role businesses can play in keeping populations healthy. Similarly, the private sector plays an essential role in the research and development of new technologies and vaccines that could replace existing costly interventions. Now is the time to test new models of funding while investing in research that could deliver cheaper, more effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

4. What would the consequences be if malaria funding were scaled back?

Recent history has already demonstrated what happens when funding for malaria is decreased or held-up. From 2006 t0 2008 net coverage dropped due to delayed funding disbursements, resulting in an upsurge of malaria cases in 2009.  We've successfully covered almost every person in need of a net with a net, and in doing so saved over 3.3 million children since 2000. But as a result of this success, millions of children protected by nets have no immunity to malaria. If their nets aren't replaced every three years, we will see malaria infections and deaths far exceed previous levels. Total funding for malaria control is expected to reach $2.85 billion each year between 2014 and 2016, substantially below the required amount for this period. We have come so close to lifting the burden of malaria off an entire continent. A final push - in political commitment, partner support and funding - will put the end of malaria deaths in our grasp and make elimination a reality.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Advocacy, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards

Above:  Manishha Patel used inventive and fun memes to rally her friends to donate to Power of One.

Malaria No More's Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common - a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

MNM supporter Manishha raised money for our Power of One campaign with the help of her good-hearted loved ones and colleagues at her employer, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF). Fundraising for the cause came naturally to her given the lessons her parents taught her growing up - to be appreciative of the opportunities she has and to help those less fortunate.

"My parents are from a very rural and poor region of India," says Manishha. "They always taught us to be grateful for the opportunities that were given to us in Canada and to help and care for the less fortunate."

 



Manishha has always felt a strong urge to help those less fortunate. "I have always wanted to help people in underdeveloped countries, and Power of One affected me because of the impact it can have for people in Africa - the idea that just one dollar can save one person's life really resonated with me and I wanted to help them in any way that I could."

In addition to drawing on the wise words of her parents, she drew on the talents of her boyfriend. Together, they came up with eye-catching posters, featuring funny pictures of babies offering words of encouragement. And the kid theme didn't end there - Manishha even inspired her niece and godchildren to donate their piggybank savings.

Manishha's colleagues were a huge help too. They championed her cause to their families, friends, religious organizations, and sports teams, helping her break her past fundraising record of $500! "The sheer amount of support from GNF as a whole was phenomenal," said Manisha. "The encouragement and support I received for the campaign was unbelievable, and helped me eventually recruit more than 330 friends to join Power of One."

Good news is Manishha isn't done yet. "This is the kind of work I have dreamed of doing and that is why I decided to get involved in the fundraiser," said Manishha. "I will continue to promote the cause of Malaria No More and I hope that, in the very near future, malaria will no longer be as devastating a disease as it is now."

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates

This video of the shrinking malaria was shared by Bill Gates at the ASTMH conference.

Malaria has been killing for centuries. In 1900, it was taking lives from nearly every country on Earth, but the goal is to wipe this killer disease from the planet within a generation.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes

It was a packed house last night, as the best and brightest in the public health world poured into a New Orleans conference hall to hear one of the world's most prolific philanthropists share his vision for the future of global health.

As Bill Gates joked, he was eager to finally have a captive audience for his thoughts on some of the world's most pervasive diseases, as he typically bores dinner party guests with his excitement over discussing topics such as dengue fever, polio and malaria.

During his keynote speech at the Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Gates focused his remarks on Ebola and malaria. He spoke to the lessons the global health community can take from the Ebola crisis, and how it can serve to educate and strengthen our response to other public health issues. He spent the bulk of his speech talking about malaria, and urging the gathered group of the world's premier scientists and doctors to embrace the idea of malaria eradication in our lifetimes. He also announced that the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation will be increasing its already substantial financial commitment to fighting malaria by 30 percent.

Gates laid out the elements of a new strategy to achieve the ambitious goal of eradication, including fostering innovation in the surveillance and research development arenas, as well as continued investment in malaria control efforts as we concurrently set our longer term vision on eradication.

You can read more on the new plan here. It is not an easy task, but with a shared vision and energy in the global health community, it is possible. His closing statement, which drew a standing ovation, echoed the sentiment that malaria eradication is within our grasp: "I'm optimistic we'll get there faster than the skeptics think."

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malaria elimination, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

To win the malaria fight, we need to rethink how we pay for it

Malaria No More was founded by two prominent business leaders, Ray Chambers and Peter Chernin, who saw combating malaria as a unique opportunity to save lives and improve livelihoods on a global scale. As Chernin put it, ending malaria represents "the best humanitarian investment in the world today."

It's easy to see why. Malaria is a devastating disease and one of the top killers of children under the age of five and pregnant women worldwide. It's also a huge drain on economies, accounting for approximately $12 billion in lost economic productivity in Africa each year, due to the burden it places on health systems and the toll of work absenteeism and missed school days.

By contrast, the existing tools are simple and scalable - a mosquito net can protect a mother and child for three years for around $5; a 50 cent rapid diagnostic test and $1 treatment can save a child's life - and, as this series highlights, revolutionary new technologies are just around the corner.

When Malaria No More was founded in 2006, global spending on malaria was only a few hundred million dollars a year, and approximately a million people were dying from mosquito bites annually.

Through a massive global effort - including $3 billion in annual funding, led by the U.S. and U.K. governments, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the World Bank, the private sector and philanthropists - the rate of malaria deaths in Africa has been cut in half in under a decade. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved since the year 2000 from malaria alone.

 

Malaria funding now vs next

Planning for a Rainy Day

The danger with malaria - the thing that keeps us malaria fighters up at night - is that if you lose focus, even for a single rainy season, the disease can come roaring back with devastating consequences.

There have been 75 documented instances of malaria resurgence from the 1930s to the year 2000, and nearly all of them were associated with the weakening of malaria control efforts. If we stopped investing in malaria control today, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis, claiming millions of lives, and undo the hard-fought gains we've made in the past decade.

As the burden of malaria continues to be reduced, we need to shift from catalytic "scale up" funding models to sustainable, long-term approaches that will enable us to end the disease. That means diversifying the sources of funding so that the continued commitment of international donors is buoyed by growing domestic and regional investments, as well as innovative financing approaches. It also means using better data to find efficiencies that will stretch and strengthen the impact of malaria spending at the country level.

Put Your Money Where Your Malaria Is

We often say that malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. But the reverse is also true: malaria control is equally a cause and consequence of economic growth. It's not just geography that caused malaria to be eliminated first in the United States in 1951 and most of Europe by 1975 - it was equally the result of economic growth, development and increased spending on health and infrastructure.

The current slate of countries moving toward malaria elimination - mostly in Asia and South America - are already covering the bulk of the expense themselves: almost 80 percent of interventions are self-financed, according to a recent analysis by UCSF's Global Health Group and Cambridge Economic Policy Associates. 

 

Malaria funding vs deaths

In Africa, however, most countries still fall short of the self-declared "Abuja target" of dedicating 15% of domestic budgets to improving health. As "Africa Rising" moves from rhetoric to reality and economies on the continent continue to grow, Africa has the wherewithal to finance an increasing share of its malaria elimination ambitions. And it has powerful financial incentive to ensure the work continues - a recent study by Accenture estimated the present-day economic value (i.e. profit) of continued investment in malaria control in Africa at more than $322 billion between now and 2035, due to the tremendous health and productivity gains that would result.

Endemic countries also have the opportunity to stretch their budgets by working smarter. To the extent that countries can draw on good timely data to inform program decisions, they can save money by targeting the appropriate mix of interventions by region and setting. Zambia and Zimbabwe, for instance, have saved millions of dollars by using malaria risk-mapping to optimize their net and insecticide spraying programs.

Particularly as countries reduce their malaria burden, one-size-fits-all, national-scale approaches may no longer apply. Namibia, a country moving toward elimination, has used malaria and mobility data to develop a more sophisticated, spatially targeted malaria program.

The Future of Funding

Regional financing mechanisms are emerging for countries, companies, and philanthropists to invest in malaria control and elimination in their own backyards. Asia-Pacific has set the ambitious goals of eliminating drug-resistant malaria by 2020, and all malaria by 2030. To help finance the efforts, the Asian Development Bank and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance this year set up a regional trust fund to solve this pressing regional challenge.

Mechanisms for nontraditional donors to play a part in eliminating the disease are growing as well. In Indonesia, a small group of high net worth individuals have pledged to co-invest alongside the government and Global Fund in health priorities, while in the Philippines and Ghana companies with large local operations - the Pilipinas Shell Foundation and AngloGold Ashanti - have managed Global Fund malaria grants working hand-in-hand with government agencies.

Innovative financing efforts, including concepts such as development impact bonds, also have the potential to contribute. Creators of The Mozambique Malaria Performance bond aim to establish a sustainable new funding source that can also improve the efficiency of malaria programs through a pay-for-performance model.

It's an attractive concept: private investors front the costs of malaria control interventions to be repaid by a group of government and private-sector partners who reap the rewards of successful malaria control, including healthy citizens, employees and consumers. But we have yet to see investors step up to participate in such an instrument vehicle. If these models take root, malaria could evolve from being "the best humanitarian investment" to an actual investment opportunity--one that pays a dividend to those who contribute.

Achieving the historic goal of malaria eradication requires endurance. To sustain and extend the gains of the past decade, the global community must commit to providing predictable, sustainable, long-term support.

Our success in fighting malaria over the past decade has been built upon a solid foundation of funding, and the continued support of the U.S., U.K. and Australian governments; as well as institutions such as the Global Fund and the World Bank, will be essential to finishing the job. But we also need endemic countries and regions to commit to shouldering an increasing share of the costs as we move toward malaria elimination.

In the end, it will not be one sector or government that will finally eradicate malaria. It will be a global success--one we should all be proud to have contributed to.

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile

How the mobile revolution in Africa is transforming global health

When I first moved to West Africa, back in 2009, you could travel to the most remote, rural villages - places without power, running water, or any other modern conveniences - and you would invariably find Coca-Cola. Somehow the familiar red-and-white brand had solved the distribution and marketing challenges of reaching these ends-of-the-earth consumers.

In those same remote villages, you can also find some of Africa's highest-tech companies - mobile providers like MTN, Tigo, Airtel, Vodacom and Safaricom. Africa has leapfrogged the power line and the PC and gone directly to mobile phones. By the end of 2015, there will be an estimated 1 billion mobile phone accounts in Africa - one for nearly every man, woman and child on the continent.

First Disease Beaten By Mobile

In our first challenge ("Find the Parasite"), we talked about the importance of rapid diagnostics to locate the malaria parasite in people. What is a diagnostic test result but a plus or a minus, a one or a zero? It's a bit of data. But in many malaria-endemic countries, that data used to just sit in stacks of paper to be collected every so often by health authorities. When you combine this data with rapid reporting via mobile phones, you have the makings of a revolution in global health.

Of all the tools in the malaria fight (including the obvious ones such as nets, testing, treatment and spraying) mobile phones may be the ones that tip the balance toward ending this disease. That's why at Malaria No More we've been bold in proclaiming that malaria can be the first disease beaten by mobile.

A Swiss-Army Knife for Malaria

Sounds ambitious, but when you look at the problems we have to solve - from case detection and response, to stock management, and health education - mobile is at the center of the solutions time and again. It's the Swiss Army knife of the malaria fight, helping to solve and accelerate a wide variety of other solutions. Here are a few examples of how mobile and data are already transforming the malaria fight.

The Novartis-led SMS for Life program has demonstrated the potential of mobile to address stock outs and ensure that people have malaria drugs when and where they need them. The pilot program focused on three districts in Tanzania. When it started, 26% of public health facilities were completely stocked out of malaria drugs at any given time. That means that parents had a one-in-four chance of showing up at a clinic with a sick child only to find that they didn't have a dollar's worth of life-saving treatment on hand.

To address the problem, under the umbrella of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Novartis and its public and private partners set up a simple, SMS reporting system that enabled health workers and pharmacists at public health facilities to record and report their stock levels on a weekly basis. This made it possible to anticipate shortages and distribute malaria drug supply more efficiently. Six months later, less than 1% of the facilities were stocked out of malaria drugs: a 97% reduction in stock outs through better and faster information flows. SMS for Life has now been expanded to several other African countries including Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.

 

Mobile swiss army knife for malaria

In a similar fashion, mobile phones may be the key to solving the challenge of counterfeit and stolen malaria treatments. Nigeria is the epicenter of the malaria challenge, accounting for nearly a quarter of the world's malaria burden. As the market for antimalarial treatments has grown, so too has the attraction for counterfeiters. Recent estimates suggest that nearly 40% of all antimalarials on the market are counterfeit.

The challenge is compounded by the fact that most Nigerians don't get their treatments from public health facilities. Eighty percent of people go to the private sector for treatment. And this isn't your corner Walgreens we're talking about. In Nigeria, it's not uncommon to see malaria drugs sold alongside open-air butcher stands and car parts in public markets.

The solution to this problem? You guessed it - mobile. Working with companies such as Sproxil, PharmaSecure and mPedigree, the Nigerian government now requires that every antimalarial drug (and antibiotic) carry a label that consumers can scratch off like a lottery ticket and text in for free to confirm their drug is authentic and safe. Read more about Sproxil's efforts to combat counterfeiters here.

This scalable use of the technology is revolutionizing the fight against counterfeits, and even helping authorities to track down contraband drugs. Malaria No More is working with a group of partners to go a step further: to explore how this data - a real-time sample of antimalarial consumption - can be used to draw fresh insights that can inform public health decision-making to save even more lives.

The Big Benefits of Data

A study in Kenya presents another compelling example of leveraging non-health data to fight malaria.

Caroline Buckee of the Harvard School of Public Health worked with Kenya's largest mobile operator to analyze anonymized mobile phone usage records from 15 million consumers to track human migration patterns. Researchers then combined this migration map with regional malaria incidence data to identify how malaria travels around the country via human carriers.

Unsurprisingly, most of the malaria emanated from the high-transmission areas along Lake Victoria on Kenya's western border.  But the data also spotlighted unusually high migration from the Lake Zone region about 50 miles inland to the western highlands region.

A few clicks of a Google map reveal that the western highlands are host to massive and bustling tea plantations that serve as a kind of bus depot for malaria transmission. Infected workers came from the Lake Zone to the highlands, where mosquitoes picked up the parasite and infected fellow plantation workers, who in turn transported the parasite back to their home communities farther inland.

These data-driven insights can help direct resources and interventions to make the malaria fight more effective. For example, eliminating malaria in the Lake Zone might cut off the source of infections in the highlands - even if you didn't run a large-scale elimination program in the highlands themselves.

Mobile Aids Elimination

If anything, harnessing the power of mobile and data becomes more important as countries move toward malaria elimination. As the scale of the problem shrinks, the need for timely and precise surveillance data only grows. Vital elements such as real-time reporting of cases and accurate intervention mapping are now possible thanks to web, mapping, mobile and data analytics tools.

As you move toward the end game of elimination, countries must be able to track and respond to every case immediately to prevent it from spreading. They set up a sort of SWAT-team approach (painful pun intended): rapid-response systems in which health workers immediately report cases and teams show up to test and treat people in a perimeter around the infection to contain the spread of the parasite.

Even more so than Coca-Cola, that gives us something to smile about.

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 4 (link to post) looks at ways technology and data can be used to fight malaria. Ashifi Gogo is the head of Sproxil, a company that uses mobile phone technology to combat dangerous counterfeit malaria medication.

1) Many people aren't aware of the major threat counterfeit drugs pose, can you briefly describe the problem and how mobile authentication, such as Sproxil, helps fight it?

Drug counterfeiting, while particularly prevalent in emerging markets, is a global disease that threatens the safety and well-being of all citizens. 700,000 people die every year from fake anti-malarial and tuberculosis drugs alone: it is the equivalent of the entire population of Boston disappearing in a single year.

By leveraging the increasing popularity of mobile phones, we developed a simple, but powerful and secure SMS system: Mobile Product Authentication(TM) (MPA(TM)). We partner directly with manufacturers and distributors to append security labels with a scratch-off panel on each product. At point of sale, a consumer will scratch off the panel to reveal a unique, single use code that they SMS to our phone number for free. The consumer instantly receives a response back confirming that the product is genuine or warning that it is suspicious. Our 24/7 help desk, which supports major local languages, is available for reports of counterfeiting activity and for questions relating to the product or solution.

To further reduce access barriers, we have multiple channels for verification: mobile apps (available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry 7), web apps and our help desk.

2) You're working to integrate Sproxil into more countries. Where do you provide service currently, and where do you plan to expand?

We have operations in Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and the U.S. and can execute projects on six major continents. In an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters, we do not disclose our plans for expansion.

3) Beyond preventing counterfeits, do you see other ways to leverage this data to improve health?

Our technology was developed to be flexible and scalable. By creating direct communication channels between our clients and their patients, MPA can help foster healthier lifestyles. Our technology can support medical adherence programs, message patients with expiration reminders and health and wellness information or connect them with health care providers or other experts and even send special coupons or recommendations for other wellness products.  The opportunities for improving health by connecting patients with the appropriate resources make the possibilities limitless.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission

The secret to ending malaria could be protecting mosquitoes from humans

As villains go, the mosquito is well cast. The tiny pest is unique in nature in two important respects. First, it has no redeeming value to the broader ecosystem (the name of the particular breed that transmits malaria, "Anopheles," actually means "useless" in Greek); and second, the mosquito is by far the deadliest creature on the planet to human beings, claiming 725,000 lives a year--principally to malaria, but also to diseases including dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Even Disney, the company that made ants and lobsters lovable, has it in for the mosquito. In a now-famous 1943 animated short titled "the Winged Scourge," a Disney narrator brands mosquitoes "public enemy number one" for transmitting malaria, and cheers as the Seven Dwarves gleefully pump insecticide and stomp the bug.

Our first two columns explored how finding the parasite(link) and completely curing(link) infected people are two of the keys to ending this disease. The missing piece is to block transmission and stop the endless shuttling of the parasite back and forth between man and mosquito.

You see, for malaria, the transit between mosquito and man isn't just a joy ride--it's an essential step in reproduction. By blocking transmission you isolate the mosquito and interrupt that process. In mosquitoes, the parasites die quickly due to their host's short life spans; and the ones in humans stay contained until you can eliminate them with medication.

The classic approach to blocking transmission is to protect people from mosquito bites using bed nets or insecticide sprays. And make no mistake, these tools have been extraordinarily effective: a major factor in saving 3.3 million lives from the disease since 2000.

Rethinking the Problem

But to break the back of transmission, we have to rethink the problem. We must move beyond vilifying the mosquito--and the key may be protecting mosquitoes from humans.

Surprised? You shouldn't be. Consider that mosquitoes only carry the malaria parasite for up to 30 days--a mosquito's maximum lifespan--while humans can carry the parasite for decades if left untreated. And where mosquitoes can only travel a mile or two on their tiny wings, humans circle the globe transporting the parasite like carry-on luggage. So if we're looking for someone to blame for malaria transmission, we must start by taking a hard look in the mirror.

The surest way to avoid getting malaria from mosquitoes is to stop giving it to them. That's why a new generation of treatments that completely eliminate the malaria parasite from the human body will be so important (for more, read Challenge 2: Complete Cure). But it is only one of the novel approaches that will make it possible to stop transmission.

 



Next Generation Protection

Soon, the tried-and-true bed net may be joined by new vector-control technologies that use radar-jamming molecules to disguise humans from mosquitoes. That's the goal of a technology called Kite Patch, which took the crowd-funding site Indiegogo by storm. Worn on your clothes, this small sticker is a spatial repellent that blocks a mosquito's ability to register carbon dioxide. In effect, it acts like Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility, making people virtually undetectable to mosquitoes. (Read more about the Kite Patch technology and what it could mean for malaria.)

This past summer, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline registered for regulatory review of the first partially effective malaria vaccine--called RTS,S--and hopes for a WHO seal of approval as early as 2015. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the number of malaria episodes by a quarter in infants immunized and cut in half malaria cases in older children (toddlers) - low by vaccine standards, but unprecedented in terms of malaria.

But even as we celebrate this milestone - the first vaccine against a parasite - the focus of research is moving beyond only protecting individual people against malaria symptoms (as RTS,S does) to blocking transmission.

New vaccine approaches target two "choke points" when parasites are at their fewest in number during their complex life cycle: the transitions from mosquito to man, and from man to mosquito. These potential vaccines could effectively hold the line against onward transmission of the parasite, stopping malaria dead in its tracks.

Despite the PR campaign against mosquitoes, the goal of malaria control has never been to eradicate the insect, but only to control it as a way to get at our true adversary: the parasite. Little did we suspect that the key to eradicating malaria around the globe could involve making the mosquito an asset in the malaria fight.

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mosquito Nets, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/dress-as-something-truly-scary-this-halloween https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/dress-as-something-truly-scary-this-halloween

2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 3 addresses new technologies and approaches that are in development to block the transmission of the malaria parasite between humans and mosquitoes. To learn more about one such innovation, we spoke with Grey Frandsen from Kite Patch, a sticker that protects humans from mosquitoes by disrupting the insect's ability to detect humans.

 

1. In our eco-conscious age, a lot of people are wary of putting chemicals on their skin to repel mosquitoes. But mosquito bites are an annoying problem in the U.S., and a deadly one in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia where the pests carry life-threatening diseases, including malaria and dengue fever. Can you tell us how Kite Patch works to protect from mosquitoes without using the traditional skin contact of insect repellents?

Kite Patch is a small, beautifully-designed little "sticker" that creates something akin to an invisibility cloak, or as some suggest, a defense shield, around our bodies with spatial compounds emitted from the materials on the sticker. This product form is being designed to emit a certain level of those spatial compounds over a period of time so that the compounds hover and swirl around the body with movement and wind, and travel away from our bodies in varying distances to intercept mosquitoes as they track toward us. Once mosquitoes come into contact with these compounds, they lose the ability to detect carbon dioxide and sense skin odors - the two primary mechanisms by which they track us.

We've designed Kite's brand to capture the spirit of freedom and joy - something we believe will be the result of new technologies and products, such as Kite Patch, that will lift both the burden of disease and the burden of the fear of disease.

 

2. Kite Patch coming to fruition was a collaborative effort involving several different groups pitching in on funding. Can you tell us about the process of getting this innovation from the idea to the production stage, and where you're at now?

Kite Patch absolutely is a story about collaboration. It's also the result of a new model developed by ieCrowd to transform innovative discoveries into solutions to global challenges. This model brought together the innovative discovery, the capital, the development partners and experts, the team, and the range of stakeholders that now make up the large, global Kite campaign.

People may know the Kite Patch from our Indiegogo campaign. Last year we launched a crowdfunding effort to raise awareness and support for a specific field test of some of our Kite Patch prototypes. We wanted to expand the number of people involved in our development process and inspire people to play a role in getting a new technology to market.

The result was amazing. The campaign went viral and Indiegogo named it one of the top five campaigns ever. We enjoyed support from around the world. Over 500 publications ran original stories about our campaign, the technology, our process for commercializing this technology, and how we branded and marketed the campaign and the product itself.

As for the product itself, Kite technology stems from scientific findings initially discovered at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) with assistance from The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ieCrowd exclusively licensed the technology from UCR, and has, since then, furthered the science into a range of new technologies, in order to advance disruptive products such as Kite Patch. Kite products - ranging from new mosquito repellents to spatial attractants - feature spatial and non-spatial active ingredients.

The next major step is to get Kite Patch to the field, to markets, and into the hands of people who need it the most. To do so, we'll continue to build partnerships around the world with those who share our passion for eliminating this horrible disease.

 

3. Some readers may think a sticker is a novelty item, but you see Kite Patch having major implications on the field of public health. Can you tell us how far-reaching you hope Kite Patch will be?

We want to be humble about the role Kite technology and products can play, but we do know this: while our mock-ups make it look cool and pretty (and don't those kids in the below Kite Patch video look cute? Those are mine!), the Kite technology platform is being developed to support what we believe can be one of the most powerful weapons platform in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases. We have a world-class team working 24/7 to build a powerful platform of actives that can ideally be deployed around the world in a range of applications - all of which will have minimal impact on our health and the health of our environment.

 

WATCH: Kite Patch in Action

 

Specifically, we're working on repellents and attractants that can be deployed in any number of product forms that will play important roles in public health and disease intervention efforts globally. We pay attention to every detail and we're designing each of our products with history and current technologies and needs in mind. Most importantly, we have opened our development process to people around the world and continue to build our technology and products with significant inputs and feedback from the Kite crowd.

Our technical foundation is strong, and ieCrowd's system for deploying disruptive new solutions like Kite Patch is ready for action. We're excited about the prospects of the Kite platform, and with the help of the crowd, amazing partners, and the world's best team, we have no doubt that it will be among the leading tools to fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more

While most of the world thinks of mosquitoes as blood sucking, disease-spreading pests, there's a new guy in town who's on a mission to redeem the rep of his fellow mosquitoes.  Meet Edward, the handsome, malaria-fighting skeeter who happens to be one of the stars of Seriously's new mobile game, Best Fiends

The Best Fiends are a pack of fun-loving creatures who spend their time fighting slugs to protect the citizens of Minutia.  But Edward has his own side gig - educating the world about malaria and helping Malaria No More to beat back this awful mosquito-borne disease to protect humans!  Getting by on a diet of coconut water instead of blood, Edward changed his ways, and has developed a whole arsenal of tools to help prevent and treat the spread of this disease.

Want to help Edward end malaria?  Visit our Edward page for a whole list of ways you can support the malaria fight, and make sure to download the game on your iPhone or iPad!

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #2 focuses on the development of a single-dose cure for malaria, so we sat down with Dr. Roger Waltzman. Waltzman works for the Malaria Initiative at Novartis, the maker of one of the top malaria treatments on the market.

Q: Novartis is a pioneer in the research and development of malaria treatments. What is the quick history of innovations Novartis has been a part of?

A: Novartis is in the fight against malaria for the long haul. Together with Chinese partners, Novartis developed the first artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), today's gold standard in malaria treatment, and launched the first child-friendly, dispersible formulation developed jointly with Medicines for Malaria Venture. More recently, we launched another new formulation which reduces the pill burden for adults; this helps to ensure patients follow through with their full treatment course. Today, Novartis partners with the best institutions and intensifies its research efforts to develop new compounds against malaria to eventually eliminate the disease. With two compounds in Phase 2 clinical development and one drug target in pre-clinical research, Novartis scientists are building one of the most promising malaria pipelines in the industry.

Q: What kind of treatments will it take to eliminate malaria?

A: A two-pronged approach is required to eliminate malaria. First, new treatments must be developed that attack the malaria parasites in novel ways in case resistance against current treatments spreads. These treatments will also need to provide a "complete cure". Second, within malaria-endemic countries, a large proportion of people with malaria do not show malaria symptoms and therefore do not seek treatment for their infection. They constitute a reservoir of malaria parasites that can be transmitted to other, more vulnerable populations, therefore targeting and treating these individuals is central to achieving the goal of malaria elimination.

Q: What is a "complete cure" for malaria? How is it different from what we have today?

A: "Complete cure" implies that the treatment not only targets the parasites in the blood in their asexual stage, which is the stage when symptoms of malaria appear, but also in their sexual stage (gametocytes). Gametocytes can be harbored in the human without provoking any symptoms, and transported upon a mosquito bite, infecting other humans. A complete cure would enable a patient to be cleared from all malaria parasites. It would also stop transmission to other humans. Current treatments do not necessarily offer the potential for a complete cure.

Q: Why is a single-dose treatment important and how do you see it affecting malaria prevalence globally?

A: Developing a new combination, similar to today's three-day ACT treatment, which is powerful enough to treat malaria in one single dose, would enable the patient to take the entire treatment at once, virtually eliminating the risk of insufficient treatment. Indeed, with current treatments patients sometimes save tablets for other family members or friends or in case they are infected by malaria again, not realizing they may be inadequately treated. Also, parasites can become resistant to treatments when dosing is inadequate. A single-dose treatment has the potential to ensure complete and effective treatment for patients. In addition, depending upon its efficacy and safety, the treatment could be given to people who show no symptoms but harbor malaria parasites in their blood, and can therefore transmit malaria. Ultimately, treatment of asymptomatic people could help eliminate the disease in broad population groups, potentially leading to malaria eradication.

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure

Inventing a Wonder Drug to Win the Malaria Fight

The story of malaria control is the story of the promise - and peril - of wonder drugs. With hundreds of millions of people infected with malaria around the globe every year, effective treatment may be the difference between ending the disease and humanitarian disaster.

Quinine, the first antimalarial, was discovered in the bark of the cinchona tree in the foothills of the Andes Mountains back in the 1600s. But it was hard to produce and administer, and there still was no reliable global supply by World War I.

Finding a cheap, reliable alternative to quinine that could be mass-produced became a military imperative during World War II. America suffered humiliating defeats "not because the ammunition was gone," The New York Times reported, "but because the quinine tablets gave out."

However, the synthetic drugs that emerged from that furious RD effort - most notably chloroquine - were little match for the fast-evolving parasite, which developed resistance in under a decade.

Progress Threatened

Our current front-line treatments for malaria, called artemisinin-based combination therapies (or ACTs for short), underscore the arms race between science and parasite. ACTs have been wildly successful in saving lives - a true wonder drug by any definition - but their effectiveness may also be cut short by resistance.

First touted for its curative powers in an ancient Chinese medical book dating back to 168 BC, artemisinin was finally brought to scale globally by Swiss healthcare company Novartis, which received WHO international approval for its drug in 1999. Global funders threw their weight behind ACTs five years later, and today more than 280 million ACT treatments are distributed every year in Africa alone.

But resistance is once again threatening to rob us of our best tool in the malaria fight. Just as chloroquine resistance emerged along the Thai-Cambodia border back in the 1960s, first signs of artemisinin resistance have now been documented in the region. If it follows the same pattern as past resistance - emerging across Asia, in India, making the leap to Africa - it could potentially cost millions of lives.

History has shown that containment isn't an option: Only by eliminating malaria in Asia-Pacific can we staunch the spread of resistance. So the Greater Mekong subregion will be ground zero for a renewed global eradication effort.

In Search of a Solution

The race is already on to develop the next generation of wonder drugs--this time tailor-made for eradication. Such a drug would have four key features.

 



First, it would be a single-dose treatment. The pharma industry talks about the "pill burden" - the total number of pills someone has to take to complete a full course of treatment. The more pills, over more days, the greater the chance that a patient will stop midway and fail to be fully cured.

Malaria treatment currently requires between three and 14 days of treatment, depending on the strain of the parasite. Getting people to take all their pills is complicated by the fact that the drugs are so fast-acting and effective that malaria symptoms may subside after the first or second day, leading people to think they've been treated, when in fact trace amounts of the parasite may still be hanging around in their bodies waiting to mount another attack. A single dose treatment would ensure that everyone who is treated is parasite-free.

The second feature of a new wonder drug is that it will be a "complete cure." Malaria is so challenging in part because the parasite plays hide and seek in the human body: traveling in the bloodstream, lodging in the liver, the brain - even bone marrow, as a recent study highlighted.

Before you can hope to eliminate malaria in a community of people, you must be able to effectively eliminate it in a single person. A complete cure treatment would wipe out the parasite at every stage of its lifecycle, ensuring zero risk of passing the parasite along to others.

The third feature is what we call a prophylactic effect. Essentially, you want a drug that will remain in the body for a period of time to prevent a person from developing another case of malaria if bitten again by an infected mosquito.

And finally, the new treatment would have a high barrier to resistance, so even as you scale up use it's able to maintain its effectiveness. This means developing an arsenal of molecules that attack the parasite in novel ways, and then using drugs in combination to stave off resistance. New malaria drugs are a great investment, but they're expensive to develop, so we must ensure they last.

In the Pipeline

The good news is we're well on our way to making a new slate of wonder drugs (or "one-der" drugs) a reality. Supported by a product development partnership called Medicines for Malaria Venture out of Geneva, the malaria community and pharma industry leaders including Novartis, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline have started clinical trials for treatments that will make ending malaria a reality.

As one example, Novartis has fast-tracked its first non-artemisinin based single-dose drug candidate, called KAE609, and recently published results showing that it was able to clear malaria parasites in adults in 12 hours on average. Read more about the quest for a malaria wonder drug here.

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria

Femi Anikulapo Kuti has been able to stand tall as an icon in the music industry without being overshadowed by the colossal image of his legendary father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Over the years he has blended jazz and funk with afrobeat to create a cocktail of unique indelible sounds of afrobeat, and this has earned him four nominations for the prestigious Grammy Awards.

Today Femi Kuti joins Malaria No More to have a Twitter conversation on malaria, music and the Nigerian society. It promises to be an enthralling conversation as Femi is vocal in his opinions. To join this conversation, follow the Malaria No More Twitter account in Nigeria: @MalariaNoMoreN1 and tweet your questions to Femi Kuti as from 11AM - 12PM ET using the hashtag #AskFemiKuti. Femi Kuti is currently one of the ambassadors for the Malaria No More campaign in Nigeria.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #1 focuses on finding the parasite, so we sat down with Duncan Blair, PhD. Blair is the Director of Public Health Initiatives at Alere, the maker of one of the top malaria diagnostic tools on the market.

 

Q: Why are malaria RDTs a focus for your business?

With Alere being the global leader in rapid diagnostic tests for communicable diseases it would be almost impossible for us not to be involved in the malaria fight. Approximately half of the world's population live in malaria-endemic areas, and consequently, are at risk of infection. With over 200 million infections and over 600,000 deaths a year, the risk to individuals and the burden on health care systems are enormous. To treat malaria appropriately and, just as importantly, to know when not to treat for malaria, requires accurate diagnosis. For decades, the only option for malaria diagnosis was microscopy, but microscopy is extremely challenging to implement with quality due to significant needs for complex equipment, electricity, water, well-trained and well-remunerated staff and many other reasons. The advent of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria greatly improved our ability to diagnose malaria simply and effectively. RDTs are high quality, simple and quick tests that can be performed with just a few drops of finger-stick blood at the point of care and without any ancillary equipment. The benefits that the introduction of high-quality and properly deployed malaria RDTs have brought to individuals, to health care systems and to entire communities, is immeasurable.

Q: What are some of the new testing developments you're working on?

We are always looking at ways to improve products or to fill a missing diagnostic need with a view of improving patient and health system outcomes. I think that we find ourselves at a time when malaria elimination is within reach and many of the tools needed to achieve that goal already exist, but not quite all of them. One of the missing pieces of the puzzle is a simple, affordable test capable of detecting the malarial parasites in asymptomatic patients. No such test exists today, but it will be critical for elimination, as we will need to find and treat patients who have no fever and no visible symptoms, but who do have circulating parasites and are therefore acting as a reservoir for future reinfection of the community. Alere is actively looking at developing just such a test.

Q: What are the key challenges you must solve to make this next-generation test a reality?

What we are talking about here is developing a test whose performance is many times better than the best tests currently available, which still meets our exacting quality standards and which can be reliably and sustainably manufactured, delivered and effectively deployed at accessible prices. We're optimistic we can deliver that, given the great range of technologies at our disposal within Alere and the fantastic teams of dedicated and innovative people we have in RD and manufacturing. So there may be challenges ahead, but we are very confident that we can rise to meet those challenges.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Alere, Malaria Tests, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite

You can't beat an opponent you can't see

Malaria thrives on misinformation. It always has. Even the word malaria is a misnomer. It's Italian for "bad air," because the Romans attributed the seasonal sickness (that killed at least four Popes, and probably the poet Dante) to noxious fumes coming off the swamps. It wasn't until 1897 that Dr. Ronald Ross confirmed the mosquito as the vector that spreads the disease.

And misinformation is one of the big reasons malaria continues to kill a child at the rate of one every sixty seconds. Solving the information challenge is going to be key if we're going to end this disease, and no piece of information is more vital than knowing who is carrying the parasite and who isn't.

THE HIDDEN MALARIA CHALLENGE

While there are more than 200 million malaria cases every year - that is, people who are getting sick from the disease - it is estimated that there are five times as many people carrying the parasite in their bodies at any given moment - a ticking time bomb of illness and infection.

That amounts to more than one billion people - one out of every seven people on the planet - who are potentially infected with the malaria parasite, jeopardizing their health, hampering their productivity and making them a source of infection for their families and communities. And, most of them have no idea they're carrying the potentially deadly disease!

 



The biggest host of the malaria parasite is healthy people, not sick people or mosquitoes.

The insight that sick patients showing up at clinics are only the tip of the malaria iceberg underpins emerging strategies for eradicating the disease. Simply put: you can't beat malaria if you can't find it. So any attempt to eradicate the disease must start with developing the diagnostic capabilities to find and free the roughly one billion people living with the parasite in their body and stop them from transmitting.

It may sound like a daunting task, until you consider how far we've come in recent years - and how fast.

THE DIAGNOSTIC REVOLUTION

Until 2010, there was no practical way to get a timely, accurate diagnosis for malaria. If you had a fever and wanted to be tested for malaria, you had to travel a long distance - sometimes tens of miles on foot - to find a hospital or clinic equipped with an expensive microscope and a trained lab technician. You had to take a blood slide, then wait several hours for the result - hoping that the lab technician read it right.

It was impractical, and people simply didn't do it.

In many African languages, the words for "malaria" and "fever" are the same. It's easy to understand why. Absent practical diagnostics, doctors simply treated every fever as if it was malaria and hoped for the best.

Then came the breakthrough: the rapid diagnostic test, or RDT. This simple, fifty-cent, finger-prick blood test can tell you in a matter of minutes with better than 99% accuracy if your fever is malaria.

The RDT has revolutionized the malaria fight, enabling lightly trained community health workers operating on the far reaches of the health system to test patients for malaria. Negative results are as important as positive ones as they direct doctors to consider other top killers, such as pneumonia and upper-respiratory infection. There are now more than 200 million RDTs distributed across Africa each year.

NEXT GENERATION TESTS

Today, we need to revolutionize diagnosis yet again, this time with a focus on identifying asymptomatic cases and guiding treatment.

Current RDTs have a sensitivity of 200 parasites per microliter of blood - sufficient for identifying all cases in sick people. But finding low-levels of the parasite in asymptomatic patients is like an elaborate game of hide and seek. To do it, we need a new generation of simple, portable, inexpensive diagnostic tests that are 10 times more sensitive, detecting malaria at levels of 20 parasites per microliter or even lower.

Fortunately, through innovative public-private partnerships led by groups like the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Seattle-based partner PATH, we're well on our way to developing next-generation diagnostic tests.

Other next-generation diagnostics will potentially help solve some of the treatment challenges that stand in the way of elimination. Efforts to tackle the dominant strain of malaria in Asia and South America, known as P. vivax, have been hamstrung by the fact that some people have an adverse reaction to the drug recommended for completely clearing the parasite, due to a common inherited trait known as G6PD enzyme deficiency.

Malaria is a common, life-threatening disease in many tropical and subtropical areas of the world, especially Africa. At the last count there were over 100 countries and territories where there is a significant malaria risk, and these are visited by more than 125 million international travellers every year. Click on the link for more information on Buying Anti-Malaria Tablets

The development of diagnostics to identify individuals with G6PD deficiency would ensure better use of current drugs and potential new single-dose treatments, such as tafenoquine, currently in development by GlaxoSmithKline and MMV.

Armed with new diagnostics, we'll be in a position to take the fight to the parasite. Instead of passively waiting for sick people to show up at clinics, we can go on offense: actively testing and treating entire communities to find and root out malaria, while ensuring the type of treatment provided to patients will be safe and effective.

Which sets up the next of our challenges - check back in next week to read about another big innovation in the malaria fight: developing a complete cure!

QA: Read about Malaria No More's partner Alere and their quest for new diagnostics here.

.......

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

Intro: Going on Offense 

Challenge 1: Find the Parasite

Challenge 2: Radical Cure (10/8/2014)

Challenge 3: Block Transmission (10/14/2014)

Challenge 4: Data Mobile (10/21/2014)

Challenge 5: Fuel the Fight (10/28/2014)

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria

After a century of playing defense, it's time for the malaria fight to go on offense

In 1897, Dr. Ronald Ross - an Indian-born, British surgeon who counted poetry, mathematics, and songwriting among his other passions - made a medical discovery that would change the course of history.

Stationed in Secundebad, a monsoon-drenched city in Central India, Dr. Ross identified the malaria parasite in the gut of a dissected Anopheles mosquito. His discovery confirmed that the winged pest was in fact the vector responsible for spreading one of the oldest, deadliest, and most devastating diseases on the planet.

Dr. Ross was knighted and awarded a Nobel Prize for his efforts, and deservedly so: His discovery laid the foundation for the modern fight against malaria.

Historic Progress

We've made significant strides since Dr. Ross' time. Malaria has been eliminated throughout most of the developed world, including the United States in 1951. And progress is accelerating: Just since 2000, we've cut global malaria deaths by half, saving 3.3 million lives - most of them children and pregnant women in Africa.

However, the work is far from done. A child still dies every minute from a mosquito bite, and more than 200 million people are afflicted with the disease each year, keeping adults out of work, children out of school, and stifling the growth of developing economies.

Based on the progress of the past decade, there is a growing determination among the global health community to eradicate the disease once and for all, recognizing that the only way to ensure zero malaria deaths is to have zero malaria.

Going on Offense

So what will it take to finish the job?

We need to rethink the malaria problem in as radical a way as Dr. Ross did more than a century ago. For all our progress, the prevailing approach to controlling malaria has fundamentally been about playing defense: trying to prevent mosquitos from biting and treating people when they're sick so they don't die. Don't get me wrong. That has been the most cost-effective way of tackling a complex problem, going after the "low-hanging fruit" and bringing down the number of cases and deaths dramatically.

But to win this fight, we need to take a "parasite's-eye" view of the problem. We must attack the malaria parasite where it lives - in the human reservoir - with aggressive new approaches to find, clear, and prevent onward-transmission of malaria, even in asymptomatic carriers of the disease. In short, we must go on offense.

As part of that approach, we need to confront one of the newest and most urgent threats to the advances we've made against malaria: Resistance in Asia to the frontline treatment of the disease, artemisinin. The last time drug-resistant malaria developed in that part of the world, it spread to India and Africa, robbing us of chloroquine as an effective tool.

If that happens again, it could cost millions of lives, since we are at least 4 to 5 years away from developing a viable treatment alternative.

The Path Forward

We find ourselves at another watershed moment in the malaria fight, and the only way we're going to succeed is through relentless innovation. We need the next generation of tools and new implementation approaches; we need to harness the power of distinctly modern advances such as the use of mobile phones and big data in heatlh.

Broadly speaking, we've identified five key challenges the world needs to solve to win this fight. Every two weeks, starting this Monday, we'll zero in on one challenge and let you know who's innovating to find solutions. The series will culminate in some big news regarding the malaria community's plan to reach eradication, delivered by one of the world's biggest names and most prolific innovators in fighting disease, Bill Gates.

So stay tuned, and join us here next week as we launch with Challenge #1: Find the Parasite!

....

This is the introduction to our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria. You can find others here:

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria

Malaria No More's Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common - a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Domenico learned about our Power of One campaign through his employer, Novartis. Domenico works in the Vaccines and Diagnostics Division and is passionate about Africa. He leveraged his professional move from Italy to Switzerland to help fundraise for the campaign. At his family's going-away party, Domenico shared stories from his travels to malaria-endemic regions in Asia and Africa, mainly Uganda, where he supports orphanages, educational institutions for disabled children, as well as projects for the economic independence of small communities. He hit a nerve and got the attention of his friends. Today, 56 have decided to support him and joined the campaign!

Domenico also hosted a garage sale to benefit the cause, which inspired shoppers to pay the full price, instead of haggling for a better deal!

"This is a cause I really care about," says Domenico. "I have increased my personal engagement significantly, and thanks to the support of my family and friend, we will be able to help 4,128 children with malaria". Domenico found the campaign so rewarding, that he continues to fundraise for Power of One and to engage people around him. "One of my friends - a musician - after having donated called me in the middle of the night and told me he had just composed a song for my campaign. We are now discussing how we could use the song to help fight malaria."

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee

Malaria No More ambassador Katharine McPhee is fighting for good on TV and in her real life. Having traveled with us to Ghana and Burkina Faso in 2012 and having supported our most recent campaign called the Power of One (Po1), Katharine had a lot to talk about with a bunch of teenagers over pizza.

Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer launched a web series called Pizza with an Icon, where teens can ask questions of influencers and all the good work they're doing. In this segment, Katharine talks about her travels and how everyone can do their part to help end malaria deaths.

"It's such a tragedy that there are people dying from something that is so easy to cure," Katharine said. "It's important for people to know that it's not that hard to make a dent in a small part of the world that you may not necessarily even have any connection with."

We couldn't be more grateful to Katharine and all her hard work on the cause.

"Katharine has been an incredible supporter of Malaria No More for years, she is truly engaged in the push to eliminate deaths from malaria," said our CEO, Martin Edlund. "Using her platform to raise awareness for the Power of One test and treatment campaign partnered with Novartis and Alere, Katharine has made a huge impact helping us move toward achieving our goal of raising three million treatments in our first partner country, Zambia."

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman

On World Malaria Day, our partner Novartis kicked off an employee engagement effort encouraging their employees to get behind the malaria fight. From April 25th, to our Independence Day, July 4th, Novartis employees got active and joined the fight through Power of One.

Roger Waltzman, in charge of developing new antimalarials at Novartis, is one of the top contributors to this employee engagement effort, having raised over 18,000 USD towards treatments for kids in Africa. Here, he's filled us in on his work and how he raised all that money.

Q. Why do you believe in fighting malaria, and how did this contribute to your decision to start a fundraiser?

A. I believe it's crucial to make available high quality medical treatments for people all over the world, particularly for those vulnerable people who are at risk for preventable, curable diseases. The focus of my work at Novartis is developing new antimalarials and I wanted to generate more attention both within and outside my work environment about the importance of this effort.

Q. Did anything interesting happen while you were fundraising? Did any of your supporters do or say anything really encouraging?

A. Quite a few people didn't know that developing new antimalarials is the focus of my work and they seemed happy to hear this and happy to contribute. I appreciated their comments; one person simply said, "Good work should be supported," and I thought that was so matter-of-fact and genuine. Some people contributed $1, since you could contribute any amount, and others contributed much more!

Q. How has this program increased your charitable efforts this year, compared to an average year?

A. I made a personal commitment to contribute to the campaign 10% of however much money I could raise from others. That ended up being one of my largest charitable contributions this year and I was delighted to do it.

Q. Now that the employee engagement campaign is over, how will you continue your efforts to help end malaria?

A. My daily work is focused on the development of better treatment or prevention of malaria, so the biggest change is that I feel even more determined and inspired by seeing the very positive response this campaign engendered in friends and family.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with our Power of One, Malaria No More, or the Novartis employee engagement campaign?

A. I was delighted that MNM created a campaign that was so simple, with a personal link for tracking contributions, and by enabling donors to contribute as little as $1. I felt completely comfortable asking my friends, family, and colleagues to consider donating something, anything, since the amount did not need to be large. I usually don't find fundraising a particularly comfortable activity, but this enabled me to feel very comfortable with the "ask." I am delighted that Novartis and MNM are collaborating in this and other ways. Eradicating malaria will take a huge effort on the part of many people and we need to collaborate for the benefit of the hundreds of millions of people who are infected every year.

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Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime

This past World Mosquito Day we were on ABC 7's Let's Talk Live discussing what else but mosquitoes, the deadliest animals on the planet.

Malaria Policy Center staff Josh Blumenfeld and Hannah Bowen, as well as our partner from DC Mosquito Squad, Damien Sanchez, spoke to the threat of malaria on Wednesday's show. Watch the full show below.

Watch the video here: http://www.wjla.com/blogs/lets-talk-live/2014/08/world-mosqutio-day-22781.html 

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight

Arnold Mbolo, a high school senior from a family of six kids, joined the Junior Ambassador program in April 2014 after placing 6th with a comedic sketch in the MNM Cameroon school contest. When asked why he participated, he responded "I like challenges. I'm a competitive person. But, I realized that the contest educated me. Before, I barely knew anything about malaria, hence I have also won in knowledge."

For Arnold, humor is something he's been around all his life - with a professional comedian as an uncle, helping him to develop into a charismatic comedian who is responsible for "cultural animation" in his local youth association, MOJAM. In just four months, Arnold has emerged as an all-star Junior Ambassador, using his energy and comedic talents in various events at school and with MNM to ensure his community is invested in putting an end to malaria.

The goal of the Junior Ambassador Program is to engage youth leaders from high schools across Yaounde, Cameroon's capital city, to target their peers and wider communities through interpersonal communications, including clubs, school events and other activities. Arnold has done just that. He mobilized the other Junior Ambassadors to organize a school fair at his high school, where they had a stand teaching students about malaria prevention, which was also visited by the Secretary to the Minister of Education who encouraged the Junior Ambassadors to keep doing great work. He was selected as the K.O PALU mosquito mascot for the World Malaria Day Caravan and performed his winning sketch at stops throughout the city. Arnold has also received permission from his school to post K.O. PALU educational posters and a malaria prevention mural, ensuring malaria education and awareness are a part of everyday activities at school.

For World Mosquito Day 2014, Arnold worked with a fellow Junior Ambassador to mobilize hundreds of youth and community members, the mayor, and local chief to clean up a neighborhood to get rid of its standing water - which can be mosquito breeding grounds, especially during the rainy season.

Arnold is truly leading the charge, setting an example for fellow Junior Ambassadors and his community and motivating them to join the fight against malaria.

Stay tuned for more on the amazing work our Junior Ambassadors are doing in Cameroon to ensure their communities understand the threat of malaria and know how to protect themselves against the disease.

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Cameroon, 2014--T::

http://www.malarianomore.org/news/rss

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Mar

2015

Report on a better Aral Sea



The key to the water problems in the south of the Aral Sea is this “river.” The ancient Amu Darya was full-flowing and provided vast cotton fields recently with their profligate needs. Now the dams and irrigation have taken their toll and no water reaches the south of the Aral Sea itself. With the very best water management, incorporated in aid programs as we note below, perhaps some return to flowing water throughout this sand-dune-ridden area can produce ecological and sociological regeneration at last.Amu Darya image; Credit: © Shutterstock

Central Asian interests are international as the 3rd Aral Sea Basin Program, utilising resources from the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) founder countries, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic is now invigorated. Particular thanks are due to support from the World Bank. Saroj Kumar the Bank’s Regional Director stated that, together we have committed, by definition, a number of important activities that will support the well-being of millions of people who depend on the flow of the rivers of Amudarya and Syrdarya.

The meaning of even more aid to the Aralkum desert area will be that new issues for management of water supplies and use can be addressed. Millions of people there need support because of the loss of industry and the health problems associated with the dust from the dying Sea. Saroj stressed the importance of stable economic growth and health, but climate change can be seen as yet another hazard for the extremes of the hot summers and the freezing winters. The Uzbek news media here explain more.

Regional and national investment projects are already being identified, as the sharing of each country’s capabilities becomes more widespread. Management information systems could well prove to be one of the key products of the agreement, as the complexity of the technical issues is matched by the number of different regions involved, from several nations. The six-year New york city project to prohibit fracking had actually been backed by hundreds of artists, celebrities, artists and actors, such as Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono, Mark Ruffalo and the late Pete Seeger. There had actually likewise been enormous opposition from 250 grassroots groups fearful of the impacts of fracking on everything from tourism to property rates. But while the celebs and groups might have shifted popular opinion with film, social media, music and meetings, it was the new science that spoke most loudly to guv Andrew Cuomo and his advisers. Click the following link for more information on http://www.protectourcommunities.com/Many examples of international aid were offered in a significant conference last October in Urgench (Uzbekistan.) a Hubert Gijzen represented UNESCO there, indicating that the Aral Sea Basin requires such strong global and regional cooperation.

31 projects were identified in Urgench, with signatories from many governments’ financial institutions and donor nations themselves. A sum of $3 billion was to finance these projects, supplemented by $1.9 billion loans and grants of $200 million. The draft program for 2015-2018 is eagerly awaited from specialist developers at Uzbek Ministries including Economy, Finance, Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade and the Executive Committee of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS).

In this draft program (hopefully this month,) we expect social and economic progress in the form of job creation for former fishing communities, improved hospital facilities, ecological recovery programs to create lakes around the former Aral Sea and restoration of the Muynak wetlands when irrigation and rivers can flow effectively. Water saving projects will also be essential, as we heard in the conference last October. This resolution of one of the planet's worst environmental disasters may not be complete. But the local people can be encouraged by these socio-economic moves and several countries will be aided. Uzbekistan is presently in need of help because of the state of the desiccated southern half of the Aral Sea, particularly in the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan.

In this regard, the stability and continuity of the current state environmental policy of Uzbekistan, where the next Presidential elections will take place on 29 March, is important for the successful implementation of the outcomes of the above Aral Sea conference.

http://www.earthtimes.org/politics/report-better-aral-sea/2845/
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14

Mar

2015

Nigeria 'embarrassed' by Morocco row





13 March 2015

Last updated at 19:19



Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has said he is "highly embarrassed" that his officials said he had spoken to the Moroccan king when he had not.

Earlier this week, Morocco recalled its ambassador over the affair after the Nigerian foreign ministry insisted the two heads of state had spoken by phone.

The North African kingdom accused Nigeria of using King Mohammed VI as part an election campaign.

But Mr Jonathan denied it had anything to do with campaigning.

An investigation has been ordered into "the controversy".

'Unethical practices'

There were reports that President Jonathan, a Christian from southern Nigeria, had wanted use the conversation to curry favour with Muslim voters in elections later in the month.

But he said he had been trying to speak to various African leaders to seek their support for Nigeria's candidate for the position of African Development Bank (AfDB) president.

His office released a statement saying President Jonathan was "shocked, surprised and highly embarrassed by the controversy that has erupted" and that he had ordered the foreign affairs minister to find out how it had occurred.

"The regrettable furore that has developed over the matter is due entirely to misinformation as President Jonathan has neither spoken with King Mohammed or told anybody that he had a telephone conversation with the Moroccan monarch," the statement said.

The Nigerian foreign ministry had said on Sunday that "both leaders spoke extensively over the phone on matters of mutual interest and concern".

Mr Jonathan said he wanted the investigation "to identify all those who were responsible for the unacceptable act of official misinformation which has resulted in an unnecessary diplomatic row with another country and national embarrassment".

Announcing the withdrawal of its ambassador, Morocco had condemned Nigeria's "unethical practices" - saying the king had declined to talk to the Nigerian leader as it viewed the request to be part of the "internal electioneering".

Mr Jonathan is facing a strong challenge in the 28 March elections from opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, who is popular in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31880798#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa
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03

Mar

2015

Libya names Haftar as army chief





2 March 2015

Last updated at 18:15



A controversial anti-Islamist, General Khalifa Haftar, has been named head of the Libyan army.

Libya's internationally recognised government controls only a small part of the country, with Tripoli controlled by rivals Libya Dawn.

The country has been blighted by fighting between the factions, as well as attacks by jihadist groups.

Gen Haftar launched Operation Dignity last year, a self-declared war on Islamists in the city of Benghazi.

On Monday there were reports of fighting between Haftar-controlled troops and Islamists in the city.

The former general is a divisive figure amongst Libyans. He has drawn praise for attempts to bring order to the chaos in the country but criticism for his aggressive use of force, including air strikes.

His critics say he targeted both moderate and hardline Islamist groups in the east, which further radicalised some people, according to BBC Libya correspondent Rana Jawad.

Who is General Khalifa Haftar?

Helped Col Muammar Gaddafi overthrow Libya's King Idris in 1969

Libyan chief of staff until 1987, when he was disowned by Gaddafi after being captured in war with Chad

Moved to the US state of Virginia after his release in the early 1990s

Said to have had close ties with the CIA

Devoted the next two decades to toppling Gaddafi

Returned to Libya during the 2011 uprising against Gaddafi and became one of the main rebel commanders in the east

Last year, he called on Libyans to rise up against the elected parliament

Profile: General Khalifa Haftar

As a young military officer he helped Colonel Muammar Gaddafi come to power, before fleeing the country in the 1990s to live in the United States.

He returned to Libya to fight against Gaddafi in the 2011 revolution, but it was only in 2014 that he rose to prominence with a vow to rid Libya of violent Islamists.

Initially the leader of a rogue militia, in recent months the government and Gen Haftar have sought to integrate their forces.

As well Libya Dawn, which has formed a rival administration, the government also faces threats from jihadist groups, including the Islamic State group, which claims to have taken control of the city of Sirte.

The group recently released a video appearing to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, leading to retaliatory airstrikes by Egypt.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31698755#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa
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Mar

2015

Malaria No More News

Malaria No More NewsTackling malaria in India with Facebook?(TM)s Internet.org25,000 children treated by the Best Fiends!Malaria deaths declineANNUAL BREAKFAST HONORS MALARIA CHAMPIONSMNM Board Member Sees Front Lines of Drug Resistance in AsiaThankful for Turkey, Partners, Interns and...Mother?(TM)s First Fundraiser a Big HitOutbreak Responder: A different game for a different future.Qamp;A with Ray Chambers, Challenge #5: Fuel the FightThis Baby Accepts Credit CardsThe shrinking malaria mapBill Gates: We can eradicate malaria in our lifetimesChallenge #5: Fuel the FightChallenge 4: Data amp; MobileChallenge #4: Data amp; Mobile ?" Ashifi Gogo, CEO of SproxilChallenge 3: Block TransmissionDress as something truly scary this halloweenChallenge #3: Block Transmission - Grey Frandsen, Kite PatchThis mosquito helps save lives from malariaChallenge #2: Complete Cure ?" Roger Waltzman, NovartisChallenge #2: Complete CureDeconstructing malaria with Femi KutiChallenge #1: Find the Parasite - Duncan Blair, AlereChallenge #1: Find the parasiteSolve For M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending MalariaDomenico?(TM)s ?oeCiao" to malariaEating Pizza with Katharine McPheeFrom behind the scenes to the spotlightThe World?(TM)s Deadliest Animal Gets AirtimeYoung Cameroonian comic joins the malaria fight

; charset=utf-8 https://www.malarianomore.org/ en Copyright 2014 2014-10-15T13:00:00+00:00 https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/tackling-malaria-in-india-with-facebooks-internet.org https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/tackling-malaria-in-india-with-facebooks-internet.org

Since our inception, one of the major pillars of Malaria No More's work has been health education in malaria endemic countries. Malaria is a preventable, treatable disease that thrives on misinformation, so one of our most important strategies is to educate at-risk populations on how to protect themselves. Our "NightWatch" education programs can be found across Africa - in the classroom, on television, on the radio, on billboards and we can even reach individuals through SMS. But the one medium that has always proven a challenge in malaria endemic countries has been the one we utilize most often here in the US - the internet.

But today, that changes.

In partnership with Facebook and the Praekelt Foundation, Malaria No More is launching its first endemic country facing educational website in India as part of Facebook's new Internet.org initiative. Internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative and dedicated to making affordable internet access available to the two-thirds of the world not yet connected. On top of the infrastructure improvements Facebook is working on, it also offers the Internet.org app, which provides essential internet services for free to subscribers of partnered mobile network operators, such as Reliance in India.

Malaria No More on Internet.org

Malaria No More on Internet.org

"Malaria No More is using every tool at our disposal to end this disease," said Malaria No More CEO Martin Edlund. "Mobile is already a key to health education and data-driven innovation throughout the developing world; Internet.org brings the internet into play in a big way by expanding access for the people most at risk from malaria."

It is in the word "free" that we have the biggest potential for success. The reason Malaria No More has not previously emphasized the internet in malaria endemic countries is not because of lack of technology, it's because of lack of adoption of technology. In Africa, it is estimated that there will be one billion mobile phones by the end of 2015. Today, there are more than 930 million mobile phone subscriptions in India alone. With the mobile explosion in Africa and Asia, mobile web access is most certainly available, but unfortunately it's prohibitively expensive - preventing online adoption from reaching its true potential. Through the Internet.org app, though, not only will important online services be available for free, but critical malaria-related information will be available to new internet users alongside basic internet staples such as weather information, news and Facebook. It's a prime opportunity to educate at-risk populations en masse, and we cannot wait to see the results.

Read the press anouncement from Facebook on Internet.org.

And what better way to increase reach then by starting with India: the world's largest democracy, a country with the second biggest population on the planet, that ranks among the top 10 largest economies? With our educational site launching in a total of seven languages - including English, Hindi and five regional languages - we hope to be able to reach as much of the 89 percent of the Indian population living in areas with malaria prevalence as possible. In 2012, malaria in India accounted for an estimated 19 million new cases, 28,000 deaths, and cost approximately $3.4 billion in lost productivity and treatment costs. This effort is just a start, but our hope is to eventually take this disease, that has a significant impact on the health, well-being, and growth of India, off the map.

The Indian website will serve as a model for future sites as Internet.org expands across Africa and Asia, and will become an essential part of Malaria No More's education strategy in at-risk countries.

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internet.org, Mobile and Malaria, 2015--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/25000-children-treated-by-the-best-fiends https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/25000-children-treated-by-the-best-fiends

In October, Malaria No More announced a new partnership with mobile gaming developers Seriously, and their new hit game Best Fiends. A natural fit for each other thanks to the game's handsome malaria-fighting mosquito Edward, we were amazed and encouraged by the outstanding levels of awareness and education sparked by MNM's integration into the game - including record setting web traffic to MalariaNoMore.org and Edward's online home.

Now that the game has really taken off, the Best Fiends are doing even more than spreading awareness about malaria - they are affecting real lives, and a lot of them! As part of the "Race Against Slime" promotion, five YouTube stars (including PewDiePie) raced to beat the most levels in a week - raising $25,000 that's been donated to MNM on behalf of Seriously and the competitors. Through MNM's Power of One campaign and partnership with Novartis, this donation will secure 25,000 malaria treatments for children in Africa, where 90% of malaria cases occur. That's 25,000 kids out of the hospital and back in school!

We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Seriously and the Race Against Slime competitors (listed below), for their generous contribution to the fight against malaria. We are looking forward to a bright 2015, where we will continue to work together to make malaria the first disease beaten by mobile.

The participants of the Race Against Slime campaign were awarded a total of $50k in cash prizes, half of which was donated to Malaria No More, and half to the charity of their choice.

More about the Best Fiends and Malaria No More:

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Mobile and Malaria, 2015--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/malaria-deaths-decline https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/malaria-deaths-decline

This morning, the World Health Organization released its annual World Malaria Report. The figures show incredible strides made in just more than a decade in overcoming one of the world's oldest, deadliest and costliest diseases.

Among the highlights - between 2000 and 2013, malaria mortality rates fell by:

47% worldwide

54% in Africa

53% in children under 5 worldwide

58% in children under 5 in Africa

In addition, malaria interventions - such as bed nets and medication - helped save the lives of an estimated 4.3 million people between 2001 and 2013.

64 countries are currently projected to reverse the incidence of malaria by next year, and 55 of those countries are also on track to meet the World Health Assembly and Roll Back Malaria Partnership target of reducing malaria incidence by 75% by 2015.

The report also highlighted the importance of securing additional funding for anti-malaria efforts, with the total funding only coming in at $2.7 billion in 2013. Although this marks a 300% increase since 2005, it's still barely half of the $5.1 billion needed to achieve global targets for malaria control and elimination.

To view the full report, click here.

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Malaria Progress, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/annual-breakfast-honors-malaria-champions https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/annual-breakfast-honors-malaria-champions

This week, we held our annual Champions Breakfast at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where over 90 attendees, including Congressional staff, diplomatic leaders, and members of the global health and development community, came together to celebrate honorees and the progress made in the fight against malaria.

Awards included:

The Malaria Vision Award: Presented to Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Senator Lindsey Graham of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs for their leadership in prioritizing resources, helping to save millions of lives and protecting the U.S.

The Malaria Action Award: Presented to the Right Honorable Stephen O'Brien, MP, a Conservative Party member of the UK Parliament and champion for global health programs including DFID's bilateral assistance and UK funding for the Global Fund.

The Private Sector Excellence Award: Presented to Alere for its cutting edge work in rapid diagnostic testing (RDT). While accepting the award, Alere's Vice President Ellen Chiniara announced a new partnership with the Gates Foundation to develop ultrasensitive RDTs.

The event highlighted strong bipartisan leadership and the enormous impact the U.S. and partners have made in this fight. Beyond the humanitarian impact in endemic countries, malaria remains a public health and national security threat for the U.S., as imported cases sicken our brave service members deployed overseas.

The breakfast also featured speaker Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, who reinforced the government's commitment to bringing an end to malaria. Other speakers included Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director at the National Security Council, who spoke about the President's Malaria Initiative's role in the fight, and Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund and former US Global AIDS Coordinator under President George W. Bush, who highlighted the global successes the malaria community has achieved so far.

Click here to view photos from the event. 

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Advocacy, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mnm-board-member-sees-front-lines-of-drug-resistance-in-asia https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mnm-board-member-sees-front-lines-of-drug-resistance-in-asia

As a member of MNM's Board, I receive updates from the team about the greatest achievements and biggest concerns in the malaria fight. After one specific meeting with staff, I became very interested in the emerging drug resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion, the exact location where resistance to the former go-to drug, chloroquine, built up and then spread to Africa. This resistance is of concern because artemisinin is the main ingredient in our current and front line treatment of malaria. As a result, my wife Courtney and I traveled to Thailand and Cambodia with MNM to witness emerging drug resistance in the region first-hand - and learn what's being done to stop it.

Our first visit was with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok where we met with representatives who work on malaria, including the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia's Office of Public Health, the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), as well as members from US Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science (AFRIMS) and a Health Specialist from the Australian Embassy. This kick off meeting provided an exciting brainstorming session that helped me understand the challenges of combating drug resistance in the region, such as counterfeit dugs, monotherapies, poor drug adherence of antimalarials and washed out roads. We also learned the intricacies of the various strategies for malaria control and elimination, such as mass drug administration versus door-to-door mass screening and treatment methods. Next, we traveled to the Ministry of Health campus, where we met with the CDC and WHO. It was apparent that more coordination between public and private sectors was needed. We also realized the true scope of the problem was much bigger than we had originally thought. It wouldn't be as simple as raising more money for malaria tests and treatments - but thankfully, the health specialists in the region have strategies in place to strengthen health systems and finish the job of eliminating malaria.

 

Chris Combe in Asia

Chris and Courtney hand out bed nets to and listen to malaria community health volunteers near the Thailand and Myanmar border.

To see those strategies in action, we took to the field, with one stop on the Thailand/ Myanmar border region and the other on the Thailand/Cambodia side. These eye-opening opportunities allowed us to meet the individuals fighting malaria on the frontlines, including dedicated staff from PMI and local volunteers. During our time in the field, we also handed out bed nets to those in need and followed a Malaria Inspector, as he tested Burmese families for the disease. We also learned about some of the creative ways malaria is being tracked in migrant workers. Because motorcycles taxis are the primary mode of transportation, USAID trains and equips drivers with malaria prevention tools to distribute to migrant workers as they cross the border.

Overall, this trip left an impression on both Courtney and myself. We now have an even deeper understanding of the scale of the problem and the nuances needed to stop the disease and the spread of drug resistance in the region. Traveling with the President's Malaria Initiative, the CDC, and other USAID workers gave Courtney and me a great perspective on the direct impact the United States has in rural regions half way around the globe. Seeing the challenges of impassable terrain coupled with the local community staff who dedicate their lives to keeping their neighbors safe from malaria was truly inspirational. With advances in technology, diagnostics, and data collection, we know we can stop the spread of malaria and artemisinin drug resistance, but we need the help of dedicated individuals from both the private and public sector - and we need it now. Malaria is preventable and treatable, and with the right tools we're hopeful the Greater Mekong Subregion will be malaria free.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and

Feast day is upon us and beyond being thankful for the turkey and all its glorious sides of steaming hot rolls, gravy, stuffing, potatoes and pie, we're also thankful for the things, people and groups that have backed us - and some for as long as eight Thanksgivings! In no particular order, we're thankful for...

1)   The 42% decline in the global malaria mortality rate - saving 3.3 million lives since 2000!

2)   The U.S.'s Government's leadership in the fight against malaria, including that of the President's Malaria Initiative, USAID, CDC and Admiral Tim Ziemer

3)   Major corporate partners Novartis, Alere, Exxon and Kimberly Clark

4)   Mobile partners, including Venmo for raising 70,000 malaria treatments, and gaming partners Global Gaming Initiative for their Outbreak Responder game and Seriously for the Best Fiends game and its anti-malarial mosquito Edward.

5)   Our celebrity ambassadors, including Katharine McPhee, for keeping malaria in the spotlight

6)   Super supporters, like the Combes family

7)   Novartis Employee Engagement winners Roger, Chinwe, Manishha, Inge, Domenico, Martin  and all the participants who helped raise $218k for malaria treatments

8)   Our African teams based in Cameroon, Chad, Kenya and Nigeria

9)   Our dedicated army of interns that support us during our most hectic times of year, including Andy, Bronte, Ella, Yeeji and others.

10)  And YOU. Some of you just happened upon this post, while others have been supporting us since 2006. You've recently helped us reach a major milestone of raising enough to fund three million malaria treatments for children in Zambia. Let's keep up the life-saving work!

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit

Malaria No More's Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common - a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Malaria is a common, life-threatening disease in lots of tropical and subtropical areas of the world, particularly Africa. There are currently over 100 countries and territories where there is a risk of malaria transmission, and over 125 million travellers visit these area each and every year. Click on the link for more information on Cheapest Anti-Malaria Tablets

Being a mother of three children, Inge was touched by our Power of One campaign's simplistic message - $1 given = 1 child saved - and decided to start her fundraiser. She learned about the campaign through her employer, Novartis, a company that has been committed to the fight against malaria for more than a decade.

Her boss at Novartis was the initial inspiration to get involved - and was one of her biggest supporters. "She was the first to donate a large amount of money to kick start the fundraiser," said Inge. "And she also reached out to her personal network that resulted in donations adding up to several thousands of dollars." Inge also shared stories with other co-workers who were also fundraising for the malaria fight.

Inge says the Power of One message made her first fundraising effort an easy one. "I just had to reach out to my family, friends and colleagues via email - and the results were amazing!" said Inge.

Inge's campaign was so successful that she kept moving her fundraising goal up! "Two days after launching my fundraiser I had to increase the target," said Inge. "One week before the end of the campaign, I was at 4400 treatments, so I raised the target again. I am proud that together, in the end we could raise more than 5600 treatments."

While this was Inge's first fundraising campaign ever, it doesn't seem like it will be her last. "Personally it has been a very rewarding exercise," said Inge. "I have been very blessed in many aspects and the campaign has given me the opportunity to 'give back' and feel the joy and pride in encouraging others doing the same."

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Power of One, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future

MNM is always looking for new and interesting ways to bring attention to the malaria fight. That's why we're really excited to partner with Global Gaming Initiative on its latest endeavor, which will benefit Malaria No More's Power of One campaign.

When we started Global Gaming Initiative, (GGI) we wanted to utilize technology for good by creating a fun and easy way for people to make a difference. Our solution - mobile games. The goal being to inspire the developed world to get involved globally and provide the developing word greater access to education.  This year we ourselves received a massive education in the realities of global health issues, specifically malaria. The reality that malaria is a completely treatable disease, which an estimated 627,000 still die from annually, was both beyond unsettling and urgently motivating. We partnered with developers who share our desire to create a future without malaria to create our combative agent, Outbreak Responder, as we know that nothing is possible without health.

Outbreak Responder - using beautiful graphics and strategic challenges puts the player on a mission to cure communities from the spread of malaria. The best part is, being an Outbreak Responder player, you literally become an agent of change as your in-game contributions unlock malaria tests and treatments for African children through Malaria No More's Power of One campaign. We have long admired the work Malaria No More does on the ground and are thrilled to partner with them to help you provide a healthy future for children with malaria. This is what fun and games and saving lives looks like. It's the power of the change in your pocket - so download Outbreak Responder, put your game time to good use and help us create a better future, one child at a time.

Learn more about Outbreak Responder here.

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #5 focuses on a crucial component of finally ending malaria - maintaining and growing funding. For more, we spoke to Ray Chambers, co-founder of Malaria No More and United Nations Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria.

1. What are some of the changes you anticipate in global financing for health over the next decade?

Funding has increased dramatically for global health since the world got serious about saving millions of children and mothers from preventable causes. The results have been impressive: Since 2000 the number of under-five deaths worldwide has declined from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. But continuing to fund these gains from donor countries is not sustainable, especially if we want to move toward the elimination of malaria. We need to support three existing trends that can shift us to a new funding paradigm.

Endemic countries must increase their domestic health budgets. Domestic financing for malaria increased over the period of 2005 to 2012, from $436 million in 2005 to $522 million in 2012, rising at an estimated rate of 4% per year - a move in the right direction. But most countries still fall short of the Abuja target of dedicating 15% of their domestic budgets to improving health.

We must approach financing of life-saving commodities more creatively. We're seeing early success from pay-for-performance social impact bonds that demonstrate the returns on investing in net distribution in Mozambique. An innovative tax on airline tickets to support work on AIDS, TB and Malaria has produced millions of dollars for AIDS treatment.

The private sector has recognized that healthier communities are better places to do business, and investing in the health of employees in the countries where they operate can help the bottom line as well.

2. How important have the Millennium Development Goals been to galvanizing support for malaria and other global health programs?

As a businessman I was drawn to the MDGs as time-bound, quantifiable targets against which we could measure our success. The inclusion of malaria in Goal 6 of the MDGs was essential to allowing the global health community to rally around the malaria targets. With this support came coordinated plans and, crucially, financing to enact those plans. Similarly with child and maternal health, by quantifying where we were, and where we needed to get, the MDGs provided the outline of a roadmap others could build upon and collectively enact. And with all 193 countries signing on to the MDGs back in 2000, their value has gone well beyond the tangible achievements of lives saved. They've linked all of us in a shared pursuit of something greater than our individual or even national selves. This shared global consciousness will carry the spirit and ambitions of the MDGs well beyond 2015.

3. How do you expect the funding landscape to change at the end of 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals deadline hits?

Relying on outdated models of north-to-south donor contributions will eventually hit a wall, and some would argue that the fatigue has already begun to set in. If we continue to think creatively about how we finance life-saving programs and commodities among a broader community - leveraging previously untapped resources, especially from the private sector - funding for health should continue to grow. Companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Unilever and AngloGold Ashanti have demonstrated the leadership role businesses can play in keeping populations healthy. Similarly, the private sector plays an essential role in the research and development of new technologies and vaccines that could replace existing costly interventions. Now is the time to test new models of funding while investing in research that could deliver cheaper, more effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

4. What would the consequences be if malaria funding were scaled back?

Recent history has already demonstrated what happens when funding for malaria is decreased or held-up. From 2006 t0 2008 net coverage dropped due to delayed funding disbursements, resulting in an upsurge of malaria cases in 2009.  We've successfully covered almost every person in need of a net with a net, and in doing so saved over 3.3 million children since 2000. But as a result of this success, millions of children protected by nets have no immunity to malaria. If their nets aren't replaced every three years, we will see malaria infections and deaths far exceed previous levels. Total funding for malaria control is expected to reach $2.85 billion each year between 2014 and 2016, substantially below the required amount for this period. We have come so close to lifting the burden of malaria off an entire continent. A final push - in political commitment, partner support and funding - will put the end of malaria deaths in our grasp and make elimination a reality.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Advocacy, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards

Above:  Manishha Patel used inventive and fun memes to rally her friends to donate to Power of One.

Malaria No More's Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common - a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

MNM supporter Manishha raised money for our Power of One campaign with the help of her good-hearted loved ones and colleagues at her employer, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF). Fundraising for the cause came naturally to her given the lessons her parents taught her growing up - to be appreciative of the opportunities she has and to help those less fortunate.

"My parents are from a very rural and poor region of India," says Manishha. "They always taught us to be grateful for the opportunities that were given to us in Canada and to help and care for the less fortunate."

 



Manishha has always felt a strong urge to help those less fortunate. "I have always wanted to help people in underdeveloped countries, and Power of One affected me because of the impact it can have for people in Africa - the idea that just one dollar can save one person's life really resonated with me and I wanted to help them in any way that I could."

In addition to drawing on the wise words of her parents, she drew on the talents of her boyfriend. Together, they came up with eye-catching posters, featuring funny pictures of babies offering words of encouragement. And the kid theme didn't end there - Manishha even inspired her niece and godchildren to donate their piggybank savings.

Manishha's colleagues were a huge help too. They championed her cause to their families, friends, religious organizations, and sports teams, helping her break her past fundraising record of $500! "The sheer amount of support from GNF as a whole was phenomenal," said Manisha. "The encouragement and support I received for the campaign was unbelievable, and helped me eventually recruit more than 330 friends to join Power of One."

Good news is Manishha isn't done yet. "This is the kind of work I have dreamed of doing and that is why I decided to get involved in the fundraiser," said Manishha. "I will continue to promote the cause of Malaria No More and I hope that, in the very near future, malaria will no longer be as devastating a disease as it is now."

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates

This video of the shrinking malaria was shared by Bill Gates at the ASTMH conference.

Malaria has been killing for centuries. In 1900, it was taking lives from nearly every country on Earth, but the goal is to wipe this killer disease from the planet within a generation.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes

It was a packed house last night, as the best and brightest in the public health world poured into a New Orleans conference hall to hear one of the world's most prolific philanthropists share his vision for the future of global health.

As Bill Gates joked, he was eager to finally have a captive audience for his thoughts on some of the world's most pervasive diseases, as he typically bores dinner party guests with his excitement over discussing topics such as dengue fever, polio and malaria.

During his keynote speech at the Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Gates focused his remarks on Ebola and malaria. He spoke to the lessons the global health community can take from the Ebola crisis, and how it can serve to educate and strengthen our response to other public health issues. He spent the bulk of his speech talking about malaria, and urging the gathered group of the world's premier scientists and doctors to embrace the idea of malaria eradication in our lifetimes. He also announced that the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation will be increasing its already substantial financial commitment to fighting malaria by 30 percent.

Gates laid out the elements of a new strategy to achieve the ambitious goal of eradication, including fostering innovation in the surveillance and research development arenas, as well as continued investment in malaria control efforts as we concurrently set our longer term vision on eradication.

You can read more on the new plan here. It is not an easy task, but with a shared vision and energy in the global health community, it is possible. His closing statement, which drew a standing ovation, echoed the sentiment that malaria eradication is within our grasp: "I'm optimistic we'll get there faster than the skeptics think."

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malaria elimination, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

To win the malaria fight, we need to rethink how we pay for it

Malaria No More was founded by two prominent business leaders, Ray Chambers and Peter Chernin, who saw combating malaria as a unique opportunity to save lives and improve livelihoods on a global scale. As Chernin put it, ending malaria represents "the best humanitarian investment in the world today."

It's easy to see why. Malaria is a devastating disease and one of the top killers of children under the age of five and pregnant women worldwide. It's also a huge drain on economies, accounting for approximately $12 billion in lost economic productivity in Africa each year, due to the burden it places on health systems and the toll of work absenteeism and missed school days.

By contrast, the existing tools are simple and scalable - a mosquito net can protect a mother and child for three years for around $5; a 50 cent rapid diagnostic test and $1 treatment can save a child's life - and, as this series highlights, revolutionary new technologies are just around the corner.

When Malaria No More was founded in 2006, global spending on malaria was only a few hundred million dollars a year, and approximately a million people were dying from mosquito bites annually.

Through a massive global effort - including $3 billion in annual funding, led by the U.S. and U.K. governments, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the World Bank, the private sector and philanthropists - the rate of malaria deaths in Africa has been cut in half in under a decade. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved since the year 2000 from malaria alone.

 

Malaria funding now vs next

Planning for a Rainy Day

The danger with malaria - the thing that keeps us malaria fighters up at night - is that if you lose focus, even for a single rainy season, the disease can come roaring back with devastating consequences.

There have been 75 documented instances of malaria resurgence from the 1930s to the year 2000, and nearly all of them were associated with the weakening of malaria control efforts. If we stopped investing in malaria control today, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis, claiming millions of lives, and undo the hard-fought gains we've made in the past decade.

As the burden of malaria continues to be reduced, we need to shift from catalytic "scale up" funding models to sustainable, long-term approaches that will enable us to end the disease. That means diversifying the sources of funding so that the continued commitment of international donors is buoyed by growing domestic and regional investments, as well as innovative financing approaches. It also means using better data to find efficiencies that will stretch and strengthen the impact of malaria spending at the country level.

Put Your Money Where Your Malaria Is

We often say that malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. But the reverse is also true: malaria control is equally a cause and consequence of economic growth. It's not just geography that caused malaria to be eliminated first in the United States in 1951 and most of Europe by 1975 - it was equally the result of economic growth, development and increased spending on health and infrastructure.

The current slate of countries moving toward malaria elimination - mostly in Asia and South America - are already covering the bulk of the expense themselves: almost 80 percent of interventions are self-financed, according to a recent analysis by UCSF's Global Health Group and Cambridge Economic Policy Associates. 

 

Malaria funding vs deaths

In Africa, however, most countries still fall short of the self-declared "Abuja target" of dedicating 15% of domestic budgets to improving health. As "Africa Rising" moves from rhetoric to reality and economies on the continent continue to grow, Africa has the wherewithal to finance an increasing share of its malaria elimination ambitions. And it has powerful financial incentive to ensure the work continues - a recent study by Accenture estimated the present-day economic value (i.e. profit) of continued investment in malaria control in Africa at more than $322 billion between now and 2035, due to the tremendous health and productivity gains that would result.

Endemic countries also have the opportunity to stretch their budgets by working smarter. To the extent that countries can draw on good timely data to inform program decisions, they can save money by targeting the appropriate mix of interventions by region and setting. Zambia and Zimbabwe, for instance, have saved millions of dollars by using malaria risk-mapping to optimize their net and insecticide spraying programs.

Particularly as countries reduce their malaria burden, one-size-fits-all, national-scale approaches may no longer apply. Namibia, a country moving toward elimination, has used malaria and mobility data to develop a more sophisticated, spatially targeted malaria program.

The Future of Funding

Regional financing mechanisms are emerging for countries, companies, and philanthropists to invest in malaria control and elimination in their own backyards. Asia-Pacific has set the ambitious goals of eliminating drug-resistant malaria by 2020, and all malaria by 2030. To help finance the efforts, the Asian Development Bank and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance this year set up a regional trust fund to solve this pressing regional challenge.

Mechanisms for nontraditional donors to play a part in eliminating the disease are growing as well. In Indonesia, a small group of high net worth individuals have pledged to co-invest alongside the government and Global Fund in health priorities, while in the Philippines and Ghana companies with large local operations - the Pilipinas Shell Foundation and AngloGold Ashanti - have managed Global Fund malaria grants working hand-in-hand with government agencies.

Innovative financing efforts, including concepts such as development impact bonds, also have the potential to contribute. Creators of The Mozambique Malaria Performance bond aim to establish a sustainable new funding source that can also improve the efficiency of malaria programs through a pay-for-performance model.

It's an attractive concept: private investors front the costs of malaria control interventions to be repaid by a group of government and private-sector partners who reap the rewards of successful malaria control, including healthy citizens, employees and consumers. But we have yet to see investors step up to participate in such an instrument vehicle. If these models take root, malaria could evolve from being "the best humanitarian investment" to an actual investment opportunity--one that pays a dividend to those who contribute.

Achieving the historic goal of malaria eradication requires endurance. To sustain and extend the gains of the past decade, the global community must commit to providing predictable, sustainable, long-term support.

Our success in fighting malaria over the past decade has been built upon a solid foundation of funding, and the continued support of the U.S., U.K. and Australian governments; as well as institutions such as the Global Fund and the World Bank, will be essential to finishing the job. But we also need endemic countries and regions to commit to shouldering an increasing share of the costs as we move toward malaria elimination.

In the end, it will not be one sector or government that will finally eradicate malaria. It will be a global success--one we should all be proud to have contributed to.

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile

How the mobile revolution in Africa is transforming global health

When I first moved to West Africa, back in 2009, you could travel to the most remote, rural villages - places without power, running water, or any other modern conveniences - and you would invariably find Coca-Cola. Somehow the familiar red-and-white brand had solved the distribution and marketing challenges of reaching these ends-of-the-earth consumers.

In those same remote villages, you can also find some of Africa's highest-tech companies - mobile providers like MTN, Tigo, Airtel, Vodacom and Safaricom. Africa has leapfrogged the power line and the PC and gone directly to mobile phones. By the end of 2015, there will be an estimated 1 billion mobile phone accounts in Africa - one for nearly every man, woman and child on the continent.

First Disease Beaten By Mobile

In our first challenge ("Find the Parasite"), we talked about the importance of rapid diagnostics to locate the malaria parasite in people. What is a diagnostic test result but a plus or a minus, a one or a zero? It's a bit of data. But in many malaria-endemic countries, that data used to just sit in stacks of paper to be collected every so often by health authorities. When you combine this data with rapid reporting via mobile phones, you have the makings of a revolution in global health.

Of all the tools in the malaria fight (including the obvious ones such as nets, testing, treatment and spraying) mobile phones may be the ones that tip the balance toward ending this disease. That's why at Malaria No More we've been bold in proclaiming that malaria can be the first disease beaten by mobile.

A Swiss-Army Knife for Malaria

Sounds ambitious, but when you look at the problems we have to solve - from case detection and response, to stock management, and health education - mobile is at the center of the solutions time and again. It's the Swiss Army knife of the malaria fight, helping to solve and accelerate a wide variety of other solutions. Here are a few examples of how mobile and data are already transforming the malaria fight.

The Novartis-led SMS for Life program has demonstrated the potential of mobile to address stock outs and ensure that people have malaria drugs when and where they need them. The pilot program focused on three districts in Tanzania. When it started, 26% of public health facilities were completely stocked out of malaria drugs at any given time. That means that parents had a one-in-four chance of showing up at a clinic with a sick child only to find that they didn't have a dollar's worth of life-saving treatment on hand.

To address the problem, under the umbrella of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Novartis and its public and private partners set up a simple, SMS reporting system that enabled health workers and pharmacists at public health facilities to record and report their stock levels on a weekly basis. This made it possible to anticipate shortages and distribute malaria drug supply more efficiently. Six months later, less than 1% of the facilities were stocked out of malaria drugs: a 97% reduction in stock outs through better and faster information flows. SMS for Life has now been expanded to several other African countries including Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.

 

Mobile swiss army knife for malaria

In a similar fashion, mobile phones may be the key to solving the challenge of counterfeit and stolen malaria treatments. Nigeria is the epicenter of the malaria challenge, accounting for nearly a quarter of the world's malaria burden. As the market for antimalarial treatments has grown, so too has the attraction for counterfeiters. Recent estimates suggest that nearly 40% of all antimalarials on the market are counterfeit.

The challenge is compounded by the fact that most Nigerians don't get their treatments from public health facilities. Eighty percent of people go to the private sector for treatment. And this isn't your corner Walgreens we're talking about. In Nigeria, it's not uncommon to see malaria drugs sold alongside open-air butcher stands and car parts in public markets.

The solution to this problem? You guessed it - mobile. Working with companies such as Sproxil, PharmaSecure and mPedigree, the Nigerian government now requires that every antimalarial drug (and antibiotic) carry a label that consumers can scratch off like a lottery ticket and text in for free to confirm their drug is authentic and safe. Read more about Sproxil's efforts to combat counterfeiters here.

This scalable use of the technology is revolutionizing the fight against counterfeits, and even helping authorities to track down contraband drugs. Malaria No More is working with a group of partners to go a step further: to explore how this data - a real-time sample of antimalarial consumption - can be used to draw fresh insights that can inform public health decision-making to save even more lives.

The Big Benefits of Data

A study in Kenya presents another compelling example of leveraging non-health data to fight malaria.

Caroline Buckee of the Harvard School of Public Health worked with Kenya's largest mobile operator to analyze anonymized mobile phone usage records from 15 million consumers to track human migration patterns. Researchers then combined this migration map with regional malaria incidence data to identify how malaria travels around the country via human carriers.

Unsurprisingly, most of the malaria emanated from the high-transmission areas along Lake Victoria on Kenya's western border.  But the data also spotlighted unusually high migration from the Lake Zone region about 50 miles inland to the western highlands region.

A few clicks of a Google map reveal that the western highlands are host to massive and bustling tea plantations that serve as a kind of bus depot for malaria transmission. Infected workers came from the Lake Zone to the highlands, where mosquitoes picked up the parasite and infected fellow plantation workers, who in turn transported the parasite back to their home communities farther inland.

These data-driven insights can help direct resources and interventions to make the malaria fight more effective. For example, eliminating malaria in the Lake Zone might cut off the source of infections in the highlands - even if you didn't run a large-scale elimination program in the highlands themselves.

Mobile Aids Elimination

If anything, harnessing the power of mobile and data becomes more important as countries move toward malaria elimination. As the scale of the problem shrinks, the need for timely and precise surveillance data only grows. Vital elements such as real-time reporting of cases and accurate intervention mapping are now possible thanks to web, mapping, mobile and data analytics tools.

As you move toward the end game of elimination, countries must be able to track and respond to every case immediately to prevent it from spreading. They set up a sort of SWAT-team approach (painful pun intended): rapid-response systems in which health workers immediately report cases and teams show up to test and treat people in a perimeter around the infection to contain the spread of the parasite.

Even more so than Coca-Cola, that gives us something to smile about.

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 4 (link to post) looks at ways technology and data can be used to fight malaria. Ashifi Gogo is the head of Sproxil, a company that uses mobile phone technology to combat dangerous counterfeit malaria medication.

1) Many people aren't aware of the major threat counterfeit drugs pose, can you briefly describe the problem and how mobile authentication, such as Sproxil, helps fight it?

Drug counterfeiting, while particularly prevalent in emerging markets, is a global disease that threatens the safety and well-being of all citizens. 700,000 people die every year from fake anti-malarial and tuberculosis drugs alone: it is the equivalent of the entire population of Boston disappearing in a single year.

By leveraging the increasing popularity of mobile phones, we developed a simple, but powerful and secure SMS system: Mobile Product Authentication(TM) (MPA(TM)). We partner directly with manufacturers and distributors to append security labels with a scratch-off panel on each product. At point of sale, a consumer will scratch off the panel to reveal a unique, single use code that they SMS to our phone number for free. The consumer instantly receives a response back confirming that the product is genuine or warning that it is suspicious. Our 24/7 help desk, which supports major local languages, is available for reports of counterfeiting activity and for questions relating to the product or solution.

To further reduce access barriers, we have multiple channels for verification: mobile apps (available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry 7), web apps and our help desk.

2) You're working to integrate Sproxil into more countries. Where do you provide service currently, and where do you plan to expand?

We have operations in Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and the U.S. and can execute projects on six major continents. In an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters, we do not disclose our plans for expansion.

3) Beyond preventing counterfeits, do you see other ways to leverage this data to improve health?

Our technology was developed to be flexible and scalable. By creating direct communication channels between our clients and their patients, MPA can help foster healthier lifestyles. Our technology can support medical adherence programs, message patients with expiration reminders and health and wellness information or connect them with health care providers or other experts and even send special coupons or recommendations for other wellness products.  The opportunities for improving health by connecting patients with the appropriate resources make the possibilities limitless.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission

The secret to ending malaria could be protecting mosquitoes from humans

As villains go, the mosquito is well cast. The tiny pest is unique in nature in two important respects. First, it has no redeeming value to the broader ecosystem (the name of the particular breed that transmits malaria, "Anopheles," actually means "useless" in Greek); and second, the mosquito is by far the deadliest creature on the planet to human beings, claiming 725,000 lives a year--principally to malaria, but also to diseases including dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Even Disney, the company that made ants and lobsters lovable, has it in for the mosquito. In a now-famous 1943 animated short titled "the Winged Scourge," a Disney narrator brands mosquitoes "public enemy number one" for transmitting malaria, and cheers as the Seven Dwarves gleefully pump insecticide and stomp the bug.

Our first two columns explored how finding the parasite(link) and completely curing(link) infected people are two of the keys to ending this disease. The missing piece is to block transmission and stop the endless shuttling of the parasite back and forth between man and mosquito.

You see, for malaria, the transit between mosquito and man isn't just a joy ride--it's an essential step in reproduction. By blocking transmission you isolate the mosquito and interrupt that process. In mosquitoes, the parasites die quickly due to their host's short life spans; and the ones in humans stay contained until you can eliminate them with medication.

The classic approach to blocking transmission is to protect people from mosquito bites using bed nets or insecticide sprays. And make no mistake, these tools have been extraordinarily effective: a major factor in saving 3.3 million lives from the disease since 2000.

Rethinking the Problem

But to break the back of transmission, we have to rethink the problem. We must move beyond vilifying the mosquito--and the key may be protecting mosquitoes from humans.

Surprised? You shouldn't be. Consider that mosquitoes only carry the malaria parasite for up to 30 days--a mosquito's maximum lifespan--while humans can carry the parasite for decades if left untreated. And where mosquitoes can only travel a mile or two on their tiny wings, humans circle the globe transporting the parasite like carry-on luggage. So if we're looking for someone to blame for malaria transmission, we must start by taking a hard look in the mirror.

The surest way to avoid getting malaria from mosquitoes is to stop giving it to them. That's why a new generation of treatments that completely eliminate the malaria parasite from the human body will be so important (for more, read Challenge 2: Complete Cure). But it is only one of the novel approaches that will make it possible to stop transmission.

 



Next Generation Protection

Soon, the tried-and-true bed net may be joined by new vector-control technologies that use radar-jamming molecules to disguise humans from mosquitoes. That's the goal of a technology called Kite Patch, which took the crowd-funding site Indiegogo by storm. Worn on your clothes, this small sticker is a spatial repellent that blocks a mosquito's ability to register carbon dioxide. In effect, it acts like Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility, making people virtually undetectable to mosquitoes. (Read more about the Kite Patch technology and what it could mean for malaria.)

This past summer, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline registered for regulatory review of the first partially effective malaria vaccine--called RTS,S--and hopes for a WHO seal of approval as early as 2015. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the number of malaria episodes by a quarter in infants immunized and cut in half malaria cases in older children (toddlers) - low by vaccine standards, but unprecedented in terms of malaria.

But even as we celebrate this milestone - the first vaccine against a parasite - the focus of research is moving beyond only protecting individual people against malaria symptoms (as RTS,S does) to blocking transmission.

New vaccine approaches target two "choke points" when parasites are at their fewest in number during their complex life cycle: the transitions from mosquito to man, and from man to mosquito. These potential vaccines could effectively hold the line against onward transmission of the parasite, stopping malaria dead in its tracks.

Despite the PR campaign against mosquitoes, the goal of malaria control has never been to eradicate the insect, but only to control it as a way to get at our true adversary: the parasite. Little did we suspect that the key to eradicating malaria around the globe could involve making the mosquito an asset in the malaria fight.

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mosquito Nets, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/dress-as-something-truly-scary-this-halloween https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/dress-as-something-truly-scary-this-halloween

2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 3 addresses new technologies and approaches that are in development to block the transmission of the malaria parasite between humans and mosquitoes. To learn more about one such innovation, we spoke with Grey Frandsen from Kite Patch, a sticker that protects humans from mosquitoes by disrupting the insect's ability to detect humans.

 

1. In our eco-conscious age, a lot of people are wary of putting chemicals on their skin to repel mosquitoes. But mosquito bites are an annoying problem in the U.S., and a deadly one in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia where the pests carry life-threatening diseases, including malaria and dengue fever. Can you tell us how Kite Patch works to protect from mosquitoes without using the traditional skin contact of insect repellents?

Kite Patch is a small, beautifully-designed little "sticker" that creates something akin to an invisibility cloak, or as some suggest, a defense shield, around our bodies with spatial compounds emitted from the materials on the sticker. This product form is being designed to emit a certain level of those spatial compounds over a period of time so that the compounds hover and swirl around the body with movement and wind, and travel away from our bodies in varying distances to intercept mosquitoes as they track toward us. Once mosquitoes come into contact with these compounds, they lose the ability to detect carbon dioxide and sense skin odors - the two primary mechanisms by which they track us.

We've designed Kite's brand to capture the spirit of freedom and joy - something we believe will be the result of new technologies and products, such as Kite Patch, that will lift both the burden of disease and the burden of the fear of disease.

 

2. Kite Patch coming to fruition was a collaborative effort involving several different groups pitching in on funding. Can you tell us about the process of getting this innovation from the idea to the production stage, and where you're at now?

Kite Patch absolutely is a story about collaboration. It's also the result of a new model developed by ieCrowd to transform innovative discoveries into solutions to global challenges. This model brought together the innovative discovery, the capital, the development partners and experts, the team, and the range of stakeholders that now make up the large, global Kite campaign.

People may know the Kite Patch from our Indiegogo campaign. Last year we launched a crowdfunding effort to raise awareness and support for a specific field test of some of our Kite Patch prototypes. We wanted to expand the number of people involved in our development process and inspire people to play a role in getting a new technology to market.

The result was amazing. The campaign went viral and Indiegogo named it one of the top five campaigns ever. We enjoyed support from around the world. Over 500 publications ran original stories about our campaign, the technology, our process for commercializing this technology, and how we branded and marketed the campaign and the product itself.

As for the product itself, Kite technology stems from scientific findings initially discovered at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) with assistance from The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ieCrowd exclusively licensed the technology from UCR, and has, since then, furthered the science into a range of new technologies, in order to advance disruptive products such as Kite Patch. Kite products - ranging from new mosquito repellents to spatial attractants - feature spatial and non-spatial active ingredients.

The next major step is to get Kite Patch to the field, to markets, and into the hands of people who need it the most. To do so, we'll continue to build partnerships around the world with those who share our passion for eliminating this horrible disease.

 

3. Some readers may think a sticker is a novelty item, but you see Kite Patch having major implications on the field of public health. Can you tell us how far-reaching you hope Kite Patch will be?

We want to be humble about the role Kite technology and products can play, but we do know this: while our mock-ups make it look cool and pretty (and don't those kids in the below Kite Patch video look cute? Those are mine!), the Kite technology platform is being developed to support what we believe can be one of the most powerful weapons platform in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases. We have a world-class team working 24/7 to build a powerful platform of actives that can ideally be deployed around the world in a range of applications - all of which will have minimal impact on our health and the health of our environment.

 

WATCH: Kite Patch in Action

 

Specifically, we're working on repellents and attractants that can be deployed in any number of product forms that will play important roles in public health and disease intervention efforts globally. We pay attention to every detail and we're designing each of our products with history and current technologies and needs in mind. Most importantly, we have opened our development process to people around the world and continue to build our technology and products with significant inputs and feedback from the Kite crowd.

Our technical foundation is strong, and ieCrowd's system for deploying disruptive new solutions like Kite Patch is ready for action. We're excited about the prospects of the Kite platform, and with the help of the crowd, amazing partners, and the world's best team, we have no doubt that it will be among the leading tools to fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more

While most of the world thinks of mosquitoes as blood sucking, disease-spreading pests, there's a new guy in town who's on a mission to redeem the rep of his fellow mosquitoes.  Meet Edward, the handsome, malaria-fighting skeeter who happens to be one of the stars of Seriously's new mobile game, Best Fiends

The Best Fiends are a pack of fun-loving creatures who spend their time fighting slugs to protect the citizens of Minutia.  But Edward has his own side gig - educating the world about malaria and helping Malaria No More to beat back this awful mosquito-borne disease to protect humans!  Getting by on a diet of coconut water instead of blood, Edward changed his ways, and has developed a whole arsenal of tools to help prevent and treat the spread of this disease.

Want to help Edward end malaria?  Visit our Edward page for a whole list of ways you can support the malaria fight, and make sure to download the game on your iPhone or iPad!

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #2 focuses on the development of a single-dose cure for malaria, so we sat down with Dr. Roger Waltzman. Waltzman works for the Malaria Initiative at Novartis, the maker of one of the top malaria treatments on the market.

Q: Novartis is a pioneer in the research and development of malaria treatments. What is the quick history of innovations Novartis has been a part of?

A: Novartis is in the fight against malaria for the long haul. Together with Chinese partners, Novartis developed the first artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), today's gold standard in malaria treatment, and launched the first child-friendly, dispersible formulation developed jointly with Medicines for Malaria Venture. More recently, we launched another new formulation which reduces the pill burden for adults; this helps to ensure patients follow through with their full treatment course. Today, Novartis partners with the best institutions and intensifies its research efforts to develop new compounds against malaria to eventually eliminate the disease. With two compounds in Phase 2 clinical development and one drug target in pre-clinical research, Novartis scientists are building one of the most promising malaria pipelines in the industry.

Q: What kind of treatments will it take to eliminate malaria?

A: A two-pronged approach is required to eliminate malaria. First, new treatments must be developed that attack the malaria parasites in novel ways in case resistance against current treatments spreads. These treatments will also need to provide a "complete cure". Second, within malaria-endemic countries, a large proportion of people with malaria do not show malaria symptoms and therefore do not seek treatment for their infection. They constitute a reservoir of malaria parasites that can be transmitted to other, more vulnerable populations, therefore targeting and treating these individuals is central to achieving the goal of malaria elimination.

Q: What is a "complete cure" for malaria? How is it different from what we have today?

A: "Complete cure" implies that the treatment not only targets the parasites in the blood in their asexual stage, which is the stage when symptoms of malaria appear, but also in their sexual stage (gametocytes). Gametocytes can be harbored in the human without provoking any symptoms, and transported upon a mosquito bite, infecting other humans. A complete cure would enable a patient to be cleared from all malaria parasites. It would also stop transmission to other humans. Current treatments do not necessarily offer the potential for a complete cure.

Q: Why is a single-dose treatment important and how do you see it affecting malaria prevalence globally?

A: Developing a new combination, similar to today's three-day ACT treatment, which is powerful enough to treat malaria in one single dose, would enable the patient to take the entire treatment at once, virtually eliminating the risk of insufficient treatment. Indeed, with current treatments patients sometimes save tablets for other family members or friends or in case they are infected by malaria again, not realizing they may be inadequately treated. Also, parasites can become resistant to treatments when dosing is inadequate. A single-dose treatment has the potential to ensure complete and effective treatment for patients. In addition, depending upon its efficacy and safety, the treatment could be given to people who show no symptoms but harbor malaria parasites in their blood, and can therefore transmit malaria. Ultimately, treatment of asymptomatic people could help eliminate the disease in broad population groups, potentially leading to malaria eradication.

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure

Inventing a Wonder Drug to Win the Malaria Fight

The story of malaria control is the story of the promise - and peril - of wonder drugs. With hundreds of millions of people infected with malaria around the globe every year, effective treatment may be the difference between ending the disease and humanitarian disaster.

Quinine, the first antimalarial, was discovered in the bark of the cinchona tree in the foothills of the Andes Mountains back in the 1600s. But it was hard to produce and administer, and there still was no reliable global supply by World War I.

Finding a cheap, reliable alternative to quinine that could be mass-produced became a military imperative during World War II. America suffered humiliating defeats "not because the ammunition was gone," The New York Times reported, "but because the quinine tablets gave out."

However, the synthetic drugs that emerged from that furious RD effort - most notably chloroquine - were little match for the fast-evolving parasite, which developed resistance in under a decade.

Progress Threatened

Our current front-line treatments for malaria, called artemisinin-based combination therapies (or ACTs for short), underscore the arms race between science and parasite. ACTs have been wildly successful in saving lives - a true wonder drug by any definition - but their effectiveness may also be cut short by resistance.

First touted for its curative powers in an ancient Chinese medical book dating back to 168 BC, artemisinin was finally brought to scale globally by Swiss healthcare company Novartis, which received WHO international approval for its drug in 1999. Global funders threw their weight behind ACTs five years later, and today more than 280 million ACT treatments are distributed every year in Africa alone.

But resistance is once again threatening to rob us of our best tool in the malaria fight. Just as chloroquine resistance emerged along the Thai-Cambodia border back in the 1960s, first signs of artemisinin resistance have now been documented in the region. If it follows the same pattern as past resistance - emerging across Asia, in India, making the leap to Africa - it could potentially cost millions of lives.

History has shown that containment isn't an option: Only by eliminating malaria in Asia-Pacific can we staunch the spread of resistance. So the Greater Mekong subregion will be ground zero for a renewed global eradication effort.

In Search of a Solution

The race is already on to develop the next generation of wonder drugs--this time tailor-made for eradication. Such a drug would have four key features.

 



First, it would be a single-dose treatment. The pharma industry talks about the "pill burden" - the total number of pills someone has to take to complete a full course of treatment. The more pills, over more days, the greater the chance that a patient will stop midway and fail to be fully cured.

Malaria treatment currently requires between three and 14 days of treatment, depending on the strain of the parasite. Getting people to take all their pills is complicated by the fact that the drugs are so fast-acting and effective that malaria symptoms may subside after the first or second day, leading people to think they've been treated, when in fact trace amounts of the parasite may still be hanging around in their bodies waiting to mount another attack. A single dose treatment would ensure that everyone who is treated is parasite-free.

The second feature of a new wonder drug is that it will be a "complete cure." Malaria is so challenging in part because the parasite plays hide and seek in the human body: traveling in the bloodstream, lodging in the liver, the brain - even bone marrow, as a recent study highlighted.

Before you can hope to eliminate malaria in a community of people, you must be able to effectively eliminate it in a single person. A complete cure treatment would wipe out the parasite at every stage of its lifecycle, ensuring zero risk of passing the parasite along to others.

The third feature is what we call a prophylactic effect. Essentially, you want a drug that will remain in the body for a period of time to prevent a person from developing another case of malaria if bitten again by an infected mosquito.

And finally, the new treatment would have a high barrier to resistance, so even as you scale up use it's able to maintain its effectiveness. This means developing an arsenal of molecules that attack the parasite in novel ways, and then using drugs in combination to stave off resistance. New malaria drugs are a great investment, but they're expensive to develop, so we must ensure they last.

In the Pipeline

The good news is we're well on our way to making a new slate of wonder drugs (or "one-der" drugs) a reality. Supported by a product development partnership called Medicines for Malaria Venture out of Geneva, the malaria community and pharma industry leaders including Novartis, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline have started clinical trials for treatments that will make ending malaria a reality.

As one example, Novartis has fast-tracked its first non-artemisinin based single-dose drug candidate, called KAE609, and recently published results showing that it was able to clear malaria parasites in adults in 12 hours on average. Read more about the quest for a malaria wonder drug here.

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria

Femi Anikulapo Kuti has been able to stand tall as an icon in the music industry without being overshadowed by the colossal image of his legendary father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Over the years he has blended jazz and funk with afrobeat to create a cocktail of unique indelible sounds of afrobeat, and this has earned him four nominations for the prestigious Grammy Awards.

Today Femi Kuti joins Malaria No More to have a Twitter conversation on malaria, music and the Nigerian society. It promises to be an enthralling conversation as Femi is vocal in his opinions. To join this conversation, follow the Malaria No More Twitter account in Nigeria: @MalariaNoMoreN1 and tweet your questions to Femi Kuti as from 11AM - 12PM ET using the hashtag #AskFemiKuti. Femi Kuti is currently one of the ambassadors for the Malaria No More campaign in Nigeria.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere

This QA is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #1 focuses on finding the parasite, so we sat down with Duncan Blair, PhD. Blair is the Director of Public Health Initiatives at Alere, the maker of one of the top malaria diagnostic tools on the market.

 

Q: Why are malaria RDTs a focus for your business?

With Alere being the global leader in rapid diagnostic tests for communicable diseases it would be almost impossible for us not to be involved in the malaria fight. Approximately half of the world's population live in malaria-endemic areas, and consequently, are at risk of infection. With over 200 million infections and over 600,000 deaths a year, the risk to individuals and the burden on health care systems are enormous. To treat malaria appropriately and, just as importantly, to know when not to treat for malaria, requires accurate diagnosis. For decades, the only option for malaria diagnosis was microscopy, but microscopy is extremely challenging to implement with quality due to significant needs for complex equipment, electricity, water, well-trained and well-remunerated staff and many other reasons. The advent of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria greatly improved our ability to diagnose malaria simply and effectively. RDTs are high quality, simple and quick tests that can be performed with just a few drops of finger-stick blood at the point of care and without any ancillary equipment. The benefits that the introduction of high-quality and properly deployed malaria RDTs have brought to individuals, to health care systems and to entire communities, is immeasurable.

Q: What are some of the new testing developments you're working on?

We are always looking at ways to improve products or to fill a missing diagnostic need with a view of improving patient and health system outcomes. I think that we find ourselves at a time when malaria elimination is within reach and many of the tools needed to achieve that goal already exist, but not quite all of them. One of the missing pieces of the puzzle is a simple, affordable test capable of detecting the malarial parasites in asymptomatic patients. No such test exists today, but it will be critical for elimination, as we will need to find and treat patients who have no fever and no visible symptoms, but who do have circulating parasites and are therefore acting as a reservoir for future reinfection of the community. Alere is actively looking at developing just such a test.

Q: What are the key challenges you must solve to make this next-generation test a reality?

What we are talking about here is developing a test whose performance is many times better than the best tests currently available, which still meets our exacting quality standards and which can be reliably and sustainably manufactured, delivered and effectively deployed at accessible prices. We're optimistic we can deliver that, given the great range of technologies at our disposal within Alere and the fantastic teams of dedicated and innovative people we have in RD and manufacturing. So there may be challenges ahead, but we are very confident that we can rise to meet those challenges.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Alere, Malaria Tests, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite

You can't beat an opponent you can't see

Malaria thrives on misinformation. It always has. Even the word malaria is a misnomer. It's Italian for "bad air," because the Romans attributed the seasonal sickness (that killed at least four Popes, and probably the poet Dante) to noxious fumes coming off the swamps. It wasn't until 1897 that Dr. Ronald Ross confirmed the mosquito as the vector that spreads the disease.

And misinformation is one of the big reasons malaria continues to kill a child at the rate of one every sixty seconds. Solving the information challenge is going to be key if we're going to end this disease, and no piece of information is more vital than knowing who is carrying the parasite and who isn't.

THE HIDDEN MALARIA CHALLENGE

While there are more than 200 million malaria cases every year - that is, people who are getting sick from the disease - it is estimated that there are five times as many people carrying the parasite in their bodies at any given moment - a ticking time bomb of illness and infection.

That amounts to more than one billion people - one out of every seven people on the planet - who are potentially infected with the malaria parasite, jeopardizing their health, hampering their productivity and making them a source of infection for their families and communities. And, most of them have no idea they're carrying the potentially deadly disease!

 



The biggest host of the malaria parasite is healthy people, not sick people or mosquitoes.

The insight that sick patients showing up at clinics are only the tip of the malaria iceberg underpins emerging strategies for eradicating the disease. Simply put: you can't beat malaria if you can't find it. So any attempt to eradicate the disease must start with developing the diagnostic capabilities to find and free the roughly one billion people living with the parasite in their body and stop them from transmitting.

It may sound like a daunting task, until you consider how far we've come in recent years - and how fast.

THE DIAGNOSTIC REVOLUTION

Until 2010, there was no practical way to get a timely, accurate diagnosis for malaria. If you had a fever and wanted to be tested for malaria, you had to travel a long distance - sometimes tens of miles on foot - to find a hospital or clinic equipped with an expensive microscope and a trained lab technician. You had to take a blood slide, then wait several hours for the result - hoping that the lab technician read it right.

It was impractical, and people simply didn't do it.

In many African languages, the words for "malaria" and "fever" are the same. It's easy to understand why. Absent practical diagnostics, doctors simply treated every fever as if it was malaria and hoped for the best.

Then came the breakthrough: the rapid diagnostic test, or RDT. This simple, fifty-cent, finger-prick blood test can tell you in a matter of minutes with better than 99% accuracy if your fever is malaria.

The RDT has revolutionized the malaria fight, enabling lightly trained community health workers operating on the far reaches of the health system to test patients for malaria. Negative results are as important as positive ones as they direct doctors to consider other top killers, such as pneumonia and upper-respiratory infection. There are now more than 200 million RDTs distributed across Africa each year.

NEXT GENERATION TESTS

Today, we need to revolutionize diagnosis yet again, this time with a focus on identifying asymptomatic cases and guiding treatment.

Current RDTs have a sensitivity of 200 parasites per microliter of blood - sufficient for identifying all cases in sick people. But finding low-levels of the parasite in asymptomatic patients is like an elaborate game of hide and seek. To do it, we need a new generation of simple, portable, inexpensive diagnostic tests that are 10 times more sensitive, detecting malaria at levels of 20 parasites per microliter or even lower.

Fortunately, through innovative public-private partnerships led by groups like the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Seattle-based partner PATH, we're well on our way to developing next-generation diagnostic tests.

Other next-generation diagnostics will potentially help solve some of the treatment challenges that stand in the way of elimination. Efforts to tackle the dominant strain of malaria in Asia and South America, known as P. vivax, have been hamstrung by the fact that some people have an adverse reaction to the drug recommended for completely clearing the parasite, due to a common inherited trait known as G6PD enzyme deficiency.

The development of diagnostics to identify individuals with G6PD deficiency would ensure better use of current drugs and potential new single-dose treatments, such as tafenoquine, currently in development by GlaxoSmithKline and MMV.

Armed with new diagnostics, we'll be in a position to take the fight to the parasite. Instead of passively waiting for sick people to show up at clinics, we can go on offense: actively testing and treating entire communities to find and root out malaria, while ensuring the type of treatment provided to patients will be safe and effective.

Which sets up the next of our challenges - check back in next week to read about another big innovation in the malaria fight: developing a complete cure!

QA: Read about Malaria No More's partner Alere and their quest for new diagnostics here.

.......

This is one of five topics we're covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

Intro: Going on Offense 

Challenge 1: Find the Parasite

Challenge 2: Radical Cure (10/8/2014)

Challenge 3: Block Transmission (10/14/2014)

Challenge 4: Data Mobile (10/21/2014)

Challenge 5: Fuel the Fight (10/28/2014)

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria

After a century of playing defense, it's time for the malaria fight to go on offense

In 1897, Dr. Ronald Ross - an Indian-born, British surgeon who counted poetry, mathematics, and songwriting among his other passions - made a medical discovery that would change the course of history.

Stationed in Secundebad, a monsoon-drenched city in Central India, Dr. Ross identified the malaria parasite in the gut of a dissected Anopheles mosquito. His discovery confirmed that the winged pest was in fact the vector responsible for spreading one of the oldest, deadliest, and most devastating diseases on the planet.

Dr. Ross was knighted and awarded a Nobel Prize for his efforts, and deservedly so: His discovery laid the foundation for the modern fight against malaria.

Historic Progress

We've made significant strides since Dr. Ross' time. Malaria has been eliminated throughout most of the developed world, including the United States in 1951. And progress is accelerating: Just since 2000, we've cut global malaria deaths by half, saving 3.3 million lives - most of them children and pregnant women in Africa.

However, the work is far from done. A child still dies every minute from a mosquito bite, and more than 200 million people are afflicted with the disease each year, keeping adults out of work, children out of school, and stifling the growth of developing economies.

Based on the progress of the past decade, there is a growing determination among the global health community to eradicate the disease once and for all, recognizing that the only way to ensure zero malaria deaths is to have zero malaria.

Going on Offense

So what will it take to finish the job?

We need to rethink the malaria problem in as radical a way as Dr. Ross did more than a century ago. For all our progress, the prevailing approach to controlling malaria has fundamentally been about playing defense: trying to prevent mosquitos from biting and treating people when they're sick so they don't die. Don't get me wrong. That has been the most cost-effective way of tackling a complex problem, going after the "low-hanging fruit" and bringing down the number of cases and deaths dramatically.

But to win this fight, we need to take a "parasite's-eye" view of the problem. We must attack the malaria parasite where it lives - in the human reservoir - with aggressive new approaches to find, clear, and prevent onward-transmission of malaria, even in asymptomatic carriers of the disease. In short, we must go on offense.

As part of that approach, we need to confront one of the newest and most urgent threats to the advances we've made against malaria: Resistance in Asia to the frontline treatment of the disease, artemisinin. The last time drug-resistant malaria developed in that part of the world, it spread to India and Africa, robbing us of chloroquine as an effective tool.

If that happens again, it could cost millions of lives, since we are at least 4 to 5 years away from developing a viable treatment alternative.

The Path Forward

We find ourselves at another watershed moment in the malaria fight, and the only way we're going to succeed is through relentless innovation. We need the next generation of tools and new implementation approaches; we need to harness the power of distinctly modern advances such as the use of mobile phones and big data in heatlh.

Broadly speaking, we've identified five key challenges the world needs to solve to win this fight. Every two weeks, starting this Monday, we'll zero in on one challenge and let you know who's innovating to find solutions. The series will culminate in some big news regarding the malaria community's plan to reach eradication, delivered by one of the world's biggest names and most prolific innovators in fighting disease, Bill Gates.

So stay tuned, and join us here next week as we launch with Challenge #1: Find the Parasite!

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This is the introduction to our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria. You can find others here:

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria

Malaria No More's Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common - a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Domenico learned about our Power of One campaign through his employer, Novartis. Domenico works in the Vaccines and Diagnostics Division and is passionate about Africa. He leveraged his professional move from Italy to Switzerland to help fundraise for the campaign. At his family's going-away party, Domenico shared stories from his travels to malaria-endemic regions in Asia and Africa, mainly Uganda, where he supports orphanages, educational institutions for disabled children, as well as projects for the economic independence of small communities. He hit a nerve and got the attention of his friends. Today, 56 have decided to support him and joined the campaign!

Domenico also hosted a garage sale to benefit the cause, which inspired shoppers to pay the full price, instead of haggling for a better deal!

"This is a cause I really care about," says Domenico. "I have increased my personal engagement significantly, and thanks to the support of my family and friend, we will be able to help 4,128 children with malaria". Domenico found the campaign so rewarding, that he continues to fundraise for Power of One and to engage people around him. "One of my friends - a musician - after having donated called me in the middle of the night and told me he had just composed a song for my campaign. We are now discussing how we could use the song to help fight malaria."

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee

Malaria No More ambassador Katharine McPhee is fighting for good on TV and in her real life. Having traveled with us to Ghana and Burkina Faso in 2012 and having supported our most recent campaign called the Power of One (Po1), Katharine had a lot to talk about with a bunch of teenagers over pizza.

Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer launched a web series called Pizza with an Icon, where teens can ask questions of influencers and all the good work they're doing. In this segment, Katharine talks about her travels and how everyone can do their part to help end malaria deaths.

"It's such a tragedy that there are people dying from something that is so easy to cure," Katharine said. "It's important for people to know that it's not that hard to make a dent in a small part of the world that you may not necessarily even have any connection with."

We couldn't be more grateful to Katharine and all her hard work on the cause.

"Katharine has been an incredible supporter of Malaria No More for years, she is truly engaged in the push to eliminate deaths from malaria," said our CEO, Martin Edlund. "Using her platform to raise awareness for the Power of One test and treatment campaign partnered with Novartis and Alere, Katharine has made a huge impact helping us move toward achieving our goal of raising three million treatments in our first partner country, Zambia."

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman

On World Malaria Day, our partner Novartis kicked off an employee engagement effort encouraging their employees to get behind the malaria fight. From April 25th, to our Independence Day, July 4th, Novartis employees got active and joined the fight through Power of One.

Roger Waltzman, in charge of developing new antimalarials at Novartis, is one of the top contributors to this employee engagement effort, having raised over 18,000 USD towards treatments for kids in Africa. Here, he's filled us in on his work and how he raised all that money.

Q. Why do you believe in fighting malaria, and how did this contribute to your decision to start a fundraiser?

A. I believe it's crucial to make available high quality medical treatments for people all over the world, particularly for those vulnerable people who are at risk for preventable, curable diseases. The focus of my work at Novartis is developing new antimalarials and I wanted to generate more attention both within and outside my work environment about the importance of this effort.

Q. Did anything interesting happen while you were fundraising? Did any of your supporters do or say anything really encouraging?

A. Quite a few people didn't know that developing new antimalarials is the focus of my work and they seemed happy to hear this and happy to contribute. I appreciated their comments; one person simply said, "Good work should be supported," and I thought that was so matter-of-fact and genuine. Some people contributed $1, since you could contribute any amount, and others contributed much more!

Q. How has this program increased your charitable efforts this year, compared to an average year?

A. I made a personal commitment to contribute to the campaign 10% of however much money I could raise from others. That ended up being one of my largest charitable contributions this year and I was delighted to do it.

Q. Now that the employee engagement campaign is over, how will you continue your efforts to help end malaria?

A. My daily work is focused on the development of better treatment or prevention of malaria, so the biggest change is that I feel even more determined and inspired by seeing the very positive response this campaign engendered in friends and family.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with our Power of One, Malaria No More, or the Novartis employee engagement campaign?

A. I was delighted that MNM created a campaign that was so simple, with a personal link for tracking contributions, and by enabling donors to contribute as little as $1. I felt completely comfortable asking my friends, family, and colleagues to consider donating something, anything, since the amount did not need to be large. I usually don't find fundraising a particularly comfortable activity, but this enabled me to feel very comfortable with the "ask." I am delighted that Novartis and MNM are collaborating in this and other ways. Eradicating malaria will take a huge effort on the part of many people and we need to collaborate for the benefit of the hundreds of millions of people who are infected every year.

]]

Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime

This past World Mosquito Day we were on ABC 7's Let's Talk Live discussing what else but mosquitoes, the deadliest animals on the planet.

Malaria Policy Center staff Josh Blumenfeld and Hannah Bowen, as well as our partner from DC Mosquito Squad, Damien Sanchez, spoke to the threat of malaria on Wednesday's show. Watch the full show below.

Watch the video here: http://www.wjla.com/blogs/lets-talk-live/2014/08/world-mosqutio-day-22781.html 

]]

2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight

Arnold Mbolo, a high school senior from a family of six kids, joined the Junior Ambassador program in April 2014 after placing 6th with a comedic sketch in the MNM Cameroon school contest. When asked why he participated, he responded "I like challenges. I'm a competitive person. But, I realized that the contest educated me. Before, I barely knew anything about malaria, hence I have also won in knowledge."

For Arnold, humor is something he's been around all his life - with a professional comedian as an uncle, helping him to develop into a charismatic comedian who is responsible for "cultural animation" in his local youth association, MOJAM. In just four months, Arnold has emerged as an all-star Junior Ambassador, using his energy and comedic talents in various events at school and with MNM to ensure his community is invested in putting an end to malaria.

The goal of the Junior Ambassador Program is to engage youth leaders from high schools across Yaounde, Cameroon's capital city, to target their peers and wider communities through interpersonal communications, including clubs, school events and other activities. Arnold has done just that. He mobilized the other Junior Ambassadors to organize a school fair at his high school, where they had a stand teaching students about malaria prevention, which was also visited by the Secretary to the Minister of Education who encouraged the Junior Ambassadors to keep doing great work. He was selected as the K.O PALU mosquito mascot for the World Malaria Day Caravan and performed his winning sketch at stops throughout the city. Arnold has also received permission from his school to post K.O. PALU educational posters and a malaria prevention mural, ensuring malaria education and awareness are a part of everyday activities at school.

For World Mosquito Day 2014, Arnold worked with a fellow Junior Ambassador to mobilize hundreds of youth and community members, the mayor, and local chief to clean up a neighborhood to get rid of its standing water - which can be mosquito breeding grounds, especially during the rainy season.

Arnold is truly leading the charge, setting an example for fellow Junior Ambassadors and his community and motivating them to join the fight against malaria.

Stay tuned for more on the amazing work our Junior Ambassadors are doing in Cameroon to ensure their communities understand the threat of malaria and know how to protect themselves against the disease.

]]

Cameroon, 2014--T::

http://www.malarianomore.org/news/rss

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Sat

28

Feb

2015

De Villiers sets record in SA win





World Cup, Pool B, Sydney









South Africa 408-5 (50 overs): De Villiers 162*, Amla 65, Du Plessis 62









West Indies 151 (33.1 overs): Holder 56, Tahir 5-45









South Africa won by 257 runs









Scorecard. Tables







AB de Villiers hit the fastest ever 150 in one-day internationals as South Africa condemned West Indies to a crushing 257-run defeat in Sydney.

De Villiers took 64 deliveries to reach 150, beating the previous best, set by Australia's Shane Watson, by 19 balls.

He finished 162 not out from 66 balls as South Africa made 408-5, the second-highest total in World Cups.

Imran Tahir took 5-45 as West Indies were 151 all out to equal the heaviest World Cup defeat by runs.

Only last month,



De Villiers hit the fastest-ever ODI hundred

against the same team in Johannesburg, from 31 balls.

In that same innings, South Africa's captain also set the record for the fastest fifty in ODIs, from 16 balls.

The Proteas made a sluggish start and were 87-1 after 20 overs, before De Villiers came to the crease in the 30th over with his side 146-3.

De Villiers put on 134 with Rilee Rossouw (61 from 39) and South Africa scored 222 from the last 15 overs, with De Villiers's 73 from the last five another ODI record.

West Indies captain Jason Holder's last two overs went for 64 runs, with one over going for 34. De Villiers finished with 17 fours and eight sixes, more than he had dot balls.

South Africa's total was the highest by any team in Australia and only India's 413-5 against Bermuda at Port of Spain in 2007 (which also finished in a 257-run victory for India) is higher in World Cups.

Hashim Amla (65) and Faf du Plessis (62) also made fifties for South Africa, while Holder, who conceded just nine runs in his first five overs, finished with figures of 1-104 off 10, the most expensive in World Cup history.

West Indies opener Chris Gayle,



who scored the first double-hundred in World Cups against Zimbabwe on Tuesday,

scored only three before he was bowled by Kyle Abbott.

Only Dwayne Smith (31) and Holder (56) offered any real resistance as leg-spinner Tahir tore through the West Indies batting, becoming the first South African spinner to take five wickets in a World Cup match.



Fastest 150s in ODIs







Balls





Player





Opposition





Year





64









AB de Villiers (SA)









West Indies, Sydney









2015









83









Shane Watson (Aus)









Bangladesh, Mirpur









2013









92









Luke Ronchi (NZ)









Sri Lanka, Dunedin









2015









95









Sanath Jayasuriya (SL)









England, Leeds









2006









99









Ricky Ponting (Aus)









South Africa, Johannesburg









2006







The records in full

AB de Villiers scored the fastest 150 in one-day internationals, from 64 balls. It beat the previous best by 19 balls



De Villiers's 52-ball ton was the second-fastest in World Cups. Ireland's Kevin O'Brien made a 50-ball ton against England in 2011



De Villiers's 73 from the last five overs was the most by a batsman in this period of a one-day international



South Africa's 408-5 was the highest team total in one-day internationals by any side in Australia



South Africa's total was the second-highest in World Cups. India made 413-5 against Bermuda in 2007



West Indies seamer Jason Holder conceded the most runs in a 10-over spell in World Cups, finishing with 1-104



Holder conceded the most runs in two consecutive overs in one-day internationals - 64



South Africa's 257-run victory was the joint-biggest by runs in World Cups, equalling India's win over Bermuda in 2007



What De Villiers said

"I had some stomach problems last night, I didn't eat much and had a very rough night. But the doctor gave me an injection and I was on my way.

"The credit must go to the guys up front for setting a base. Rilee [Rossouw] inspired me a bit with his effort and that affected how I played. After timing a few I got the momentum behind me.

"The main thing is to know your own game, know your strengths and weaknesses and when to home in on the former.

"I enjoyed myself out there. I earned the right to have a go at the bowlers in the latter stages of the innings."

Spare a thought for Holder

"I thought we did well early in the game with the ball and keeping the run-rate down but then it got away from us.

"If you take away De Villiers's innings it is a totally different score but we dropped chances and psychologically chasing 400 is a huge task.

"We have some areas we need to improve on. We are confident we can make the quarter-finals."

How the cricket world reacted

Former England captain Michael Vaughan:

I guess they will just blame the modern bats... 162 off 66 balls from @ABdeVilliers17 #Genius

Former England spinner Graeme Swann:

It's almost like witchcraft - he knows where the ball is going to be before the bowler knows it and he almost makes them put it there.

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew:

WHAT?? Don't believe I've seen that AB innings. 162* from 66. 96 runs from last 5 overs. Holder goes for 75 from his last 3.

John Etheridge, The Sun's cricket correspondent:

Nobody has ever batted like AB de Villiers. Such imagination, talent, dexterity and power. He can hit the ball anywhere he chooses.

Simon Wilde, Sunday Times cricket correspondent:

I thought a cricket pitch had 360 degrees. AB de Villiers seems to have found another 90 from somewhere. Astonishing.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/31655996
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Sat

28

Feb

2015

Russian Opposition Leader Murdered in Moscow



Major Russian opposition leader and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov was shot dead Friday night in central Moscow.

The Interior Ministry said Nemtsov was shot four times from a passing car as he walked across a bridge over the Moscow River right next to the Kremlin.

Police say Nemtsov was walking with a woman visiting him from Ukraine, who was not hurt. Police are questioning her.

The official Itar-Tass news agency reported President Vladimir Putin was "immediately" informed about Nemtsov's murder and said Kremlin will oversee the investigation.

A Putin spokesman said the president said it looks like a contract killing that could be a provocation ahead of an opposition march set for Sunday.

U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement condemning the "brutal" murder and called on Russia to carry out a prompt and impartial investigation.

"I admired Nemtsov's courageous dedication to the struggle against corruption in Russia," the president wrote. "Nemtsov was a tireless advocate for his country, seeking for his fellow-Russian citizens the rights to which all people are entitled."

Assertions fly

VOA Moscow correspondent Daniel Schearf said Sunday's march will likely become much bigger than planned and says the opposition will probably accuse the Kremlin of being involved in Nemtsov's murder.

When visiting countries with a significant risk of malaria, wherever practical, visitors should take enough medicine with them to cover the longest possible duration of the trip. It is particularly important that visitors know that tablets designed for the prevention and treatment of malaria are frequently subject to counterfeiting in regions where malaria is a serious threat. Clicking on the following link will bring additional information on http://www.malariaprevention.co.uk/countries-territories-malarious-areas/

Fellow opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov told reporters "That a leader of the opposition could be shot beside the walls of the Kremlin is beyond imagination. There can be only one version: that he was shot for telling the truth."

Nemtsov was a deputy prime minister in the 1990s and many Russian observers predicted he would succeed then President Boris Yeltsin.

After Yeltsin chose Vladimir Putin as his successor and Putin's subsequent election in 2000, Nemtsov became one of Russia's sharpest and most outspoken Putin critics, especially since last year's uprising in Ukraine.

In September, Nemtsov told VOA's Schearf that Putin wants revenge for Ukraine's overthrow of its pro-Russian president.

Nemtsov said Putin fears that what happened in Ukraine could happen in Russia and sees a pro-European Ukraine as a threat to his own power.

Watch video of Nemtsov rallying for Ukraine peace

Accusing the state

Speaking with VOA by phone from his home in Cambridge, England, Vladimir Bukovsky, a famous Soviet dissident and personal friend of Boris Nemtsov, said, "I suspect it's a state murder." 

Kasyanov gave an exclusive statement  to VOA Russian reporter Danila Galperovich.

"It will never be forgiven ... It is a premeditated, carefully planned assassination. It is shocking. That is how it has ended up in our country," said Kasyanov. "An opposition leader has been killed in the heart of Moscow, near the Kremlin wall. It is unbelievable. We will do everything we can to hold those bastards accountable. We will continue our work and our fight to make Russia free and democratic country."

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul told VOA's Russian Service, "Boris was a good friend of mine. I have known him for close to 30 years. His murder is a tragic loss for all those hoping for a strong, prosperous, democratic Russia. I will miss him dearly.

"For years, various media outlet have labeled him a traitor, sometimes even accusing him of being an American agent. As history teaches us, stirring up this kind of nationalist fervor is extremely dangerous. I hope Nemtsov's tragic loss will compel those responsible for fueling these nationalistic slogans to reconsider their actions. They are playing with fire."

Nemtsov's fears

In September, Nemtsov told VOA's Schearf, "He lies in revenge for Ukraine's revolution, when Ukrainians took to the streets and dethroned the corrupt thief President Yanukovich.[President Putin] is afraid it could be repeated in Russia.  And, besides, he thinks if Ukraine is successful on the European path it is a threat to his own power," said Nemtsov.

In an op-ed titled "Why does Putin wage war with Ukraine?" published in the Kyiv Post in September, Nemtsov blasted the Russian president, writing "Moreover, Ukraine chose the European way, which implies the rule of law, democracy and change of power. Ukraine's success on this way is a direct threat to Putin's power because he chose the opposite course - a lifetime in power, filled with arbitrariness and corruption."

http://www.voanews.com/content/muder-in-moscow-opposition-leader-killed/2662261.html

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Wed

25

Feb

2015

Ivory Coast ex-first lady in court





23 February 2015

Last updated at 16:24



Ivory Coast's former first lady, Simone Gbagbo, has denied wrongdoing for her alleged role in the violence that followed the 2010 elections.

Ms Gbagbo was giving evidence for the first time at her trial in Abidjan.

Her husband, former President Laurent Gbagbo, is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He refused to accept defeat in the presidential elections, sparking months of violence that claimed more than 3,000 lives.

"I don't know exactly what the concrete actions are that I am being accused of," Mrs Gbagbo said at the hearing, according to the AFP news agency.

She also insisted her husband was the legitimate winner of the elections instead of his rival, Alassane Ouattara, who was declared the winner of the poll.

Police had to separate supporters and opponents of the Gbagbos as scuffles broke out outside the court.

The Ivorian judiciary had resisted pressure to send her to the ICC as well, where she is accused of war crimes, saying she and other key suspects should be tried in their homeland.

Mrs Gbagbo and more than 80 supporters of her husband have been charged with undermining state security.

Both sides have been accused of atrocities in the bloody clashes that followed the disputed elections.

The Gbagbos were eventually arrested in a bunker in April 2011, five months after the elections, following a military assault supported by UN and French troops.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31593295#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa
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Sat

21

Feb

2015

Suspected Islamists kill 62 in Nigeria; 22 in church



By Imma Ande and Joe Brock, Reuters

YOLA, Nigeria -  Suspected insurgents armed with guns and explosives killed at least 62 people in northeast Nigeria, including at a church service, in a region where Islamist sect Boko Haram is resisting a military crackdown, witnesses said on Monday. 

They killed 22 people by setting off bombs and firing into the congregation in the Catholic church in Waga Chakawa village in Adamawa state on Sunday, before burning houses and taking residents hostage during a four-hour siege, witnesses said.

On Monday, a separate assault by suspected members of the shady sect killed at least 40 people in Kawuri village, in remote northeastern Borno state, security officials said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack.

President Goodluck Jonathan is struggling to contain Boko Haram in remote rural regions in the country's northeast corner, where the sect launched an uprising in 2009.

Boko Haram, which wants to impose sharia law on a country split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, has killed thousands over the past four and a half years and is considered the biggest security risk in Africa's top oil exporter and second largest economy after South Africa.

Its fighters' favorite targets have traditionally been security forces, politicians who oppose them and Christian minorities in the largely Muslim north.

The spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Yola, Reverend Father Raymond Danbouye, confirmed 22 people killed in the church were buried at a funeral on Monday.

The military and police did not respond to requests for comment but one army source confirmed the church attack, asking not to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak with the media.

Village razed

Waga Chakawa is near the border with Borno state, in which the second attack occurred that killed at least 40 people.

Several witnesses put the figure at 50, although none had counted the numbers of bodies themselves. They added that the militants had burned down the village and set off multiple explosions, shooting anyone trying to flee.

"The whole village has been razed by Boko Haram and there were still loud explosions from different directions as I left, with bodies littering the village," said resident Bulama Kuliri, who narrowly escaped.

An army spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jonathan replaced his chiefs of defense, army, navy and air force last week in a widespread military shake-up. No reason was given for the overhaul, but security experts believe there was a need for a change of tactics in combating Boko Haram.

Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states in May last year and launched an intensified military campaign to try to end the insurgency. 

Related 

This story was originally published on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:48 AM EST

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/27/22467383-suspected-islamist-insurgents-kill-at-least-62-in-nigeria-including-in-church?lite
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Wed

18

Feb

2015

How not to catch Ebola





7 October 2014

Last updated at 17:16



By Michelle Roberts

Health editor, BBC News online

As the outbreak continues to spread, the fear of catching the disease is rising.

Experts are learning more about how to contain the virus that has infected around 7,500 people in West Africa.

The race is on to stop this deadly disease that kills more than half of those it infects.

Here's what is known.

DON'T TOUCH

Ebola is spread by direct contact with contaminated body fluids. Blood, vomit and saliva can all carry and spread the deadly virus.

The relatives of sick patients and the healthcare workers who care for them are at highest risk of infection, but anyone who comes into close proximity potentially puts themselves at risk.

For that reason, contact should only be for essential medical care and always under the full protection of the right clothing.

The virus can't breach protective gear, such as gloves, mask/face shield, a full body suit and tough rubber wellington boots, but too few have access to state-of-the-art kit.



The BBC's Tulip Mazumdar in full biohazard kit reporting from Sierra Leone

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.



How journalists protect themselves while reporting the outbreak

Those who do get to wear it should keep changing it every 40 minutes to be safe. Inside the suit it can get up to about 40C. Getting into the kit takes about five minutes. Taking it off again takes the wearer and a designated helper "buddy" about 15 minutes.

This is one of the most dangerous times for contamination and people are sprayed with chlorine as this happens.



INTERACTIVE

×

health worker with protective ebola suit

×

The cap forms part of a protective hood covering the head and neck. It offers medical workers an added layer of protection, ensuring that they cannot touch any part of their face whilst in the treatment centre.

×

Goggles, or eye visors, are used to provide cover to the eyes, protecting them from splashes. The goggles are sprayed with an anti-fogging solution before being worn. On October 21, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced stringent new guidelines for healthcare personnel who may be dealing with Ebola patients. In the new guidelines, health workers are advised to use a single use disposable full face shield as goggles may not provide complete skin coverage.

×

Covers the mouth to protect from sprays of blood or body fluids from patients. When wearing a respirator, the medical worker must tear this outer mask to allow the respirator through.

×

A respirator is worn to protect the wearer from a patient's coughs. According to guidelines from the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the respirator should be put on second, right after donning the overalls.

×

A surgical scrub suit, durable hospital clothing that absorbs liquid and is easily cleaned, is worn as a baselayer underneath the overalls. It is normally tucked into rubber boots to ensure no skin is exposed.

×

The overalls are placed on top of the scrubs. These suits are similar to hazardous material (hazmat) suits worn in toxic environments. The team member supervising the process should check that the equipment is not damaged.

×

A minimum two sets of gloves are required, covering the suit cuff. When putting on the gloves, care must be taken to ensure that no skin is exposed and that they are worn in such a way that any fluid on the sleeve will run off the suit and glove. Medical workers must change gloves between patients, performing thorough hand hygiene before donning a new pair. Heavy duty gloves are used whenever workers need to handle infectious waste.

×

A waterproof apron is placed on top of the overalls as a final layer of protective clothing.

×

Ebola health workers typically wear rubber boots, with the scrubs tucked into the footwear. If boots are unavailable, workers must wear closed, puncture and fluid-resistant shoes.

COVER YOUR EYES

If an infected droplet does get on to your skin, it can be washed away immediately with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

The eyes are a different matter. A spray of droplets from a sneeze directly into the eye, for example, could let the virus in.

Similarly, the mucous membranes of the mouth and inside of the nose are vulnerable areas, as is broken skin.

LAUNDRY

One of the most shocking symptoms of Ebola is bleeding. Patients can bleed from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and rectum. Diarrhoea and vomit may also be tainted with blood.

A big infection risk is cleaning up. Any laundry or other clinical waste should be incinerated. Any medical equipment that needs to be kept should be decontaminated.

Without adequate sterilisation, virus transmission can continue and amplify.

Minute droplets on a surface that hasn't been adequately cleaned could, in theory, pose a risk. And it's unclear how long the virus could sit there and remain a threat. Flu viruses and other germs can live two hours or longer on hard environmental surfaces like tables, doorknobs, and desks.

The nurse who recently became infected while caring for two Ebola patients in Spain had twice gone into the room where one of the the patients was being treated - to be directly involved in his care and to disinfect the room after his death. Both times she was wearing protective clothing.

Soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitisers readily disrupt the envelope of this single-stranded RNA virus, and decontamination with dilute bleach is effective and readily available even in remote settings.

CONDOMS

Generally, once someone recovers from Ebola and they have the all-clear, they can no longer spread the virus.

But according to the World Health Organization Ebola can be found in semen for seven weeks and some studies suggest it can be present for up to three months.

For this reason, doctors say that people who recover from Ebola should abstain from sex or use condoms for three months.

Ebola patients treated outside West Africa*

*In all cases but two, first in Madrid and later in Dallas, the patient was infected with Ebola while in West Africa.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29518703#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa
0 Comments

Sat

14

Feb

2015

Suspected Islamists kill 62 in Nigeria; 22 in church



By Imma Ande and Joe Brock, Reuters

YOLA, Nigeria -  Suspected insurgents armed with guns and explosives killed at least 62 people in northeast Nigeria, including at a church service, in a region where Islamist sect Boko Haram is resisting a military crackdown, witnesses said on Monday. 

They killed 22 people by setting off bombs and firing into the congregation in the Catholic church in Waga Chakawa village in Adamawa state on Sunday, before burning houses and taking residents hostage during a four-hour siege, witnesses said.

On Monday, a separate assault by suspected members of the shady sect killed at least 40 people in Kawuri village, in remote northeastern Borno state, security officials said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack.

President Goodluck Jonathan is struggling to contain Boko Haram in remote rural regions in the country's northeast corner, where the sect launched an uprising in 2009.

Boko Haram, which wants to impose sharia law on a country split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, has killed thousands over the past four and a half years and is considered the biggest security risk in Africa's top oil exporter and second largest economy after South Africa.

Its fighters' favorite targets have traditionally been security forces, politicians who oppose them and Christian minorities in the largely Muslim north.

The spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Yola, Reverend Father Raymond Danbouye, confirmed 22 people killed in the church were buried at a funeral on Monday.

The military and police did not respond to requests for comment but one army source confirmed the church attack, asking not to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak with the media.

Village razed

Waga Chakawa is near the border with Borno state, in which the second attack occurred that killed at least 40 people.

Several witnesses put the figure at 50, although none had counted the numbers of bodies themselves. They added that the militants had burned down the village and set off multiple explosions, shooting anyone trying to flee.

"The whole village has been razed by Boko Haram and there were still loud explosions from different directions as I left, with bodies littering the village," said resident Bulama Kuliri, who narrowly escaped.

An army spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jonathan replaced his chiefs of defense, army, navy and air force last week in a widespread military shake-up. No reason was given for the overhaul, but security experts believe there was a need for a change of tactics in combating Boko Haram.

Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states in May last year and launched an intensified military campaign to try to end the insurgency. 

Related 

This story was originally published on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:48 AM EST

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/27/22467383-suspected-islamist-insurgents-kill-at-least-62-in-nigeria-including-in-church?lite
0 Comments

Wed

11

Feb

2015

Poachers kill rare Mali elephants





10 February 2015

Last updated at 18:32



A rare population of elephants in northern Mali is being targeted by poachers, threatening its survival, a wildlife official has said.

Authorities believe 19 Gourma elephants have been killed for their tusks in the past month. There are estimated to be just 350-500 of the group left.

Poaching has been linked in the past to rebel groups in the region, who have connections to smuggling rings.

The Gourma elephants migrate around 600km (370 miles) a year to feed.

Because of the sparse vegetation in northern Mali they have a long-distance migration pattern that runs into Burkina Faso and Niger.

On Tuesday, Colonel Soumana Timbo of the government's nature conservation division asked MPs to provide military support to protect the species.

'Total insecurity'

Mr Timbo told the BBC that the small number of rangers assigned to the region were already risking their lives.

"In the Gourma zone there is total insecurity. We have about 10 rangers covering about 1.25 million hectares, so it's quite insufficient," Mr Timbo said.

"If we send out two rangers on a motorbike they are risking their lives. So we really need joint patrols - military and rangers - and we need to focus all our efforts on stopping this massacre."

Northern Mali has been a flashpoint of conflict since Mali's independence from French rule in 1960, with the Tuareg rebels campaigning for independence or more autonomy.

The region has been further destabilised by the emergence of jihadi groups including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which has targeted both the government and the rebels.

In its own attempt to combat poaching, South Africa has appointed a panel of experts to examine the viability of a legal rhino horn trade,

Levels of poaching have risen to record levels in South Africa. The country is thought to be home to around 20,000 rhinos, around 80% of the worldwide population.

There were 1,215 rhinos killed in South Africa in 2014, a 21% increase on the previous year, officials say.

The 21-member panel will examine whether a legal trade in rhino horn may reduce the number of animals targeted by poachers.

"It is important to emphasise that South Africa has not taken a position on the issue and will not do so until the committee has completed its work and presented its findings," the environment ministry said in a statement.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31373711#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa
0 Comments

Wed

04

Feb

2015

US missile strike targets Somali militant leader



By Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News

The U.S. military carried out a missile strike in Somalia on Sunday, targeting a suspected militant leader with links to the al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab terror groups, U.S. military officials told NBC News.

U.S. military and intelligence officials are reviewing bomb damage assessment to determine if the terror leader was killed or wounded in the strike.

The officials would not yet identify the target of the strike.

The al-Shabaab group -- which the State Department designates as a terrorist organization -- is a loosely affiliated band of militia insurgents in southern Somalia that has close ties to the al-Qaeda terror network.

At least two senior al-Shabaab rebels, including the group's leading explosives expert, were killed in a military strike last October.

And earlier that month, U.S. Navy SEALs stormed a coastal Somali town to take down a Kenyan-born fighter with al-Shabaab known as "Ikrima." But members of the elite SEAL Team Six -- the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani hideout in 2011 -- aborted the mission to capture the terror suspect whose real name is Abdikadar Mohamed Abdikadar.

Abdikadar was identified in a Kenyan government intelligence document as the mastermind behind a number of planned attacks, including a plot to strike Kenya's parliament building and the United Nations office in Nairobi, as well as an Ethiopian restaurant patronized by Somali government officials, the Associated Press reported last year.

The al-Shabaab militants shocked the world on Sept. 21, 2013, when they stormed the Westgate shopping complex in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, slaughtering at least 67 people with guns and grenades.

Daniel Arkin of NBC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/26/22457648-us-missile-strike-targets-suspected-militant-leader-in-somalia?lite
0 Comments

Sat

31

Jan

2015

Malaria News Feeds: Combining bednets, vaccines 'good or bad for malaria' - SciDev.Net

Malaria control methods that combine insecticide-treated bednets and vaccines could increase or decrease the rate of infection, according to a new modelling study.

Almost 600,000 people, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, died of malaria in 2013, according to the estimates of the WHO released last month.

While no malaria vaccines have yet been approved for use, about 25 candidates are in development, researchers say. The candidates fall into three categories: preerythrocytic vaccines (PEVs), which reduce risk of infection from disease-carrying mosquitos; blood-stage vaccines (BSVs), which reduce disease severity and transmission blocking vaccines (TBVs), which reduce the rate at which others are infected.

"In countries where bednets are very effective, should we be focusing on developing a vaccine that may make the situation worse if used with bednets?"

Andrew Dobson, Princeton University

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this month (19 January), scientists from the Netherlands and the United States used a general mathematical model of malaria transmission to examine the interaction between bednets and these vaccine types.

The results showed that interactions between bed nets with PEVs and BSVs reduced levels of natural immunity, leading to an increase in malaria cases in older children and adults. However, using bednets and TBVs provided significant benefits both at individual and population level.

"Ironically, the vaccines that work best with bednets are the ones that do not protect the vaccinated host -- the bednet does that -- but instead block transmission of malaria in mosquitos that have found an opportunity to bite vaccinated hosts," says Yael Atzy-Randrup, one of the study's authors, who is an assistant professor of theoretical ecology at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The results pose a public health dilemma, according to co-author Andrew Dobson. "We have to have a much broader discussion about whether people are prepared to use a vaccine that doesn't explicitly protect them, but helps protect others in the population," he says.

Dobson, who is a professor of ecology and evolutionary at the US-based Princeton University, adds that the availability of funds and resources should also be considered. "In countries where bednets are very effective, should we be focusing on developing a vaccine that may make the situation worse if used with bednets?" he asks.

According to Maureen Coetzee, director of the Malaria Entomology Research Unit at South Africa's University of Witwatersrand, the distribution of treated bednets has been scaled up considerably in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Coetzee says some areas use mosquito coils and indoor house spraying, and adds that the health-seeking behaviour of individuals in these communities should also be considered in combined malaria control strategies.

"You've got communities that have few resources and facilities and must rely on what's readily available," Coetzee explains. "Even if TBVs are effective, they offer limited protection and should never be anything more than a supplementary tool."

Link to full article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

This article has been produced by SciDev.Net's Sub-Saharan Africa desk.

References

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi 10.1073/pnas.1409467112 (2015)

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2015

You Don't Want To Monkey Around With Monkey Malaria



The long-tailed macaque carries a virulent strain of malaria that is responsible for an increasing number of human infections in Malaysia. Shankar S./Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Shankar S./Flickr

The long-tailed macaque carries a virulent strain of malaria that is responsible for an increasing number of human infections in Malaysia.

Shankar S./Flickr

In Southeast Asia, the battle against malaria is growing even more complicated. And it's all because of monkeys, who carry a form of malaria that until a few years ago wasn't a problem for people.

"According to the textbooks there are only four species of plasmodium parasites that cause malaria in humans," says Balbir Singh, the director of the Malaria Research Center at the University of Malaysia in Sarawak. Now a fifth malaria parasite, called plasmodium knowlesi, has become the leading cause of malaria hospitalizations in Malaysian Borneo.

"At some hospitals in Malaysian Borneo," Singh says, "Up to 95 percent, even 100 percent of the cases are actually this monkey malaria."

The knowlesi parasite used to be found only in monkeys. But as farmers have cleared more land for palm oil plantations and new hydroelectric dams are built, the area's long-tailed macaques are being squeezed out of their original habitats. So the monkeys end up living closer to people. And the mosquitoes that transmit the parasite are now biting and infecting humans.

It's a tough malaria to deal with. The mosquito that carries monkey malaria, Anopheles leucosphyrus, feeds mainly at night and outdoors. So the traditional anti-malaria campaigns, which hand out bed nets and spray homes with insecticides, won't help.

What's more, lab technicians in Malaysia often misidentify this new parasite as the more benign plasmodium malarie. The milder form can be treated with pills; monkey malaria often requires hospitalization and a regimen of intravenous drugs. That's because of its aggressive nature. The knowlesi parasite reproduces every 24 hours in the patient's blood while the milder plasmodium malarie takes 3 days to replicate. So monkey malaria comes on fast and can quickly make a person terribly sick. It also has the potential to kill, as do some other strains of malaria. But plasmodium malarie does not.

The fact that the plasmodium knowlesi parasite resides in monkeys also makes it difficult to stop the spread of the disease. In the other forms of malaria, wiping out the parasite in humans can bring transmission in an area to a halt.

With monkey malaria this isn't possible because of the large number of long-tailed macaques in the Malaysian jungle. Singh notes that they're a protected species so any temptation to attack the disease by reducing the monkey population probably isn't feasible.

Singh predicts that the number of cases of monkey malaria will only go up as human development pushes further into the habitat of the long-tailed macaque. The parasite doesn't make the macaques sick, so the parasite and the monkeys get along peacefully. The problems arise when the people are linked to the monkey malaria chain.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/12/11/369666584/you-dont-want-to-monkey-around-with-monkey-malaria?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
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2015

A $1 Microscope Folds From Paper With A Drop Of Glue



All folded up and ready to magnify: The Foldscope weighs less than two nickels, is small enough to fit in your back pocket and offers more than 2,000-fold magnification. TED/YouTube hide caption

itoggle caption TED/YouTube

All folded up and ready to magnify: The Foldscope weighs less than two nickels, is small enough to fit in your back pocket and offers more than 2,000-fold magnification.

TED/YouTube

We have pocket watches, pocket cameras and now -- with smartphones -- pocket computers.

So why shouldn't doctors and scientists around the world have pocket microscopes?

Origami microscope: Lines on the paper show you how to fold up and assemble the microscope.

Courtesy of Prakash lab

Bioengineer Manu Prakash and his team at Stanford University have designed a light microscope that not only fits in your pocket but costs less than a dollar to make.

And here's the coolest part: You put the microscope together yourself, by folding it.

Imagine all the uses for this so-called Foldscope. Even in the poorest corners of the globe, doctors and scientists could use the pocket scope to diagnose common bacteria and pathogens, such as giardia, Chagas and malaria.

Here's how it works.

Using Foldscope is simple: Stick the glass slide in the middle pocket and look through the lens. The microscope even has a stage.

Courtesy of the Prakash lab

"So the starting material looks really like a flat sheet of paper," Prakash says.

That's because, well, it is a flat sheet of paper. But it has a thin plastic coating that makes it sturdier and resistant to tearing, Prakash says.

Then he and his team run the paper through a special printer that actually prints a lens on the paper. "You should think of it as a drop of glue, a tiny drop of glue," he says, "except it is an optical-quality glue."

The printer also prints lines on the paper, showing people where to make the folds that will align the light on the lens so the microscope will work.

It turns out people can fold paper quite accurately, Prakash says. "So that's one of the things that is hidden in the design that allows us to make instruments that are very precise, but actually are just made by people folding a simple sheet."

And all the components of the Foldscope are quite cheap. When you manufacture 10,000 devices:

The sheet of paper costs 6 cents.

The lens costs between 17 and 56 cents, depending on the type of lens and microscope.

Add in an LED light for 21 cents.

A battery for 6 cents.

An on-off switch for 5 cents.

And a few other bits and bobs, and you've got a microscope for less than a dollar.

Prakash says he expects some people will use the microscope in schools. And others will find them useful in clinics or laboratories for doing simple medical tests or for making field repairs of small electronic equipment. But he's sending the Foldscopes out to many people around the world, hoping they'll find uses for them that he can't even imagine.

"By the end of the summer," he says, "we'll be shipping 50,000 of these microscopes to 130 countries, and then just watch what happens." Or to put it another way: He'll see what unfolds.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/03/345521442/a-1-microscope-folds-up-from-paper-and-a-lens-of-glue?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
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2015

If You Think You'll Never See A Poem About Malaria, You're Wrong



Poet Cameron Conaway (left, in gray cap) visits malaria-hit areas in the Chittagong Tract Hills, Bangladesh, in June 2012. Courtesy of Cameron Conaway hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Cameron Conaway

Poet Cameron Conaway (left, in gray cap) visits malaria-hit areas in the Chittagong Tract Hills, Bangladesh, in June 2012.

Courtesy of Cameron Conaway

Before traveling to Thailand in 2011, American poet Cameron Conaway viewed malaria as many Westerners do: a remote disease summed up by factoids:

It's borne by mosquitoes.

Half the world's population -- 3.4 billion people -- is at risk of catching it.

The disease claims 627,000 lives a year - that's one death every minute.

Conaway, 29, gives a human face to those figures in his new collection, Malaria, Poems. Each poem is paired with a related fact: "roughly one in ten children will suffer from neurological impairment after cerebral malaria" connects to a poem with this line:

"Here / a girl of ten / confused / why her arms won't raise / when she's asked to raise them"

Conaway started writing poetry in 2004, inspired by Lee Peterson, his poetry instructor at Penn State Altoona, who wrote about the Bosnian war. "She taught me that these literary tools weren't just for playing in the sandbox," says Conaway. "They could serve a social purpose."

He came to malaria in a roundabout way. Conaway's trip to Thailand was motivated by a desire to practice Mauy Thai kickboxing (he is a former mixed martial arts fighter and people sometimes call him "the warrior poet"). After he arrived in Bangkok, he met another poet hanging out there, Colin Cheney, who told him about the Wellcome Trust, a global charity that funds health research as well as projects on how culture affects health issues, such as with their features publication Mosaic. The Trust was soliciting applicants for its arts award, so Conaway attended one of the its conferences. There, he met Nick Day, the director of Bangkok's Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), one of the Trust's affiliates.

"I was impressed by Day's ability to talk about malaria and his research in ways that a normal human could understand. He did so with charisma and I really connected with him," says Conaway.

And Conaway learned that malaria has a poetic history. Sir Ronald Ross, who won a Nobel Prize in 1902 for identifying malaria parasites, often wrote poetry about the disease and his discovery:

"With tears and toiling breath / I find thy cunning seeds / O million-murdering death."

With Day's suggestion, Conaway applied for the Trust's arts award and became MORU's first poet-in-residence. He spent seven months traveling to villages and vaccine research centers near Bangkok and in Bangladesh, gathering impressions for his work.

Malaria, Poems was published this month by Michigan State University Press. The poems touch on everything from counterfeit malaria medicines to stillbirths caused by the parasite to traveling bards who perform plays about malaria awareness. He also wrote poems that address social issues such as violence against women in Bangladesh and the lack of medical care in the region.

An excerpt from Malaria, Poems follows and describes Anopheles mosquitoes, which transmit the parasite between people.

SILENCE, ANOPHELES

You should have just asked the mosquito.

-- 14th Dalai Lama

It's risky business needing

(blood)

from others

not for science or even more life

for hellos and goodbyes

and most substances between

but so your kids can exit

while entering and spread

their wings long

after yours dry and carry on

by wind not will.

It's risky business feeding on others,

but we all do

one way or another.

It's risky business needing

when you have nothing,

but life has you and lives

writhe inside you.

Risky to solo into the wild

aisles of forearm hair thicket

for a mad sip,

not quick enough

to snuff the wick of awareness

but too fast for savoring.

A mad sip that makes

you gotcha or gone

and may paint you and yours

and them -- Plasmodium falciparum --

on the canvas you needed

to taste behind.

It's risky business needing

and then getting

and being too too

to know what to do --

too full and carrying

too many to fly.

It's risky business being

the silent messenger

of bad news when you don't know the bad news

is consuming you, too.

It's not risky business

being the blind black barrel

of pistol or proboscis,

but it is damn risky business being

the pointer or the pointed at.

It's risky business being

born without asking

for a beating heart.

Having and then needing to need

to want until next

or else

and sometimes still or else.

Risky when you're expected to deliver

babies and have no gods to guide

their walk on water

because you did it

long before they or him or her or it

never did.

Risky when you're born

on water and capricious cloudscapes

shape whether sun lets leaves

bleed their liquid shadow blankets

into marshes or mangrove swamps

or hoof prints or rice fields or kingdoms

of ditches.

It's risky business naming and being named

while skewered and viewed

under the skewed microscopic lens

of anthropocentrism

an (not) opheles (profit)

a goddess name, Anopheles,

that translates to mean useless

and sounds beautiful at first

then awful when its insides linger.

An(ophel)es, you are only 57% different, no,

you are 43% the same as me, no,

I am, no, we are 43% you, no, we all are

nearly, mostly.

It's risky business leaving

large clues --

a welt and then a dying child slobbering silver

under its mother's croon.

It's risky business being

when you don't

because you have two weeks

or less to do doing.

Risky business killing,

but it depends on who, where, when --

self-sufficient Malawi village in 2014

vs. the legend of Dante & Lord Byron.

Mae Sot or Maine, Rourkela or Leeds.

It's risky business killing

killers that always only want

their kind

of tropical retreat.

It's risky business being

small

profoundly --

the speck of black

sesame or apostrophe

blending in the expanse

of rye or papyrus

and taken

onto allergic tongues.

It's risky business sharing

your body with strangers --

uninvited multiplicities hijacking

what you have

because to them you are what you have.

Risky when all know

your 1 mile per hour,

your under 25 feet high for miles,

your 450 wingbeats per second.

Risky business being you

when some want not to fly

weeks with your wings

but walk days atop them.

Is it riskier business being content

and peacefully going extinct

or not being

content and forever brinking

in the bulbous ends of raindrops

that cling but fatten?

Like raindrops and us, Anopheles,

when you fatten, you fall.

History favors the fallen.

To drip

a long life

of falling

before the fall

or to live

a short life

oblivious to it all?

Risky that we exchange

counters -- DNA mutations

that make some of us

sometimes

sort of

immune to each other's jabs

though hooks always slip through,

and we send each other stumbling,

always stumbling, always only stumbling.

Changing ourselves changes each other.

Each other is ourselves.

They tell us it's risky business doing

being,

but it is more risky being

doing.

Did you hear all that, Anopheles?

How about now?

We're asking. We're good at that.

Does all life listen

at the speed of its growing?

Are we listening too loudly

or too slowly to your silence?

"Human malaria is transmitted only by females of the genus Anopheles. Of the approximately 430 Anopheles species, only 30-40 transmit malaria" (Malaria, Mosquitoes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 February 2010).

Excerpted from Malaria, Poems by Cameron Conaway. Copyright 2014 by Cameron Conaway. Excerpted by permission of Michigan State University Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/11/06/360469321/if-you-think-youll-never-see-a-poem-about-malaria-youre-wrong?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
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2015

Which Contagious Diseases Are The Deadliest?



Do you know what the deadliest disease is? Hint: It's not Ebola (viral particles seen here in a digitally colorized microscopic image, at top right, along with similar depictions of other contagious diseases) NPR Composite/CDC hide caption

itoggle caption NPR Composite/CDC

Do you know what the deadliest disease is? Hint: It's not Ebola (viral particles seen here in a digitally colorized microscopic image, at top right, along with similar depictions of other contagious diseases)

NPR Composite/CDC

No one knows what the death toll in the Ebola epidemic will be. As of Tuesday, nearly 2,500 people have died and nearly 5,000 have caught the virus, the World Health Organization says.

So how does this epidemic compare with the toll taken by other contagious diseases?

Comparing fatality rates could help put the current Ebola outbreak in perspective. Trouble is, getting an accurate value for many diseases can be hard, especially in places where the health care infrastructure is weak.

Take the situation in West Africa right now. "We can only count those who come to the doctor, not those who stayed home and got well, or those who stayed home and died," says Carol Sulis, an epidemiologist at Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston Medical Center.

Another issue is that "deadliest" can mean two things. It can refer to the fatality rate -- the number of deaths per number of cases -- or it can mean the number of deaths in total caused by a disease.

What's more, diseases can take a different toll in different parts of the world. In low- and middle-income countries, only limited medical care may be available, if that. This will raise the fatality rate for many infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria and infectious diarrhea.

"Similar to Ebola, people's chances of survival increase for most of these [contagious] diseases, some dramatically, if people receive medical treatment," says epidemiologist Derek Cummings, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Even if lists have their limitations, they can shed light. We spoke to Cummings and Sulis and consulted data from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come up with two lists: the deadliest contagious diseases by death toll and by death rate if untreated.

Data are for all fatalities in 2012, except for infectious diarrhea and pneumonia. For those, death tolls represent a yearly estimate and represent childhood victims only.

Deadliest Contagious Diseases By Death Toll

Comparison point: As of Sept. 7, the number of reported deaths in the current Ebola epidemic is 2,218.

HIV/AIDS: 1.6 million deaths

Even though HIV takes a tremendous toll each year, the population of people living with the disease is about 35 million.

Since antiretroviral therapy -- ART -- became available in the mid-1990s, life expectancy for someone infected with HIV has dramatically increased. Today, a person who is promptly diagnosed with HIV and treated can look forward to a close-to-normal life span.

But as with other diseases, Sulas says, "we have to have the infrastructure to find the cases and be able to afford the medicine and deliver it to those affected."

Tuberculosis: 1.3 million deaths

Despite the death toll for this airborne disease, there is encouraging news: 7.3 million people developed TB and survived in 2012.

Recovery requires a regimen of several drugs over a six- to nine-month period. Patients who don't follow the drug schedule can develop drug-resistant TB. Drug-resistant forms of TB are also airborne. For those patients, treatment can extend to two years.

Pneumonia: 1.1 million children under the age of 5

It's the world's leading killer of children, "more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined," WHO says. The risks are also high for the elderly and those with other underlying conditions. In rich countries, like the U.S., vaccines can prevent the disease, but that is not the case in much of the world.

Infectious Diarrhea: 760,000 children under the age of 5

"That's an enormous waste," Sulis says. The majority of cases (about 1.7 billion globally each year) could be prevented and treated with better hygiene and sanitation, along with access to clean food and water. "There are many pathogens" that can cause these infections, she says, "but the whole class of diseases categorized as infectious diarrhea is deadly."

Malaria: 627,000 deaths

The world records about 200 million malaria cases each year. According to WHO, "most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute from malaria."

There's a growing worry for both malaria and TB, Sulis says, because "the organisms that cause those diseases are becoming increasingly drug resistant throughout the world."

Deadliest Contagious Diseases By Fatality Rate (If Not Treated)

Here, as in the list above, fatality rates can be lowered significantly depending on the presence of sanitary conditions and the availability of medical care and vaccines.

We present the diseases that appear to have the highest fatality rates if not treated. If the rate is a range, we ranked the disease by the highest possible fatality rate.

Comparison Point: Outbreaks of Ebola can have fatality rates up to 90 percent, WHO says. But in the current outbreak, it's about 50 to 60 percent.

Rabies is nearly 100 percent fatal if not treated. There are approximately 55,000 deaths each year, primarily in Asia and Africa.

Doses of the rabies vaccine after a bite from an infected animal will essentially abort the disease. But a person must receive treatment immediately. Initial symptoms include discomfort where the bite occurred, anxiety and agitation. Once clinical signs such as delirium and hallucinations arise, the patient almost always succumbs.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is apparently 100 percent fatal.

This neurodegenerative disease rapidly progresses. It is caused by prions (nonviral, nonbacterial infectious agents that consist of a misfolded protein) that damage healthy brain tissue. Prions create holes in the brain that make it look like a sponge under the microscope.

CJD is classified as a contagious disease because it can be transmitted through contact with contaminated tissue during medical procedures. But it's not spread through the air or by casual contact.

No treatment exists for CJD. Its incidence is very low, affecting about 1 in 1 million people each year, with about 300 cases annually in the U.S. CJD can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms often resemble those of dementia and other diseases, with memory lapses, behavioral changes and sleep disturbances.

Marburg hemorraghic fever: 24 to 88 percent

Marburg is caused by a virus similar to Ebola, transmitted mainly by contact with bodily fluids from someone who's been infected. Fever, chills, headache and muscle pain are the first symptoms, showing up within five to 10 days after infection. The next stage can cause vomiting, diarrhea, delirium and organ dysfunction or failure. There's no known treatment beyond supportive hospital therapy. Since 1967, when Marburg was first recognized by scientists, there have been 571 reported cases.

H5N1 and H7N9 flu viruses: 60 percent for the former, 25 percent for the latter

These two viruses "remain two of the influenza viruses with pandemic potential," WHO says. They're in wide circulation among some groups of poultry; humans do not appear to have any immunity. The total number of human cases for both viruses so far is about 1,000. Some antiviral treatments and vaccines are available.

Middle East respiratory syndrome: 41 percent

First detected in 2012, this illness can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, fever and pneumonia. When patients die, the cause may be a lack of oxygen passing from the lungs into the blood. Scientists theorize that MERS could have first appeared in bats, which passed it to Arabian camels, which may then have infected humans. The majority of the 800 cases have been on the Arabian Peninsula.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/16/347727459/which-contagious-diseases-are-the-deadliest?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
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2015

Drones Are Taking Pictures That Could Demystify A Malaria Surge



Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Aerial drones are targeting a new enemy: malaria.

Four hundred feet above a Malaysian forest, a three-foot eBee drone hovers and takes pictures with a 16-megapixel camera every 10 to 20 seconds. But it's not gathering images of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Even today's best drones aren't capable of such a photographic marvel. Rather, the drone is looking at a changing landscape that holds clues to the disease's spread.

The malaria drone mission, described in a study published Oct. 22 in Trends in Parasitology, began in December 2013, when UK scientists decided to track a rare strain of the mosquito-borne disease that has surged near Southeast Asian cities. Understanding deforestation may be the key in seeing how this kind of malaria, known as Plasmodium knowlesi, is transmitted.

The mosquitoes that carry P. knowlesi are forest dwellers. The insects breed in cool pools of water under the forest canopy and sap blood from macaque monkeys that harbor the malaria parasite.

In Sabah, Malaysia, human cases of this kind of malaria didn't surface until about 10 years ago, says infectious disease specialist Kimberly Fornace of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is leading the drone study.

While cases of the most common malaria strains have steadily dropped during this time, P. knowlesi has thrived. It's now the number-one cause of malaria in the region. Fornace and her team suspect that human intrusion into forested areas has created more opportunities for the disease to pass between primates and humans via mosquitoes. The drone imagery they've collected so far suggests there were occasions where land development forced macaques within closer proximity of humans, who then developed malaria.

As part of a project called MONKEYBAR, the team tracks outbreaks by comparing the drone's land surveillance with hospital records of malaria cases. Meanwhile, a local wildlife commission has fitted macaques with GPS collars, which let scientists monitor the locations of monkey troops. Together, this information paints a public health map that explains how land development has influenced monkey movements -- and transmission of malaria to humans. In partnership with Conservation Drones, an organization that builds drones for under $1,000, Fornace and her team plan to build a drone that snaps thermal images of macaques, so the monkeys can someday be identified without GPS collars.

Drones provide a better surveillance picture than satellite images, which are the current standard for mapping environmental changes. But Google Earth images, for example, are only updated every few weeks or months, says parasitologist Chris Drakeley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who coauthored the Trends in Parasitology study with Fornace. Drones, he says, can provide a more comprehensive, continuous picture: "We avoid cloud cover and can see what the land use was like today, next week and the week after."

The public health implications of drone use extend far beyond malaria, says Harvard epidemiologist Nathan Eagle. Doctors have already used unmanned aircraft to carry medical supplies between rural clinics in South Africa and Haiti. Humanitarian drones also tracked property damage and hunted for survivors after Typhoon Haiyan. And when a disease like Ebola surfaces, a drone could scan for changes in bats' habitats, given that the winged mammals are proposed carriers of the hemorrhagic fever. The prices of these drones are dropping while their specs -- flight performance and cameras -- are improving, says Eagle. All of which means in a few years, a series of very inexpensive aerial vehicles will exist for wider use in public health research.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/22/357637900/drones-are-taking-pictures-that-could-demystify-a-malaria-surge?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
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2015

Which Contagious Diseases Are The Deadliest?



Do you know what the deadliest disease is? Hint: It's not Ebola (viral particles seen here in a digitally colorized microscopic image, at top right, along with similar depictions of other contagious diseases) NPR Composite/CDC hide caption

itoggle caption NPR Composite/CDC

Do you know what the deadliest disease is? Hint: It's not Ebola (viral particles seen here in a digitally colorized microscopic image, at top right, along with similar depictions of other contagious diseases)

NPR Composite/CDC

No one knows what the death toll in the Ebola epidemic will be. As of Tuesday, nearly 2,500 people have died and nearly 5,000 have caught the virus, the World Health Organization says.

So how does this epidemic compare with the toll taken by other contagious diseases?

Comparing fatality rates could help put the current Ebola outbreak in perspective. Trouble is, getting an accurate value for many diseases can be hard, especially in places where the health care infrastructure is weak.

Take the situation in West Africa right now. "We can only count those who come to the doctor, not those who stayed home and got well, or those who stayed home and died," says Carol Sulis, an epidemiologist at Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston Medical Center.

Another issue is that "deadliest" can mean two things. It can refer to the fatality rate -- the number of deaths per number of cases -- or it can mean the number of deaths in total caused by a disease.

What's more, diseases can take a different toll in different parts of the world. In low- and middle-income countries, only limited medical care may be available, if that. This will raise the fatality rate for many infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria and infectious diarrhea.

"Similar to Ebola, people's chances of survival increase for most of these [contagious] diseases, some dramatically, if people receive medical treatment," says epidemiologist Derek Cummings, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Even if lists have their limitations, they can shed light. We spoke to Cummings and Sulis and consulted data from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come up with two lists: the deadliest contagious diseases by death toll and by death rate if untreated.

Data are for all fatalities in 2012, except for infectious diarrhea and pneumonia. For those, death tolls represent a yearly estimate and represent childhood victims only.

Deadliest Contagious Diseases By Death Toll

Comparison point: As of Sept. 7, the number of reported deaths in the current Ebola epidemic is 2,218.

HIV/AIDS: 1.6 million deaths

Even though HIV takes a tremendous toll each year, the population of people living with the disease is about 35 million.

Since antiretroviral therapy -- ART -- became available in the mid-1990s, life expectancy for someone infected with HIV has dramatically increased. Today, a person who is promptly diagnosed with HIV and treated can look forward to a close-to-normal life span.

But as with other diseases, Sulas says, "we have to have the infrastructure to find the cases and be able to afford the medicine and deliver it to those affected."

Tuberculosis: 1.3 million deaths

Despite the death toll for this airborne disease, there is encouraging news: 7.3 million people developed TB and survived in 2012.

Recovery requires a regimen of several drugs over a six- to nine-month period. Patients who don't follow the drug schedule can develop drug-resistant TB. Drug-resistant forms of TB are also airborne. For those patients, treatment can extend to two years.

Pneumonia: 1.1 million children under the age of 5

It's the world's leading killer of children, "more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined," WHO says. The risks are also high for the elderly and those with other underlying conditions. In rich countries, like the U.S., vaccines can prevent the disease, but that is not the case in much of the world.

Infectious Diarrhea: 760,000 children under the age of 5

"That's an enormous waste," Sulis says. The majority of cases (about 1.7 billion globally each year) could be prevented and treated with better hygiene and sanitation, along with access to clean food and water. "There are many pathogens" that can cause these infections, she says, "but the whole class of diseases categorized as infectious diarrhea is deadly."

Malaria: 627,000 deaths

The world records about 200 million malaria cases each year. According to WHO, "most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute from malaria."

There's a growing worry for both malaria and TB, Sulis says, because "the organisms that cause those diseases are becoming increasingly drug resistant throughout the world."

Deadliest Contagious Diseases By Fatality Rate (If Not Treated)

Here, as in the list above, fatality rates can be lowered significantly depending on the presence of sanitary conditions and the availability of medical care and vaccines.

We present the diseases that appear to have the highest fatality rates if not treated. If the rate is a range, we ranked the disease by the highest possible fatality rate.

Comparison Point: Outbreaks of Ebola can have fatality rates up to 90 percent, WHO says. But in the current outbreak, it's about 50 to 60 percent.

Rabies is nearly 100 percent fatal if not treated. There are approximately 55,000 deaths each year, primarily in Asia and Africa.

Doses of the rabies vaccine after a bite from an infected animal will essentially abort the disease. But a person must receive treatment immediately. Initial symptoms include discomfort where the bite occurred, anxiety and agitation. Once clinical signs such as delirium and hallucinations arise, the patient almost always succumbs.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is apparently 100 percent fatal.

This neurodegenerative disease rapidly progresses. It is caused by prions (nonviral, nonbacterial infectious agents that consist of a misfolded protein) that damage healthy brain tissue. Prions create holes in the brain that make it look like a sponge under the microscope.

CJD is classified as a contagious disease because it can be transmitted through contact with contaminated tissue during medical procedures. But it's not spread through the air or by casual contact.

No treatment exists for CJD. Its incidence is very low, affecting about 1 in 1 million people each year, with about 300 cases annually in the U.S. CJD can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms often resemble those of dementia and other diseases, with memory lapses, behavioral changes and sleep disturbances.

Marburg hemorraghic fever: 24 to 88 percent

Marburg is caused by a virus similar to Ebola, transmitted mainly by contact with bodily fluids from someone who's been infected. Fever, chills, headache and muscle pain are the first symptoms, showing up within five to 10 days after infection. The next stage can cause vomiting, diarrhea, delirium and organ dysfunction or failure. There's no known treatment beyond supportive hospital therapy. Since 1967, when Marburg was first recognized by scientists, there have been 571 reported cases.

H5N1 and H7N9 flu viruses: 60 percent for the former, 25 percent for the latter

These two viruses "remain two of the influenza viruses with pandemic potential," WHO says. They're in wide circulation among some groups of poultry; humans do not appear to have any immunity. The total number of human cases for both viruses so far is about 1,000. Some antiviral treatments and vaccines are available.

Middle East respiratory syndrome: 41 percent

First detected in 2012, this illness can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, fever and pneumonia. When patients die, the cause may be a lack of oxygen passing from the lungs into the blood. Scientists theorize that MERS could have first appeared in bats, which passed it to Arabian camels, which may then have infected humans. The majority of the 800 cases have been on the Arabian Peninsula.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/16/347727459/which-contagious-diseases-are-the-deadliest?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
1 Comments

Sun

18

Jan

2015

Drones Are Taking Pictures That Could Demystify A Malaria Surge



Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Aerial drones are targeting a new enemy: malaria.

Four hundred feet above a Malaysian forest, a three-foot eBee drone hovers and takes pictures with a 16-megapixel camera every 10 to 20 seconds. But it's not gathering images of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Even today's best drones aren't capable of such a photographic marvel. Rather, the drone is looking at a changing landscape that holds clues to the disease's spread.

The malaria drone mission, described in a study published Oct. 22 in Trends in Parasitology, began in December 2013, when UK scientists decided to track a rare strain of the mosquito-borne disease that has surged near Southeast Asian cities. Understanding deforestation may be the key in seeing how this kind of malaria, known as Plasmodium knowlesi, is transmitted.

The mosquitoes that carry P. knowlesi are forest dwellers. The insects breed in cool pools of water under the forest canopy and sap blood from macaque monkeys that harbor the malaria parasite.

In Sabah, Malaysia, human cases of this kind of malaria didn't surface until about 10 years ago, says infectious disease specialist Kimberly Fornace of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is leading the drone study.

While cases of the most common malaria strains have steadily dropped during this time, P. knowlesi has thrived. It's now the number-one cause of malaria in the region. Fornace and her team suspect that human intrusion into forested areas has created more opportunities for the disease to pass between primates and humans via mosquitoes. The drone imagery they've collected so far suggests there were occasions where land development forced macaques within closer proximity of humans, who then developed malaria.

As part of a project called MONKEYBAR, the team tracks outbreaks by comparing the drone's land surveillance with hospital records of malaria cases. Meanwhile, a local wildlife commission has fitted macaques with GPS collars, which let scientists monitor the locations of monkey troops. Together, this information paints a public health map that explains how land development has influenced monkey movements -- and transmission of malaria to humans. In partnership with Conservation Drones, an organization that builds drones for under $1,000, Fornace and her team plan to build a drone that snaps thermal images of macaques, so the monkeys can someday be identified without GPS collars.

Drones provide a better surveillance picture than satellite images, which are the current standard for mapping environmental changes. But Google Earth images, for example, are only updated every few weeks or months, says parasitologist Chris Drakeley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who coauthored the Trends in Parasitology study with Fornace. Drones, he says, can provide a more comprehensive, continuous picture: "We avoid cloud cover and can see what the land use was like today, next week and the week after."

The public health implications of drone use extend far beyond malaria, says Harvard epidemiologist Nathan Eagle. Doctors have already used unmanned aircraft to carry medical supplies between rural clinics in South Africa and Haiti. Humanitarian drones also tracked property damage and hunted for survivors after Typhoon Haiyan. And when a disease like Ebola surfaces, a drone could scan for changes in bats' habitats, given that the winged mammals are proposed carriers of the hemorrhagic fever. The prices of these drones are dropping while their specs -- flight performance and cameras -- are improving, says Eagle. All of which means in a few years, a series of very inexpensive aerial vehicles will exist for wider use in public health research.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/22/357637900/drones-are-taking-pictures-that-could-demystify-a-malaria-surge?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
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Sun

18

Jan

2015

A $1 Microscope Folds From Paper With A Drop Of Glue



All folded up and ready to magnify: The Foldscope weighs less than two nickels, is small enough to fit in your back pocket and offers more than 2,000-fold magnification. TED/YouTube hide caption

itoggle caption TED/YouTube

All folded up and ready to magnify: The Foldscope weighs less than two nickels, is small enough to fit in your back pocket and offers more than 2,000-fold magnification.

TED/YouTube

We have pocket watches, pocket cameras and now -- with smartphones -- pocket computers.

So why shouldn't doctors and scientists around the world have pocket microscopes?

Origami microscope: Lines on the paper show you how to fold up and assemble the microscope.

Courtesy of Prakash lab

Bioengineer Manu Prakash and his team at Stanford University have designed a light microscope that not only fits in your pocket but costs less than a dollar to make.

And here's the coolest part: You put the microscope together yourself, by folding it.

Imagine all the uses for this so-called Foldscope. Even in the poorest corners of the globe, doctors and scientists could use the pocket scope to diagnose common bacteria and pathogens, such as giardia, Chagas and malaria.

Here's how it works.

Using Foldscope is simple: Stick the glass slide in the middle pocket and look through the lens. The microscope even has a stage.

Courtesy of the Prakash lab

"So the starting material looks really like a flat sheet of paper," Prakash says.

That's because, well, it is a flat sheet of paper. But it has a thin plastic coating that makes it sturdier and resistant to tearing, Prakash says.

Then he and his team run the paper through a special printer that actually prints a lens on the paper. "You should think of it as a drop of glue, a tiny drop of glue," he says, "except it is an optical-quality glue."

The printer also prints lines on the paper, showing people where to make the folds that will align the light on the lens so the microscope will work.

It turns out people can fold paper quite accurately, Prakash says. "So that's one of the things that is hidden in the design that allows us to make instruments that are very precise, but actually are just made by people folding a simple sheet."

And all the components of the Foldscope are quite cheap. When you manufacture 10,000 devices:

The sheet of paper costs 6 cents.

The lens costs between 17 and 56 cents, depending on the type of lens and microscope.

Add in an LED light for 21 cents.

A battery for 6 cents.

An on-off switch for 5 cents.

And a few other bits and bobs, and you've got a microscope for less than a dollar.

Prakash says he expects some people will use the microscope in schools. And others will find them useful in clinics or laboratories for doing simple medical tests or for making field repairs of small electronic equipment. But he's sending the Foldscopes out to many people around the world, hoping they'll find uses for them that he can't even imagine.

"By the end of the summer," he says, "we'll be shipping 50,000 of these microscopes to 130 countries, and then just watch what happens." Or to put it another way: He'll see what unfolds.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/03/345521442/a-1-microscope-folds-up-from-paper-and-a-lens-of-glue?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Thu

15

Jan

2015

Drones Are Taking Pictures That Could Demystify A Malaria Surge



Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Aerial drones are targeting a new enemy: malaria.

Four hundred feet above a Malaysian forest, a three-foot eBee drone hovers and takes pictures with a 16-megapixel camera every 10 to 20 seconds. But it's not gathering images of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Even today's best drones aren't capable of such a photographic marvel. Rather, the drone is looking at a changing landscape that holds clues to the disease's spread.

The malaria drone mission, described in a study published Oct. 22 in Trends in Parasitology, began in December 2013, when UK scientists decided to track a rare strain of the mosquito-borne disease that has surged near Southeast Asian cities. Understanding deforestation may be the key in seeing how this kind of malaria, known as Plasmodium knowlesi, is transmitted.

The mosquitoes that carry P. knowlesi are forest dwellers. The insects breed in cool pools of water under the forest canopy and sap blood from macaque monkeys that harbor the malaria parasite.

In Sabah, Malaysia, human cases of this kind of malaria didn't surface until about 10 years ago, says infectious disease specialist Kimberly Fornace of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is leading the drone study.

While cases of the most common malaria strains have steadily dropped during this time, P. knowlesi has thrived. It's now the number-one cause of malaria in the region. Fornace and her team suspect that human intrusion into forested areas has created more opportunities for the disease to pass between primates and humans via mosquitoes. The drone imagery they've collected so far suggests there were occasions where land development forced macaques within closer proximity of humans, who then developed malaria.

As part of a project called MONKEYBAR, the team tracks outbreaks by comparing the drone's land surveillance with hospital records of malaria cases. Meanwhile, a local wildlife commission has fitted macaques with GPS collars, which let scientists monitor the locations of monkey troops. Together, this information paints a public health map that explains how land development has influenced monkey movements -- and transmission of malaria to humans. In partnership with Conservation Drones, an organization that builds drones for under $1,000, Fornace and her team plan to build a drone that snaps thermal images of macaques, so the monkeys can someday be identified without GPS collars.

Drones provide a better surveillance picture than satellite images, which are the current standard for mapping environmental changes. But Google Earth images, for example, are only updated every few weeks or months, says parasitologist Chris Drakeley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who coauthored the Trends in Parasitology study with Fornace. Drones, he says, can provide a more comprehensive, continuous picture: "We avoid cloud cover and can see what the land use was like today, next week and the week after."

The public health implications of drone use extend far beyond malaria, says Harvard epidemiologist Nathan Eagle. Doctors have already used unmanned aircraft to carry medical supplies between rural clinics in South Africa and Haiti. Humanitarian drones also tracked property damage and hunted for survivors after Typhoon Haiyan. And when a disease like Ebola surfaces, a drone could scan for changes in bats' habitats, given that the winged mammals are proposed carriers of the hemorrhagic fever. The prices of these drones are dropping while their specs -- flight performance and cameras -- are improving, says Eagle. All of which means in a few years, a series of very inexpensive aerial vehicles will exist for wider use in public health research.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/22/357637900/drones-are-taking-pictures-that-could-demystify-a-malaria-surge?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Mon

12

Jan

2015

Drones Are Taking Pictures That Could Demystify A Malaria Surge



Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Aerial drones are targeting a new enemy: malaria.

Four hundred feet above a Malaysian forest, a three-foot eBee drone hovers and takes pictures with a 16-megapixel camera every 10 to 20 seconds. But it's not gathering images of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Even today's best drones aren't capable of such a photographic marvel. Rather, the drone is looking at a changing landscape that holds clues to the disease's spread.

The malaria drone mission, described in a study published Oct. 22 in Trends in Parasitology, began in December 2013, when UK scientists decided to track a rare strain of the mosquito-borne disease that has surged near Southeast Asian cities. Understanding deforestation may be the key in seeing how this kind of malaria, known as Plasmodium knowlesi, is transmitted.

The mosquitoes that carry P. knowlesi are forest dwellers. The insects breed in cool pools of water under the forest canopy and sap blood from macaque monkeys that harbor the malaria parasite.

In Sabah, Malaysia, human cases of this kind of malaria didn't surface until about 10 years ago, says infectious disease specialist Kimberly Fornace of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is leading the drone study.

While cases of the most common malaria strains have steadily dropped during this time, P. knowlesi has thrived. It's now the number-one cause of malaria in the region. Fornace and her team suspect that human intrusion into forested areas has created more opportunities for the disease to pass between primates and humans via mosquitoes. The drone imagery they've collected so far suggests there were occasions where land development forced macaques within closer proximity of humans, who then developed malaria.

As part of a project called MONKEYBAR, the team tracks outbreaks by comparing the drone's land surveillance with hospital records of malaria cases. Meanwhile, a local wildlife commission has fitted macaques with GPS collars, which let scientists monitor the locations of monkey troops. Together, this information paints a public health map that explains how land development has influenced monkey movements -- and transmission of malaria to humans. In partnership with Conservation Drones, an organization that builds drones for under $1,000, Fornace and her team plan to build a drone that snaps thermal images of macaques, so the monkeys can someday be identified without GPS collars.

Drones provide a better surveillance picture than satellite images, which are the current standard for mapping environmental changes. But Google Earth images, for example, are only updated every few weeks or months, says parasitologist Chris Drakeley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who coauthored the Trends in Parasitology study with Fornace. Drones, he says, can provide a more comprehensive, continuous picture: "We avoid cloud cover and can see what the land use was like today, next week and the week after."

The public health implications of drone use extend far beyond malaria, says Harvard epidemiologist Nathan Eagle. Doctors have already used unmanned aircraft to carry medical supplies between rural clinics in South Africa and Haiti. Humanitarian drones also tracked property damage and hunted for survivors after Typhoon Haiyan. And when a disease like Ebola surfaces, a drone could scan for changes in bats' habitats, given that the winged mammals are proposed carriers of the hemorrhagic fever. The prices of these drones are dropping while their specs -- flight performance and cameras -- are improving, says Eagle. All of which means in a few years, a series of very inexpensive aerial vehicles will exist for wider use in public health research.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/22/357637900/drones-are-taking-pictures-that-could-demystify-a-malaria-surge?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Sun

11

Jan

2015

If You Think You'll Never See A Poem About Malaria, You're Wrong



Poet Cameron Conaway (left, in gray cap) visits malaria-hit areas in the Chittagong Tract Hills, Bangladesh, in June 2012. Courtesy of Cameron Conaway hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Cameron Conaway

Poet Cameron Conaway (left, in gray cap) visits malaria-hit areas in the Chittagong Tract Hills, Bangladesh, in June 2012.

Courtesy of Cameron Conaway

Before traveling to Thailand in 2011, American poet Cameron Conaway viewed malaria as many Westerners do: a remote disease summed up by factoids:

It's borne by mosquitoes.

Half the world's population -- 3.4 billion people -- is at risk of catching it.

The disease claims 627,000 lives a year - that's one death every minute.

Conaway, 29, gives a human face to those figures in his new collection, Malaria, Poems. Each poem is paired with a related fact: "roughly one in ten children will suffer from neurological impairment after cerebral malaria" connects to a poem with this line:

"Here / a girl of ten / confused / why her arms won't raise / when she's asked to raise them"

Conaway started writing poetry in 2004, inspired by Lee Peterson, his poetry instructor at Penn State Altoona, who wrote about the Bosnian war. "She taught me that these literary tools weren't just for playing in the sandbox," says Conaway. "They could serve a social purpose."

He came to malaria in a roundabout way. Conaway's trip to Thailand was motivated by a desire to practice Mauy Thai kickboxing (he is a former mixed martial arts fighter and people sometimes call him "the warrior poet"). After he arrived in Bangkok, he met another poet hanging out there, Colin Cheney, who told him about the Wellcome Trust, a global charity that funds health research as well as projects on how culture affects health issues, such as with their features publication Mosaic. The Trust was soliciting applicants for its arts award, so Conaway attended one of the its conferences. There, he met Nick Day, the director of Bangkok's Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), one of the Trust's affiliates.

"I was impressed by Day's ability to talk about malaria and his research in ways that a normal human could understand. He did so with charisma and I really connected with him," says Conaway.

And Conaway learned that malaria has a poetic history. Sir Ronald Ross, who won a Nobel Prize in 1902 for identifying malaria parasites, often wrote poetry about the disease and his discovery:

"With tears and toiling breath / I find thy cunning seeds / O million-murdering death."

With Day's suggestion, Conaway applied for the Trust's arts award and became MORU's first poet-in-residence. He spent seven months traveling to villages and vaccine research centers near Bangkok and in Bangladesh, gathering impressions for his work.

Malaria, Poems was published this month by Michigan State University Press. The poems touch on everything from counterfeit malaria medicines to stillbirths caused by the parasite to traveling bards who perform plays about malaria awareness. He also wrote poems that address social issues such as violence against women in Bangladesh and the lack of medical care in the region.

An excerpt from Malaria, Poems follows and describes Anopheles mosquitoes, which transmit the parasite between people.

SILENCE, ANOPHELES

You should have just asked the mosquito.

-- 14th Dalai Lama

It's risky business needing

(blood)

from others

not for science or even more life

for hellos and goodbyes

and most substances between

but so your kids can exit

while entering and spread

their wings long

after yours dry and carry on

by wind not will.

It's risky business feeding on others,

but we all do

one way or another.

It's risky business needing

when you have nothing,

but life has you and lives

writhe inside you.

Risky to solo into the wild

aisles of forearm hair thicket

for a mad sip,

not quick enough

to snuff the wick of awareness

but too fast for savoring.

A mad sip that makes

you gotcha or gone

and may paint you and yours

and them -- Plasmodium falciparum --

on the canvas you needed

to taste behind.

It's risky business needing

and then getting

and being too too

to know what to do --

too full and carrying

too many to fly.

It's risky business being

the silent messenger

of bad news when you don't know the bad news

is consuming you, too.

It's not risky business

being the blind black barrel

of pistol or proboscis,

but it is damn risky business being

the pointer or the pointed at.

It's risky business being

born without asking

for a beating heart.

Having and then needing to need

to want until next

or else

and sometimes still or else.

Risky when you're expected to deliver

babies and have no gods to guide

their walk on water

because you did it

long before they or him or her or it

never did.

Risky when you're born

on water and capricious cloudscapes

shape whether sun lets leaves

bleed their liquid shadow blankets

into marshes or mangrove swamps

or hoof prints or rice fields or kingdoms

of ditches.

It's risky business naming and being named

while skewered and viewed

under the skewed microscopic lens

of anthropocentrism

an (not) opheles (profit)

a goddess name, Anopheles,

that translates to mean useless

and sounds beautiful at first

then awful when its insides linger.

An(ophel)es, you are only 57% different, no,

you are 43% the same as me, no,

I am, no, we are 43% you, no, we all are

nearly, mostly.

It's risky business leaving

large clues --

a welt and then a dying child slobbering silver

under its mother's croon.

It's risky business being

when you don't

because you have two weeks

or less to do doing.

Risky business killing,

but it depends on who, where, when --

self-sufficient Malawi village in 2014

vs. the legend of Dante & Lord Byron.

Mae Sot or Maine, Rourkela or Leeds.

It's risky business killing

killers that always only want

their kind

of tropical retreat.

It's risky business being

small

profoundly --

the speck of black

sesame or apostrophe

blending in the expanse

of rye or papyrus

and taken

onto allergic tongues.

It's risky business sharing

your body with strangers --

uninvited multiplicities hijacking

what you have

because to them you are what you have.

Risky when all know

your 1 mile per hour,

your under 25 feet high for miles,

your 450 wingbeats per second.

Risky business being you

when some want not to fly

weeks with your wings

but walk days atop them.

Is it riskier business being content

and peacefully going extinct

or not being

content and forever brinking

in the bulbous ends of raindrops

that cling but fatten?

Like raindrops and us, Anopheles,

when you fatten, you fall.

History favors the fallen.

To drip

a long life

of falling

before the fall

or to live

a short life

oblivious to it all?

Risky that we exchange

counters -- DNA mutations

that make some of us

sometimes

sort of

immune to each other's jabs

though hooks always slip through,

and we send each other stumbling,

always stumbling, always only stumbling.

Changing ourselves changes each other.

Each other is ourselves.

They tell us it's risky business doing

being,

but it is more risky being

doing.

Did you hear all that, Anopheles?

How about now?

We're asking. We're good at that.

Does all life listen

at the speed of its growing?

Are we listening too loudly

or too slowly to your silence?

"Human malaria is transmitted only by females of the genus Anopheles. Of the approximately 430 Anopheles species, only 30-40 transmit malaria" (Malaria, Mosquitoes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 February 2010).

Excerpted from Malaria, Poems by Cameron Conaway. Copyright 2014 by Cameron Conaway. Excerpted by permission of Michigan State University Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/11/06/360469321/if-you-think-youll-never-see-a-poem-about-malaria-youre-wrong?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Thu

08

Jan

2015

You Don't Want To Monkey Around With Monkey Malaria



The long-tailed macaque carries a virulent strain of malaria that is responsible for an increasing number of human infections in Malaysia. Shankar S./Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Shankar S./Flickr

The long-tailed macaque carries a virulent strain of malaria that is responsible for an increasing number of human infections in Malaysia.

Shankar S./Flickr

In Southeast Asia, the battle against malaria is growing even more complicated. And it's all because of monkeys, who carry a form of malaria that until a few years ago wasn't a problem for people.

"According to the textbooks there are only four species of plasmodium parasites that cause malaria in humans," says Balbir Singh, the director of the Malaria Research Center at the University of Malaysia in Sarawak. Now a fifth malaria parasite, called plasmodium knowlesi, has become the leading cause of malaria hospitalizations in Malaysian Borneo.

"At some hospitals in Malaysian Borneo," Singh says, "Up to 95 percent, even 100 percent of the cases are actually this monkey malaria."

The knowlesi parasite used to be found only in monkeys. But as farmers have cleared more land for palm oil plantations and new hydroelectric dams are built, the area's long-tailed macaques are being squeezed out of their original habitats. So the monkeys end up living closer to people. And the mosquitoes that transmit the parasite are now biting and infecting humans.

It's a tough malaria to deal with. The mosquito that carries monkey malaria, Anopheles leucosphyrus, feeds mainly at night and outdoors. So the traditional anti-malaria campaigns, which hand out bed nets and spray homes with insecticides, won't help.

What's more, lab technicians in Malaysia often misidentify this new parasite as the more benign plasmodium malarie. The milder form can be treated with pills; monkey malaria often requires hospitalization and a regimen of intravenous drugs. That's because of its aggressive nature. The knowlesi parasite reproduces every 24 hours in the patient's blood while the milder plasmodium malarie takes 3 days to replicate. So monkey malaria comes on fast and can quickly make a person terribly sick. It also has the potential to kill, as do some other strains of malaria. But plasmodium malarie does not.

The fact that the plasmodium knowlesi parasite resides in monkeys also makes it difficult to stop the spread of the disease. In the other forms of malaria, wiping out the parasite in humans can bring transmission in an area to a halt.

With monkey malaria this isn't possible because of the large number of long-tailed macaques in the Malaysian jungle. Singh notes that they're a protected species so any temptation to attack the disease by reducing the monkey population probably isn't feasible.

Singh predicts that the number of cases of monkey malaria will only go up as human development pushes further into the habitat of the long-tailed macaque. The parasite doesn't make the macaques sick, so the parasite and the monkeys get along peacefully. The problems arise when the people are linked to the monkey malaria chain.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/12/11/369666584/you-dont-want-to-monkey-around-with-monkey-malaria?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Wed

07

Jan

2015

You Don't Want To Monkey Around With Monkey Malaria



The long-tailed macaque carries a virulent strain of malaria that is responsible for an increasing number of human infections in Malaysia. Shankar S./Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Shankar S./Flickr

The long-tailed macaque carries a virulent strain of malaria that is responsible for an increasing number of human infections in Malaysia.

Shankar S./Flickr

In Southeast Asia, the battle against malaria is growing even more complicated. And it's all because of monkeys, who carry a form of malaria that until a few years ago wasn't a problem for people.

"According to the textbooks there are only four species of plasmodium parasites that cause malaria in humans," says Balbir Singh, the director of the Malaria Research Center at the University of Malaysia in Sarawak. Now a fifth malaria parasite, called plasmodium knowlesi, has become the leading cause of malaria hospitalizations in Malaysian Borneo.

"At some hospitals in Malaysian Borneo," Singh says, "Up to 95 percent, even 100 percent of the cases are actually this monkey malaria."

The knowlesi parasite used to be found only in monkeys. But as farmers have cleared more land for palm oil plantations and new hydroelectric dams are built, the area's long-tailed macaques are being squeezed out of their original habitats. So the monkeys end up living closer to people. And the mosquitoes that transmit the parasite are now biting and infecting humans.

It's a tough malaria to deal with. The mosquito that carries monkey malaria, Anopheles leucosphyrus, feeds mainly at night and outdoors. So the traditional anti-malaria campaigns, which hand out bed nets and spray homes with insecticides, won't help.

What's more, lab technicians in Malaysia often misidentify this new parasite as the more benign plasmodium malarie. The milder form can be treated with pills; monkey malaria often requires hospitalization and a regimen of intravenous drugs. That's because of its aggressive nature. The knowlesi parasite reproduces every 24 hours in the patient's blood while the milder plasmodium malarie takes 3 days to replicate. So monkey malaria comes on fast and can quickly make a person terribly sick. It also has the potential to kill, as do some other strains of malaria. But plasmodium malarie does not.

The fact that the plasmodium knowlesi parasite resides in monkeys also makes it difficult to stop the spread of the disease. In the other forms of malaria, wiping out the parasite in humans can bring transmission in an area to a halt.

With monkey malaria this isn't possible because of the large number of long-tailed macaques in the Malaysian jungle. Singh notes that they're a protected species so any temptation to attack the disease by reducing the monkey population probably isn't feasible.

Singh predicts that the number of cases of monkey malaria will only go up as human development pushes further into the habitat of the long-tailed macaque. The parasite doesn't make the macaques sick, so the parasite and the monkeys get along peacefully. The problems arise when the people are linked to the monkey malaria chain.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/12/11/369666584/you-dont-want-to-monkey-around-with-monkey-malaria?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Wed

31

Dec

2014

Which Contagious Diseases Are The Deadliest?



Do you know what the deadliest disease is? Hint: It's not Ebola (viral particles seen here in a digitally colorized microscopic image, at top right, along with similar depictions of other contagious diseases) NPR Composite/CDC hide caption

itoggle caption NPR Composite/CDC

Do you know what the deadliest disease is? Hint: It's not Ebola (viral particles seen here in a digitally colorized microscopic image, at top right, along with similar depictions of other contagious diseases)

NPR Composite/CDC

No one knows what the death toll in the Ebola epidemic will be. As of Tuesday, nearly 2,500 people have died and nearly 5,000 have caught the virus, the World Health Organization says.

So how does this epidemic compare with the toll taken by other contagious diseases?

Comparing fatality rates could help put the current Ebola outbreak in perspective. Trouble is, getting an accurate value for many diseases can be hard, especially in places where the health care infrastructure is weak.

Take the situation in West Africa right now. "We can only count those who come to the doctor, not those who stayed home and got well, or those who stayed home and died," says Carol Sulis, an epidemiologist at Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston Medical Center.

Another issue is that "deadliest" can mean two things. It can refer to the fatality rate -- the number of deaths per number of cases -- or it can mean the number of deaths in total caused by a disease.

What's more, diseases can take a different toll in different parts of the world. In low- and middle-income countries, only limited medical care may be available, if that. This will raise the fatality rate for many infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria and infectious diarrhea.

"Similar to Ebola, people's chances of survival increase for most of these [contagious] diseases, some dramatically, if people receive medical treatment," says epidemiologist Derek Cummings, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Even if lists have their limitations, they can shed light. We spoke to Cummings and Sulis and consulted data from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come up with two lists: the deadliest contagious diseases by death toll and by death rate if untreated.

Data are for all fatalities in 2012, except for infectious diarrhea and pneumonia. For those, death tolls represent a yearly estimate and represent childhood victims only.

Deadliest Contagious Diseases By Death Toll

Comparison point: As of Sept. 7, the number of reported deaths in the current Ebola epidemic is 2,218.

HIV/AIDS: 1.6 million deaths

Even though HIV takes a tremendous toll each year, the population of people living with the disease is about 35 million.

Since antiretroviral therapy -- ART -- became available in the mid-1990s, life expectancy for someone infected with HIV has dramatically increased. Today, a person who is promptly diagnosed with HIV and treated can look forward to a close-to-normal life span.

But as with other diseases, Sulas says, "we have to have the infrastructure to find the cases and be able to afford the medicine and deliver it to those affected."

Tuberculosis: 1.3 million deaths

Despite the death toll for this airborne disease, there is encouraging news: 7.3 million people developed TB and survived in 2012.

Recovery requires a regimen of several drugs over a six- to nine-month period. Patients who don't follow the drug schedule can develop drug-resistant TB. Drug-resistant forms of TB are also airborne. For those patients, treatment can extend to two years.

Pneumonia: 1.1 million children under the age of 5

It's the world's leading killer of children, "more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined," WHO says. The risks are also high for the elderly and those with other underlying conditions. In rich countries, like the U.S., vaccines can prevent the disease, but that is not the case in much of the world.

Infectious Diarrhea: 760,000 children under the age of 5

"That's an enormous waste," Sulis says. The majority of cases (about 1.7 billion globally each year) could be prevented and treated with better hygiene and sanitation, along with access to clean food and water. "There are many pathogens" that can cause these infections, she says, "but the whole class of diseases categorized as infectious diarrhea is deadly."

Malaria: 627,000 deaths

The world records about 200 million malaria cases each year. According to WHO, "most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute from malaria."

There's a growing worry for both malaria and TB, Sulis says, because "the organisms that cause those diseases are becoming increasingly drug resistant throughout the world."

Deadliest Contagious Diseases By Fatality Rate (If Not Treated)

Here, as in the list above, fatality rates can be lowered significantly depending on the presence of sanitary conditions and the availability of medical care and vaccines.

We present the diseases that appear to have the highest fatality rates if not treated. If the rate is a range, we ranked the disease by the highest possible fatality rate.

Comparison Point: Outbreaks of Ebola can have fatality rates up to 90 percent, WHO says. But in the current outbreak, it's about 50 to 60 percent.

Rabies is nearly 100 percent fatal if not treated. There are approximately 55,000 deaths each year, primarily in Asia and Africa.

Doses of the rabies vaccine after a bite from an infected animal will essentially abort the disease. But a person must receive treatment immediately. Initial symptoms include discomfort where the bite occurred, anxiety and agitation. Once clinical signs such as delirium and hallucinations arise, the patient almost always succumbs.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is apparently 100 percent fatal.

This neurodegenerative disease rapidly progresses. It is caused by prions (nonviral, nonbacterial infectious agents that consist of a misfolded protein) that damage healthy brain tissue. Prions create holes in the brain that make it look like a sponge under the microscope.

CJD is classified as a contagious disease because it can be transmitted through contact with contaminated tissue during medical procedures. But it's not spread through the air or by casual contact.

No treatment exists for CJD. Its incidence is very low, affecting about 1 in 1 million people each year, with about 300 cases annually in the U.S. CJD can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms often resemble those of dementia and other diseases, with memory lapses, behavioral changes and sleep disturbances.

Marburg hemorraghic fever: 24 to 88 percent

Marburg is caused by a virus similar to Ebola, transmitted mainly by contact with bodily fluids from someone who's been infected. Fever, chills, headache and muscle pain are the first symptoms, showing up within five to 10 days after infection. The next stage can cause vomiting, diarrhea, delirium and organ dysfunction or failure. There's no known treatment beyond supportive hospital therapy. Since 1967, when Marburg was first recognized by scientists, there have been 571 reported cases.

H5N1 and H7N9 flu viruses: 60 percent for the former, 25 percent for the latter

These two viruses "remain two of the influenza viruses with pandemic potential," WHO says. They're in wide circulation among some groups of poultry; humans do not appear to have any immunity. The total number of human cases for both viruses so far is about 1,000. Some antiviral treatments and vaccines are available.

Middle East respiratory syndrome: 41 percent

First detected in 2012, this illness can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, fever and pneumonia. When patients die, the cause may be a lack of oxygen passing from the lungs into the blood. Scientists theorize that MERS could have first appeared in bats, which passed it to Arabian camels, which may then have infected humans. The majority of the 800 cases have been on the Arabian Peninsula.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/16/347727459/which-contagious-diseases-are-the-deadliest?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Fri

26

Dec

2014

You Don't Want To Monkey Around With Monkey Malaria



The long-tailed macaque carries a virulent strain of malaria that is responsible for an increasing number of human infections in Malaysia. Shankar S./Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Shankar S./Flickr

The long-tailed macaque carries a virulent strain of malaria that is responsible for an increasing number of human infections in Malaysia.

Shankar S./Flickr

In Southeast Asia, the battle against malaria is growing even more complicated. And it's all because of monkeys, who carry a form of malaria that until a few years ago wasn't a problem for people.

"According to the textbooks there are only four species of plasmodium parasites that cause malaria in humans," says Balbir Singh, the director of the Malaria Research Center at the University of Malaysia in Sarawak. Now a fifth malaria parasite, called plasmodium knowlesi, has become the leading cause of malaria hospitalizations in Malaysian Borneo.

"At some hospitals in Malaysian Borneo," Singh says, "Up to 95 percent, even 100 percent of the cases are actually this monkey malaria."

The knowlesi parasite used to be found only in monkeys. But as farmers have cleared more land for palm oil plantations and new hydroelectric dams are built, the area's long-tailed macaques are being squeezed out of their original habitats. So the monkeys end up living closer to people. And the mosquitoes that transmit the parasite are now biting and infecting humans.

It's a tough malaria to deal with. The mosquito that carries monkey malaria, Anopheles leucosphyrus, feeds mainly at night and outdoors. So the traditional anti-malaria campaigns, which hand out bed nets and spray homes with insecticides, won't help.

What's more, lab technicians in Malaysia often misidentify this new parasite as the more benign plasmodium malarie. The milder form can be treated with pills; monkey malaria often requires hospitalization and a regimen of intravenous drugs. That's because of its aggressive nature. The knowlesi parasite reproduces every 24 hours in the patient's blood while the milder plasmodium malarie takes 3 days to replicate. So monkey malaria comes on fast and can quickly make a person terribly sick. It also has the potential to kill, as do some other strains of malaria. But plasmodium malarie does not.

The fact that the plasmodium knowlesi parasite resides in monkeys also makes it difficult to stop the spread of the disease. In the other forms of malaria, wiping out the parasite in humans can bring transmission in an area to a halt.

With monkey malaria this isn't possible because of the large number of long-tailed macaques in the Malaysian jungle. Singh notes that they're a protected species so any temptation to attack the disease by reducing the monkey population probably isn't feasible.

Singh predicts that the number of cases of monkey malaria will only go up as human development pushes further into the habitat of the long-tailed macaque. The parasite doesn't make the macaques sick, so the parasite and the monkeys get along peacefully. The problems arise when the people are linked to the monkey malaria chain.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/12/11/369666584/you-dont-want-to-monkey-around-with-monkey-malaria?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Wed

24

Dec

2014

If You Think You'll Never See A Poem About Malaria, You're Wrong



Poet Cameron Conaway (left, in gray cap) visits malaria-hit areas in the Chittagong Tract Hills, Bangladesh, in June 2012. Courtesy of Cameron Conaway hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Cameron Conaway

Poet Cameron Conaway (left, in gray cap) visits malaria-hit areas in the Chittagong Tract Hills, Bangladesh, in June 2012.

Courtesy of Cameron Conaway

Before traveling to Thailand in 2011, American poet Cameron Conaway viewed malaria as many Westerners do: a remote disease summed up by factoids:

It's borne by mosquitoes.

Half the world's population -- 3.4 billion people -- is at risk of catching it.

The disease claims 627,000 lives a year - that's one death every minute.

Conaway, 29, gives a human face to those figures in his new collection, Malaria, Poems. Each poem is paired with a related fact: "roughly one in ten children will suffer from neurological impairment after cerebral malaria" connects to a poem with this line:

"Here / a girl of ten / confused / why her arms won't raise / when she's asked to raise them"

Conaway started writing poetry in 2004, inspired by Lee Peterson, his poetry instructor at Penn State Altoona, who wrote about the Bosnian war. "She taught me that these literary tools weren't just for playing in the sandbox," says Conaway. "They could serve a social purpose."

He came to malaria in a roundabout way. Conaway's trip to Thailand was motivated by a desire to practice Mauy Thai kickboxing (he is a former mixed martial arts fighter and people sometimes call him "the warrior poet"). After he arrived in Bangkok, he met another poet hanging out there, Colin Cheney, who told him about the Wellcome Trust, a global charity that funds health research as well as projects on how culture affects health issues, such as with their features publication Mosaic. The Trust was soliciting applicants for its arts award, so Conaway attended one of the its conferences. There, he met Nick Day, the director of Bangkok's Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), one of the Trust's affiliates.

"I was impressed by Day's ability to talk about malaria and his research in ways that a normal human could understand. He did so with charisma and I really connected with him," says Conaway.

And Conaway learned that malaria has a poetic history. Sir Ronald Ross, who won a Nobel Prize in 1902 for identifying malaria parasites, often wrote poetry about the disease and his discovery:

"With tears and toiling breath / I find thy cunning seeds / O million-murdering death."

With Day's suggestion, Conaway applied for the Trust's arts award and became MORU's first poet-in-residence. He spent seven months traveling to villages and vaccine research centers near Bangkok and in Bangladesh, gathering impressions for his work.

Malaria, Poems was published this month by Michigan State University Press. The poems touch on everything from counterfeit malaria medicines to stillbirths caused by the parasite to traveling bards who perform plays about malaria awareness. He also wrote poems that address social issues such as violence against women in Bangladesh and the lack of medical care in the region.

An excerpt from Malaria, Poems follows and describes Anopheles mosquitoes, which transmit the parasite between people.

SILENCE, ANOPHELES

You should have just asked the mosquito.

-- 14th Dalai Lama

It's risky business needing

(blood)

from others

not for science or even more life

for hellos and goodbyes

and most substances between

but so your kids can exit

while entering and spread

their wings long

after yours dry and carry on

by wind not will.

It's risky business feeding on others,

but we all do

one way or another.

It's risky business needing

when you have nothing,

but life has you and lives

writhe inside you.

Risky to solo into the wild

aisles of forearm hair thicket

for a mad sip,

not quick enough

to snuff the wick of awareness

but too fast for savoring.

A mad sip that makes

you gotcha or gone

and may paint you and yours

and them -- Plasmodium falciparum --

on the canvas you needed

to taste behind.

It's risky business needing

and then getting

and being too too

to know what to do --

too full and carrying

too many to fly.

It's risky business being

the silent messenger

of bad news when you don't know the bad news

is consuming you, too.

It's not risky business

being the blind black barrel

of pistol or proboscis,

but it is damn risky business being

the pointer or the pointed at.

It's risky business being

born without asking

for a beating heart.

Having and then needing to need

to want until next

or else

and sometimes still or else.

Risky when you're expected to deliver

babies and have no gods to guide

their walk on water

because you did it

long before they or him or her or it

never did.

Risky when you're born

on water and capricious cloudscapes

shape whether sun lets leaves

bleed their liquid shadow blankets

into marshes or mangrove swamps

or hoof prints or rice fields or kingdoms

of ditches.

It's risky business naming and being named

while skewered and viewed

under the skewed microscopic lens

of anthropocentrism

an (not) opheles (profit)

a goddess name, Anopheles,

that translates to mean useless

and sounds beautiful at first

then awful when its insides linger.

An(ophel)es, you are only 57% different, no,

you are 43% the same as me, no,

I am, no, we are 43% you, no, we all are

nearly, mostly.

It's risky business leaving

large clues --

a welt and then a dying child slobbering silver

under its mother's croon.

It's risky business being

when you don't

because you have two weeks

or less to do doing.

Risky business killing,

but it depends on who, where, when --

self-sufficient Malawi village in 2014

vs. the legend of Dante & Lord Byron.

Mae Sot or Maine, Rourkela or Leeds.

It's risky business killing

killers that always only want

their kind

of tropical retreat.

It's risky business being

small

profoundly --

the speck of black

sesame or apostrophe

blending in the expanse

of rye or papyrus

and taken

onto allergic tongues.

It's risky business sharing

your body with strangers --

uninvited multiplicities hijacking

what you have

because to them you are what you have.

Risky when all know

your 1 mile per hour,

your under 25 feet high for miles,

your 450 wingbeats per second.

Risky business being you

when some want not to fly

weeks with your wings

but walk days atop them.

Is it riskier business being content

and peacefully going extinct

or not being

content and forever brinking

in the bulbous ends of raindrops

that cling but fatten?

Like raindrops and us, Anopheles,

when you fatten, you fall.

History favors the fallen.

To drip

a long life

of falling

before the fall

or to live

a short life

oblivious to it all?

Risky that we exchange

counters -- DNA mutations

that make some of us

sometimes

sort of

immune to each other's jabs

though hooks always slip through,

and we send each other stumbling,

always stumbling, always only stumbling.

Changing ourselves changes each other.

Each other is ourselves.

They tell us it's risky business doing

being,

but it is more risky being

doing.

Did you hear all that, Anopheles?

How about now?

We're asking. We're good at that.

Does all life listen

at the speed of its growing?

Are we listening too loudly

or too slowly to your silence?

"Human malaria is transmitted only by females of the genus Anopheles. Of the approximately 430 Anopheles species, only 30-40 transmit malaria" (Malaria, Mosquitoes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 February 2010).

Excerpted from Malaria, Poems by Cameron Conaway. Copyright 2014 by Cameron Conaway. Excerpted by permission of Michigan State University Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/11/06/360469321/if-you-think-youll-never-see-a-poem-about-malaria-youre-wrong?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
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Wed

17

Dec

2014

A $1 Microscope Folds From Paper With A Drop Of Glue



All folded up and ready to magnify: The Foldscope weighs less than two nickels, is small enough to fit in your back pocket and offers more than 2,000-fold magnification. TED/YouTube hide caption

itoggle caption TED/YouTube

All folded up and ready to magnify: The Foldscope weighs less than two nickels, is small enough to fit in your back pocket and offers more than 2,000-fold magnification.

TED/YouTube

We have pocket watches, pocket cameras and now -- with smartphones -- pocket computers.

So why shouldn't doctors and scientists around the world have pocket microscopes?

Origami microscope: Lines on the paper show you how to fold up and assemble the microscope.

Courtesy of Prakash lab

Bioengineer Manu Prakash and his team at Stanford University have designed a light microscope that not only fits in your pocket but costs less than a dollar to make.

And here's the coolest part: You put the microscope together yourself, by folding it.

Imagine all the uses for this so-called Foldscope. Even in the poorest corners of the globe, doctors and scientists could use the pocket scope to diagnose common bacteria and pathogens, such as giardia, Chagas and malaria.

Here's how it works.

Using Foldscope is simple: Stick the glass slide in the middle pocket and look through the lens. The microscope even has a stage.

Courtesy of the Prakash lab

"So the starting material looks really like a flat sheet of paper," Prakash says.

That's because, well, it is a flat sheet of paper. But it has a thin plastic coating that makes it sturdier and resistant to tearing, Prakash says.

Then he and his team run the paper through a special printer that actually prints a lens on the paper. "You should think of it as a drop of glue, a tiny drop of glue," he says, "except it is an optical-quality glue."

The printer also prints lines on the paper, showing people where to make the folds that will align the light on the lens so the microscope will work.

It turns out people can fold paper quite accurately, Prakash says. "So that's one of the things that is hidden in the design that allows us to make instruments that are very precise, but actually are just made by people folding a simple sheet."

And all the components of the Foldscope are quite cheap. When you manufacture 10,000 devices:

The sheet of paper costs 6 cents.

The lens costs between 17 and 56 cents, depending on the type of lens and microscope.

Add in an LED light for 21 cents.

A battery for 6 cents.

An on-off switch for 5 cents.

And a few other bits and bobs, and you've got a microscope for less than a dollar.

Prakash says he expects some people will use the microscope in schools. And others will find them useful in clinics or laboratories for doing simple medical tests or for making field repairs of small electronic equipment. But he's sending the Foldscopes out to many people around the world, hoping they'll find uses for them that he can't even imagine.

"By the end of the summer," he says, "we'll be shipping 50,000 of these microscopes to 130 countries, and then just watch what happens." Or to put it another way: He'll see what unfolds.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/03/345521442/a-1-microscope-folds-up-from-paper-and-a-lens-of-glue?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Wed

10

Dec

2014

Drones Are Taking Pictures That Could Demystify A Malaria Surge



Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Aerial drones are targeting a new enemy: malaria.

Four hundred feet above a Malaysian forest, a three-foot eBee drone hovers and takes pictures with a 16-megapixel camera every 10 to 20 seconds. But it's not gathering images of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Even today's best drones aren't capable of such a photographic marvel. Rather, the drone is looking at a changing landscape that holds clues to the disease's spread.

The malaria drone mission, described in a study published Oct. 22 in Trends in Parasitology, began in December 2013, when UK scientists decided to track a rare strain of the mosquito-borne disease that has surged near Southeast Asian cities. Understanding deforestation may be the key in seeing how this kind of malaria, known as Plasmodium knowlesi, is transmitted.

The mosquitoes that carry P. knowlesi are forest dwellers. The insects breed in cool pools of water under the forest canopy and sap blood from macaque monkeys that harbor the malaria parasite.

In Sabah, Malaysia, human cases of this kind of malaria didn't surface until about 10 years ago, says infectious disease specialist Kimberly Fornace of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is leading the drone study.

While cases of the most common malaria strains have steadily dropped during this time, P. knowlesi has thrived. It's now the number-one cause of malaria in the region. Fornace and her team suspect that human intrusion into forested areas has created more opportunities for the disease to pass between primates and humans via mosquitoes. The drone imagery they've collected so far suggests there were occasions where land development forced macaques within closer proximity of humans, who then developed malaria.

As part of a project called MONKEYBAR, the team tracks outbreaks by comparing the drone's land surveillance with hospital records of malaria cases. Meanwhile, a local wildlife commission has fitted macaques with GPS collars, which let scientists monitor the locations of monkey troops. Together, this information paints a public health map that explains how land development has influenced monkey movements -- and transmission of malaria to humans. In partnership with Conservation Drones, an organization that builds drones for under $1,000, Fornace and her team plan to build a drone that snaps thermal images of macaques, so the monkeys can someday be identified without GPS collars.

Drones provide a better surveillance picture than satellite images, which are the current standard for mapping environmental changes. But Google Earth images, for example, are only updated every few weeks or months, says parasitologist Chris Drakeley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who coauthored the Trends in Parasitology study with Fornace. Drones, he says, can provide a more comprehensive, continuous picture: "We avoid cloud cover and can see what the land use was like today, next week and the week after."

The public health implications of drone use extend far beyond malaria, says Harvard epidemiologist Nathan Eagle. Doctors have already used unmanned aircraft to carry medical supplies between rural clinics in South Africa and Haiti. Humanitarian drones also tracked property damage and hunted for survivors after Typhoon Haiyan. And when a disease like Ebola surfaces, a drone could scan for changes in bats' habitats, given that the winged mammals are proposed carriers of the hemorrhagic fever. The prices of these drones are dropping while their specs -- flight performance and cameras -- are improving, says Eagle. All of which means in a few years, a series of very inexpensive aerial vehicles will exist for wider use in public health research.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/22/357637900/drones-are-taking-pictures-that-could-demystify-a-malaria-surge?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
0 Comments

Wed

10

Dec

2014

Drones Are Taking Pictures That Could Demystify A Malaria Surge



Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Aerial drones are targeting a new enemy: malaria.

Four hundred feet above a Malaysian forest, a three-foot eBee drone hovers and takes pictures with a 16-megapixel camera every 10 to 20 seconds. But it's not gathering images of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Even today's best drones aren't capable of such a photographic marvel. Rather, the drone is looking at a changing landscape that holds clues to the disease's spread.

The malaria drone mission, described in a study published Oct. 22 in Trends in Parasitology, began in December 2013, when UK scientists decided to track a rare strain of the mosquito-borne disease that has surged near Southeast Asian cities. Understanding deforestation may be the key in seeing how this kind of malaria, known as Plasmodium knowlesi, is transmitted.

The mosquitoes that carry P. knowlesi are forest dwellers. The insects breed in cool pools of water under the forest canopy and sap blood from macaque monkeys that harbor the malaria parasite.

In Sabah, Malaysia, human cases of this kind of malaria didn't surface until about 10 years ago, says infectious disease specialist Kimberly Fornace of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is leading the drone study.

While cases of the most common malaria strains have steadily dropped during this time, P. knowlesi has thrived. It's now the number-one cause of malaria in the region. Fornace and her team suspect that human intrusion into forested areas has created more opportunities for the disease to pass between primates and humans via mosquitoes. The drone imagery they've collected so far suggests there were occasions where land development forced macaques within closer proximity of humans, who then developed malaria.

As part of a project called MONKEYBAR, the team tracks outbreaks by comparing the drone's land surveillance with hospital records of malaria cases. Meanwhile, a local wildlife commission has fitted macaques with GPS collars, which let scientists monitor the locations of monkey troops. Together, this information paints a public health map that explains how land development has influenced monkey movements -- and transmission of malaria to humans. In partnership with Conservation Drones, an organization that builds drones for under $1,000, Fornace and her team plan to build a drone that snaps thermal images of macaques, so the monkeys can someday be identified without GPS collars.

Drones provide a better surveillance picture than satellite images, which are the current standard for mapping environmental changes. But Google Earth images, for example, are only updated every few weeks or months, says parasitologist Chris Drakeley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who coauthored the Trends in Parasitology study with Fornace. Drones, he says, can provide a more comprehensive, continuous picture: "We avoid cloud cover and can see what the land use was like today, next week and the week after."

The public health implications of drone use extend far beyond malaria, says Harvard epidemiologist Nathan Eagle. Doctors have already used unmanned aircraft to carry medical supplies between rural clinics in South Africa and Haiti. Humanitarian drones also tracked property damage and hunted for survivors after Typhoon Haiyan. And when a disease like Ebola surfaces, a drone could scan for changes in bats' habitats, given that the winged mammals are proposed carriers of the hemorrhagic fever. The prices of these drones are dropping while their specs -- flight performance and cameras -- are improving, says Eagle. All of which means in a few years, a series of very inexpensive aerial vehicles will exist for wider use in public health research.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/22/357637900/drones-are-taking-pictures-that-could-demystify-a-malaria-surge?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
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Malaria No More NewsMNM Board Member Sees Front Lines of Drug Resistance in AsiaThankful for Turkey, Partners, Interns and…Mother�™s First Fundraiser a Big HitOutbreak Responder: A different game for a different future.Q&A with Ray Chambers, Challenge #5: Fuel the FightThis Baby Accepts Credit CardsThe shrinking malaria mapBill Gates: We can eradicate malaria in our lifetimesChallenge #5: Fuel the FightChallenge 4: Data & MobileChallenge #4: Data & Mobile �“ Ashifi Gogo, CEO of SproxilChallenge 3: Block TransmissionChallenge #3: Block Transmission - Grey Frandsen, Kite PatchThis mosquito helps save lives from malariaChallenge #2: Complete Cure �“ Roger Waltzman, NovartisChallenge #2: Complete CureDeconstructing malaria with Femi KutiChallenge #1: Find the Parasite - Duncan Blair, AlereChallenge #1: Find the parasiteSolve For M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending MalariaDomenico�™s �œCiao” to malariaEating Pizza with Katharine McPheeFrom behind the scenes to the spotlightThe World�™s Deadliest Animal Gets AirtimeYoung Cameroonian comic joins the malaria fightIt�™s Summer Time, and the Life-Saving is EasyU.S. Senate Staff see malaria investments overseasHow Ebola Makes Malaria More DeadlyAsia: The next frontier in the malaria fightFrom malaria victim to malaria victor

ntent-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8 https://www.malarianomore.org/ en Copyright 2014 2014-12-04T18:09:00+00:00 https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mnm-board-member-sees-front-lines-of-drug-resistance-in-asia https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mnm-board-member-sees-front-lines-of-drug-resistance-in-asia

As a member of MNM’s Board, I receive updates from the team about the greatest achievements and biggest concerns in the malaria fight. After one specific meeting with staff, I became very interested in the emerging drug resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion, the exact location where resistance to the former go-to drug, chloroquine, built up and then spread to Africa. This resistance is of concern because artemisinin is the main ingredient in our current and front line treatment of malaria. As a result, my wife Courtney and I traveled to Thailand and Cambodia with MNM to witness emerging drug resistance in the region first-hand – and learn what’s being done to stop it.

Our first visit was with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok where we met with representatives who work on malaria, including the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia’s Office of Public Health, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), as well as members from US Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science (AFRIMS) and a Health Specialist from the Australian Embassy. This kick off meeting provided an exciting brainstorming session that helped me understand the challenges of combating drug resistance in the region, such as counterfeit dugs, monotherapies, poor drug adherence of antimalarials and washed out roads. We also learned the intricacies of the various strategies for malaria control and elimination, such as mass drug administration versus door-to-door mass screening and treatment methods. Next, we traveled to the Ministry of Health campus, where we met with the CDC and WHO. It was apparent that more coordination between public and private sectors was needed. We also realized the true scope of the problem was much bigger than we had originally thought. It wouldn’t be as simple as raising more money for malaria tests and treatments – but thankfully, the health specialists in the region have strategies in place to strengthen health systems and finish the job of eliminating malaria.

 

Chris Combe in Asia

Chris and Courtney hand out bed nets to and listen to malaria community health volunteers near the Thailand and Myanmar border.

To see those strategies in action, we took to the field, with one stop on the Thailand/ Myanmar border region and the other on the Thailand/Cambodia side. These eye-opening opportunities allowed us to meet the individuals fighting malaria on the frontlines, including dedicated staff from PMI and local volunteers. During our time in the field, we also handed out bed nets to those in need and followed a Malaria Inspector, as he tested Burmese families for the disease. We also learned about some of the creative ways malaria is being tracked in migrant workers. Because motorcycles taxis are the primary mode of transportation, USAID trains and equips drivers with malaria prevention tools to distribute to migrant workers as they cross the border.

Overall, this trip left an impression on both Courtney and myself. We now have an even deeper understanding of the scale of the problem and the nuances needed to stop the disease and the spread of drug resistance in the region. Traveling with the President’s Malaria Initiative, the CDC, and other USAID workers gave Courtney and me a great perspective on the direct impact the United States has in rural regions half way around the globe. Seeing the challenges of impassable terrain coupled with the local community staff who dedicate their lives to keeping their neighbors safe from malaria was truly inspirational. With advances in technology, diagnostics, and data collection, we know we can stop the spread of malaria and artemisinin drug resistance, but we need the help of dedicated individuals from both the private and public sector - and we need it now. Malaria is preventable and treatable, and with the right tools we’re hopeful the Greater Mekong Subregion will be malaria free.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and

Feast day is upon us and beyond being thankful for the turkey and all its glorious sides of steaming hot rolls, gravy, stuffing, potatoes and pie, we’re also thankful for the things, people and groups that have backed us – and some for as long as eight Thanksgivings! In no particular order, we’re thankful for…

1)   The 42% decline in the global malaria mortality rate – saving 3.3 million lives since 2000!

2)   The U.S.’s Government’s leadership in the fight against malaria, including that of the President's Malaria Initiative, USAID, CDC and Admiral Tim Ziemer

3)   Major corporate partners Novartis, Alere, Exxon and Kimberly Clark

4)   Mobile partners, including Venmo for raising 70,000 malaria treatments, and gaming partners Global Gaming Initiative for their Outbreak Responder game and Seriously for the Best Fiends game and its anti-malarial mosquito Edward.

5)   Our celebrity ambassadors, including Katharine McPhee, for keeping malaria in the spotlight

6)   Super supporters, like the Combes family

7)   Novartis Employee Engagement winners Roger, Chinwe, Manishha, Inge, Domenico, Martin  and all the participants who helped raise $218k for malaria treatments

8)   Our African teams based in Cameroon, Chad, Kenya and Nigeria

9)   Our dedicated army of interns that support us during our most hectic times of year, including Andy, Bronte, Ella, Yeeji and others.

10)  And YOU. Some of you just happened upon this post, while others have been supporting us since 2006. You've recently helped us reach a major milestone of raising enough to fund three million malaria treatments for children in Zambia. Let’s keep up the life-saving work!

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Being a mother of three children, Inge was touched by our Power of One campaign’s simplistic message – $1 given = 1 child saved – and decided to start her fundraiser. She learned about the campaign through her employer, Novartis, a company that has been committed to the fight against malaria for more than a decade.

Her boss at Novartis was the initial inspiration to get involved – and was one of her biggest supporters. “She was the first to donate a large amount of money to kick start the fundraiser,” said Inge. “And she also reached out to her personal network that resulted in donations adding up to several thousands of dollars.” Inge also shared stories with other co-workers who were also fundraising for the malaria fight.

Inge says the Power of One message made her first fundraising effort an easy one. “I just had to reach out to my family, friends and colleagues via email – and the results were amazing!” said Inge.

Inge’s campaign was so successful that she kept moving her fundraising goal up! “Two days after launching my fundraiser I had to increase the target,” said Inge. “One week before the end of the campaign, I was at 4400 treatments, so I raised the target again. I am proud that together, in the end we could raise more than 5600 treatments.”

While this was Inge’s first fundraising campaign ever, it doesn’t seem like it will be her last. “Personally it has been a very rewarding exercise,” said Inge. “I have been very blessed in many aspects and the campaign has given me the opportunity to ‘give back’ and feel the joy and pride in encouraging others doing the same.”

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Power of One, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future

MNM is always looking for new and interesting ways to bring attention to the malaria fight. That’s why we’re really excited to partner with Global Gaming Initiative on its latest endeavor, which will benefit Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign.

When we started Global Gaming Initiative, (GGI) we wanted to utilize technology for good by creating a fun and easy way for people to make a difference. Our solution - mobile games. The goal being to inspire the developed world to get involved globally and provide the developing word greater access to education.  This year we ourselves received a massive education in the realities of global health issues, specifically malaria. The reality that malaria is a completely treatable disease, which an estimated 627,000 still die from annually, was both beyond unsettling and urgently motivating. We partnered with developers who share our desire to create a future without malaria to create our combative agent, Outbreak Responder, as we know that nothing is possible without health.

Outbreak Responder - using beautiful graphics and strategic challenges puts the player on a mission to cure communities from the spread of malaria. The best part is, being an Outbreak Responder player, you literally become an agent of change as your in-game contributions unlock malaria tests and treatments for African children through Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign. We have long admired the work Malaria No More does on the ground and are thrilled to partner with them to help you provide a healthy future for children with malaria. This is what fun and games and saving lives looks like. It’s the power of the change in your pocket – so download Outbreak Responder, put your game time to good use and help us create a better future, one child at a time.

Learn more about Outbreak Responder here.

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #5 focuses on a crucial component of finally ending malaria – maintaining and growing funding. For more, we spoke to Ray Chambers, co-founder of Malaria No More and United Nations Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria.

1. What are some of the changes you anticipate in global financing for health over the next decade?

Funding has increased dramatically for global health since the world got serious about saving millions of children and mothers from preventable causes. The results have been impressive: Since 2000 the number of under-five deaths worldwide has declined from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. But continuing to fund these gains from donor countries is not sustainable, especially if we want to move toward the elimination of malaria. We need to support three existing trends that can shift us to a new funding paradigm.

Endemic countries must increase their domestic health budgets. Domestic financing for malaria increased over the period of 2005 to 2012, from $436 million in 2005 to $522 million in 2012, rising at an estimated rate of 4% per year - a move in the right direction. But most countries still fall short of the Abuja target of dedicating 15% of their domestic budgets to improving health.

We must approach financing of life-saving commodities more creatively. We’re seeing early success from pay-for-performance social impact bonds that demonstrate the returns on investing in net distribution in Mozambique. An innovative tax on airline tickets to support work on AIDS, TB and Malaria has produced millions of dollars for AIDS treatment.

The private sector has recognized that healthier communities are better places to do business, and investing in the health of employees in the countries where they operate can help the bottom line as well.

2. How important have the Millennium Development Goals been to galvanizing support for malaria and other global health programs?

As a businessman I was drawn to the MDGs as time-bound, quantifiable targets against which we could measure our success. The inclusion of malaria in Goal 6 of the MDGs was essential to allowing the global health community to rally around the malaria targets. With this support came coordinated plans and, crucially, financing to enact those plans. Similarly with child and maternal health, by quantifying where we were, and where we needed to get, the MDGs provided the outline of a roadmap others could build upon and collectively enact. And with all 193 countries signing on to the MDGs back in 2000, their value has gone well beyond the tangible achievements of lives saved. They’ve linked all of us in a shared pursuit of something greater than our individual or even national selves. This shared global consciousness will carry the spirit and ambitions of the MDGs well beyond 2015.

3. How do you expect the funding landscape to change at the end of 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals deadline hits?

Relying on outdated models of north-to-south donor contributions will eventually hit a wall, and some would argue that the fatigue has already begun to set in. If we continue to think creatively about how we finance life-saving programs and commodities among a broader community - leveraging previously untapped resources, especially from the private sector - funding for health should continue to grow. Companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Unilever and AngloGold Ashanti have demonstrated the leadership role businesses can play in keeping populations healthy. Similarly, the private sector plays an essential role in the research and development of new technologies and vaccines that could replace existing costly interventions. Now is the time to test new models of funding while investing in research that could deliver cheaper, more effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

4. What would the consequences be if malaria funding were scaled back?

Recent history has already demonstrated what happens when funding for malaria is decreased or held-up. From 2006 t0 2008 net coverage dropped due to delayed funding disbursements, resulting in an upsurge of malaria cases in 2009.  We’ve successfully covered almost every person in need of a net with a net, and in doing so saved over 3.3 million children since 2000. But as a result of this success, millions of children protected by nets have no immunity to malaria. If their nets aren’t replaced every three years, we will see malaria infections and deaths far exceed previous levels. Total funding for malaria control is expected to reach $2.85 billion each year between 2014 and 2016, substantially below the required amount for this period. We have come so close to lifting the burden of malaria off an entire continent. A final push - in political commitment, partner support and funding - will put the end of malaria deaths in our grasp and make elimination a reality.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Advocacy, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards

Above:  Manishha Patel used inventive and fun memes to rally her friends to donate to Power of One.

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

MNM supporter Manishha raised money for our Power of One campaign with the help of her good-hearted loved ones and colleagues at her employer, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF). Fundraising for the cause came naturally to her given the lessons her parents taught her growing up – to be appreciative of the opportunities she has and to help those less fortunate.

“My parents are from a very rural and poor region of India,” says Manishha. “They always taught us to be grateful for the opportunities that were given to us in Canada and to help and care for the less fortunate.”

 



Manishha has always felt a strong urge to help those less fortunate. “I have always wanted to help people in underdeveloped countries, and Power of One affected me because of the impact it can have for people in Africa – the idea that just one dollar can save one person’s life really resonated with me and I wanted to help them in any way that I could.”

In addition to drawing on the wise words of her parents, she drew on the talents of her boyfriend. Together, they came up with eye-catching posters, featuring funny pictures of babies offering words of encouragement. And the kid theme didn’t end there – Manishha even inspired her niece and godchildren to donate their piggybank savings.

Manishha’s colleagues were a huge help too. They championed her cause to their families, friends, religious organizations, and sports teams, helping her break her past fundraising record of $500! “The sheer amount of support from GNF as a whole was phenomenal,” said Manisha. “The encouragement and support I received for the campaign was unbelievable, and helped me eventually recruit more than 330 friends to join Power of One.”

Good news is Manishha isn’t done yet. “This is the kind of work I have dreamed of doing and that is why I decided to get involved in the fundraiser,” said Manishha. “I will continue to promote the cause of Malaria No More and I hope that, in the very near future, malaria will no longer be as devastating a disease as it is now.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates

This video of the shrinking malaria was shared by Bill Gates at the ASTMH conference.

Malaria has been killing for centuries. In 1900, it was taking lives from nearly every country on Earth, but the goal is to wipe this killer disease from the planet within a generation.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes

It was a packed house last night, as the best and brightest in the public health world poured into a New Orleans conference hall to hear one of the world’s most prolific philanthropists share his vision for the future of global health.

As Bill Gates joked, he was eager to finally have a captive audience for his thoughts on some of the world’s most pervasive diseases, as he typically bores dinner party guests with his excitement over discussing topics such as dengue fever, polio and malaria.

During his keynote speech at the Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Gates focused his remarks on Ebola and malaria. He spoke to the lessons the global health community can take from the Ebola crisis, and how it can serve to educate and strengthen our response to other public health issues. He spent the bulk of his speech talking about malaria, and urging the gathered group of the world’s premier scientists and doctors to embrace the idea of malaria eradication in our lifetimes. He also announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be increasing its already substantial financial commitment to fighting malaria by 30 percent.

Gates laid out the elements of a new strategy to achieve the ambitious goal of eradication, including fostering innovation in the surveillance and research & development arenas, as well as continued investment in malaria control efforts as we concurrently set our longer term vision on eradication.

You can read more on the new plan here. It is not an easy task, but with a shared vision and energy in the global health community, it is possible. His closing statement, which drew a standing ovation, echoed the sentiment that malaria eradication is within our grasp: “I’m optimistic we’ll get there faster than the skeptics think.”

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malaria elimination, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

To win the malaria fight, we need to rethink how we pay for it

Malaria No More was founded by two prominent business leaders, Ray Chambers and Peter Chernin, who saw combating malaria as a unique opportunity to save lives and improve livelihoods on a global scale. As Chernin put it, ending malaria represents “the best humanitarian investment in the world today.”

It’s easy to see why. Malaria is a devastating disease and one of the top killers of children under the age of five and pregnant women worldwide. It’s also a huge drain on economies, accounting for approximately $12 billion in lost economic productivity in Africa each year, due to the burden it places on health systems and the toll of work absenteeism and missed school days.

By contrast, the existing tools are simple and scalable - a mosquito net can protect a mother and child for three years for around $5; a 50 cent rapid diagnostic test and $1 treatment can save a child’s life – and, as this series highlights, revolutionary new technologies are just around the corner.

When Malaria No More was founded in 2006, global spending on malaria was only a few hundred million dollars a year, and approximately a million people were dying from mosquito bites annually.

Through a massive global effort – including $3 billion in annual funding, led by the U.S. and U.K. governments, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the World Bank, the private sector and philanthropists - the rate of malaria deaths in Africa has been cut in half in under a decade. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved since the year 2000 from malaria alone.

 

Malaria funding now vs next

Planning for a Rainy Day

The danger with malaria - the thing that keeps us malaria fighters up at night - is that if you lose focus, even for a single rainy season, the disease can come roaring back with devastating consequences.

There have been 75 documented instances of malaria resurgence from the 1930s to the year 2000, and nearly all of them were associated with the weakening of malaria control efforts. If we stopped investing in malaria control today, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis, claiming millions of lives, and undo the hard-fought gains we’ve made in the past decade.

As the burden of malaria continues to be reduced, we need to shift from catalytic “scale up” funding models to sustainable, long-term approaches that will enable us to end the disease. That means diversifying the sources of funding so that the continued commitment of international donors is buoyed by growing domestic and regional investments, as well as innovative financing approaches. It also means using better data to find efficiencies that will stretch and strengthen the impact of malaria spending at the country level.

Put Your Money Where Your Malaria Is

We often say that malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. But the reverse is also true: malaria control is equally a cause and consequence of economic growth. It’s not just geography that caused malaria to be eliminated first in the United States in 1951 and most of Europe by 1975 - it was equally the result of economic growth, development and increased spending on health and infrastructure.

The current slate of countries moving toward malaria elimination – mostly in Asia and South America – are already covering the bulk of the expense themselves: almost 80 percent of interventions are self-financed, according to a recent analysis by UCSF’s Global Health Group and Cambridge Economic Policy Associates. 

 

Malaria funding vs deaths

In Africa, however, most countries still fall short of the self-declared “Abuja target” of dedicating 15% of domestic budgets to improving health. As “Africa Rising” moves from rhetoric to reality and economies on the continent continue to grow, Africa has the wherewithal to finance an increasing share of its malaria elimination ambitions. And it has powerful financial incentive to ensure the work continues - a recent study by Accenture estimated the present-day economic value (i.e. profit) of continued investment in malaria control in Africa at more than $322 billion between now and 2035, due to the tremendous health and productivity gains that would result.

Endemic countries also have the opportunity to stretch their budgets by working smarter. To the extent that countries can draw on good timely data to inform program decisions, they can save money by targeting the appropriate mix of interventions by region and setting. Zambia and Zimbabwe, for instance, have saved millions of dollars by using malaria risk-mapping to optimize their net and insecticide spraying programs.

Particularly as countries reduce their malaria burden, one-size-fits-all, national-scale approaches may no longer apply. Namibia, a country moving toward elimination, has used malaria and mobility data to develop a more sophisticated, spatially targeted malaria program.

The Future of Funding

Regional financing mechanisms are emerging for countries, companies, and philanthropists to invest in malaria control and elimination in their own backyards. Asia-Pacific has set the ambitious goals of eliminating drug-resistant malaria by 2020, and all malaria by 2030. To help finance the efforts, the Asian Development Bank and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance this year set up a regional trust fund to solve this pressing regional challenge.

Mechanisms for nontraditional donors to play a part in eliminating the disease are growing as well. In Indonesia, a small group of high net worth individuals have pledged to co-invest alongside the government and Global Fund in health priorities, while in the Philippines and Ghana companies with large local operations – the Pilipinas Shell Foundation and AngloGold Ashanti – have managed Global Fund malaria grants working hand-in-hand with government agencies.

Innovative financing efforts, including concepts such as development impact bonds, also have the potential to contribute. Creators of The Mozambique Malaria Performance bond aim to establish a sustainable new funding source that can also improve the efficiency of malaria programs through a pay-for-performance model.

It’s an attractive concept: private investors front the costs of malaria control interventions to be repaid by a group of government and private-sector partners who reap the rewards of successful malaria control, including healthy citizens, employees and consumers. But we have yet to see investors step up to participate in such an instrument vehicle. If these models take root, malaria could evolve from being “the best humanitarian investment” to an actual investment opportunity—one that pays a dividend to those who contribute.

Achieving the historic goal of malaria eradication requires endurance. To sustain and extend the gains of the past decade, the global community must commit to providing predictable, sustainable, long-term support.

Our success in fighting malaria over the past decade has been built upon a solid foundation of funding, and the continued support of the U.S., U.K. and Australian governments; as well as institutions such as the Global Fund and the World Bank, will be essential to finishing the job. But we also need endemic countries and regions to commit to shouldering an increasing share of the costs as we move toward malaria elimination.

In the end, it will not be one sector or government that will finally eradicate malaria. It will be a global success—one we should all be proud to have contributed to.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile

How the mobile revolution in Africa is transforming global health

When I first moved to West Africa, back in 2009, you could travel to the most remote, rural villages – places without power, running water, or any other modern conveniences – and you would invariably find Coca-Cola. Somehow the familiar red-and-white brand had solved the distribution and marketing challenges of reaching these ends-of-the-earth consumers.

In those same remote villages, you can also find some of Africa’s highest-tech companies – mobile providers like MTN, Tigo, Airtel, Vodacom and Safaricom. Africa has leapfrogged the power line and the PC and gone directly to mobile phones. By the end of 2015, there will be an estimated 1 billion mobile phone accounts in Africa – one for nearly every man, woman and child on the continent.

First Disease Beaten By Mobile

In our first challenge (“Find the Parasite”), we talked about the importance of rapid diagnostics to locate the malaria parasite in people. What is a diagnostic test result but a plus or a minus, a one or a zero? It’s a bit of data. But in many malaria-endemic countries, that data used to just sit in stacks of paper to be collected every so often by health authorities. When you combine this data with rapid reporting via mobile phones, you have the makings of a revolution in global health.

Of all the tools in the malaria fight (including the obvious ones such as nets, testing, treatment and spraying) mobile phones may be the ones that tip the balance toward ending this disease. That’s why at Malaria No More we’ve been bold in proclaiming that malaria can be the first disease beaten by mobile.

A Swiss-Army Knife for Malaria

Sounds ambitious, but when you look at the problems we have to solve – from case detection and response, to stock management, and health education – mobile is at the center of the solutions time and again. It’s the Swiss Army knife of the malaria fight, helping to solve and accelerate a wide variety of other solutions. Here are a few examples of how mobile and data are already transforming the malaria fight.

The Novartis-led SMS for Life program has demonstrated the potential of mobile to address stock outs and ensure that people have malaria drugs when and where they need them. The pilot program focused on three districts in Tanzania. When it started, 26% of public health facilities were completely stocked out of malaria drugs at any given time. That means that parents had a one-in-four chance of showing up at a clinic with a sick child only to find that they didn’t have a dollar’s worth of life-saving treatment on hand.

To address the problem, under the umbrella of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Novartis and its public and private partners set up a simple, SMS reporting system that enabled health workers and pharmacists at public health facilities to record and report their stock levels on a weekly basis. This made it possible to anticipate shortages and distribute malaria drug supply more efficiently. Six months later, less than 1% of the facilities were stocked out of malaria drugs: a 97% reduction in stock outs through better and faster information flows. SMS for Life has now been expanded to several other African countries including Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.

 

Mobile swiss army knife for malaria

In a similar fashion, mobile phones may be the key to solving the challenge of counterfeit and stolen malaria treatments. Nigeria is the epicenter of the malaria challenge, accounting for nearly a quarter of the world’s malaria burden. As the market for antimalarial treatments has grown, so too has the attraction for counterfeiters. Recent estimates suggest that nearly 40% of all antimalarials on the market are counterfeit.

The challenge is compounded by the fact that most Nigerians don’t get their treatments from public health facilities. Eighty percent of people go to the private sector for treatment. And this isn’t your corner Walgreens we’re talking about. In Nigeria, it’s not uncommon to see malaria drugs sold alongside open-air butcher stands and car parts in public markets.

The solution to this problem? You guessed it - mobile. Working with companies such as Sproxil, PharmaSecure and mPedigree, the Nigerian government now requires that every antimalarial drug (and antibiotic) carry a label that consumers can scratch off like a lottery ticket and text in for free to confirm their drug is authentic and safe. Read more about Sproxil’s efforts to combat counterfeiters here.

This scalable use of the technology is revolutionizing the fight against counterfeits, and even helping authorities to track down contraband drugs. Malaria No More is working with a group of partners to go a step further: to explore how this data – a real-time sample of antimalarial consumption – can be used to draw fresh insights that can inform public health decision-making to save even more lives.

The Big Benefits of Data

A study in Kenya presents another compelling example of leveraging non-health data to fight malaria.

Caroline Buckee of the Harvard School of Public Health worked with Kenya’s largest mobile operator to analyze anonymized mobile phone usage records from 15 million consumers to track human migration patterns. Researchers then combined this migration map with regional malaria incidence data to identify how malaria travels around the country via human carriers.

Unsurprisingly, most of the malaria emanated from the high-transmission areas along Lake Victoria on Kenya’s western border.  But the data also spotlighted unusually high migration from the Lake Zone region about 50 miles inland to the western highlands region.

A few clicks of a Google map reveal that the western highlands are host to massive and bustling tea plantations that serve as a kind of bus depot for malaria transmission. Infected workers came from the Lake Zone to the highlands, where mosquitoes picked up the parasite and infected fellow plantation workers, who in turn transported the parasite back to their home communities farther inland.

These data-driven insights can help direct resources and interventions to make the malaria fight more effective. For example, eliminating malaria in the Lake Zone might cut off the source of infections in the highlands – even if you didn’t run a large-scale elimination program in the highlands themselves.

Mobile Aids Elimination

If anything, harnessing the power of mobile and data becomes more important as countries move toward malaria elimination. As the scale of the problem shrinks, the need for timely and precise surveillance data only grows. Vital elements such as real-time reporting of cases and accurate intervention mapping are now possible thanks to web, mapping, mobile and data analytics tools.

As you move toward the end game of elimination, countries must be able to track and respond to every case immediately to prevent it from spreading. They set up a sort of SWAT-team approach (painful pun intended): rapid-response systems in which health workers immediately report cases and teams show up to test and treat people in a perimeter around the infection to contain the spread of the parasite.

Even more so than Coca-Cola, that gives us something to smile about.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 4 (link to post) looks at ways technology and data can be used to fight malaria. Ashifi Gogo is the head of Sproxil, a company that uses mobile phone technology to combat dangerous counterfeit malaria medication.

1) Many people aren’t aware of the major threat counterfeit drugs pose, can you briefly describe the problem and how mobile authentication, such as Sproxil, helps fight it?

Drug counterfeiting, while particularly prevalent in emerging markets, is a global disease that threatens the safety and well-being of all citizens. 700,000 people die every year from fake anti-malarial and tuberculosis drugs alone: it is the equivalent of the entire population of Boston disappearing in a single year.

By leveraging the increasing popularity of mobile phones, we developed a simple, but powerful and secure SMS system: Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™). We partner directly with manufacturers and distributors to append security labels with a scratch-off panel on each product. At point of sale, a consumer will scratch off the panel to reveal a unique, single use code that they SMS to our phone number for free. The consumer instantly receives a response back confirming that the product is genuine or warning that it is suspicious. Our 24/7 help desk, which supports major local languages, is available for reports of counterfeiting activity and for questions relating to the product or solution.

To further reduce access barriers, we have multiple channels for verification: mobile apps (available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry 7), web apps and our help desk.

2) You’re working to integrate Sproxil into more countries. Where do you provide service currently, and where do you plan to expand?

We have operations in Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and the U.S. and can execute projects on six major continents. In an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters, we do not disclose our plans for expansion.

3) Beyond preventing counterfeits, do you see other ways to leverage this data to improve health?

Our technology was developed to be flexible and scalable. By creating direct communication channels between our clients and their patients, MPA can help foster healthier lifestyles. Our technology can support medical adherence programs, message patients with expiration reminders and health and wellness information or connect them with health care providers or other experts and even send special coupons or recommendations for other wellness products.  The opportunities for improving health by connecting patients with the appropriate resources make the possibilities limitless.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission

The secret to ending malaria could be protecting mosquitoes from humans

As villains go, the mosquito is well cast. The tiny pest is unique in nature in two important respects. First, it has no redeeming value to the broader ecosystem (the name of the particular breed that transmits malaria, “Anopheles,” actually means “useless” in Greek); and second, the mosquito is by far the deadliest creature on the planet to human beings, claiming 725,000 lives a year—principally to malaria, but also to diseases including dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Even Disney, the company that made ants and lobsters lovable, has it in for the mosquito. In a now-famous 1943 animated short titled “the Winged Scourge,” a Disney narrator brands mosquitoes “public enemy number one” for transmitting malaria, and cheers as the Seven Dwarves gleefully pump insecticide and stomp the bug.

Our first two columns explored how finding the parasite(link) and completely curing(link) infected people are two of the keys to ending this disease. The missing piece is to block transmission and stop the endless shuttling of the parasite back and forth between man and mosquito.

You see, for malaria, the transit between mosquito and man isn’t just a joy ride—it’s an essential step in reproduction. By blocking transmission you isolate the mosquito and interrupt that process. In mosquitoes, the parasites die quickly due to their host’s short life spans; and the ones in humans stay contained until you can eliminate them with medication.

The classic approach to blocking transmission is to protect people from mosquito bites using bed nets or insecticide sprays. And make no mistake, these tools have been extraordinarily effective: a major factor in saving 3.3 million lives from the disease since 2000.

Rethinking the Problem

But to break the back of transmission, we have to rethink the problem. We must move beyond vilifying the mosquito—and the key may be protecting mosquitoes from humans.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Consider that mosquitoes only carry the malaria parasite for up to 30 days—a mosquito’s maximum lifespan—while humans can carry the parasite for decades if left untreated. And where mosquitoes can only travel a mile or two on their tiny wings, humans circle the globe transporting the parasite like carry-on luggage. So if we’re looking for someone to blame for malaria transmission, we must start by taking a hard look in the mirror.

The surest way to avoid getting malaria from mosquitoes is to stop giving it to them. That’s why a new generation of treatments that completely eliminate the malaria parasite from the human body will be so important (for more, read Challenge 2: Complete Cure). But it is only one of the novel approaches that will make it possible to stop transmission.

 



Next Generation Protection

Soon, the tried-and-true bed net may be joined by new vector-control technologies that use radar-jamming molecules to disguise humans from mosquitoes. That’s the goal of a technology called Kite Patch, which took the crowd-funding site Indiegogo by storm. Worn on your clothes, this small sticker is a spatial repellent that blocks a mosquito’s ability to register carbon dioxide. In effect, it acts like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility, making people virtually undetectable to mosquitoes. (Read more about the Kite Patch technology and what it could mean for malaria.)

This past summer, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline registered for regulatory review of the first partially effective malaria vaccine—called RTS,S—and hopes for a WHO seal of approval as early as 2015. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the number of malaria episodes by a quarter in infants immunized and cut in half malaria cases in older children (toddlers) - low by vaccine standards, but unprecedented in terms of malaria.

But even as we celebrate this milestone – the first vaccine against a parasite – the focus of research is moving beyond only protecting individual people against malaria symptoms (as RTS,S does) to blocking transmission.

New vaccine approaches target two “choke points” when parasites are at their fewest in number during their complex life cycle: the transitions from mosquito to man, and from man to mosquito. These potential vaccines could effectively hold the line against onward transmission of the parasite, stopping malaria dead in its tracks.

Despite the PR campaign against mosquitoes, the goal of malaria control has never been to eradicate the insect, but only to control it as a way to get at our true adversary: the parasite. Little did we suspect that the key to eradicating malaria around the globe could involve making the mosquito an asset in the malaria fight.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mosquito Nets, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 3 addresses new technologies and approaches that are in development to block the transmission of the malaria parasite between humans and mosquitoes. To learn more about one such innovation, we spoke with Grey Frandsen from Kite Patch, a sticker that protects humans from mosquitoes by disrupting the insect’s ability to detect humans.

 

1. In our eco-conscious age, a lot of people are wary of putting chemicals on their skin to repel mosquitoes. But mosquito bites are an annoying problem in the U.S., and a deadly one in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia where the pests carry life-threatening diseases, including malaria and dengue fever. Can you tell us how Kite Patch works to protect from mosquitoes without using the traditional skin contact of insect repellents?

Kite Patch is a small, beautifully-designed little “sticker” that creates something akin to an invisibility cloak, or as some suggest, a defense shield, around our bodies with spatial compounds emitted from the materials on the sticker. This product form is being designed to emit a certain level of those spatial compounds over a period of time so that the compounds hover and swirl around the body with movement and wind, and travel away from our bodies in varying distances to intercept mosquitoes as they track toward us. Once mosquitoes come into contact with these compounds, they lose the ability to detect carbon dioxide and sense skin odors – the two primary mechanisms by which they track us.

We’ve designed Kite’s brand to capture the spirit of freedom and joy – something we believe will be the result of new technologies and products, such as Kite Patch, that will lift both the burden of disease and the burden of the fear of disease.

 

2. Kite Patch coming to fruition was a collaborative effort involving several different groups pitching in on funding. Can you tell us about the process of getting this innovation from the idea to the production stage, and where you’re at now?

Kite Patch absolutely is a story about collaboration. It’s also the result of a new model developed by ieCrowd to transform innovative discoveries into solutions to global challenges. This model brought together the innovative discovery, the capital, the development partners and experts, the team, and the range of stakeholders that now make up the large, global Kite campaign.

People may know the Kite Patch from our Indiegogo campaign. Last year we launched a crowdfunding effort to raise awareness and support for a specific field test of some of our Kite Patch prototypes. We wanted to expand the number of people involved in our development process and inspire people to play a role in getting a new technology to market.

The result was amazing. The campaign went viral and Indiegogo named it one of the top five campaigns ever. We enjoyed support from around the world. Over 500 publications ran original stories about our campaign, the technology, our process for commercializing this technology, and how we branded and marketed the campaign and the product itself.

As for the product itself, Kite technology stems from scientific findings initially discovered at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) with assistance from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ieCrowd exclusively licensed the technology from UCR, and has, since then, furthered the science into a range of new technologies, in order to advance disruptive products such as Kite Patch. Kite products - ranging from new mosquito repellents to spatial attractants - feature spatial and non-spatial active ingredients.

The next major step is to get Kite Patch to the field, to markets, and into the hands of people who need it the most. To do so, we’ll continue to build partnerships around the world with those who share our passion for eliminating this horrible disease.

 

3. Some readers may think a sticker is a novelty item, but you see Kite Patch having major implications on the field of public health. Can you tell us how far-reaching you hope Kite Patch will be?

We want to be humble about the role Kite technology and products can play, but we do know this: while our mock-ups make it look cool and pretty (and don’t those kids in the below Kite Patch video look cute? Those are mine!), the Kite technology platform is being developed to support what we believe can be one of the most powerful weapons platform in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases. We have a world-class team working 24/7 to build a powerful platform of actives that can ideally be deployed around the world in a range of applications – all of which will have minimal impact on our health and the health of our environment.

 

WATCH: Kite Patch in Action

 

Specifically, we’re working on repellents and attractants that can be deployed in any number of product forms that will play important roles in public health and disease intervention efforts globally. We pay attention to every detail and we’re designing each of our products with history and current technologies and needs in mind. Most importantly, we have opened our development process to people around the world and continue to build our technology and products with significant inputs and feedback from the Kite crowd.

Our technical foundation is strong, and ieCrowd’s system for deploying disruptive new solutions like Kite Patch is ready for action. We’re excited about the prospects of the Kite platform, and with the help of the crowd, amazing partners, and the world’s best team, we have no doubt that it will be among the leading tools to fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more

While most of the world thinks of mosquitoes as blood sucking, disease-spreading pests, there’s a new guy in town who’s on a mission to redeem the rep of his fellow mosquitoes.  Meet Edward, the handsome, malaria-fighting skeeter who happens to be one of the stars of Seriously’s new mobile game, Best Fiends. 

The Best Fiends are a pack of fun-loving creatures who spend their time fighting slugs to protect the citizens of Minutia.  But Edward has his own side gig – educating the world about malaria and helping Malaria No More to beat back this awful mosquito-borne disease to protect humans!  Getting by on a diet of coconut water instead of blood, Edward changed his ways, and has developed a whole arsenal of tools to help prevent and treat the spread of this disease.

Want to help Edward end malaria?  Visit our Edward page for a whole list of ways you can support the malaria fight, and make sure to download the game on your iPhone or iPad!

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #2 focuses on the development of a single-dose cure for malaria, so we sat down with Dr. Roger Waltzman. Waltzman works for the Malaria Initiative at Novartis, the maker of one of the top malaria treatments on the market.

Q: Novartis is a pioneer in the research and development of malaria treatments. What is the quick history of innovations Novartis has been a part of?

A: Novartis is in the fight against malaria for the long haul. Together with Chinese partners, Novartis developed the first artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), today’s gold standard in malaria treatment, and launched the first child-friendly, dispersible formulation developed jointly with Medicines for Malaria Venture. More recently, we launched another new formulation which reduces the pill burden for adults; this helps to ensure patients follow through with their full treatment course. Today, Novartis partners with the best institutions and intensifies its research efforts to develop new compounds against malaria to eventually eliminate the disease. With two compounds in Phase 2 clinical development and one drug target in pre-clinical research, Novartis scientists are building one of the most promising malaria pipelines in the industry.

Q: What kind of treatments will it take to eliminate malaria?

A: A two-pronged approach is required to eliminate malaria. First, new treatments must be developed that attack the malaria parasites in novel ways in case resistance against current treatments spreads. These treatments will also need to provide a “complete cure”. Second, within malaria-endemic countries, a large proportion of people with malaria do not show malaria symptoms and therefore do not seek treatment for their infection. They constitute a reservoir of malaria parasites that can be transmitted to other, more vulnerable populations, therefore targeting and treating these individuals is central to achieving the goal of malaria elimination.

Q: What is a “complete cure” for malaria? How is it different from what we have today?

A: “Complete cure” implies that the treatment not only targets the parasites in the blood in their asexual stage, which is the stage when symptoms of malaria appear, but also in their sexual stage (gametocytes). Gametocytes can be harbored in the human without provoking any symptoms, and transported upon a mosquito bite, infecting other humans. A complete cure would enable a patient to be cleared from all malaria parasites. It would also stop transmission to other humans. Current treatments do not necessarily offer the potential for a complete cure.

Q: Why is a single-dose treatment important and how do you see it affecting malaria prevalence globally?

A: Developing a new combination, similar to today’s three-day ACT treatment, which is powerful enough to treat malaria in one single dose, would enable the patient to take the entire treatment at once, virtually eliminating the risk of insufficient treatment. Indeed, with current treatments patients sometimes save tablets for other family members or friends or in case they are infected by malaria again, not realizing they may be inadequately treated. Also, parasites can become resistant to treatments when dosing is inadequate. A single-dose treatment has the potential to ensure complete and effective treatment for patients. In addition, depending upon its efficacy and safety, the treatment could be given to people who show no symptoms but harbor malaria parasites in their blood, and can therefore transmit malaria. Ultimately, treatment of asymptomatic people could help eliminate the disease in broad population groups, potentially leading to malaria eradication.

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure

Inventing a Wonder Drug to Win the Malaria Fight

The story of malaria control is the story of the promise – and peril – of wonder drugs. With hundreds of millions of people infected with malaria around the globe every year, effective treatment may be the difference between ending the disease and humanitarian disaster.

Quinine, the first antimalarial, was discovered in the bark of the cinchona tree in the foothills of the Andes Mountains back in the 1600s. But it was hard to produce and administer, and there still was no reliable global supply by World War I.

Finding a cheap, reliable alternative to quinine that could be mass-produced became a military imperative during World War II. America suffered humiliating defeats “not because the ammunition was gone,” The New York Times reported, “but because the quinine tablets gave out.”

However, the synthetic drugs that emerged from that furious R&D effort – most notably chloroquine – were little match for the fast-evolving parasite, which developed resistance in under a decade.

Progress Threatened

Our current front-line treatments for malaria, called artemisinin-based combination therapies (or ACTs for short), underscore the arms race between science and parasite. ACTs have been wildly successful in saving lives – a true wonder drug by any definition – but their effectiveness may also be cut short by resistance.

First touted for its curative powers in an ancient Chinese medical book dating back to 168 BC, artemisinin was finally brought to scale globally by Swiss healthcare company Novartis, which received WHO international approval for its drug in 1999. Global funders threw their weight behind ACTs five years later, and today more than 280 million ACT treatments are distributed every year in Africa alone.

But resistance is once again threatening to rob us of our best tool in the malaria fight. Just as chloroquine resistance emerged along the Thai-Cambodia border back in the 1960s, first signs of artemisinin resistance have now been documented in the region. If it follows the same pattern as past resistance – emerging across Asia, in India, making the leap to Africa – it could potentially cost millions of lives.

History has shown that containment isn’t an option: Only by eliminating malaria in Asia-Pacific can we staunch the spread of resistance. So the Greater Mekong subregion will be ground zero for a renewed global eradication effort.

In Search of a Solution

The race is already on to develop the next generation of wonder drugs—this time tailor-made for eradication. Such a drug would have four key features.

 



First, it would be a single-dose treatment. The pharma industry talks about the “pill burden” – the total number of pills someone has to take to complete a full course of treatment. The more pills, over more days, the greater the chance that a patient will stop midway and fail to be fully cured.

Malaria treatment currently requires between three and 14 days of treatment, depending on the strain of the parasite. Getting people to take all their pills is complicated by the fact that the drugs are so fast-acting and effective that malaria symptoms may subside after the first or second day, leading people to think they’ve been treated, when in fact trace amounts of the parasite may still be hanging around in their bodies waiting to mount another attack. A single dose treatment would ensure that everyone who is treated is parasite-free.

The second feature of a new wonder drug is that it will be a “complete cure.” Malaria is so challenging in part because the parasite plays hide and seek in the human body: traveling in the bloodstream, lodging in the liver, the brain – even bone marrow, as a recent study highlighted.

Before you can hope to eliminate malaria in a community of people, you must be able to effectively eliminate it in a single person. A complete cure treatment would wipe out the parasite at every stage of its lifecycle, ensuring zero risk of passing the parasite along to others.

The third feature is what we call a prophylactic effect. Essentially, you want a drug that will remain in the body for a period of time to prevent a person from developing another case of malaria if bitten again by an infected mosquito.

And finally, the new treatment would have a high barrier to resistance, so even as you scale up use it’s able to maintain its effectiveness. This means developing an arsenal of molecules that attack the parasite in novel ways, and then using drugs in combination to stave off resistance. New malaria drugs are a great investment, but they’re expensive to develop, so we must ensure they last.

In the Pipeline

The good news is we’re well on our way to making a new slate of wonder drugs (or “one-der” drugs) a reality. Supported by a product development partnership called Medicines for Malaria Venture out of Geneva, the malaria community and pharma industry leaders including Novartis, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline have started clinical trials for treatments that will make ending malaria a reality.

As one example, Novartis has fast-tracked its first non-artemisinin based single-dose drug candidate, called KAE609, and recently published results showing that it was able to clear malaria parasites in adults in 12 hours on average. Read more about the quest for a malaria wonder drug here.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria

Femi Anikulapo Kuti has been able to stand tall as an icon in the music industry without being overshadowed by the colossal image of his legendary father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Over the years he has blended jazz and funk with afrobeat to create a cocktail of unique indelible sounds of afrobeat, and this has earned him four nominations for the prestigious Grammy Awards.

Today Femi Kuti joins Malaria No More to have a Twitter conversation on malaria, music and the Nigerian society. It promises to be an enthralling conversation as Femi is vocal in his opinions. To join this conversation, follow the Malaria No More Twitter account in Nigeria: @MalariaNoMoreN1 and tweet your questions to Femi Kuti as from 11AM - 12PM ET using the hashtag #AskFemiKuti. Femi Kuti is currently one of the ambassadors for the Malaria No More campaign in Nigeria.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #1 focuses on finding the parasite, so we sat down with Duncan Blair, PhD. Blair is the Director of Public Health Initiatives at Alere, the maker of one of the top malaria diagnostic tools on the market.

 

Q: Why are malaria RDTs a focus for your business?

With Alere being the global leader in rapid diagnostic tests for communicable diseases it would be almost impossible for us not to be involved in the malaria fight. Approximately half of the world’s population live in malaria-endemic areas, and consequently, are at risk of infection. With over 200 million infections and over 600,000 deaths a year, the risk to individuals and the burden on health care systems are enormous. To treat malaria appropriately and, just as importantly, to know when not to treat for malaria, requires accurate diagnosis. For decades, the only option for malaria diagnosis was microscopy, but microscopy is extremely challenging to implement with quality due to significant needs for complex equipment, electricity, water, well-trained and well-remunerated staff and many other reasons. The advent of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria greatly improved our ability to diagnose malaria simply and effectively. RDTs are high quality, simple and quick tests that can be performed with just a few drops of finger-stick blood at the point of care and without any ancillary equipment. The benefits that the introduction of high-quality and properly deployed malaria RDTs have brought to individuals, to health care systems and to entire communities, is immeasurable.

Q: What are some of the new testing developments you’re working on?

We are always looking at ways to improve products or to fill a missing diagnostic need with a view of improving patient and health system outcomes. I think that we find ourselves at a time when malaria elimination is within reach and many of the tools needed to achieve that goal already exist, but not quite all of them. One of the missing pieces of the puzzle is a simple, affordable test capable of detecting the malarial parasites in asymptomatic patients. No such test exists today, but it will be critical for elimination, as we will need to find and treat patients who have no fever and no visible symptoms, but who do have circulating parasites and are therefore acting as a reservoir for future reinfection of the community. Alere is actively looking at developing just such a test.

Q: What are the key challenges you must solve to make this next-generation test a reality?

What we are talking about here is developing a test whose performance is many times better than the best tests currently available, which still meets our exacting quality standards and which can be reliably and sustainably manufactured, delivered and effectively deployed at accessible prices. We’re optimistic we can deliver that, given the great range of technologies at our disposal within Alere and the fantastic teams of dedicated and innovative people we have in R&D and manufacturing. So there may be challenges ahead, but we are very confident that we can rise to meet those challenges.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Alere, Malaria Tests, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite

You can't beat an opponent you can't see

Malaria thrives on misinformation. It always has. Even the word malaria is a misnomer. It’s Italian for “bad air,” because the Romans attributed the seasonal sickness (that killed at least four Popes, and probably the poet Dante) to noxious fumes coming off the swamps. It wasn’t until 1897 that Dr. Ronald Ross confirmed the mosquito as the vector that spreads the disease.

And misinformation is one of the big reasons malaria continues to kill a child at the rate of one every sixty seconds. Solving the information challenge is going to be key if we’re going to end this disease, and no piece of information is more vital than knowing who is carrying the parasite and who isn’t.

THE HIDDEN MALARIA CHALLENGE

While there are more than 200 million malaria cases every year – that is, people who are getting sick from the disease – it is estimated that there are five times as many people carrying the parasite in their bodies at any given moment – a ticking time bomb of illness and infection.

That amounts to more than one billion people – one out of every seven people on the planet – who are potentially infected with the malaria parasite, jeopardizing their health, hampering their productivity and making them a source of infection for their families and communities. And, most of them have no idea they’re carrying the potentially deadly disease!

 



The biggest host of the malaria parasite is healthy people, not sick people or mosquitoes.

The insight that sick patients showing up at clinics are only the tip of the malaria iceberg underpins emerging strategies for eradicating the disease. Simply put: you can’t beat malaria if you can’t find it. So any attempt to eradicate the disease must start with developing the diagnostic capabilities to find and free the roughly one billion people living with the parasite in their body and stop them from transmitting.

It may sound like a daunting task, until you consider how far we’ve come in recent years – and how fast.

THE DIAGNOSTIC REVOLUTION

Until 2010, there was no practical way to get a timely, accurate diagnosis for malaria. If you had a fever and wanted to be tested for malaria, you had to travel a long distance – sometimes tens of miles on foot – to find a hospital or clinic equipped with an expensive microscope and a trained lab technician. You had to take a blood slide, then wait several hours for the result – hoping that the lab technician read it right.

It was impractical, and people simply didn’t do it.

In many African languages, the words for “malaria” and “fever” are the same. It’s easy to understand why. Absent practical diagnostics, doctors simply treated every fever as if it was malaria and hoped for the best.

Then came the breakthrough: the rapid diagnostic test, or RDT. This simple, fifty-cent, finger-prick blood test can tell you in a matter of minutes with better than 99% accuracy if your fever is malaria.

The RDT has revolutionized the malaria fight, enabling lightly trained community health workers operating on the far reaches of the health system to test patients for malaria. Negative results are as important as positive ones as they direct doctors to consider other top killers, such as pneumonia and upper-respiratory infection. There are now more than 200 million RDTs distributed across Africa each year.

NEXT GENERATION TESTS

Today, we need to revolutionize diagnosis yet again, this time with a focus on identifying asymptomatic cases and guiding treatment.

Current RDTs have a sensitivity of 200 parasites per microliter of blood – sufficient for identifying all cases in sick people. But finding low-levels of the parasite in asymptomatic patients is like an elaborate game of hide and seek. To do it, we need a new generation of simple, portable, inexpensive diagnostic tests that are 10 times more sensitive, detecting malaria at levels of 20 parasites per microliter or even lower.

Fortunately, through innovative public–private partnerships led by groups like the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Seattle-based partner PATH, we’re well on our way to developing next-generation diagnostic tests.

Other next-generation diagnostics will potentially help solve some of the treatment challenges that stand in the way of elimination. Efforts to tackle the dominant strain of malaria in Asia and South America, known as P. vivax, have been hamstrung by the fact that some people have an adverse reaction to the drug recommended for completely clearing the parasite, due to a common inherited trait known as G6PD enzyme deficiency.

The development of diagnostics to identify individuals with G6PD deficiency would ensure better use of current drugs and potential new single-dose treatments, such as tafenoquine, currently in development by GlaxoSmithKline and MMV.

Armed with new diagnostics, we’ll be in a position to take the fight to the parasite. Instead of passively waiting for sick people to show up at clinics, we can go on offense: actively testing and treating entire communities to find and root out malaria, while ensuring the type of treatment provided to patients will be safe and effective.

Which sets up the next of our challenges - check back in next week to read about another big innovation in the malaria fight: developing a complete cure!

Q&A: Read about Malaria No More’s partner Alere and their quest for new diagnostics here.

.......

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

Intro: Going on Offense 

Challenge 1: Find the Parasite

Challenge 2: Radical Cure (10/8/2014)

Challenge 3: Block Transmission (10/14/2014)

Challenge 4: Data & Mobile (10/21/2014)

Challenge 5: Fuel the Fight (10/28/2014)

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria

After a century of playing defense, it’s time for the malaria fight to go on offense

In 1897, Dr. Ronald Ross – an Indian-born, British surgeon who counted poetry, mathematics, and songwriting among his other passions - made a medical discovery that would change the course of history.

Stationed in Secundebad, a monsoon-drenched city in Central India, Dr. Ross identified the malaria parasite in the gut of a dissected Anopheles mosquito. His discovery confirmed that the winged pest was in fact the vector responsible for spreading one of the oldest, deadliest, and most devastating diseases on the planet.

Dr. Ross was knighted and awarded a Nobel Prize for his efforts, and deservedly so: His discovery laid the foundation for the modern fight against malaria.

Historic Progress

We’ve made significant strides since Dr. Ross’ time. Malaria has been eliminated throughout most of the developed world, including the United States in 1951. And progress is accelerating: Just since 2000, we’ve cut global malaria deaths by half, saving 3.3 million lives - most of them children and pregnant women in Africa.

However, the work is far from done. A child still dies every minute from a mosquito bite, and more than 200 million people are afflicted with the disease each year, keeping adults out of work, children out of school, and stifling the growth of developing economies.

Based on the progress of the past decade, there is a growing determination among the global health community to eradicate the disease once and for all, recognizing that the only way to ensure zero malaria deaths is to have zero malaria.

Going on Offense

So what will it take to finish the job?

We need to rethink the malaria problem in as radical a way as Dr. Ross did more than a century ago. For all our progress, the prevailing approach to controlling malaria has fundamentally been about playing defense: trying to prevent mosquitos from biting and treating people when they’re sick so they don’t die. Don’t get me wrong. That has been the most cost-effective way of tackling a complex problem, going after the “low-hanging fruit” and bringing down the number of cases and deaths dramatically.

But to win this fight, we need to take a “parasite’s-eye” view of the problem. We must attack the malaria parasite where it lives - in the human reservoir – with aggressive new approaches to find, clear, and prevent onward-transmission of malaria, even in asymptomatic carriers of the disease. In short, we must go on offense.

As part of that approach, we need to confront one of the newest and most urgent threats to the advances we’ve made against malaria: Resistance in Asia to the frontline treatment of the disease, artemisinin. The last time drug-resistant malaria developed in that part of the world, it spread to India and Africa, robbing us of chloroquine as an effective tool.

If that happens again, it could cost millions of lives, since we are at least 4 to 5 years away from developing a viable treatment alternative.

The Path Forward

We find ourselves at another watershed moment in the malaria fight, and the only way we’re going to succeed is through relentless innovation. We need the next generation of tools and new implementation approaches; we need to harness the power of distinctly modern advances such as the use of mobile phones and big data in heatlh.

Broadly speaking, we’ve identified five key challenges the world needs to solve to win this fight. Every two weeks, starting this Monday, we’ll zero in on one challenge and let you know who’s innovating to find solutions. The series will culminate in some big news regarding the malaria community’s plan to reach eradication, delivered by one of the world’s biggest names and most prolific innovators in fighting disease, Bill Gates.

So stay tuned, and join us here next week as we launch with Challenge #1: Find the Parasite!

....

This is the introduction to our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria. You can find others here:

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Domenico learned about our Power of One campaign through his employer, Novartis. Domenico works in the Vaccines and Diagnostics Division and is passionate about Africa. He leveraged his professional move from Italy to Switzerland to help fundraise for the campaign. At his family’s going-away party, Domenico shared stories from his travels to malaria-endemic regions in Asia and Africa, mainly Uganda, where he supports orphanages, educational institutions for disabled children, as well as projects for the economic independence of small communities. He hit a nerve and got the attention of his friends. Today, 56 have decided to support him and joined the campaign!

Domenico also hosted a garage sale to benefit the cause, which inspired shoppers to pay the full price, instead of haggling for a better deal!

“This is a cause I really care about,” says Domenico. “I have increased my personal engagement significantly, and thanks to the support of my family and friend, we will be able to help 4,128 children with malaria”. Domenico found the campaign so rewarding, that he continues to fundraise for Power of One and to engage people around him. “One of my friends – a musician – after having donated called me in the middle of the night and told me he had just composed a song for my campaign. We are now discussing how we could use the song to help fight malaria.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee

Malaria No More ambassador Katharine McPhee is fighting for good on TV and in her real life. Having traveled with us to Ghana and Burkina Faso in 2012 and having supported our most recent campaign called the Power of One (Po1), Katharine had a lot to talk about with a bunch of teenagers over pizza.

Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer launched a web series called Pizza with an Icon, where teens can ask questions of influencers and all the good work they’re doing. In this segment, Katharine talks about her travels and how everyone can do their part to help end malaria deaths.

"It's such a tragedy that there are people dying from something that is so easy to cure," Katharine said. "It’s important for people to know that it’s not that hard to make a dent in a small part of the world that you may not necessarily even have any connection with.”

We couldn’t be more grateful to Katharine and all her hard work on the cause.

“Katharine has been an incredible supporter of Malaria No More for years, she is truly engaged in the push to eliminate deaths from malaria,” said our CEO, Martin Edlund. “Using her platform to raise awareness for the Power of One test and treatment campaign partnered with Novartis and Alere, Katharine has made a huge impact helping us move toward achieving our goal of raising three million treatments in our first partner country, Zambia.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman

On World Malaria Day, our partner Novartis kicked off an employee engagement effort encouraging their employees to get behind the malaria fight. From April 25th, to our Independence Day, July 4th, Novartis employees got active and joined the fight through Power of One.

Roger Waltzman, in charge of developing new antimalarials at Novartis, is one of the top contributors to this employee engagement effort, having raised over 18,000 USD towards treatments for kids in Africa. Here, he’s filled us in on his work and how he raised all that money.

Q. Why do you believe in fighting malaria, and how did this contribute to your decision to start a fundraiser?

A. I believe it’s crucial to make available high quality medical treatments for people all over the world, particularly for those vulnerable people who are at risk for preventable, curable diseases. The focus of my work at Novartis is developing new antimalarials and I wanted to generate more attention both within and outside my work environment about the importance of this effort.

Q. Did anything interesting happen while you were fundraising? Did any of your supporters do or say anything really encouraging?

A. Quite a few people didn’t know that developing new antimalarials is the focus of my work and they seemed happy to hear this and happy to contribute. I appreciated their comments; one person simply said, “Good work should be supported,” and I thought that was so matter-of-fact and genuine. Some people contributed $1, since you could contribute any amount, and others contributed much more!

Q. How has this program increased your charitable efforts this year, compared to an average year?

A. I made a personal commitment to contribute to the campaign 10% of however much money I could raise from others. That ended up being one of my largest charitable contributions this year and I was delighted to do it.

Q. Now that the employee engagement campaign is over, how will you continue your efforts to help end malaria?

A. My daily work is focused on the development of better treatment or prevention of malaria, so the biggest change is that I feel even more determined and inspired by seeing the very positive response this campaign engendered in friends and family.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with our Power of One, Malaria No More, or the Novartis employee engagement campaign?

A. I was delighted that MNM created a campaign that was so simple, with a personal link for tracking contributions, and by enabling donors to contribute as little as $1. I felt completely comfortable asking my friends, family, and colleagues to consider donating something, anything, since the amount did not need to be large. I usually don’t find fundraising a particularly comfortable activity, but this enabled me to feel very comfortable with the “ask.” I am delighted that Novartis and MNM are collaborating in this and other ways. Eradicating malaria will take a huge effort on the part of many people and we need to collaborate for the benefit of the hundreds of millions of people who are infected every year.

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Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime

This past World Mosquito Day we were on ABC 7’s Let’s Talk Live discussing what else but mosquitoes, the deadliest animals on the planet.

Malaria Policy Center staff Josh Blumenfeld and Hannah Bowen, as well as our partner from DC Mosquito Squad, Damien Sanchez, spoke to the threat of malaria on Wednesday’s show. Watch the full show below.

Watch the video here: http://www.wjla.com/blogs/lets-talk-live/2014/08/world-mosqutio-day-22781.html 

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight

Arnold Mbolo, a high school senior from a family of six kids, joined the Junior Ambassador program in April 2014 after placing 6th with a comedic sketch in the MNM Cameroon school contest. When asked why he participated, he responded “I like challenges. I’m a competitive person. But, I realized that the contest educated me. Before, I barely knew anything about malaria, hence I have also won in knowledge.”

For Arnold, humor is something he’s been around all his life - with a professional comedian as an uncle, helping him to develop into a charismatic comedian who is responsible for “cultural animation” in his local youth association, MOJAM. In just four months, Arnold has emerged as an all-star Junior Ambassador, using his energy and comedic talents in various events at school and with MNM to ensure his community is invested in putting an end to malaria.

The goal of the Junior Ambassador Program is to engage youth leaders from high schools across Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital city, to target their peers and wider communities through interpersonal communications, including clubs, school events and other activities. Arnold has done just that. He mobilized the other Junior Ambassadors to organize a school fair at his high school, where they had a stand teaching students about malaria prevention, which was also visited by the Secretary to the Minister of Education who encouraged the Junior Ambassadors to keep doing great work. He was selected as the K.O PALU mosquito mascot for the World Malaria Day Caravan and performed his winning sketch at stops throughout the city. Arnold has also received permission from his school to post K.O. PALU educational posters and a malaria prevention mural, ensuring malaria education and awareness are a part of everyday activities at school.

For World Mosquito Day 2014, Arnold worked with a fellow Junior Ambassador to mobilize hundreds of youth and community members, the mayor, and local chief to clean up a neighborhood to get rid of its standing water – which can be mosquito breeding grounds, especially during the rainy season.

Arnold is truly leading the charge, setting an example for fellow Junior Ambassadors and his community and motivating them to join the fight against malaria.

Stay tuned for more on the amazing work our Junior Ambassadors are doing in Cameroon to ensure their communities understand the threat of malaria and know how to protect themselves against the disease.

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Cameroon, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa

On World Mosquito Day, spoiling a BBQ is a mosquito’s most minor offense

My daughter Nell is just 8-months old, so this is her first summer. Her first taste of freshly yanked grass from the yard. Her first sunburn.

She and her big sister, 4-year-old Maret get to stay up way past their bedtimes, as we soak up what remains of the humid evenings and the lingering sunlight. And of course there’s the uninvited guest at outdoor summer events - the mosquito, that tiny but persistent blight on our backyard barbecues and pool parties.

This week at Malaria No More, we stop to acknowledge World Mosquito Day August 20th. Devoting an entire day to the mosquito may seem like overkill, until you remember that the mosquito is, in fact, the world’s deadliest living creature. This day in particular was chosen because it marks the anniversary of British surgeon Dr. Ronald Ross discovering that mosquitoes carried malaria back in 1897 – a breakthrough that set us on the path to ending this disease.

"A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease."

As I dab the calamine lotion on the red bumps that dot Maret’s skin, I get a flash of the anxiety parents must feel in Africa, where mosquitoes lead to the deaths of more than a thousand children every day.

I remember El Hadj Diop, the Senegalese father who dedicated his life to ending deaths from malaria in his home community after losing his 11-year-old daughter, Ami, to the disease. I’m haunted by the face of the nameless Nigerian dad I encountered as he arrived, desperate, at a clinic with his daughter on the verge of a malaria coma. Pictures of both fathers hang above my desk.



Above:  El Hadj holds up a picture of his deceased daughter; a Nigerian father holds his malaria stricken daughter

These are but two examples of the African parents who lose their precious children to a mosquito bite every minute of every day. And my eyes well up at the prospect of that happening to Nell or Maret. We’re lucky here in the U.S., where malaria was eradicated in 1951. A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease.

The good news is that we can help protect children who still live with the reality of a potentially deadly mosquito bite. Just one dollar buys and delivers a life-saving test and treatment for a child in Africa through our Power of One campaign, thanks to our partnership with Alere and Novartis.

So this World Mosquito Day, please consider contributing. With your help, we’re closer than ever to mosquitoes becoming just another summer nuisance alongside sunburns and brain freezes, instead of the world’s most deadly predator.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas

For many Americans, it’s difficult to see the impact foreign aid has on people half a world away. We’re working hard to close that gap, and bring stories from malaria endemic countries home. That’s why, last week, we brought three Senate staffers to Dakar, Senegal and Geneva, Switzerland; where the staff learned firsthand the impact malaria has across all aspects of the Senegalese health system. They also experienced the inspiring progress that Senegal has made with the help of partners like the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, to which the U.S. is the largest donor.

Day 1

The week kicked off in Dakar with meetings at the U.S. Embassy and Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program, where staffers heard from the program officers on the ground working to eliminate malaria about challenges and successes in the region. We learned how malaria fits within a broader health and economic context in the region, and why so many parts of the Senegalese government, private sector leaders, and development partners are committed to fighting malaria. The PMI Resident Advisor helped to guide us around and explain how PMI’s staff from USAID and the CDC support Senegal’s health system.

Day 2

Tuesday started bright and early with a short drive to the Peace Corps Headquarters in Ngor where the team was briefed by Country Director Cheryl Gregory Faye and Vanessa Dickey, Director of Programming & Training, then boarded a van for the almost two-hour drive to Thies, where we saw the great work Peace Corps volunteers are doing to combat malaria as part of their continent-wide “Stomp Out Malaria in Africa” program. We even Skyped with volunteers from other countries who are implementing the same community-based case management strategies that were developed in Senegal and which are now in Benin, Madagascar, and other countries. Over a lunch of delicious family-style Senegalese yassa chicken, we heard presentations from current Peace Corps volunteers about some of the major challenges they face in the area, including commodity stock outs, village access and communication. We learned what they are doing in partnership with PMI to overcome these obstacles and stomp out malaria.

 

Senegal Peace Corps & SLAP Lab

Above: Lunch with the Peace Corps; visit to SLAP lab

In the afternoon we were able to see cutting-edge research taking place at the Parasite Control Service. Dr. Sy and Dr. Ndiaye presented the monitoring and research activities which are supported by various US governmental and higher education institutions including the NIH, CDC, USAID, Peace Corps as well as Tulane and Harvard Universities. The lab, although subject to challenges like fluctuating electricity (our demonstration of the microscopy center was cut short by a power outage), is helping track insecticide resistance and studying the genetic markers of parasites to track parasite populations over time. The day ended with two site visits, one to a larger health center in Thies and another smaller health hut in Keur Madaro, where we had the opportunity to meet the community leaders and health workers.

Day 3

On Wednesday, the team headed out to see another key global malaria partner, PATH. The PATH country director explained PATH’s work to strengthen the health system in Senegal through community empowerment and malaria prevention and treatment. After a brief visit and presentation from young members of the Malaria No More Club in a nearby school, the staff headed to a lunch, hosted by MNM’s long-time partner, Senegalese NGO Speak Up Africa, with key business leaders to hear why they care about malaria and what they are doing to stop malaria from draining Senegal’s economy. The ideas proposed by bankers, builders, and leaders of other industries included issuing a malaria bond, setting up a health investment fund, and contributing in-kind expertise and materials to the fight – something several leaders in the room pledged to do.

We made a quick stop to see a warehouse where the Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets procured with PMI funding are housed before being distributed nationwide, then arrived to our last meeting in Dakar with the Minister of Health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck. Given her previous experience as Roll Back Malaria’s Executive Director, the Honorable Awa Marie Coll-Seck’s vast knowledge of malaria allowed our time to be more of a working session than a typical courtesy call. During the hour she spent with the team, the Senate staffers were able to report back what they found from their time in Dakar, including the challenges of supply chain management to rural areas, but also the successes of the partnership between PMI and the inspiring staff of the National Malaria Control Program.

 

Senegal LLIN & Minister of Health

Above: Visit to the LLIN warehouse; meeting with the Minister of Health

The Minister of Health also spoke about Senegal’s commitment to pre-elimination and its challenges and strategies for tackling the higher-burden southeastern regions, such as indoor residual spraying and seasonal chemo-prevention for children. She also stressed the need for private sector engagement, and shared that she was very pleased to have presented Senegal’s story at the official health event during the trade and investment themed U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. the week before.

Geneva

After an overnight flight to Geneva, the team ended the trip with debriefing meetings to link the lessons from Senegal with broader global strategies for malaria and innovation for the next wave of the fight.

Experts from the Global Fund, the WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, Medicines for Malaria Venture, and MNM’s Power of One partner Novartis all shared their perspectives on the global fight against malaria, answered the staff’s questions in great detail, and closed out a busy, but productive, week.

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Advocacy, Senegal, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/how-ebola-makes-malaria-more-deadly https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/how-ebola-makes-malaria-more-deadly

If you’re even a casual consumer of news, you’ve likely heard plenty about New York City resident Eric Silverman, who was hospitalized recently at Mt. Sinai hospital after displaying symptoms of Ebola.

While the media went into overdrive, it turns out that the Brooklyn man – who recently returned from Sierra Leone – was likely suffering from malaria. The mistake is understandable, since the two diseases display similar symptoms - such as fever, headache, and aching joints. As The Gothamist headline joked, “Ebola Man" Probably Just Had Boring Malaria.

The Ebola fears are well justified: As the death toll in West Africa surpassed 1,000, the World Health Organization recently approved the experimental use of drugs to try to save infected patients. But the reality is that “boring” malaria kills more people every day - about 1,700 - than have died in the Ebola outbreak to date. And, with the rainy season underway in West Africa, the Ebola outbreak may compound malaria’s deadly effects. As Bloomberg reports, Sierra Leone residents suffering from malaria are staying away from health clinics and hospitals, fearing they may be quarantined or infected with Ebola from a sick patient.

Unlike Ebola, we have simple cost-effective treatments for malaria. They key is getting them in time, since kids can die within the first 24 hours of the onset of malaria symptoms.

So, as health officials tackle the Ebola crisis, they must take special pains to encourage people to seek timely testing and treatment for similar-seeming illnesses, so “boring” malaria doesn’t become even more deadly.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/asia-the-next-frontier-in-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/asia-the-next-frontier-in-the-malaria-fight

MNM staff just returned from Singapore, where we held an official event to kick-off our partnership to fight malaria with the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

The Asia-Pacific region is home to more than two billion people at risk of malaria infection and accounts for 32 million cases of malaria each year. Recently, resistance to the front line treatment to the disease, aretemisin-based combination therapies (ACTs), has emerged in the Greater Mekong Region. This is a major concern to the public health community, as ACTs are the most effective way to treat malaria, and past resistance to malaria treatment has spread from Asia to Africa, where most cases of the disease occur.

The reception celebrating the new collaboration took place at the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore with attendance from both private sector and government leaders including Alere, the American Chamber of Commerce, Bayer, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Edelman, Kimberly-Clark, and US Embassy and Australian officials.

While many of the business leaders in the room understand the importance of defeating malaria in the region, the goal of the event was also to take advantage of their expertise and resources to leverage engagement across additional sectors.  To that end, MNM staff heard directly from the private sector representatives, including a presentation from Alere, about strategies to garner support within their organization as well as effective ways to engage new champions in the business world.

The event was a great start in helping to deepen the bench for the Champions of APLMA, which will be a major focus of the new partnership. The group will build a coalition of private sector leaders in Asia-Pacific to raise the profile of malaria as a massive roadblock to the region’s social and economic progress, and to advocate for the elimination of the disease in Asia and beyond.

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Advocacy, Asia, Malaria Policy, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/from-malaria-victim-to-malaria-victor https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/from-malaria-victim-to-malaria-victor

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Today’s supporter, Chinweike, is what we at MNM call a super supporter. When his company, Novartis, encouraged him to take part in fundraising for our Power of One campaign, he set himself a lofty goal – to raise $1,500. Through Po1, that’s enough to provide malaria tests and treatments to 1,500 African children. And not only did Chinwe achieve his goal, he far surpassed it – raising $12,347! In fact, his personal fundraiser was so successful that he had to raise the bar for himself after just two days, as he had already met his initial $1,500 goal. For him it was more than just participating in a Novartis employee engagement effort. It was personal.

Growing up in Nigeria, Chinwe suffered from malaria during his childhood, as did many of his family members. Chinwe, who is now working at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, beat tough odds. While major progress has been made since he was a child in Nigeria, malaria still takes a massive toll on the world’s children - with a child dying every minute from the treatable disease.

Though he left the country as a teenager, he says his ties to the continent still remain. He has taken part in African medical and education programs since leaving, and was especially drawn to the scale and ambition of the Power of One effort, which has already raised enough money to provide malaria treatments to two million children. “A death a minute for a preventable and treatable disease is just unacceptable,” says Chinwe. “To be able to change a life with a dollar is quite a bargain.”

Chinwe’s passion for Po1 was contagious. Though he had just started in his position, he used the campaign as a way to connect with new co-workers. He took the message everywhere he went – from work, to the airport, to his monthly poker game – he even fundraised at a couple’s engagement party! And his family is just as excited about the cause as he is. His 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter offered up their savings to be donated. His wife sent messages to her friends and family soliciting donations, and made sure Chinwe was actively fundraising through some good-natured spousal nagging.

And the impact was incredible – as Chinwe says he’d never given or raised even a third of what he did through Power of One. And he plans to continue raising money for the campaign throughout the year.

While Chinwe provided enough money to test and treat more than 12,000 children for malaria, he says he benefited from the effort as well. “It was a great thrill doing this,” he says. “I have reconnected with a host of great friends and colleagues from my pre-Novartis days, and in less than six months at the company I already know I have wonderful colleagues and friends I can count on.”

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Malaria Tests, Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Power of One, 2014--T::

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2014

Drones Are Taking Pictures That Could Demystify A Malaria Surge



Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Researchers download images after a drone flight in Sabah, Malaysia.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes. Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

The map above combines drone images with yellow dots that track the movement of macaques as determined by a GPS collar. The red dot indicates a human case of malaria, which can spread from macaques via mosquitoes.

Courtesy of Trends in Parasitology, Fornace et al

Aerial drones are targeting a new enemy: malaria.

Four hundred feet above a Malaysian forest, a three-foot eBee drone hovers and takes pictures with a 16-megapixel camera every 10 to 20 seconds. But it's not gathering images of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Even today's best drones aren't capable of such a photographic marvel. Rather, the drone is looking at a changing landscape that holds clues to the disease's spread.

The malaria drone mission, described in a study published Oct. 22 in Trends in Parasitology, began in December 2013, when UK scientists decided to track a rare strain of the mosquito-borne disease that has surged near Southeast Asian cities. Understanding deforestation may be the key in seeing how this kind of malaria, known as Plasmodium knowlesi, is transmitted.

The mosquitoes that carry P. knowlesi are forest dwellers. The insects breed in cool pools of water under the forest canopy and sap blood from macaque monkeys that harbor the malaria parasite.

In Sabah, Malaysia, human cases of this kind of malaria didn't surface until about 10 years ago, says infectious disease specialist Kimberly Fornace of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is leading the drone study.

While cases of the most common malaria strains have steadily dropped during this time, P. knowlesi has thrived. It's now the number-one cause of malaria in the region. Fornace and her team suspect that human intrusion into forested areas has created more opportunities for the disease to pass between primates and humans via mosquitoes. The drone imagery they've collected so far suggests there were occasions where land development forced macaques within closer proximity of humans, who then developed malaria.

As part of a project called MONKEYBAR, the team tracks outbreaks by comparing the drone's land surveillance with hospital records of malaria cases. Meanwhile, a local wildlife commission has fitted macaques with GPS collars, which let scientists monitor the locations of monkey troops. Together, this information paints a public health map that explains how land development has influenced monkey movements — and transmission of malaria to humans. In partnership with Conservation Drones, an organization that builds drones for under $1,000, Fornace and her team plan to build a drone that snaps thermal images of macaques, so the monkeys can someday be identified without GPS collars.

Drones provide a better surveillance picture than satellite images, which are the current standard for mapping environmental changes. But Google Earth images, for example, are only updated every few weeks or months, says parasitologist Chris Drakeley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who coauthored the Trends in Parasitology study with Fornace. Drones, he says, can provide a more comprehensive, continuous picture: "We avoid cloud cover and can see what the land use was like today, next week and the week after."

The public health implications of drone use extend far beyond malaria, says Harvard epidemiologist Nathan Eagle. Doctors have already used unmanned aircraft to carry medical supplies between rural clinics in South Africa and Haiti. Humanitarian drones also tracked property damage and hunted for survivors after Typhoon Haiyan. And when a disease like Ebola surfaces, a drone could scan for changes in bats' habitats, given that the winged mammals are proposed carriers of the hemorrhagic fever. The prices of these drones are dropping while their specs — flight performance and cameras — are improving, says Eagle. All of which means in a few years, a series of very inexpensive aerial vehicles will exist for wider use in public health research.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/22/357637900/drones-are-taking-pictures-that-could-demystify-a-malaria-surge?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=malaria
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Malaria No More NewsThankful for Turkey, Partners, Interns and…Mother�™s First Fundraiser a Big HitOutbreak Responder: A different game for a different future.Q&A with Ray Chambers, Challenge #5: Fuel the FightThis Baby Accepts Credit CardsThe shrinking malaria mapBill Gates: We can eradicate malaria in our lifetimesChallenge #5: Fuel the FightChallenge 4: Data & MobileChallenge #4: Data & Mobile �“ Ashifi Gogo, CEO of SproxilChallenge 3: Block TransmissionChallenge #3: Block Transmission - Grey Frandsen, Kite PatchThis mosquito helps save lives from malariaChallenge #2: Complete Cure �“ Roger Waltzman, NovartisChallenge #2: Complete CureDeconstructing malaria with Femi KutiChallenge #1: Find the Parasite - Duncan Blair, AlereChallenge #1: Find the parasiteSolve For M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending MalariaDomenico�™s �œCiao” to malariaEating Pizza with Katharine McPheeFrom behind the scenes to the spotlightThe World�™s Deadliest Animal Gets AirtimeYoung Cameroonian comic joins the malaria fightIt�™s Summer Time, and the Life-Saving is EasyU.S. Senate Staff see malaria investments overseasHow Ebola Makes Malaria More DeadlyAsia: The next frontier in the malaria fightFrom malaria victim to malaria victor20,750 nets for pregnant women and children

ntent-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8 https://www.malarianomore.org/ en Copyright 2014 2014-11-25T22:22:00+00:00 https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and

Feast day is upon us and beyond being thankful for the turkey and all its glorious sides of steaming hot rolls, gravy, stuffing, potatoes and pie, we’re also thankful for the things, people and groups that have backed us – and some for as long as eight Thanksgivings! In no particular order, we’re thankful for…

1)   The 42% decline in the global malaria mortality rate – saving 3.3 million lives since 2000!

2)   The U.S.’s Government’s leadership in the fight against malaria, including that of the President's Malaria Initiative, USAID, CDC and Admiral Tim Ziemer

3)   Major corporate partners Novartis, Alere, Exxon and Kimberly Clark

4)   Mobile partners, including Venmo for raising 70,000 malaria treatments, and gaming partners Global Gaming Initiative for their Outbreak Responder game and Seriously for the Best Fiends game and its anti-malarial mosquito Edward.

5)   Our celebrity ambassadors, including Katharine McPhee, for keeping malaria in the spotlight

6)   Super supporters, like the Combes family

7)   Novartis Employee Engagement winners Roger, Chinwe, Manishha, Inge, Domenico, Martin  and all the participants who helped raise $218k for malaria treatments

8)   Our African teams based in Cameroon, Chad, Kenya and Nigeria

9)   Our dedicated army of interns that support us during our most hectic times of year, including Andy, Bronte, Ella, Yeeji and others.

10)  And YOU. Some of you just happened upon this post, while others have been supporting us since 2006. You've recently helped us reach a major milestone of raising enough to fund three million malaria treatments for children in Zambia. Let’s keep up the life-saving work!

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Being a mother of three children, Inge was touched by our Power of One campaign’s simplistic message – $1 given = 1 child saved – and decided to start her fundraiser. She learned about the campaign through her employer, Novartis, a company that has been committed to the fight against malaria for more than a decade.

Her boss at Novartis was the initial inspiration to get involved – and was one of her biggest supporters. “She was the first to donate a large amount of money to kick start the fundraiser,” said Inge. “And she also reached out to her personal network that resulted in donations adding up to several thousands of dollars.” Inge also shared stories with other co-workers who were also fundraising for the malaria fight.

Inge says the Power of One message made her first fundraising effort an easy one. “I just had to reach out to my family, friends and colleagues via email – and the results were amazing!” said Inge.

Inge’s campaign was so successful that she kept moving her fundraising goal up! “Two days after launching my fundraiser I had to increase the target,” said Inge. “One week before the end of the campaign, I was at 4400 treatments, so I raised the target again. I am proud that together, in the end we could raise more than 5600 treatments.”

While this was Inge’s first fundraising campaign ever, it doesn’t seem like it will be her last. “Personally it has been a very rewarding exercise,” said Inge. “I have been very blessed in many aspects and the campaign has given me the opportunity to ‘give back’ and feel the joy and pride in encouraging others doing the same.”

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Power of One, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future

MNM is always looking for new and interesting ways to bring attention to the malaria fight. That’s why we’re really excited to partner with Global Gaming Initiative on its latest endeavor, which will benefit Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign.

When we started Global Gaming Initiative, (GGI) we wanted to utilize technology for good by creating a fun and easy way for people to make a difference. Our solution - mobile games. The goal being to inspire the developed world to get involved globally and provide the developing word greater access to education.  This year we ourselves received a massive education in the realities of global health issues, specifically malaria. The reality that malaria is a completely treatable disease, which an estimated 627,000 still die from annually, was both beyond unsettling and urgently motivating. We partnered with developers who share our desire to create a future without malaria to create our combative agent, Outbreak Responder, as we know that nothing is possible without health.

Outbreak Responder - using beautiful graphics and strategic challenges puts the player on a mission to cure communities from the spread of malaria. The best part is, being an Outbreak Responder player, you literally become an agent of change as your in-game contributions unlock malaria tests and treatments for African children through Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign. We have long admired the work Malaria No More does on the ground and are thrilled to partner with them to help you provide a healthy future for children with malaria. This is what fun and games and saving lives looks like. It’s the power of the change in your pocket – so download Outbreak Responder, put your game time to good use and help us create a better future, one child at a time.

Learn more about Outbreak Responder here.

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #5 focuses on a crucial component of finally ending malaria – maintaining and growing funding. For more, we spoke to Ray Chambers, co-founder of Malaria No More and United Nations Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria.

1. What are some of the changes you anticipate in global financing for health over the next decade?

Funding has increased dramatically for global health since the world got serious about saving millions of children and mothers from preventable causes. The results have been impressive: Since 2000 the number of under-five deaths worldwide has declined from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. But continuing to fund these gains from donor countries is not sustainable, especially if we want to move toward the elimination of malaria. We need to support three existing trends that can shift us to a new funding paradigm.

Endemic countries must increase their domestic health budgets. Domestic financing for malaria increased over the period of 2005 to 2012, from $436 million in 2005 to $522 million in 2012, rising at an estimated rate of 4% per year - a move in the right direction. But most countries still fall short of the Abuja target of dedicating 15% of their domestic budgets to improving health.

We must approach financing of life-saving commodities more creatively. We’re seeing early success from pay-for-performance social impact bonds that demonstrate the returns on investing in net distribution in Mozambique. An innovative tax on airline tickets to support work on AIDS, TB and Malaria has produced millions of dollars for AIDS treatment.

The private sector has recognized that healthier communities are better places to do business, and investing in the health of employees in the countries where they operate can help the bottom line as well.

2. How important have the Millennium Development Goals been to galvanizing support for malaria and other global health programs?

As a businessman I was drawn to the MDGs as time-bound, quantifiable targets against which we could measure our success. The inclusion of malaria in Goal 6 of the MDGs was essential to allowing the global health community to rally around the malaria targets. With this support came coordinated plans and, crucially, financing to enact those plans. Similarly with child and maternal health, by quantifying where we were, and where we needed to get, the MDGs provided the outline of a roadmap others could build upon and collectively enact. And with all 193 countries signing on to the MDGs back in 2000, their value has gone well beyond the tangible achievements of lives saved. They’ve linked all of us in a shared pursuit of something greater than our individual or even national selves. This shared global consciousness will carry the spirit and ambitions of the MDGs well beyond 2015.

3. How do you expect the funding landscape to change at the end of 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals deadline hits?

Relying on outdated models of north-to-south donor contributions will eventually hit a wall, and some would argue that the fatigue has already begun to set in. If we continue to think creatively about how we finance life-saving programs and commodities among a broader community - leveraging previously untapped resources, especially from the private sector - funding for health should continue to grow. Companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Unilever and AngloGold Ashanti have demonstrated the leadership role businesses can play in keeping populations healthy. Similarly, the private sector plays an essential role in the research and development of new technologies and vaccines that could replace existing costly interventions. Now is the time to test new models of funding while investing in research that could deliver cheaper, more effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

4. What would the consequences be if malaria funding were scaled back?

Recent history has already demonstrated what happens when funding for malaria is decreased or held-up. From 2006 t0 2008 net coverage dropped due to delayed funding disbursements, resulting in an upsurge of malaria cases in 2009.  We’ve successfully covered almost every person in need of a net with a net, and in doing so saved over 3.3 million children since 2000. But as a result of this success, millions of children protected by nets have no immunity to malaria. If their nets aren’t replaced every three years, we will see malaria infections and deaths far exceed previous levels. Total funding for malaria control is expected to reach $2.85 billion each year between 2014 and 2016, substantially below the required amount for this period. We have come so close to lifting the burden of malaria off an entire continent. A final push - in political commitment, partner support and funding - will put the end of malaria deaths in our grasp and make elimination a reality.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Advocacy, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards

Above:  Manishha Patel used inventive and fun memes to rally her friends to donate to Power of One.

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

MNM supporter Manishha raised money for our Power of One campaign with the help of her good-hearted loved ones and colleagues at her employer, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF). Fundraising for the cause came naturally to her given the lessons her parents taught her growing up – to be appreciative of the opportunities she has and to help those less fortunate.

“My parents are from a very rural and poor region of India,” says Manishha. “They always taught us to be grateful for the opportunities that were given to us in Canada and to help and care for the less fortunate.”

 



Manishha has always felt a strong urge to help those less fortunate. “I have always wanted to help people in underdeveloped countries, and Power of One affected me because of the impact it can have for people in Africa – the idea that just one dollar can save one person’s life really resonated with me and I wanted to help them in any way that I could.”

In addition to drawing on the wise words of her parents, she drew on the talents of her boyfriend. Together, they came up with eye-catching posters, featuring funny pictures of babies offering words of encouragement. And the kid theme didn’t end there – Manishha even inspired her niece and godchildren to donate their piggybank savings.

Manishha’s colleagues were a huge help too. They championed her cause to their families, friends, religious organizations, and sports teams, helping her break her past fundraising record of $500! “The sheer amount of support from GNF as a whole was phenomenal,” said Manisha. “The encouragement and support I received for the campaign was unbelievable, and helped me eventually recruit more than 330 friends to join Power of One.”

Good news is Manishha isn’t done yet. “This is the kind of work I have dreamed of doing and that is why I decided to get involved in the fundraiser,” said Manishha. “I will continue to promote the cause of Malaria No More and I hope that, in the very near future, malaria will no longer be as devastating a disease as it is now.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates

This video of the shrinking malaria was shared by Bill Gates at the ASTMH conference.

Malaria has been killing for centuries. In 1900, it was taking lives from nearly every country on Earth, but the goal is to wipe this killer disease from the planet within a generation.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes

It was a packed house last night, as the best and brightest in the public health world poured into a New Orleans conference hall to hear one of the world’s most prolific philanthropists share his vision for the future of global health.

As Bill Gates joked, he was eager to finally have a captive audience for his thoughts on some of the world’s most pervasive diseases, as he typically bores dinner party guests with his excitement over discussing topics such as dengue fever, polio and malaria.

During his keynote speech at the Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Gates focused his remarks on Ebola and malaria. He spoke to the lessons the global health community can take from the Ebola crisis, and how it can serve to educate and strengthen our response to other public health issues. He spent the bulk of his speech talking about malaria, and urging the gathered group of the world’s premier scientists and doctors to embrace the idea of malaria eradication in our lifetimes. He also announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be increasing its already substantial financial commitment to fighting malaria by 30 percent.

Gates laid out the elements of a new strategy to achieve the ambitious goal of eradication, including fostering innovation in the surveillance and research & development arenas, as well as continued investment in malaria control efforts as we concurrently set our longer term vision on eradication.

You can read more on the new plan here. It is not an easy task, but with a shared vision and energy in the global health community, it is possible. His closing statement, which drew a standing ovation, echoed the sentiment that malaria eradication is within our grasp: “I’m optimistic we’ll get there faster than the skeptics think.”

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malaria elimination, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

To win the malaria fight, we need to rethink how we pay for it

Malaria No More was founded by two prominent business leaders, Ray Chambers and Peter Chernin, who saw combating malaria as a unique opportunity to save lives and improve livelihoods on a global scale. As Chernin put it, ending malaria represents “the best humanitarian investment in the world today.”

It’s easy to see why. Malaria is a devastating disease and one of the top killers of children under the age of five and pregnant women worldwide. It’s also a huge drain on economies, accounting for approximately $12 billion in lost economic productivity in Africa each year, due to the burden it places on health systems and the toll of work absenteeism and missed school days.

By contrast, the existing tools are simple and scalable - a mosquito net can protect a mother and child for three years for around $5; a 50 cent rapid diagnostic test and $1 treatment can save a child’s life – and, as this series highlights, revolutionary new technologies are just around the corner.

When Malaria No More was founded in 2006, global spending on malaria was only a few hundred million dollars a year, and approximately a million people were dying from mosquito bites annually.

Through a massive global effort – including $3 billion in annual funding, led by the U.S. and U.K. governments, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the World Bank, the private sector and philanthropists - the rate of malaria deaths in Africa has been cut in half in under a decade. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved since the year 2000 from malaria alone.

 

Malaria funding now vs next

Planning for a Rainy Day

The danger with malaria - the thing that keeps us malaria fighters up at night - is that if you lose focus, even for a single rainy season, the disease can come roaring back with devastating consequences.

There have been 75 documented instances of malaria resurgence from the 1930s to the year 2000, and nearly all of them were associated with the weakening of malaria control efforts. If we stopped investing in malaria control today, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis, claiming millions of lives, and undo the hard-fought gains we’ve made in the past decade.

As the burden of malaria continues to be reduced, we need to shift from catalytic “scale up” funding models to sustainable, long-term approaches that will enable us to end the disease. That means diversifying the sources of funding so that the continued commitment of international donors is buoyed by growing domestic and regional investments, as well as innovative financing approaches. It also means using better data to find efficiencies that will stretch and strengthen the impact of malaria spending at the country level.

Put Your Money Where Your Malaria Is

We often say that malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. But the reverse is also true: malaria control is equally a cause and consequence of economic growth. It’s not just geography that caused malaria to be eliminated first in the United States in 1951 and most of Europe by 1975 - it was equally the result of economic growth, development and increased spending on health and infrastructure.

The current slate of countries moving toward malaria elimination – mostly in Asia and South America – are already covering the bulk of the expense themselves: almost 80 percent of interventions are self-financed, according to a recent analysis by UCSF’s Global Health Group and Cambridge Economic Policy Associates. 

 

Malaria funding vs deaths

In Africa, however, most countries still fall short of the self-declared “Abuja target” of dedicating 15% of domestic budgets to improving health. As “Africa Rising” moves from rhetoric to reality and economies on the continent continue to grow, Africa has the wherewithal to finance an increasing share of its malaria elimination ambitions. And it has powerful financial incentive to ensure the work continues - a recent study by Accenture estimated the present-day economic value (i.e. profit) of continued investment in malaria control in Africa at more than $322 billion between now and 2035, due to the tremendous health and productivity gains that would result.

Endemic countries also have the opportunity to stretch their budgets by working smarter. To the extent that countries can draw on good timely data to inform program decisions, they can save money by targeting the appropriate mix of interventions by region and setting. Zambia and Zimbabwe, for instance, have saved millions of dollars by using malaria risk-mapping to optimize their net and insecticide spraying programs.

Particularly as countries reduce their malaria burden, one-size-fits-all, national-scale approaches may no longer apply. Namibia, a country moving toward elimination, has used malaria and mobility data to develop a more sophisticated, spatially targeted malaria program.

The Future of Funding

Regional financing mechanisms are emerging for countries, companies, and philanthropists to invest in malaria control and elimination in their own backyards. Asia-Pacific has set the ambitious goals of eliminating drug-resistant malaria by 2020, and all malaria by 2030. To help finance the efforts, the Asian Development Bank and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance this year set up a regional trust fund to solve this pressing regional challenge.

Mechanisms for nontraditional donors to play a part in eliminating the disease are growing as well. In Indonesia, a small group of high net worth individuals have pledged to co-invest alongside the government and Global Fund in health priorities, while in the Philippines and Ghana companies with large local operations – the Pilipinas Shell Foundation and AngloGold Ashanti – have managed Global Fund malaria grants working hand-in-hand with government agencies.

Innovative financing efforts, including concepts such as development impact bonds, also have the potential to contribute. Creators of The Mozambique Malaria Performance bond aim to establish a sustainable new funding source that can also improve the efficiency of malaria programs through a pay-for-performance model.

It’s an attractive concept: private investors front the costs of malaria control interventions to be repaid by a group of government and private-sector partners who reap the rewards of successful malaria control, including healthy citizens, employees and consumers. But we have yet to see investors step up to participate in such an instrument vehicle. If these models take root, malaria could evolve from being “the best humanitarian investment” to an actual investment opportunity—one that pays a dividend to those who contribute.

Achieving the historic goal of malaria eradication requires endurance. To sustain and extend the gains of the past decade, the global community must commit to providing predictable, sustainable, long-term support.

Our success in fighting malaria over the past decade has been built upon a solid foundation of funding, and the continued support of the U.S., U.K. and Australian governments; as well as institutions such as the Global Fund and the World Bank, will be essential to finishing the job. But we also need endemic countries and regions to commit to shouldering an increasing share of the costs as we move toward malaria elimination.

In the end, it will not be one sector or government that will finally eradicate malaria. It will be a global success—one we should all be proud to have contributed to.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile

How the mobile revolution in Africa is transforming global health

When I first moved to West Africa, back in 2009, you could travel to the most remote, rural villages – places without power, running water, or any other modern conveniences – and you would invariably find Coca-Cola. Somehow the familiar red-and-white brand had solved the distribution and marketing challenges of reaching these ends-of-the-earth consumers.

In those same remote villages, you can also find some of Africa’s highest-tech companies – mobile providers like MTN, Tigo, Airtel, Vodacom and Safaricom. Africa has leapfrogged the power line and the PC and gone directly to mobile phones. By the end of 2015, there will be an estimated 1 billion mobile phone accounts in Africa – one for nearly every man, woman and child on the continent.

First Disease Beaten By Mobile

In our first challenge (“Find the Parasite”), we talked about the importance of rapid diagnostics to locate the malaria parasite in people. What is a diagnostic test result but a plus or a minus, a one or a zero? It’s a bit of data. But in many malaria-endemic countries, that data used to just sit in stacks of paper to be collected every so often by health authorities. When you combine this data with rapid reporting via mobile phones, you have the makings of a revolution in global health.

Of all the tools in the malaria fight (including the obvious ones such as nets, testing, treatment and spraying) mobile phones may be the ones that tip the balance toward ending this disease. That’s why at Malaria No More we’ve been bold in proclaiming that malaria can be the first disease beaten by mobile.

A Swiss-Army Knife for Malaria

Sounds ambitious, but when you look at the problems we have to solve – from case detection and response, to stock management, and health education – mobile is at the center of the solutions time and again. It’s the Swiss Army knife of the malaria fight, helping to solve and accelerate a wide variety of other solutions. Here are a few examples of how mobile and data are already transforming the malaria fight.

The Novartis-led SMS for Life program has demonstrated the potential of mobile to address stock outs and ensure that people have malaria drugs when and where they need them. The pilot program focused on three districts in Tanzania. When it started, 26% of public health facilities were completely stocked out of malaria drugs at any given time. That means that parents had a one-in-four chance of showing up at a clinic with a sick child only to find that they didn’t have a dollar’s worth of life-saving treatment on hand.

To address the problem, under the umbrella of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Novartis and its public and private partners set up a simple, SMS reporting system that enabled health workers and pharmacists at public health facilities to record and report their stock levels on a weekly basis. This made it possible to anticipate shortages and distribute malaria drug supply more efficiently. Six months later, less than 1% of the facilities were stocked out of malaria drugs: a 97% reduction in stock outs through better and faster information flows. SMS for Life has now been expanded to several other African countries including Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.

 

Mobile swiss army knife for malaria

In a similar fashion, mobile phones may be the key to solving the challenge of counterfeit and stolen malaria treatments. Nigeria is the epicenter of the malaria challenge, accounting for nearly a quarter of the world’s malaria burden. As the market for antimalarial treatments has grown, so too has the attraction for counterfeiters. Recent estimates suggest that nearly 40% of all antimalarials on the market are counterfeit.

The challenge is compounded by the fact that most Nigerians don’t get their treatments from public health facilities. Eighty percent of people go to the private sector for treatment. And this isn’t your corner Walgreens we’re talking about. In Nigeria, it’s not uncommon to see malaria drugs sold alongside open-air butcher stands and car parts in public markets.

The solution to this problem? You guessed it - mobile. Working with companies such as Sproxil, PharmaSecure and mPedigree, the Nigerian government now requires that every antimalarial drug (and antibiotic) carry a label that consumers can scratch off like a lottery ticket and text in for free to confirm their drug is authentic and safe. Read more about Sproxil’s efforts to combat counterfeiters here.

This scalable use of the technology is revolutionizing the fight against counterfeits, and even helping authorities to track down contraband drugs. Malaria No More is working with a group of partners to go a step further: to explore how this data – a real-time sample of antimalarial consumption – can be used to draw fresh insights that can inform public health decision-making to save even more lives.

The Big Benefits of Data

A study in Kenya presents another compelling example of leveraging non-health data to fight malaria.

Caroline Buckee of the Harvard School of Public Health worked with Kenya’s largest mobile operator to analyze anonymized mobile phone usage records from 15 million consumers to track human migration patterns. Researchers then combined this migration map with regional malaria incidence data to identify how malaria travels around the country via human carriers.

Unsurprisingly, most of the malaria emanated from the high-transmission areas along Lake Victoria on Kenya’s western border.  But the data also spotlighted unusually high migration from the Lake Zone region about 50 miles inland to the western highlands region.

A few clicks of a Google map reveal that the western highlands are host to massive and bustling tea plantations that serve as a kind of bus depot for malaria transmission. Infected workers came from the Lake Zone to the highlands, where mosquitoes picked up the parasite and infected fellow plantation workers, who in turn transported the parasite back to their home communities farther inland.

These data-driven insights can help direct resources and interventions to make the malaria fight more effective. For example, eliminating malaria in the Lake Zone might cut off the source of infections in the highlands – even if you didn’t run a large-scale elimination program in the highlands themselves.

Mobile Aids Elimination

If anything, harnessing the power of mobile and data becomes more important as countries move toward malaria elimination. As the scale of the problem shrinks, the need for timely and precise surveillance data only grows. Vital elements such as real-time reporting of cases and accurate intervention mapping are now possible thanks to web, mapping, mobile and data analytics tools.

As you move toward the end game of elimination, countries must be able to track and respond to every case immediately to prevent it from spreading. They set up a sort of SWAT-team approach (painful pun intended): rapid-response systems in which health workers immediately report cases and teams show up to test and treat people in a perimeter around the infection to contain the spread of the parasite.

Even more so than Coca-Cola, that gives us something to smile about.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 4 (link to post) looks at ways technology and data can be used to fight malaria. Ashifi Gogo is the head of Sproxil, a company that uses mobile phone technology to combat dangerous counterfeit malaria medication.

1) Many people aren’t aware of the major threat counterfeit drugs pose, can you briefly describe the problem and how mobile authentication, such as Sproxil, helps fight it?

Drug counterfeiting, while particularly prevalent in emerging markets, is a global disease that threatens the safety and well-being of all citizens. 700,000 people die every year from fake anti-malarial and tuberculosis drugs alone: it is the equivalent of the entire population of Boston disappearing in a single year.

By leveraging the increasing popularity of mobile phones, we developed a simple, but powerful and secure SMS system: Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™). We partner directly with manufacturers and distributors to append security labels with a scratch-off panel on each product. At point of sale, a consumer will scratch off the panel to reveal a unique, single use code that they SMS to our phone number for free. The consumer instantly receives a response back confirming that the product is genuine or warning that it is suspicious. Our 24/7 help desk, which supports major local languages, is available for reports of counterfeiting activity and for questions relating to the product or solution.

To further reduce access barriers, we have multiple channels for verification: mobile apps (available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry 7), web apps and our help desk.

2) You’re working to integrate Sproxil into more countries. Where do you provide service currently, and where do you plan to expand?

We have operations in Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and the U.S. and can execute projects on six major continents. In an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters, we do not disclose our plans for expansion.

3) Beyond preventing counterfeits, do you see other ways to leverage this data to improve health?

Our technology was developed to be flexible and scalable. By creating direct communication channels between our clients and their patients, MPA can help foster healthier lifestyles. Our technology can support medical adherence programs, message patients with expiration reminders and health and wellness information or connect them with health care providers or other experts and even send special coupons or recommendations for other wellness products.  The opportunities for improving health by connecting patients with the appropriate resources make the possibilities limitless.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission

The secret to ending malaria could be protecting mosquitoes from humans

As villains go, the mosquito is well cast. The tiny pest is unique in nature in two important respects. First, it has no redeeming value to the broader ecosystem (the name of the particular breed that transmits malaria, “Anopheles,” actually means “useless” in Greek); and second, the mosquito is by far the deadliest creature on the planet to human beings, claiming 725,000 lives a year—principally to malaria, but also to diseases including dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Even Disney, the company that made ants and lobsters lovable, has it in for the mosquito. In a now-famous 1943 animated short titled “the Winged Scourge,” a Disney narrator brands mosquitoes “public enemy number one” for transmitting malaria, and cheers as the Seven Dwarves gleefully pump insecticide and stomp the bug.

Our first two columns explored how finding the parasite(link) and completely curing(link) infected people are two of the keys to ending this disease. The missing piece is to block transmission and stop the endless shuttling of the parasite back and forth between man and mosquito.

You see, for malaria, the transit between mosquito and man isn’t just a joy ride—it’s an essential step in reproduction. By blocking transmission you isolate the mosquito and interrupt that process. In mosquitoes, the parasites die quickly due to their host’s short life spans; and the ones in humans stay contained until you can eliminate them with medication.

The classic approach to blocking transmission is to protect people from mosquito bites using bed nets or insecticide sprays. And make no mistake, these tools have been extraordinarily effective: a major factor in saving 3.3 million lives from the disease since 2000.

Rethinking the Problem

But to break the back of transmission, we have to rethink the problem. We must move beyond vilifying the mosquito—and the key may be protecting mosquitoes from humans.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Consider that mosquitoes only carry the malaria parasite for up to 30 days—a mosquito’s maximum lifespan—while humans can carry the parasite for decades if left untreated. And where mosquitoes can only travel a mile or two on their tiny wings, humans circle the globe transporting the parasite like carry-on luggage. So if we’re looking for someone to blame for malaria transmission, we must start by taking a hard look in the mirror.

The surest way to avoid getting malaria from mosquitoes is to stop giving it to them. That’s why a new generation of treatments that completely eliminate the malaria parasite from the human body will be so important (for more, read Challenge 2: Complete Cure). But it is only one of the novel approaches that will make it possible to stop transmission.

 



Next Generation Protection

Soon, the tried-and-true bed net may be joined by new vector-control technologies that use radar-jamming molecules to disguise humans from mosquitoes. That’s the goal of a technology called Kite Patch, which took the crowd-funding site Indiegogo by storm. Worn on your clothes, this small sticker is a spatial repellent that blocks a mosquito’s ability to register carbon dioxide. In effect, it acts like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility, making people virtually undetectable to mosquitoes. (Read more about the Kite Patch technology and what it could mean for malaria.)

This past summer, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline registered for regulatory review of the first partially effective malaria vaccine—called RTS,S—and hopes for a WHO seal of approval as early as 2015. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the number of malaria episodes by a quarter in infants immunized and cut in half malaria cases in older children (toddlers) - low by vaccine standards, but unprecedented in terms of malaria.

But even as we celebrate this milestone – the first vaccine against a parasite – the focus of research is moving beyond only protecting individual people against malaria symptoms (as RTS,S does) to blocking transmission.

New vaccine approaches target two “choke points” when parasites are at their fewest in number during their complex life cycle: the transitions from mosquito to man, and from man to mosquito. These potential vaccines could effectively hold the line against onward transmission of the parasite, stopping malaria dead in its tracks.

Despite the PR campaign against mosquitoes, the goal of malaria control has never been to eradicate the insect, but only to control it as a way to get at our true adversary: the parasite. Little did we suspect that the key to eradicating malaria around the globe could involve making the mosquito an asset in the malaria fight.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mosquito Nets, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 3 addresses new technologies and approaches that are in development to block the transmission of the malaria parasite between humans and mosquitoes. To learn more about one such innovation, we spoke with Grey Frandsen from Kite Patch, a sticker that protects humans from mosquitoes by disrupting the insect’s ability to detect humans.

 

1. In our eco-conscious age, a lot of people are wary of putting chemicals on their skin to repel mosquitoes. But mosquito bites are an annoying problem in the U.S., and a deadly one in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia where the pests carry life-threatening diseases, including malaria and dengue fever. Can you tell us how Kite Patch works to protect from mosquitoes without using the traditional skin contact of insect repellents?

Kite Patch is a small, beautifully-designed little “sticker” that creates something akin to an invisibility cloak, or as some suggest, a defense shield, around our bodies with spatial compounds emitted from the materials on the sticker. This product form is being designed to emit a certain level of those spatial compounds over a period of time so that the compounds hover and swirl around the body with movement and wind, and travel away from our bodies in varying distances to intercept mosquitoes as they track toward us. Once mosquitoes come into contact with these compounds, they lose the ability to detect carbon dioxide and sense skin odors – the two primary mechanisms by which they track us.

We’ve designed Kite’s brand to capture the spirit of freedom and joy – something we believe will be the result of new technologies and products, such as Kite Patch, that will lift both the burden of disease and the burden of the fear of disease.

 

2. Kite Patch coming to fruition was a collaborative effort involving several different groups pitching in on funding. Can you tell us about the process of getting this innovation from the idea to the production stage, and where you’re at now?

Kite Patch absolutely is a story about collaboration. It’s also the result of a new model developed by ieCrowd to transform innovative discoveries into solutions to global challenges. This model brought together the innovative discovery, the capital, the development partners and experts, the team, and the range of stakeholders that now make up the large, global Kite campaign.

People may know the Kite Patch from our Indiegogo campaign. Last year we launched a crowdfunding effort to raise awareness and support for a specific field test of some of our Kite Patch prototypes. We wanted to expand the number of people involved in our development process and inspire people to play a role in getting a new technology to market.

The result was amazing. The campaign went viral and Indiegogo named it one of the top five campaigns ever. We enjoyed support from around the world. Over 500 publications ran original stories about our campaign, the technology, our process for commercializing this technology, and how we branded and marketed the campaign and the product itself.

As for the product itself, Kite technology stems from scientific findings initially discovered at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) with assistance from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ieCrowd exclusively licensed the technology from UCR, and has, since then, furthered the science into a range of new technologies, in order to advance disruptive products such as Kite Patch. Kite products - ranging from new mosquito repellents to spatial attractants - feature spatial and non-spatial active ingredients.

The next major step is to get Kite Patch to the field, to markets, and into the hands of people who need it the most. To do so, we’ll continue to build partnerships around the world with those who share our passion for eliminating this horrible disease.

 

3. Some readers may think a sticker is a novelty item, but you see Kite Patch having major implications on the field of public health. Can you tell us how far-reaching you hope Kite Patch will be?

We want to be humble about the role Kite technology and products can play, but we do know this: while our mock-ups make it look cool and pretty (and don’t those kids in the below Kite Patch video look cute? Those are mine!), the Kite technology platform is being developed to support what we believe can be one of the most powerful weapons platform in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases. We have a world-class team working 24/7 to build a powerful platform of actives that can ideally be deployed around the world in a range of applications – all of which will have minimal impact on our health and the health of our environment.

 

WATCH: Kite Patch in Action

 

Specifically, we’re working on repellents and attractants that can be deployed in any number of product forms that will play important roles in public health and disease intervention efforts globally. We pay attention to every detail and we’re designing each of our products with history and current technologies and needs in mind. Most importantly, we have opened our development process to people around the world and continue to build our technology and products with significant inputs and feedback from the Kite crowd.

Our technical foundation is strong, and ieCrowd’s system for deploying disruptive new solutions like Kite Patch is ready for action. We’re excited about the prospects of the Kite platform, and with the help of the crowd, amazing partners, and the world’s best team, we have no doubt that it will be among the leading tools to fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more

While most of the world thinks of mosquitoes as blood sucking, disease-spreading pests, there’s a new guy in town who’s on a mission to redeem the rep of his fellow mosquitoes.  Meet Edward, the handsome, malaria-fighting skeeter who happens to be one of the stars of Seriously’s new mobile game, Best Fiends. 

The Best Fiends are a pack of fun-loving creatures who spend their time fighting slugs to protect the citizens of Minutia.  But Edward has his own side gig – educating the world about malaria and helping Malaria No More to beat back this awful mosquito-borne disease to protect humans!  Getting by on a diet of coconut water instead of blood, Edward changed his ways, and has developed a whole arsenal of tools to help prevent and treat the spread of this disease.

Want to help Edward end malaria?  Visit our Edward page for a whole list of ways you can support the malaria fight, and make sure to download the game on your iPhone or iPad!

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #2 focuses on the development of a single-dose cure for malaria, so we sat down with Dr. Roger Waltzman. Waltzman works for the Malaria Initiative at Novartis, the maker of one of the top malaria treatments on the market.

Q: Novartis is a pioneer in the research and development of malaria treatments. What is the quick history of innovations Novartis has been a part of?

A: Novartis is in the fight against malaria for the long haul. Together with Chinese partners, Novartis developed the first artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), today’s gold standard in malaria treatment, and launched the first child-friendly, dispersible formulation developed jointly with Medicines for Malaria Venture. More recently, we launched another new formulation which reduces the pill burden for adults; this helps to ensure patients follow through with their full treatment course. Today, Novartis partners with the best institutions and intensifies its research efforts to develop new compounds against malaria to eventually eliminate the disease. With two compounds in Phase 2 clinical development and one drug target in pre-clinical research, Novartis scientists are building one of the most promising malaria pipelines in the industry.

Q: What kind of treatments will it take to eliminate malaria?

A: A two-pronged approach is required to eliminate malaria. First, new treatments must be developed that attack the malaria parasites in novel ways in case resistance against current treatments spreads. These treatments will also need to provide a “complete cure”. Second, within malaria-endemic countries, a large proportion of people with malaria do not show malaria symptoms and therefore do not seek treatment for their infection. They constitute a reservoir of malaria parasites that can be transmitted to other, more vulnerable populations, therefore targeting and treating these individuals is central to achieving the goal of malaria elimination.

Q: What is a “complete cure” for malaria? How is it different from what we have today?

A: “Complete cure” implies that the treatment not only targets the parasites in the blood in their asexual stage, which is the stage when symptoms of malaria appear, but also in their sexual stage (gametocytes). Gametocytes can be harbored in the human without provoking any symptoms, and transported upon a mosquito bite, infecting other humans. A complete cure would enable a patient to be cleared from all malaria parasites. It would also stop transmission to other humans. Current treatments do not necessarily offer the potential for a complete cure.

Q: Why is a single-dose treatment important and how do you see it affecting malaria prevalence globally?

A: Developing a new combination, similar to today’s three-day ACT treatment, which is powerful enough to treat malaria in one single dose, would enable the patient to take the entire treatment at once, virtually eliminating the risk of insufficient treatment. Indeed, with current treatments patients sometimes save tablets for other family members or friends or in case they are infected by malaria again, not realizing they may be inadequately treated. Also, parasites can become resistant to treatments when dosing is inadequate. A single-dose treatment has the potential to ensure complete and effective treatment for patients. In addition, depending upon its efficacy and safety, the treatment could be given to people who show no symptoms but harbor malaria parasites in their blood, and can therefore transmit malaria. Ultimately, treatment of asymptomatic people could help eliminate the disease in broad population groups, potentially leading to malaria eradication.

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure

Inventing a Wonder Drug to Win the Malaria Fight

The story of malaria control is the story of the promise – and peril – of wonder drugs. With hundreds of millions of people infected with malaria around the globe every year, effective treatment may be the difference between ending the disease and humanitarian disaster.

Quinine, the first antimalarial, was discovered in the bark of the cinchona tree in the foothills of the Andes Mountains back in the 1600s. But it was hard to produce and administer, and there still was no reliable global supply by World War I.

Finding a cheap, reliable alternative to quinine that could be mass-produced became a military imperative during World War II. America suffered humiliating defeats “not because the ammunition was gone,” The New York Times reported, “but because the quinine tablets gave out.”

However, the synthetic drugs that emerged from that furious R&D effort – most notably chloroquine – were little match for the fast-evolving parasite, which developed resistance in under a decade.

Progress Threatened

Our current front-line treatments for malaria, called artemisinin-based combination therapies (or ACTs for short), underscore the arms race between science and parasite. ACTs have been wildly successful in saving lives – a true wonder drug by any definition – but their effectiveness may also be cut short by resistance.

First touted for its curative powers in an ancient Chinese medical book dating back to 168 BC, artemisinin was finally brought to scale globally by Swiss healthcare company Novartis, which received WHO international approval for its drug in 1999. Global funders threw their weight behind ACTs five years later, and today more than 280 million ACT treatments are distributed every year in Africa alone.

But resistance is once again threatening to rob us of our best tool in the malaria fight. Just as chloroquine resistance emerged along the Thai-Cambodia border back in the 1960s, first signs of artemisinin resistance have now been documented in the region. If it follows the same pattern as past resistance – emerging across Asia, in India, making the leap to Africa – it could potentially cost millions of lives.

History has shown that containment isn’t an option: Only by eliminating malaria in Asia-Pacific can we staunch the spread of resistance. So the Greater Mekong subregion will be ground zero for a renewed global eradication effort.

In Search of a Solution

The race is already on to develop the next generation of wonder drugs—this time tailor-made for eradication. Such a drug would have four key features.

 



First, it would be a single-dose treatment. The pharma industry talks about the “pill burden” – the total number of pills someone has to take to complete a full course of treatment. The more pills, over more days, the greater the chance that a patient will stop midway and fail to be fully cured.

Malaria treatment currently requires between three and 14 days of treatment, depending on the strain of the parasite. Getting people to take all their pills is complicated by the fact that the drugs are so fast-acting and effective that malaria symptoms may subside after the first or second day, leading people to think they’ve been treated, when in fact trace amounts of the parasite may still be hanging around in their bodies waiting to mount another attack. A single dose treatment would ensure that everyone who is treated is parasite-free.

The second feature of a new wonder drug is that it will be a “complete cure.” Malaria is so challenging in part because the parasite plays hide and seek in the human body: traveling in the bloodstream, lodging in the liver, the brain – even bone marrow, as a recent study highlighted.

Before you can hope to eliminate malaria in a community of people, you must be able to effectively eliminate it in a single person. A complete cure treatment would wipe out the parasite at every stage of its lifecycle, ensuring zero risk of passing the parasite along to others.

The third feature is what we call a prophylactic effect. Essentially, you want a drug that will remain in the body for a period of time to prevent a person from developing another case of malaria if bitten again by an infected mosquito.

And finally, the new treatment would have a high barrier to resistance, so even as you scale up use it’s able to maintain its effectiveness. This means developing an arsenal of molecules that attack the parasite in novel ways, and then using drugs in combination to stave off resistance. New malaria drugs are a great investment, but they’re expensive to develop, so we must ensure they last.

In the Pipeline

The good news is we’re well on our way to making a new slate of wonder drugs (or “one-der” drugs) a reality. Supported by a product development partnership called Medicines for Malaria Venture out of Geneva, the malaria community and pharma industry leaders including Novartis, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline have started clinical trials for treatments that will make ending malaria a reality.

As one example, Novartis has fast-tracked its first non-artemisinin based single-dose drug candidate, called KAE609, and recently published results showing that it was able to clear malaria parasites in adults in 12 hours on average. Read more about the quest for a malaria wonder drug here.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria

Femi Anikulapo Kuti has been able to stand tall as an icon in the music industry without being overshadowed by the colossal image of his legendary father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Over the years he has blended jazz and funk with afrobeat to create a cocktail of unique indelible sounds of afrobeat, and this has earned him four nominations for the prestigious Grammy Awards.

Today Femi Kuti joins Malaria No More to have a Twitter conversation on malaria, music and the Nigerian society. It promises to be an enthralling conversation as Femi is vocal in his opinions. To join this conversation, follow the Malaria No More Twitter account in Nigeria: @MalariaNoMoreN1 and tweet your questions to Femi Kuti as from 11AM - 12PM ET using the hashtag #AskFemiKuti. Femi Kuti is currently one of the ambassadors for the Malaria No More campaign in Nigeria.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #1 focuses on finding the parasite, so we sat down with Duncan Blair, PhD. Blair is the Director of Public Health Initiatives at Alere, the maker of one of the top malaria diagnostic tools on the market.

 

Q: Why are malaria RDTs a focus for your business?

With Alere being the global leader in rapid diagnostic tests for communicable diseases it would be almost impossible for us not to be involved in the malaria fight. Approximately half of the world’s population live in malaria-endemic areas, and consequently, are at risk of infection. With over 200 million infections and over 600,000 deaths a year, the risk to individuals and the burden on health care systems are enormous. To treat malaria appropriately and, just as importantly, to know when not to treat for malaria, requires accurate diagnosis. For decades, the only option for malaria diagnosis was microscopy, but microscopy is extremely challenging to implement with quality due to significant needs for complex equipment, electricity, water, well-trained and well-remunerated staff and many other reasons. The advent of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria greatly improved our ability to diagnose malaria simply and effectively. RDTs are high quality, simple and quick tests that can be performed with just a few drops of finger-stick blood at the point of care and without any ancillary equipment. The benefits that the introduction of high-quality and properly deployed malaria RDTs have brought to individuals, to health care systems and to entire communities, is immeasurable.

Q: What are some of the new testing developments you’re working on?

We are always looking at ways to improve products or to fill a missing diagnostic need with a view of improving patient and health system outcomes. I think that we find ourselves at a time when malaria elimination is within reach and many of the tools needed to achieve that goal already exist, but not quite all of them. One of the missing pieces of the puzzle is a simple, affordable test capable of detecting the malarial parasites in asymptomatic patients. No such test exists today, but it will be critical for elimination, as we will need to find and treat patients who have no fever and no visible symptoms, but who do have circulating parasites and are therefore acting as a reservoir for future reinfection of the community. Alere is actively looking at developing just such a test.

Q: What are the key challenges you must solve to make this next-generation test a reality?

What we are talking about here is developing a test whose performance is many times better than the best tests currently available, which still meets our exacting quality standards and which can be reliably and sustainably manufactured, delivered and effectively deployed at accessible prices. We’re optimistic we can deliver that, given the great range of technologies at our disposal within Alere and the fantastic teams of dedicated and innovative people we have in R&D and manufacturing. So there may be challenges ahead, but we are very confident that we can rise to meet those challenges.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Alere, Malaria Tests, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite

You can't beat an opponent you can't see

Malaria thrives on misinformation. It always has. Even the word malaria is a misnomer. It’s Italian for “bad air,” because the Romans attributed the seasonal sickness (that killed at least four Popes, and probably the poet Dante) to noxious fumes coming off the swamps. It wasn’t until 1897 that Dr. Ronald Ross confirmed the mosquito as the vector that spreads the disease.

And misinformation is one of the big reasons malaria continues to kill a child at the rate of one every sixty seconds. Solving the information challenge is going to be key if we’re going to end this disease, and no piece of information is more vital than knowing who is carrying the parasite and who isn’t.

THE HIDDEN MALARIA CHALLENGE

While there are more than 200 million malaria cases every year – that is, people who are getting sick from the disease – it is estimated that there are five times as many people carrying the parasite in their bodies at any given moment – a ticking time bomb of illness and infection.

That amounts to more than one billion people – one out of every seven people on the planet – who are potentially infected with the malaria parasite, jeopardizing their health, hampering their productivity and making them a source of infection for their families and communities. And, most of them have no idea they’re carrying the potentially deadly disease!

 



The biggest host of the malaria parasite is healthy people, not sick people or mosquitoes.

The insight that sick patients showing up at clinics are only the tip of the malaria iceberg underpins emerging strategies for eradicating the disease. Simply put: you can’t beat malaria if you can’t find it. So any attempt to eradicate the disease must start with developing the diagnostic capabilities to find and free the roughly one billion people living with the parasite in their body and stop them from transmitting.

It may sound like a daunting task, until you consider how far we’ve come in recent years – and how fast.

THE DIAGNOSTIC REVOLUTION

Until 2010, there was no practical way to get a timely, accurate diagnosis for malaria. If you had a fever and wanted to be tested for malaria, you had to travel a long distance – sometimes tens of miles on foot – to find a hospital or clinic equipped with an expensive microscope and a trained lab technician. You had to take a blood slide, then wait several hours for the result – hoping that the lab technician read it right.

It was impractical, and people simply didn’t do it.

In many African languages, the words for “malaria” and “fever” are the same. It’s easy to understand why. Absent practical diagnostics, doctors simply treated every fever as if it was malaria and hoped for the best.

Then came the breakthrough: the rapid diagnostic test, or RDT. This simple, fifty-cent, finger-prick blood test can tell you in a matter of minutes with better than 99% accuracy if your fever is malaria.

The RDT has revolutionized the malaria fight, enabling lightly trained community health workers operating on the far reaches of the health system to test patients for malaria. Negative results are as important as positive ones as they direct doctors to consider other top killers, such as pneumonia and upper-respiratory infection. There are now more than 200 million RDTs distributed across Africa each year.

NEXT GENERATION TESTS

Today, we need to revolutionize diagnosis yet again, this time with a focus on identifying asymptomatic cases and guiding treatment.

Current RDTs have a sensitivity of 200 parasites per microliter of blood – sufficient for identifying all cases in sick people. But finding low-levels of the parasite in asymptomatic patients is like an elaborate game of hide and seek. To do it, we need a new generation of simple, portable, inexpensive diagnostic tests that are 10 times more sensitive, detecting malaria at levels of 20 parasites per microliter or even lower.

Fortunately, through innovative public–private partnerships led by groups like the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Seattle-based partner PATH, we’re well on our way to developing next-generation diagnostic tests.

Other next-generation diagnostics will potentially help solve some of the treatment challenges that stand in the way of elimination. Efforts to tackle the dominant strain of malaria in Asia and South America, known as P. vivax, have been hamstrung by the fact that some people have an adverse reaction to the drug recommended for completely clearing the parasite, due to a common inherited trait known as G6PD enzyme deficiency.

The development of diagnostics to identify individuals with G6PD deficiency would ensure better use of current drugs and potential new single-dose treatments, such as tafenoquine, currently in development by GlaxoSmithKline and MMV.

Armed with new diagnostics, we’ll be in a position to take the fight to the parasite. Instead of passively waiting for sick people to show up at clinics, we can go on offense: actively testing and treating entire communities to find and root out malaria, while ensuring the type of treatment provided to patients will be safe and effective.

Which sets up the next of our challenges - check back in next week to read about another big innovation in the malaria fight: developing a complete cure!

Q&A: Read about Malaria No More’s partner Alere and their quest for new diagnostics here.

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This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

Intro: Going on Offense 

Challenge 1: Find the Parasite

Challenge 2: Radical Cure (10/8/2014)

Challenge 3: Block Transmission (10/14/2014)

Challenge 4: Data & Mobile (10/21/2014)

Challenge 5: Fuel the Fight (10/28/2014)

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria

After a century of playing defense, it’s time for the malaria fight to go on offense

In 1897, Dr. Ronald Ross – an Indian-born, British surgeon who counted poetry, mathematics, and songwriting among his other passions - made a medical discovery that would change the course of history.

Stationed in Secundebad, a monsoon-drenched city in Central India, Dr. Ross identified the malaria parasite in the gut of a dissected Anopheles mosquito. His discovery confirmed that the winged pest was in fact the vector responsible for spreading one of the oldest, deadliest, and most devastating diseases on the planet.

Dr. Ross was knighted and awarded a Nobel Prize for his efforts, and deservedly so: His discovery laid the foundation for the modern fight against malaria.

Historic Progress

We’ve made significant strides since Dr. Ross’ time. Malaria has been eliminated throughout most of the developed world, including the United States in 1951. And progress is accelerating: Just since 2000, we’ve cut global malaria deaths by half, saving 3.3 million lives - most of them children and pregnant women in Africa.

However, the work is far from done. A child still dies every minute from a mosquito bite, and more than 200 million people are afflicted with the disease each year, keeping adults out of work, children out of school, and stifling the growth of developing economies.

Based on the progress of the past decade, there is a growing determination among the global health community to eradicate the disease once and for all, recognizing that the only way to ensure zero malaria deaths is to have zero malaria.

Going on Offense

So what will it take to finish the job?

We need to rethink the malaria problem in as radical a way as Dr. Ross did more than a century ago. For all our progress, the prevailing approach to controlling malaria has fundamentally been about playing defense: trying to prevent mosquitos from biting and treating people when they’re sick so they don’t die. Don’t get me wrong. That has been the most cost-effective way of tackling a complex problem, going after the “low-hanging fruit” and bringing down the number of cases and deaths dramatically.

But to win this fight, we need to take a “parasite’s-eye” view of the problem. We must attack the malaria parasite where it lives - in the human reservoir – with aggressive new approaches to find, clear, and prevent onward-transmission of malaria, even in asymptomatic carriers of the disease. In short, we must go on offense.

As part of that approach, we need to confront one of the newest and most urgent threats to the advances we’ve made against malaria: Resistance in Asia to the frontline treatment of the disease, artemisinin. The last time drug-resistant malaria developed in that part of the world, it spread to India and Africa, robbing us of chloroquine as an effective tool.

If that happens again, it could cost millions of lives, since we are at least 4 to 5 years away from developing a viable treatment alternative.

The Path Forward

We find ourselves at another watershed moment in the malaria fight, and the only way we’re going to succeed is through relentless innovation. We need the next generation of tools and new implementation approaches; we need to harness the power of distinctly modern advances such as the use of mobile phones and big data in heatlh.

Broadly speaking, we’ve identified five key challenges the world needs to solve to win this fight. Every two weeks, starting this Monday, we’ll zero in on one challenge and let you know who’s innovating to find solutions. The series will culminate in some big news regarding the malaria community’s plan to reach eradication, delivered by one of the world’s biggest names and most prolific innovators in fighting disease, Bill Gates.

So stay tuned, and join us here next week as we launch with Challenge #1: Find the Parasite!

....

This is the introduction to our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria. You can find others here:

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Domenico learned about our Power of One campaign through his employer, Novartis. Domenico works in the Vaccines and Diagnostics Division and is passionate about Africa. He leveraged his professional move from Italy to Switzerland to help fundraise for the campaign. At his family’s going-away party, Domenico shared stories from his travels to malaria-endemic regions in Asia and Africa, mainly Uganda, where he supports orphanages, educational institutions for disabled children, as well as projects for the economic independence of small communities. He hit a nerve and got the attention of his friends. Today, 56 have decided to support him and joined the campaign!

Domenico also hosted a garage sale to benefit the cause, which inspired shoppers to pay the full price, instead of haggling for a better deal!

“This is a cause I really care about,” says Domenico. “I have increased my personal engagement significantly, and thanks to the support of my family and friend, we will be able to help 4,128 children with malaria”. Domenico found the campaign so rewarding, that he continues to fundraise for Power of One and to engage people around him. “One of my friends – a musician – after having donated called me in the middle of the night and told me he had just composed a song for my campaign. We are now discussing how we could use the song to help fight malaria.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee

Malaria No More ambassador Katharine McPhee is fighting for good on TV and in her real life. Having traveled with us to Ghana and Burkina Faso in 2012 and having supported our most recent campaign called the Power of One (Po1), Katharine had a lot to talk about with a bunch of teenagers over pizza.

Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer launched a web series called Pizza with an Icon, where teens can ask questions of influencers and all the good work they’re doing. In this segment, Katharine talks about her travels and how everyone can do their part to help end malaria deaths.

"It's such a tragedy that there are people dying from something that is so easy to cure," Katharine said. "It’s important for people to know that it’s not that hard to make a dent in a small part of the world that you may not necessarily even have any connection with.”

We couldn’t be more grateful to Katharine and all her hard work on the cause.

“Katharine has been an incredible supporter of Malaria No More for years, she is truly engaged in the push to eliminate deaths from malaria,” said our CEO, Martin Edlund. “Using her platform to raise awareness for the Power of One test and treatment campaign partnered with Novartis and Alere, Katharine has made a huge impact helping us move toward achieving our goal of raising three million treatments in our first partner country, Zambia.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman

On World Malaria Day, our partner Novartis kicked off an employee engagement effort encouraging their employees to get behind the malaria fight. From April 25th, to our Independence Day, July 4th, Novartis employees got active and joined the fight through Power of One.

Roger Waltzman, in charge of developing new antimalarials at Novartis, is one of the top contributors to this employee engagement effort, having raised over 18,000 USD towards treatments for kids in Africa. Here, he’s filled us in on his work and how he raised all that money.

Q. Why do you believe in fighting malaria, and how did this contribute to your decision to start a fundraiser?

A. I believe it’s crucial to make available high quality medical treatments for people all over the world, particularly for those vulnerable people who are at risk for preventable, curable diseases. The focus of my work at Novartis is developing new antimalarials and I wanted to generate more attention both within and outside my work environment about the importance of this effort.

Q. Did anything interesting happen while you were fundraising? Did any of your supporters do or say anything really encouraging?

A. Quite a few people didn’t know that developing new antimalarials is the focus of my work and they seemed happy to hear this and happy to contribute. I appreciated their comments; one person simply said, “Good work should be supported,” and I thought that was so matter-of-fact and genuine. Some people contributed $1, since you could contribute any amount, and others contributed much more!

Q. How has this program increased your charitable efforts this year, compared to an average year?

A. I made a personal commitment to contribute to the campaign 10% of however much money I could raise from others. That ended up being one of my largest charitable contributions this year and I was delighted to do it.

Q. Now that the employee engagement campaign is over, how will you continue your efforts to help end malaria?

A. My daily work is focused on the development of better treatment or prevention of malaria, so the biggest change is that I feel even more determined and inspired by seeing the very positive response this campaign engendered in friends and family.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with our Power of One, Malaria No More, or the Novartis employee engagement campaign?

A. I was delighted that MNM created a campaign that was so simple, with a personal link for tracking contributions, and by enabling donors to contribute as little as $1. I felt completely comfortable asking my friends, family, and colleagues to consider donating something, anything, since the amount did not need to be large. I usually don’t find fundraising a particularly comfortable activity, but this enabled me to feel very comfortable with the “ask.” I am delighted that Novartis and MNM are collaborating in this and other ways. Eradicating malaria will take a huge effort on the part of many people and we need to collaborate for the benefit of the hundreds of millions of people who are infected every year.

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Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime

This past World Mosquito Day we were on ABC 7’s Let’s Talk Live discussing what else but mosquitoes, the deadliest animals on the planet.

Malaria Policy Center staff Josh Blumenfeld and Hannah Bowen, as well as our partner from DC Mosquito Squad, Damien Sanchez, spoke to the threat of malaria on Wednesday’s show. Watch the full show below.

Watch the video here: http://www.wjla.com/blogs/lets-talk-live/2014/08/world-mosqutio-day-22781.html 

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight

Arnold Mbolo, a high school senior from a family of six kids, joined the Junior Ambassador program in April 2014 after placing 6th with a comedic sketch in the MNM Cameroon school contest. When asked why he participated, he responded “I like challenges. I’m a competitive person. But, I realized that the contest educated me. Before, I barely knew anything about malaria, hence I have also won in knowledge.”

For Arnold, humor is something he’s been around all his life - with a professional comedian as an uncle, helping him to develop into a charismatic comedian who is responsible for “cultural animation” in his local youth association, MOJAM. In just four months, Arnold has emerged as an all-star Junior Ambassador, using his energy and comedic talents in various events at school and with MNM to ensure his community is invested in putting an end to malaria.

The goal of the Junior Ambassador Program is to engage youth leaders from high schools across Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital city, to target their peers and wider communities through interpersonal communications, including clubs, school events and other activities. Arnold has done just that. He mobilized the other Junior Ambassadors to organize a school fair at his high school, where they had a stand teaching students about malaria prevention, which was also visited by the Secretary to the Minister of Education who encouraged the Junior Ambassadors to keep doing great work. He was selected as the K.O PALU mosquito mascot for the World Malaria Day Caravan and performed his winning sketch at stops throughout the city. Arnold has also received permission from his school to post K.O. PALU educational posters and a malaria prevention mural, ensuring malaria education and awareness are a part of everyday activities at school.

For World Mosquito Day 2014, Arnold worked with a fellow Junior Ambassador to mobilize hundreds of youth and community members, the mayor, and local chief to clean up a neighborhood to get rid of its standing water – which can be mosquito breeding grounds, especially during the rainy season.

Arnold is truly leading the charge, setting an example for fellow Junior Ambassadors and his community and motivating them to join the fight against malaria.

Stay tuned for more on the amazing work our Junior Ambassadors are doing in Cameroon to ensure their communities understand the threat of malaria and know how to protect themselves against the disease.

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Cameroon, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa

On World Mosquito Day, spoiling a BBQ is a mosquito’s most minor offense

My daughter Nell is just 8-months old, so this is her first summer. Her first taste of freshly yanked grass from the yard. Her first sunburn.

She and her big sister, 4-year-old Maret get to stay up way past their bedtimes, as we soak up what remains of the humid evenings and the lingering sunlight. And of course there’s the uninvited guest at outdoor summer events - the mosquito, that tiny but persistent blight on our backyard barbecues and pool parties.

This week at Malaria No More, we stop to acknowledge World Mosquito Day August 20th. Devoting an entire day to the mosquito may seem like overkill, until you remember that the mosquito is, in fact, the world’s deadliest living creature. This day in particular was chosen because it marks the anniversary of British surgeon Dr. Ronald Ross discovering that mosquitoes carried malaria back in 1897 – a breakthrough that set us on the path to ending this disease.

"A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease."

As I dab the calamine lotion on the red bumps that dot Maret’s skin, I get a flash of the anxiety parents must feel in Africa, where mosquitoes lead to the deaths of more than a thousand children every day.

I remember El Hadj Diop, the Senegalese father who dedicated his life to ending deaths from malaria in his home community after losing his 11-year-old daughter, Ami, to the disease. I’m haunted by the face of the nameless Nigerian dad I encountered as he arrived, desperate, at a clinic with his daughter on the verge of a malaria coma. Pictures of both fathers hang above my desk.



Above:  El Hadj holds up a picture of his deceased daughter; a Nigerian father holds his malaria stricken daughter

These are but two examples of the African parents who lose their precious children to a mosquito bite every minute of every day. And my eyes well up at the prospect of that happening to Nell or Maret. We’re lucky here in the U.S., where malaria was eradicated in 1951. A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease.

The good news is that we can help protect children who still live with the reality of a potentially deadly mosquito bite. Just one dollar buys and delivers a life-saving test and treatment for a child in Africa through our Power of One campaign, thanks to our partnership with Alere and Novartis.

So this World Mosquito Day, please consider contributing. With your help, we’re closer than ever to mosquitoes becoming just another summer nuisance alongside sunburns and brain freezes, instead of the world’s most deadly predator.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas

For many Americans, it’s difficult to see the impact foreign aid has on people half a world away. We’re working hard to close that gap, and bring stories from malaria endemic countries home. That’s why, last week, we brought three Senate staffers to Dakar, Senegal and Geneva, Switzerland; where the staff learned firsthand the impact malaria has across all aspects of the Senegalese health system. They also experienced the inspiring progress that Senegal has made with the help of partners like the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, to which the U.S. is the largest donor.

Day 1

The week kicked off in Dakar with meetings at the U.S. Embassy and Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program, where staffers heard from the program officers on the ground working to eliminate malaria about challenges and successes in the region. We learned how malaria fits within a broader health and economic context in the region, and why so many parts of the Senegalese government, private sector leaders, and development partners are committed to fighting malaria. The PMI Resident Advisor helped to guide us around and explain how PMI’s staff from USAID and the CDC support Senegal’s health system.

Day 2

Tuesday started bright and early with a short drive to the Peace Corps Headquarters in Ngor where the team was briefed by Country Director Cheryl Gregory Faye and Vanessa Dickey, Director of Programming & Training, then boarded a van for the almost two-hour drive to Thies, where we saw the great work Peace Corps volunteers are doing to combat malaria as part of their continent-wide “Stomp Out Malaria in Africa” program. We even Skyped with volunteers from other countries who are implementing the same community-based case management strategies that were developed in Senegal and which are now in Benin, Madagascar, and other countries. Over a lunch of delicious family-style Senegalese yassa chicken, we heard presentations from current Peace Corps volunteers about some of the major challenges they face in the area, including commodity stock outs, village access and communication. We learned what they are doing in partnership with PMI to overcome these obstacles and stomp out malaria.

 

Senegal Peace Corps & SLAP Lab

Above: Lunch with the Peace Corps; visit to SLAP lab

In the afternoon we were able to see cutting-edge research taking place at the Parasite Control Service. Dr. Sy and Dr. Ndiaye presented the monitoring and research activities which are supported by various US governmental and higher education institutions including the NIH, CDC, USAID, Peace Corps as well as Tulane and Harvard Universities. The lab, although subject to challenges like fluctuating electricity (our demonstration of the microscopy center was cut short by a power outage), is helping track insecticide resistance and studying the genetic markers of parasites to track parasite populations over time. The day ended with two site visits, one to a larger health center in Thies and another smaller health hut in Keur Madaro, where we had the opportunity to meet the community leaders and health workers.

Day 3

On Wednesday, the team headed out to see another key global malaria partner, PATH. The PATH country director explained PATH’s work to strengthen the health system in Senegal through community empowerment and malaria prevention and treatment. After a brief visit and presentation from young members of the Malaria No More Club in a nearby school, the staff headed to a lunch, hosted by MNM’s long-time partner, Senegalese NGO Speak Up Africa, with key business leaders to hear why they care about malaria and what they are doing to stop malaria from draining Senegal’s economy. The ideas proposed by bankers, builders, and leaders of other industries included issuing a malaria bond, setting up a health investment fund, and contributing in-kind expertise and materials to the fight – something several leaders in the room pledged to do.

We made a quick stop to see a warehouse where the Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets procured with PMI funding are housed before being distributed nationwide, then arrived to our last meeting in Dakar with the Minister of Health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck. Given her previous experience as Roll Back Malaria’s Executive Director, the Honorable Awa Marie Coll-Seck’s vast knowledge of malaria allowed our time to be more of a working session than a typical courtesy call. During the hour she spent with the team, the Senate staffers were able to report back what they found from their time in Dakar, including the challenges of supply chain management to rural areas, but also the successes of the partnership between PMI and the inspiring staff of the National Malaria Control Program.

 

Senegal LLIN & Minister of Health

Above: Visit to the LLIN warehouse; meeting with the Minister of Health

The Minister of Health also spoke about Senegal’s commitment to pre-elimination and its challenges and strategies for tackling the higher-burden southeastern regions, such as indoor residual spraying and seasonal chemo-prevention for children. She also stressed the need for private sector engagement, and shared that she was very pleased to have presented Senegal’s story at the official health event during the trade and investment themed U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. the week before.

Geneva

After an overnight flight to Geneva, the team ended the trip with debriefing meetings to link the lessons from Senegal with broader global strategies for malaria and innovation for the next wave of the fight.

Experts from the Global Fund, the WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, Medicines for Malaria Venture, and MNM’s Power of One partner Novartis all shared their perspectives on the global fight against malaria, answered the staff’s questions in great detail, and closed out a busy, but productive, week.

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Advocacy, Senegal, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/how-ebola-makes-malaria-more-deadly https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/how-ebola-makes-malaria-more-deadly

If you’re even a casual consumer of news, you’ve likely heard plenty about New York City resident Eric Silverman, who was hospitalized recently at Mt. Sinai hospital after displaying symptoms of Ebola.

While the media went into overdrive, it turns out that the Brooklyn man – who recently returned from Sierra Leone – was likely suffering from malaria. The mistake is understandable, since the two diseases display similar symptoms - such as fever, headache, and aching joints. As The Gothamist headline joked, “Ebola Man" Probably Just Had Boring Malaria.

The Ebola fears are well justified: As the death toll in West Africa surpassed 1,000, the World Health Organization recently approved the experimental use of drugs to try to save infected patients. But the reality is that “boring” malaria kills more people every day - about 1,700 - than have died in the Ebola outbreak to date. And, with the rainy season underway in West Africa, the Ebola outbreak may compound malaria’s deadly effects. As Bloomberg reports, Sierra Leone residents suffering from malaria are staying away from health clinics and hospitals, fearing they may be quarantined or infected with Ebola from a sick patient.

Unlike Ebola, we have simple cost-effective treatments for malaria. They key is getting them in time, since kids can die within the first 24 hours of the onset of malaria symptoms.

So, as health officials tackle the Ebola crisis, they must take special pains to encourage people to seek timely testing and treatment for similar-seeming illnesses, so “boring” malaria doesn’t become even more deadly.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/asia-the-next-frontier-in-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/asia-the-next-frontier-in-the-malaria-fight

MNM staff just returned from Singapore, where we held an official event to kick-off our partnership to fight malaria with the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

The Asia-Pacific region is home to more than two billion people at risk of malaria infection and accounts for 32 million cases of malaria each year. Recently, resistance to the front line treatment to the disease, aretemisin-based combination therapies (ACTs), has emerged in the Greater Mekong Region. This is a major concern to the public health community, as ACTs are the most effective way to treat malaria, and past resistance to malaria treatment has spread from Asia to Africa, where most cases of the disease occur.

The reception celebrating the new collaboration took place at the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore with attendance from both private sector and government leaders including Alere, the American Chamber of Commerce, Bayer, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Edelman, Kimberly-Clark, and US Embassy and Australian officials.

While many of the business leaders in the room understand the importance of defeating malaria in the region, the goal of the event was also to take advantage of their expertise and resources to leverage engagement across additional sectors.  To that end, MNM staff heard directly from the private sector representatives, including a presentation from Alere, about strategies to garner support within their organization as well as effective ways to engage new champions in the business world.

The event was a great start in helping to deepen the bench for the Champions of APLMA, which will be a major focus of the new partnership. The group will build a coalition of private sector leaders in Asia-Pacific to raise the profile of malaria as a massive roadblock to the region’s social and economic progress, and to advocate for the elimination of the disease in Asia and beyond.

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Advocacy, Asia, Malaria Policy, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/from-malaria-victim-to-malaria-victor https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/from-malaria-victim-to-malaria-victor

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Today’s supporter, Chinweike, is what we at MNM call a super supporter. When his company, Novartis, encouraged him to take part in fundraising for our Power of One campaign, he set himself a lofty goal – to raise $1,500. Through Po1, that’s enough to provide malaria tests and treatments to 1,500 African children. And not only did Chinwe achieve his goal, he far surpassed it – raising $12,347! In fact, his personal fundraiser was so successful that he had to raise the bar for himself after just two days, as he had already met his initial $1,500 goal. For him it was more than just participating in a Novartis employee engagement effort. It was personal.

Growing up in Nigeria, Chinwe suffered from malaria during his childhood, as did many of his family members. Chinwe, who is now working at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, beat tough odds. While major progress has been made since he was a child in Nigeria, malaria still takes a massive toll on the world’s children - with a child dying every minute from the treatable disease.

Though he left the country as a teenager, he says his ties to the continent still remain. He has taken part in African medical and education programs since leaving, and was especially drawn to the scale and ambition of the Power of One effort, which has already raised enough money to provide malaria treatments to two million children. “A death a minute for a preventable and treatable disease is just unacceptable,” says Chinwe. “To be able to change a life with a dollar is quite a bargain.”

Chinwe’s passion for Po1 was contagious. Though he had just started in his position, he used the campaign as a way to connect with new co-workers. He took the message everywhere he went – from work, to the airport, to his monthly poker game – he even fundraised at a couple’s engagement party! And his family is just as excited about the cause as he is. His 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter offered up their savings to be donated. His wife sent messages to her friends and family soliciting donations, and made sure Chinwe was actively fundraising through some good-natured spousal nagging.

And the impact was incredible – as Chinwe says he’d never given or raised even a third of what he did through Power of One. And he plans to continue raising money for the campaign throughout the year.

While Chinwe provided enough money to test and treat more than 12,000 children for malaria, he says he benefited from the effort as well. “It was a great thrill doing this,” he says. “I have reconnected with a host of great friends and colleagues from my pre-Novartis days, and in less than six months at the company I already know I have wonderful colleagues and friends I can count on.”

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Malaria Tests, Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Power of One, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/20750-nets-for-pregnant-women-and-children https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/20750-nets-for-pregnant-women-and-children

Thanks to MNM’s generous international donors, MNM Cameroon was able to purchase 20,750 long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINs).

The majority of the nets will go to the two populations who need it the most: pregnant women and children. Malaria attacks these two groups the most viciously, where 45% of malaria deaths are children under 5, and pregnant women suffer from miscarriages and birth complications.

The nets will also be used as prizes for community sensitization activities and radio contests to engage the public and test their malaria knowledge.

MNM Cameroon donated 15,000 LLINs to the Ministry of Public Health to be distributed to pregnant women during their antenatal visits in health centers in the Center region, where net possession is the lowest. When a pregnant woman goes in for her prenatal care, she will receive this three-year-lasting net, and as of her fourth month of pregnancy the health centers also provide her with free Intermittent Preventative Treatment (IPT), which protects her and her baby from malaria.

In Cameroon a child is lost every four hours to this killer. Mosquito nets are still the most efficient protection against malaria, but unfortunately orphanages are not covered by the universal net distributions.

Because of this - and in honor of the International Day of the African Child in June - MNM Cameroon went to four different children’s centers to teach 160 orphans, abandoned and disadvantaged children and caregivers about malaria. K.O. PALU Junior and Senior Ambassadors donated food to the orphanages, performing malaria themed songs and leading an interactive quiz with exciting prizes. After the sensitization session, nets were installed on each of their beds.

In Yaoundé, MNM was invited to join in on Day of the African Child celebrations at two centers in collaboration with “Association des Jeunes pour un Comportement Positif” (AJECP- an association founded and led by a former MNM intern) and “Hope for All.”

At one of the centers in Yaoundé, K.O. PALU Ambassador and Percussionist Zorobabel performed with his cute and talented sons for the first time. After his performance, the children performed a creative malaria-themed sketch, which included using headphones for a stethoscope.

In the Southwest, Peace Corps Volunteers stationed there came out to help, as did K.O. PALU Ambassador and singer Sine and Radio Balafon’s Cyrille Bojicko.

To increase the chances of the nets being used, MNM aired them out in advance and directly installed the nets after the sensitizations. With the help of the ambassadors, the team also put up posters in each center that encourage mosquito net usage.

After the installation of nets, every child received a bracelet and sticker to encourage them to sleep under their bed nets nightly in order to be healthy and fulfill their dreams.

Caregivers and the center’s directors testified about the malaria cases they have endured, including one 8-month-old baby who died from malaria. They expressed their gratitude toward COTCO-ExxonMobil for the net donation, promising to ensure the children use and maintain the nets regularly and appropriately. They all believe they will now suffer fewer cases of malaria thanks to these nets!

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Cameroon, Mosquito Nets, 2014--T::

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Malaria No More NewsThankful for Turkey, Partners, Interns and…Mother�™s First Fundraiser a Big HitOutbreak Responder: A different game for a different future.Q&A with Ray Chambers, Challenge #5: Fuel the FightThis Baby Accepts Credit CardsThe shrinking malaria mapBill Gates: We can eradicate malaria in our lifetimesChallenge #5: Fuel the FightChallenge 4: Data & MobileChallenge #4: Data & Mobile �“ Ashifi Gogo, CEO of SproxilChallenge 3: Block TransmissionChallenge #3: Block Transmission - Grey Frandsen, Kite PatchThis mosquito helps save lives from malariaChallenge #2: Complete Cure �“ Roger Waltzman, NovartisChallenge #2: Complete CureDeconstructing malaria with Femi KutiChallenge #1: Find the Parasite - Duncan Blair, AlereChallenge #1: Find the parasiteSolve For M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending MalariaDomenico�™s �œCiao” to malariaEating Pizza with Katharine McPheeFrom behind the scenes to the spotlightThe World�™s Deadliest Animal Gets AirtimeYoung Cameroonian comic joins the malaria fightIt�™s Summer Time, and the Life-Saving is EasyU.S. Senate Staff see malaria investments overseasHow Ebola Makes Malaria More DeadlyAsia: The next frontier in the malaria fightFrom malaria victim to malaria victor20,750 nets for pregnant women and children

ntent-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8 https://www.malarianomore.org/ en Copyright 2014 2014-11-25T22:22:00+00:00 https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/thankful-for-turkey-partners-interns-and

Feast day is upon us and beyond being thankful for the turkey and all its glorious sides of steaming hot rolls, gravy, stuffing, potatoes and pie, we’re also thankful for the things, people and groups that have backed us – and some for as long as eight Thanksgivings! In no particular order, we’re thankful for…

1)   The 42% decline in the global malaria mortality rate – saving 3.3 million lives since 2000!

2)   The U.S.’s Government’s leadership in the fight against malaria, including that of the President's Malaria Initiative, USAID, CDC and Admiral Tim Ziemer

3)   Major corporate partners Novartis, Alere, Exxon and Kimberly Clark

4)   Mobile partners, including Venmo for raising 70,000 malaria treatments, and gaming partners Global Gaming Initiative for their Outbreak Responder game and Seriously for the Best Fiends game and its anti-malarial mosquito Edward.

5)   Our celebrity ambassadors, including Katharine McPhee, for keeping malaria in the spotlight

6)   Super supporters, like the Combes family

7)   Novartis Employee Engagement winners Roger, Chinwe, Manishha, Inge, Domenico, Martin  and all the participants who helped raise $218k for malaria treatments

8)   Our African teams based in Cameroon, Chad, Kenya and Nigeria

9)   Our dedicated army of interns that support us during our most hectic times of year, including Andy, Bronte, Ella, Yeeji and others.

10)  And YOU. Some of you just happened upon this post, while others have been supporting us since 2006. You've recently helped us reach a major milestone of raising enough to fund three million malaria treatments for children in Zambia. Let’s keep up the life-saving work!

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Being a mother of three children, Inge was touched by our Power of One campaign’s simplistic message – $1 given = 1 child saved – and decided to start her fundraiser. She learned about the campaign through her employer, Novartis, a company that has been committed to the fight against malaria for more than a decade.

Her boss at Novartis was the initial inspiration to get involved – and was one of her biggest supporters. “She was the first to donate a large amount of money to kick start the fundraiser,” said Inge. “And she also reached out to her personal network that resulted in donations adding up to several thousands of dollars.” Inge also shared stories with other co-workers who were also fundraising for the malaria fight.

Inge says the Power of One message made her first fundraising effort an easy one. “I just had to reach out to my family, friends and colleagues via email – and the results were amazing!” said Inge.

Inge’s campaign was so successful that she kept moving her fundraising goal up! “Two days after launching my fundraiser I had to increase the target,” said Inge. “One week before the end of the campaign, I was at 4400 treatments, so I raised the target again. I am proud that together, in the end we could raise more than 5600 treatments.”

While this was Inge’s first fundraising campaign ever, it doesn’t seem like it will be her last. “Personally it has been a very rewarding exercise,” said Inge. “I have been very blessed in many aspects and the campaign has given me the opportunity to ‘give back’ and feel the joy and pride in encouraging others doing the same.”

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Power of One, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future

MNM is always looking for new and interesting ways to bring attention to the malaria fight. That’s why we’re really excited to partner with Global Gaming Initiative on its latest endeavor, which will benefit Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign.

When we started Global Gaming Initiative, (GGI) we wanted to utilize technology for good by creating a fun and easy way for people to make a difference. Our solution - mobile games. The goal being to inspire the developed world to get involved globally and provide the developing word greater access to education.  This year we ourselves received a massive education in the realities of global health issues, specifically malaria. The reality that malaria is a completely treatable disease, which an estimated 627,000 still die from annually, was both beyond unsettling and urgently motivating. We partnered with developers who share our desire to create a future without malaria to create our combative agent, Outbreak Responder, as we know that nothing is possible without health.

Outbreak Responder - using beautiful graphics and strategic challenges puts the player on a mission to cure communities from the spread of malaria. The best part is, being an Outbreak Responder player, you literally become an agent of change as your in-game contributions unlock malaria tests and treatments for African children through Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign. We have long admired the work Malaria No More does on the ground and are thrilled to partner with them to help you provide a healthy future for children with malaria. This is what fun and games and saving lives looks like. It’s the power of the change in your pocket – so download Outbreak Responder, put your game time to good use and help us create a better future, one child at a time.

Learn more about Outbreak Responder here.

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #5 focuses on a crucial component of finally ending malaria – maintaining and growing funding. For more, we spoke to Ray Chambers, co-founder of Malaria No More and United Nations Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria.

1. What are some of the changes you anticipate in global financing for health over the next decade?

Funding has increased dramatically for global health since the world got serious about saving millions of children and mothers from preventable causes. The results have been impressive: Since 2000 the number of under-five deaths worldwide has declined from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. But continuing to fund these gains from donor countries is not sustainable, especially if we want to move toward the elimination of malaria. We need to support three existing trends that can shift us to a new funding paradigm.

Endemic countries must increase their domestic health budgets. Domestic financing for malaria increased over the period of 2005 to 2012, from $436 million in 2005 to $522 million in 2012, rising at an estimated rate of 4% per year - a move in the right direction. But most countries still fall short of the Abuja target of dedicating 15% of their domestic budgets to improving health.

We must approach financing of life-saving commodities more creatively. We’re seeing early success from pay-for-performance social impact bonds that demonstrate the returns on investing in net distribution in Mozambique. An innovative tax on airline tickets to support work on AIDS, TB and Malaria has produced millions of dollars for AIDS treatment.

The private sector has recognized that healthier communities are better places to do business, and investing in the health of employees in the countries where they operate can help the bottom line as well.

2. How important have the Millennium Development Goals been to galvanizing support for malaria and other global health programs?

As a businessman I was drawn to the MDGs as time-bound, quantifiable targets against which we could measure our success. The inclusion of malaria in Goal 6 of the MDGs was essential to allowing the global health community to rally around the malaria targets. With this support came coordinated plans and, crucially, financing to enact those plans. Similarly with child and maternal health, by quantifying where we were, and where we needed to get, the MDGs provided the outline of a roadmap others could build upon and collectively enact. And with all 193 countries signing on to the MDGs back in 2000, their value has gone well beyond the tangible achievements of lives saved. They’ve linked all of us in a shared pursuit of something greater than our individual or even national selves. This shared global consciousness will carry the spirit and ambitions of the MDGs well beyond 2015.

3. How do you expect the funding landscape to change at the end of 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals deadline hits?

Relying on outdated models of north-to-south donor contributions will eventually hit a wall, and some would argue that the fatigue has already begun to set in. If we continue to think creatively about how we finance life-saving programs and commodities among a broader community - leveraging previously untapped resources, especially from the private sector - funding for health should continue to grow. Companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Unilever and AngloGold Ashanti have demonstrated the leadership role businesses can play in keeping populations healthy. Similarly, the private sector plays an essential role in the research and development of new technologies and vaccines that could replace existing costly interventions. Now is the time to test new models of funding while investing in research that could deliver cheaper, more effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

4. What would the consequences be if malaria funding were scaled back?

Recent history has already demonstrated what happens when funding for malaria is decreased or held-up. From 2006 t0 2008 net coverage dropped due to delayed funding disbursements, resulting in an upsurge of malaria cases in 2009.  We’ve successfully covered almost every person in need of a net with a net, and in doing so saved over 3.3 million children since 2000. But as a result of this success, millions of children protected by nets have no immunity to malaria. If their nets aren’t replaced every three years, we will see malaria infections and deaths far exceed previous levels. Total funding for malaria control is expected to reach $2.85 billion each year between 2014 and 2016, substantially below the required amount for this period. We have come so close to lifting the burden of malaria off an entire continent. A final push - in political commitment, partner support and funding - will put the end of malaria deaths in our grasp and make elimination a reality.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Advocacy, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards

Above:  Manishha Patel used inventive and fun memes to rally her friends to donate to Power of One.

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

MNM supporter Manishha raised money for our Power of One campaign with the help of her good-hearted loved ones and colleagues at her employer, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF). Fundraising for the cause came naturally to her given the lessons her parents taught her growing up – to be appreciative of the opportunities she has and to help those less fortunate.

“My parents are from a very rural and poor region of India,” says Manishha. “They always taught us to be grateful for the opportunities that were given to us in Canada and to help and care for the less fortunate.”

 



Manishha has always felt a strong urge to help those less fortunate. “I have always wanted to help people in underdeveloped countries, and Power of One affected me because of the impact it can have for people in Africa – the idea that just one dollar can save one person’s life really resonated with me and I wanted to help them in any way that I could.”

In addition to drawing on the wise words of her parents, she drew on the talents of her boyfriend. Together, they came up with eye-catching posters, featuring funny pictures of babies offering words of encouragement. And the kid theme didn’t end there – Manishha even inspired her niece and godchildren to donate their piggybank savings.

Manishha’s colleagues were a huge help too. They championed her cause to their families, friends, religious organizations, and sports teams, helping her break her past fundraising record of $500! “The sheer amount of support from GNF as a whole was phenomenal,” said Manisha. “The encouragement and support I received for the campaign was unbelievable, and helped me eventually recruit more than 330 friends to join Power of One.”

Good news is Manishha isn’t done yet. “This is the kind of work I have dreamed of doing and that is why I decided to get involved in the fundraiser,” said Manishha. “I will continue to promote the cause of Malaria No More and I hope that, in the very near future, malaria will no longer be as devastating a disease as it is now.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates

This video of the shrinking malaria was shared by Bill Gates at the ASTMH conference.

Malaria has been killing for centuries. In 1900, it was taking lives from nearly every country on Earth, but the goal is to wipe this killer disease from the planet within a generation.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes

It was a packed house last night, as the best and brightest in the public health world poured into a New Orleans conference hall to hear one of the world’s most prolific philanthropists share his vision for the future of global health.

As Bill Gates joked, he was eager to finally have a captive audience for his thoughts on some of the world’s most pervasive diseases, as he typically bores dinner party guests with his excitement over discussing topics such as dengue fever, polio and malaria.

During his keynote speech at the Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Gates focused his remarks on Ebola and malaria. He spoke to the lessons the global health community can take from the Ebola crisis, and how it can serve to educate and strengthen our response to other public health issues. He spent the bulk of his speech talking about malaria, and urging the gathered group of the world’s premier scientists and doctors to embrace the idea of malaria eradication in our lifetimes. He also announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be increasing its already substantial financial commitment to fighting malaria by 30 percent.

Gates laid out the elements of a new strategy to achieve the ambitious goal of eradication, including fostering innovation in the surveillance and research & development arenas, as well as continued investment in malaria control efforts as we concurrently set our longer term vision on eradication.

You can read more on the new plan here. It is not an easy task, but with a shared vision and energy in the global health community, it is possible. His closing statement, which drew a standing ovation, echoed the sentiment that malaria eradication is within our grasp: “I’m optimistic we’ll get there faster than the skeptics think.”

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malaria elimination, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

To win the malaria fight, we need to rethink how we pay for it

Malaria No More was founded by two prominent business leaders, Ray Chambers and Peter Chernin, who saw combating malaria as a unique opportunity to save lives and improve livelihoods on a global scale. As Chernin put it, ending malaria represents “the best humanitarian investment in the world today.”

It’s easy to see why. Malaria is a devastating disease and one of the top killers of children under the age of five and pregnant women worldwide. It’s also a huge drain on economies, accounting for approximately $12 billion in lost economic productivity in Africa each year, due to the burden it places on health systems and the toll of work absenteeism and missed school days.

By contrast, the existing tools are simple and scalable - a mosquito net can protect a mother and child for three years for around $5; a 50 cent rapid diagnostic test and $1 treatment can save a child’s life – and, as this series highlights, revolutionary new technologies are just around the corner.

When Malaria No More was founded in 2006, global spending on malaria was only a few hundred million dollars a year, and approximately a million people were dying from mosquito bites annually.

Through a massive global effort – including $3 billion in annual funding, led by the U.S. and U.K. governments, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the World Bank, the private sector and philanthropists - the rate of malaria deaths in Africa has been cut in half in under a decade. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved since the year 2000 from malaria alone.

 

Malaria funding now vs next

Planning for a Rainy Day

The danger with malaria - the thing that keeps us malaria fighters up at night - is that if you lose focus, even for a single rainy season, the disease can come roaring back with devastating consequences.

There have been 75 documented instances of malaria resurgence from the 1930s to the year 2000, and nearly all of them were associated with the weakening of malaria control efforts. If we stopped investing in malaria control today, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis, claiming millions of lives, and undo the hard-fought gains we’ve made in the past decade.

As the burden of malaria continues to be reduced, we need to shift from catalytic “scale up” funding models to sustainable, long-term approaches that will enable us to end the disease. That means diversifying the sources of funding so that the continued commitment of international donors is buoyed by growing domestic and regional investments, as well as innovative financing approaches. It also means using better data to find efficiencies that will stretch and strengthen the impact of malaria spending at the country level.

Put Your Money Where Your Malaria Is

We often say that malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. But the reverse is also true: malaria control is equally a cause and consequence of economic growth. It’s not just geography that caused malaria to be eliminated first in the United States in 1951 and most of Europe by 1975 - it was equally the result of economic growth, development and increased spending on health and infrastructure.

The current slate of countries moving toward malaria elimination – mostly in Asia and South America – are already covering the bulk of the expense themselves: almost 80 percent of interventions are self-financed, according to a recent analysis by UCSF’s Global Health Group and Cambridge Economic Policy Associates. 

 

Malaria funding vs deaths

In Africa, however, most countries still fall short of the self-declared “Abuja target” of dedicating 15% of domestic budgets to improving health. As “Africa Rising” moves from rhetoric to reality and economies on the continent continue to grow, Africa has the wherewithal to finance an increasing share of its malaria elimination ambitions. And it has powerful financial incentive to ensure the work continues - a recent study by Accenture estimated the present-day economic value (i.e. profit) of continued investment in malaria control in Africa at more than $322 billion between now and 2035, due to the tremendous health and productivity gains that would result.

Endemic countries also have the opportunity to stretch their budgets by working smarter. To the extent that countries can draw on good timely data to inform program decisions, they can save money by targeting the appropriate mix of interventions by region and setting. Zambia and Zimbabwe, for instance, have saved millions of dollars by using malaria risk-mapping to optimize their net and insecticide spraying programs.

Particularly as countries reduce their malaria burden, one-size-fits-all, national-scale approaches may no longer apply. Namibia, a country moving toward elimination, has used malaria and mobility data to develop a more sophisticated, spatially targeted malaria program.

The Future of Funding

Regional financing mechanisms are emerging for countries, companies, and philanthropists to invest in malaria control and elimination in their own backyards. Asia-Pacific has set the ambitious goals of eliminating drug-resistant malaria by 2020, and all malaria by 2030. To help finance the efforts, the Asian Development Bank and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance this year set up a regional trust fund to solve this pressing regional challenge.

Mechanisms for nontraditional donors to play a part in eliminating the disease are growing as well. In Indonesia, a small group of high net worth individuals have pledged to co-invest alongside the government and Global Fund in health priorities, while in the Philippines and Ghana companies with large local operations – the Pilipinas Shell Foundation and AngloGold Ashanti – have managed Global Fund malaria grants working hand-in-hand with government agencies.

Innovative financing efforts, including concepts such as development impact bonds, also have the potential to contribute. Creators of The Mozambique Malaria Performance bond aim to establish a sustainable new funding source that can also improve the efficiency of malaria programs through a pay-for-performance model.

It’s an attractive concept: private investors front the costs of malaria control interventions to be repaid by a group of government and private-sector partners who reap the rewards of successful malaria control, including healthy citizens, employees and consumers. But we have yet to see investors step up to participate in such an instrument vehicle. If these models take root, malaria could evolve from being “the best humanitarian investment” to an actual investment opportunity—one that pays a dividend to those who contribute.

Achieving the historic goal of malaria eradication requires endurance. To sustain and extend the gains of the past decade, the global community must commit to providing predictable, sustainable, long-term support.

Our success in fighting malaria over the past decade has been built upon a solid foundation of funding, and the continued support of the U.S., U.K. and Australian governments; as well as institutions such as the Global Fund and the World Bank, will be essential to finishing the job. But we also need endemic countries and regions to commit to shouldering an increasing share of the costs as we move toward malaria elimination.

In the end, it will not be one sector or government that will finally eradicate malaria. It will be a global success—one we should all be proud to have contributed to.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile

How the mobile revolution in Africa is transforming global health

When I first moved to West Africa, back in 2009, you could travel to the most remote, rural villages – places without power, running water, or any other modern conveniences – and you would invariably find Coca-Cola. Somehow the familiar red-and-white brand had solved the distribution and marketing challenges of reaching these ends-of-the-earth consumers.

In those same remote villages, you can also find some of Africa’s highest-tech companies – mobile providers like MTN, Tigo, Airtel, Vodacom and Safaricom. Africa has leapfrogged the power line and the PC and gone directly to mobile phones. By the end of 2015, there will be an estimated 1 billion mobile phone accounts in Africa – one for nearly every man, woman and child on the continent.

First Disease Beaten By Mobile

In our first challenge (“Find the Parasite”), we talked about the importance of rapid diagnostics to locate the malaria parasite in people. What is a diagnostic test result but a plus or a minus, a one or a zero? It’s a bit of data. But in many malaria-endemic countries, that data used to just sit in stacks of paper to be collected every so often by health authorities. When you combine this data with rapid reporting via mobile phones, you have the makings of a revolution in global health.

Of all the tools in the malaria fight (including the obvious ones such as nets, testing, treatment and spraying) mobile phones may be the ones that tip the balance toward ending this disease. That’s why at Malaria No More we’ve been bold in proclaiming that malaria can be the first disease beaten by mobile.

A Swiss-Army Knife for Malaria

Sounds ambitious, but when you look at the problems we have to solve – from case detection and response, to stock management, and health education – mobile is at the center of the solutions time and again. It’s the Swiss Army knife of the malaria fight, helping to solve and accelerate a wide variety of other solutions. Here are a few examples of how mobile and data are already transforming the malaria fight.

The Novartis-led SMS for Life program has demonstrated the potential of mobile to address stock outs and ensure that people have malaria drugs when and where they need them. The pilot program focused on three districts in Tanzania. When it started, 26% of public health facilities were completely stocked out of malaria drugs at any given time. That means that parents had a one-in-four chance of showing up at a clinic with a sick child only to find that they didn’t have a dollar’s worth of life-saving treatment on hand.

To address the problem, under the umbrella of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Novartis and its public and private partners set up a simple, SMS reporting system that enabled health workers and pharmacists at public health facilities to record and report their stock levels on a weekly basis. This made it possible to anticipate shortages and distribute malaria drug supply more efficiently. Six months later, less than 1% of the facilities were stocked out of malaria drugs: a 97% reduction in stock outs through better and faster information flows. SMS for Life has now been expanded to several other African countries including Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.

 

Mobile swiss army knife for malaria

In a similar fashion, mobile phones may be the key to solving the challenge of counterfeit and stolen malaria treatments. Nigeria is the epicenter of the malaria challenge, accounting for nearly a quarter of the world’s malaria burden. As the market for antimalarial treatments has grown, so too has the attraction for counterfeiters. Recent estimates suggest that nearly 40% of all antimalarials on the market are counterfeit.

The challenge is compounded by the fact that most Nigerians don’t get their treatments from public health facilities. Eighty percent of people go to the private sector for treatment. And this isn’t your corner Walgreens we’re talking about. In Nigeria, it’s not uncommon to see malaria drugs sold alongside open-air butcher stands and car parts in public markets.

The solution to this problem? You guessed it - mobile. Working with companies such as Sproxil, PharmaSecure and mPedigree, the Nigerian government now requires that every antimalarial drug (and antibiotic) carry a label that consumers can scratch off like a lottery ticket and text in for free to confirm their drug is authentic and safe. Read more about Sproxil’s efforts to combat counterfeiters here.

This scalable use of the technology is revolutionizing the fight against counterfeits, and even helping authorities to track down contraband drugs. Malaria No More is working with a group of partners to go a step further: to explore how this data – a real-time sample of antimalarial consumption – can be used to draw fresh insights that can inform public health decision-making to save even more lives.

The Big Benefits of Data

A study in Kenya presents another compelling example of leveraging non-health data to fight malaria.

Caroline Buckee of the Harvard School of Public Health worked with Kenya’s largest mobile operator to analyze anonymized mobile phone usage records from 15 million consumers to track human migration patterns. Researchers then combined this migration map with regional malaria incidence data to identify how malaria travels around the country via human carriers.

Unsurprisingly, most of the malaria emanated from the high-transmission areas along Lake Victoria on Kenya’s western border.  But the data also spotlighted unusually high migration from the Lake Zone region about 50 miles inland to the western highlands region.

A few clicks of a Google map reveal that the western highlands are host to massive and bustling tea plantations that serve as a kind of bus depot for malaria transmission. Infected workers came from the Lake Zone to the highlands, where mosquitoes picked up the parasite and infected fellow plantation workers, who in turn transported the parasite back to their home communities farther inland.

These data-driven insights can help direct resources and interventions to make the malaria fight more effective. For example, eliminating malaria in the Lake Zone might cut off the source of infections in the highlands – even if you didn’t run a large-scale elimination program in the highlands themselves.

Mobile Aids Elimination

If anything, harnessing the power of mobile and data becomes more important as countries move toward malaria elimination. As the scale of the problem shrinks, the need for timely and precise surveillance data only grows. Vital elements such as real-time reporting of cases and accurate intervention mapping are now possible thanks to web, mapping, mobile and data analytics tools.

As you move toward the end game of elimination, countries must be able to track and respond to every case immediately to prevent it from spreading. They set up a sort of SWAT-team approach (painful pun intended): rapid-response systems in which health workers immediately report cases and teams show up to test and treat people in a perimeter around the infection to contain the spread of the parasite.

Even more so than Coca-Cola, that gives us something to smile about.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 4 (link to post) looks at ways technology and data can be used to fight malaria. Ashifi Gogo is the head of Sproxil, a company that uses mobile phone technology to combat dangerous counterfeit malaria medication.

1) Many people aren’t aware of the major threat counterfeit drugs pose, can you briefly describe the problem and how mobile authentication, such as Sproxil, helps fight it?

Drug counterfeiting, while particularly prevalent in emerging markets, is a global disease that threatens the safety and well-being of all citizens. 700,000 people die every year from fake anti-malarial and tuberculosis drugs alone: it is the equivalent of the entire population of Boston disappearing in a single year.

By leveraging the increasing popularity of mobile phones, we developed a simple, but powerful and secure SMS system: Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™). We partner directly with manufacturers and distributors to append security labels with a scratch-off panel on each product. At point of sale, a consumer will scratch off the panel to reveal a unique, single use code that they SMS to our phone number for free. The consumer instantly receives a response back confirming that the product is genuine or warning that it is suspicious. Our 24/7 help desk, which supports major local languages, is available for reports of counterfeiting activity and for questions relating to the product or solution.

To further reduce access barriers, we have multiple channels for verification: mobile apps (available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry 7), web apps and our help desk.

2) You’re working to integrate Sproxil into more countries. Where do you provide service currently, and where do you plan to expand?

We have operations in Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and the U.S. and can execute projects on six major continents. In an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters, we do not disclose our plans for expansion.

3) Beyond preventing counterfeits, do you see other ways to leverage this data to improve health?

Our technology was developed to be flexible and scalable. By creating direct communication channels between our clients and their patients, MPA can help foster healthier lifestyles. Our technology can support medical adherence programs, message patients with expiration reminders and health and wellness information or connect them with health care providers or other experts and even send special coupons or recommendations for other wellness products.  The opportunities for improving health by connecting patients with the appropriate resources make the possibilities limitless.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission

The secret to ending malaria could be protecting mosquitoes from humans

As villains go, the mosquito is well cast. The tiny pest is unique in nature in two important respects. First, it has no redeeming value to the broader ecosystem (the name of the particular breed that transmits malaria, “Anopheles,” actually means “useless” in Greek); and second, the mosquito is by far the deadliest creature on the planet to human beings, claiming 725,000 lives a year—principally to malaria, but also to diseases including dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Even Disney, the company that made ants and lobsters lovable, has it in for the mosquito. In a now-famous 1943 animated short titled “the Winged Scourge,” a Disney narrator brands mosquitoes “public enemy number one” for transmitting malaria, and cheers as the Seven Dwarves gleefully pump insecticide and stomp the bug.

Our first two columns explored how finding the parasite(link) and completely curing(link) infected people are two of the keys to ending this disease. The missing piece is to block transmission and stop the endless shuttling of the parasite back and forth between man and mosquito.

You see, for malaria, the transit between mosquito and man isn’t just a joy ride—it’s an essential step in reproduction. By blocking transmission you isolate the mosquito and interrupt that process. In mosquitoes, the parasites die quickly due to their host’s short life spans; and the ones in humans stay contained until you can eliminate them with medication.

The classic approach to blocking transmission is to protect people from mosquito bites using bed nets or insecticide sprays. And make no mistake, these tools have been extraordinarily effective: a major factor in saving 3.3 million lives from the disease since 2000.

Rethinking the Problem

But to break the back of transmission, we have to rethink the problem. We must move beyond vilifying the mosquito—and the key may be protecting mosquitoes from humans.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Consider that mosquitoes only carry the malaria parasite for up to 30 days—a mosquito’s maximum lifespan—while humans can carry the parasite for decades if left untreated. And where mosquitoes can only travel a mile or two on their tiny wings, humans circle the globe transporting the parasite like carry-on luggage. So if we’re looking for someone to blame for malaria transmission, we must start by taking a hard look in the mirror.

The surest way to avoid getting malaria from mosquitoes is to stop giving it to them. That’s why a new generation of treatments that completely eliminate the malaria parasite from the human body will be so important (for more, read Challenge 2: Complete Cure). But it is only one of the novel approaches that will make it possible to stop transmission.

 



Next Generation Protection

Soon, the tried-and-true bed net may be joined by new vector-control technologies that use radar-jamming molecules to disguise humans from mosquitoes. That’s the goal of a technology called Kite Patch, which took the crowd-funding site Indiegogo by storm. Worn on your clothes, this small sticker is a spatial repellent that blocks a mosquito’s ability to register carbon dioxide. In effect, it acts like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility, making people virtually undetectable to mosquitoes. (Read more about the Kite Patch technology and what it could mean for malaria.)

This past summer, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline registered for regulatory review of the first partially effective malaria vaccine—called RTS,S—and hopes for a WHO seal of approval as early as 2015. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the number of malaria episodes by a quarter in infants immunized and cut in half malaria cases in older children (toddlers) - low by vaccine standards, but unprecedented in terms of malaria.

But even as we celebrate this milestone – the first vaccine against a parasite – the focus of research is moving beyond only protecting individual people against malaria symptoms (as RTS,S does) to blocking transmission.

New vaccine approaches target two “choke points” when parasites are at their fewest in number during their complex life cycle: the transitions from mosquito to man, and from man to mosquito. These potential vaccines could effectively hold the line against onward transmission of the parasite, stopping malaria dead in its tracks.

Despite the PR campaign against mosquitoes, the goal of malaria control has never been to eradicate the insect, but only to control it as a way to get at our true adversary: the parasite. Little did we suspect that the key to eradicating malaria around the globe could involve making the mosquito an asset in the malaria fight.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mosquito Nets, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 3 addresses new technologies and approaches that are in development to block the transmission of the malaria parasite between humans and mosquitoes. To learn more about one such innovation, we spoke with Grey Frandsen from Kite Patch, a sticker that protects humans from mosquitoes by disrupting the insect’s ability to detect humans.

 

1. In our eco-conscious age, a lot of people are wary of putting chemicals on their skin to repel mosquitoes. But mosquito bites are an annoying problem in the U.S., and a deadly one in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia where the pests carry life-threatening diseases, including malaria and dengue fever. Can you tell us how Kite Patch works to protect from mosquitoes without using the traditional skin contact of insect repellents?

Kite Patch is a small, beautifully-designed little “sticker” that creates something akin to an invisibility cloak, or as some suggest, a defense shield, around our bodies with spatial compounds emitted from the materials on the sticker. This product form is being designed to emit a certain level of those spatial compounds over a period of time so that the compounds hover and swirl around the body with movement and wind, and travel away from our bodies in varying distances to intercept mosquitoes as they track toward us. Once mosquitoes come into contact with these compounds, they lose the ability to detect carbon dioxide and sense skin odors – the two primary mechanisms by which they track us.

We’ve designed Kite’s brand to capture the spirit of freedom and joy – something we believe will be the result of new technologies and products, such as Kite Patch, that will lift both the burden of disease and the burden of the fear of disease.

 

2. Kite Patch coming to fruition was a collaborative effort involving several different groups pitching in on funding. Can you tell us about the process of getting this innovation from the idea to the production stage, and where you’re at now?

Kite Patch absolutely is a story about collaboration. It’s also the result of a new model developed by ieCrowd to transform innovative discoveries into solutions to global challenges. This model brought together the innovative discovery, the capital, the development partners and experts, the team, and the range of stakeholders that now make up the large, global Kite campaign.

People may know the Kite Patch from our Indiegogo campaign. Last year we launched a crowdfunding effort to raise awareness and support for a specific field test of some of our Kite Patch prototypes. We wanted to expand the number of people involved in our development process and inspire people to play a role in getting a new technology to market.

The result was amazing. The campaign went viral and Indiegogo named it one of the top five campaigns ever. We enjoyed support from around the world. Over 500 publications ran original stories about our campaign, the technology, our process for commercializing this technology, and how we branded and marketed the campaign and the product itself.

As for the product itself, Kite technology stems from scientific findings initially discovered at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) with assistance from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ieCrowd exclusively licensed the technology from UCR, and has, since then, furthered the science into a range of new technologies, in order to advance disruptive products such as Kite Patch. Kite products - ranging from new mosquito repellents to spatial attractants - feature spatial and non-spatial active ingredients.

The next major step is to get Kite Patch to the field, to markets, and into the hands of people who need it the most. To do so, we’ll continue to build partnerships around the world with those who share our passion for eliminating this horrible disease.

 

3. Some readers may think a sticker is a novelty item, but you see Kite Patch having major implications on the field of public health. Can you tell us how far-reaching you hope Kite Patch will be?

We want to be humble about the role Kite technology and products can play, but we do know this: while our mock-ups make it look cool and pretty (and don’t those kids in the below Kite Patch video look cute? Those are mine!), the Kite technology platform is being developed to support what we believe can be one of the most powerful weapons platform in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases. We have a world-class team working 24/7 to build a powerful platform of actives that can ideally be deployed around the world in a range of applications – all of which will have minimal impact on our health and the health of our environment.

 

WATCH: Kite Patch in Action

 

Specifically, we’re working on repellents and attractants that can be deployed in any number of product forms that will play important roles in public health and disease intervention efforts globally. We pay attention to every detail and we’re designing each of our products with history and current technologies and needs in mind. Most importantly, we have opened our development process to people around the world and continue to build our technology and products with significant inputs and feedback from the Kite crowd.

Our technical foundation is strong, and ieCrowd’s system for deploying disruptive new solutions like Kite Patch is ready for action. We’re excited about the prospects of the Kite platform, and with the help of the crowd, amazing partners, and the world’s best team, we have no doubt that it will be among the leading tools to fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more

While most of the world thinks of mosquitoes as blood sucking, disease-spreading pests, there’s a new guy in town who’s on a mission to redeem the rep of his fellow mosquitoes.  Meet Edward, the handsome, malaria-fighting skeeter who happens to be one of the stars of Seriously’s new mobile game, Best Fiends. 

The Best Fiends are a pack of fun-loving creatures who spend their time fighting slugs to protect the citizens of Minutia.  But Edward has his own side gig – educating the world about malaria and helping Malaria No More to beat back this awful mosquito-borne disease to protect humans!  Getting by on a diet of coconut water instead of blood, Edward changed his ways, and has developed a whole arsenal of tools to help prevent and treat the spread of this disease.

Want to help Edward end malaria?  Visit our Edward page for a whole list of ways you can support the malaria fight, and make sure to download the game on your iPhone or iPad!

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #2 focuses on the development of a single-dose cure for malaria, so we sat down with Dr. Roger Waltzman. Waltzman works for the Malaria Initiative at Novartis, the maker of one of the top malaria treatments on the market.

Q: Novartis is a pioneer in the research and development of malaria treatments. What is the quick history of innovations Novartis has been a part of?

A: Novartis is in the fight against malaria for the long haul. Together with Chinese partners, Novartis developed the first artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), today’s gold standard in malaria treatment, and launched the first child-friendly, dispersible formulation developed jointly with Medicines for Malaria Venture. More recently, we launched another new formulation which reduces the pill burden for adults; this helps to ensure patients follow through with their full treatment course. Today, Novartis partners with the best institutions and intensifies its research efforts to develop new compounds against malaria to eventually eliminate the disease. With two compounds in Phase 2 clinical development and one drug target in pre-clinical research, Novartis scientists are building one of the most promising malaria pipelines in the industry.

Q: What kind of treatments will it take to eliminate malaria?

A: A two-pronged approach is required to eliminate malaria. First, new treatments must be developed that attack the malaria parasites in novel ways in case resistance against current treatments spreads. These treatments will also need to provide a “complete cure”. Second, within malaria-endemic countries, a large proportion of people with malaria do not show malaria symptoms and therefore do not seek treatment for their infection. They constitute a reservoir of malaria parasites that can be transmitted to other, more vulnerable populations, therefore targeting and treating these individuals is central to achieving the goal of malaria elimination.

Q: What is a “complete cure” for malaria? How is it different from what we have today?

A: “Complete cure” implies that the treatment not only targets the parasites in the blood in their asexual stage, which is the stage when symptoms of malaria appear, but also in their sexual stage (gametocytes). Gametocytes can be harbored in the human without provoking any symptoms, and transported upon a mosquito bite, infecting other humans. A complete cure would enable a patient to be cleared from all malaria parasites. It would also stop transmission to other humans. Current treatments do not necessarily offer the potential for a complete cure.

Q: Why is a single-dose treatment important and how do you see it affecting malaria prevalence globally?

A: Developing a new combination, similar to today’s three-day ACT treatment, which is powerful enough to treat malaria in one single dose, would enable the patient to take the entire treatment at once, virtually eliminating the risk of insufficient treatment. Indeed, with current treatments patients sometimes save tablets for other family members or friends or in case they are infected by malaria again, not realizing they may be inadequately treated. Also, parasites can become resistant to treatments when dosing is inadequate. A single-dose treatment has the potential to ensure complete and effective treatment for patients. In addition, depending upon its efficacy and safety, the treatment could be given to people who show no symptoms but harbor malaria parasites in their blood, and can therefore transmit malaria. Ultimately, treatment of asymptomatic people could help eliminate the disease in broad population groups, potentially leading to malaria eradication.

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure

Inventing a Wonder Drug to Win the Malaria Fight

The story of malaria control is the story of the promise – and peril – of wonder drugs. With hundreds of millions of people infected with malaria around the globe every year, effective treatment may be the difference between ending the disease and humanitarian disaster.

Quinine, the first antimalarial, was discovered in the bark of the cinchona tree in the foothills of the Andes Mountains back in the 1600s. But it was hard to produce and administer, and there still was no reliable global supply by World War I.

Finding a cheap, reliable alternative to quinine that could be mass-produced became a military imperative during World War II. America suffered humiliating defeats “not because the ammunition was gone,” The New York Times reported, “but because the quinine tablets gave out.”

However, the synthetic drugs that emerged from that furious R&D effort – most notably chloroquine – were little match for the fast-evolving parasite, which developed resistance in under a decade.

Progress Threatened

Our current front-line treatments for malaria, called artemisinin-based combination therapies (or ACTs for short), underscore the arms race between science and parasite. ACTs have been wildly successful in saving lives – a true wonder drug by any definition – but their effectiveness may also be cut short by resistance.

First touted for its curative powers in an ancient Chinese medical book dating back to 168 BC, artemisinin was finally brought to scale globally by Swiss healthcare company Novartis, which received WHO international approval for its drug in 1999. Global funders threw their weight behind ACTs five years later, and today more than 280 million ACT treatments are distributed every year in Africa alone.

But resistance is once again threatening to rob us of our best tool in the malaria fight. Just as chloroquine resistance emerged along the Thai-Cambodia border back in the 1960s, first signs of artemisinin resistance have now been documented in the region. If it follows the same pattern as past resistance – emerging across Asia, in India, making the leap to Africa – it could potentially cost millions of lives.

History has shown that containment isn’t an option: Only by eliminating malaria in Asia-Pacific can we staunch the spread of resistance. So the Greater Mekong subregion will be ground zero for a renewed global eradication effort.

In Search of a Solution

The race is already on to develop the next generation of wonder drugs—this time tailor-made for eradication. Such a drug would have four key features.

 



First, it would be a single-dose treatment. The pharma industry talks about the “pill burden” – the total number of pills someone has to take to complete a full course of treatment. The more pills, over more days, the greater the chance that a patient will stop midway and fail to be fully cured.

Malaria treatment currently requires between three and 14 days of treatment, depending on the strain of the parasite. Getting people to take all their pills is complicated by the fact that the drugs are so fast-acting and effective that malaria symptoms may subside after the first or second day, leading people to think they’ve been treated, when in fact trace amounts of the parasite may still be hanging around in their bodies waiting to mount another attack. A single dose treatment would ensure that everyone who is treated is parasite-free.

The second feature of a new wonder drug is that it will be a “complete cure.” Malaria is so challenging in part because the parasite plays hide and seek in the human body: traveling in the bloodstream, lodging in the liver, the brain – even bone marrow, as a recent study highlighted.

Before you can hope to eliminate malaria in a community of people, you must be able to effectively eliminate it in a single person. A complete cure treatment would wipe out the parasite at every stage of its lifecycle, ensuring zero risk of passing the parasite along to others.

The third feature is what we call a prophylactic effect. Essentially, you want a drug that will remain in the body for a period of time to prevent a person from developing another case of malaria if bitten again by an infected mosquito.

And finally, the new treatment would have a high barrier to resistance, so even as you scale up use it’s able to maintain its effectiveness. This means developing an arsenal of molecules that attack the parasite in novel ways, and then using drugs in combination to stave off resistance. New malaria drugs are a great investment, but they’re expensive to develop, so we must ensure they last.

In the Pipeline

The good news is we’re well on our way to making a new slate of wonder drugs (or “one-der” drugs) a reality. Supported by a product development partnership called Medicines for Malaria Venture out of Geneva, the malaria community and pharma industry leaders including Novartis, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline have started clinical trials for treatments that will make ending malaria a reality.

As one example, Novartis has fast-tracked its first non-artemisinin based single-dose drug candidate, called KAE609, and recently published results showing that it was able to clear malaria parasites in adults in 12 hours on average. Read more about the quest for a malaria wonder drug here.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria

Femi Anikulapo Kuti has been able to stand tall as an icon in the music industry without being overshadowed by the colossal image of his legendary father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Over the years he has blended jazz and funk with afrobeat to create a cocktail of unique indelible sounds of afrobeat, and this has earned him four nominations for the prestigious Grammy Awards.

Today Femi Kuti joins Malaria No More to have a Twitter conversation on malaria, music and the Nigerian society. It promises to be an enthralling conversation as Femi is vocal in his opinions. To join this conversation, follow the Malaria No More Twitter account in Nigeria: @MalariaNoMoreN1 and tweet your questions to Femi Kuti as from 11AM - 12PM ET using the hashtag #AskFemiKuti. Femi Kuti is currently one of the ambassadors for the Malaria No More campaign in Nigeria.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #1 focuses on finding the parasite, so we sat down with Duncan Blair, PhD. Blair is the Director of Public Health Initiatives at Alere, the maker of one of the top malaria diagnostic tools on the market.

 

Q: Why are malaria RDTs a focus for your business?

With Alere being the global leader in rapid diagnostic tests for communicable diseases it would be almost impossible for us not to be involved in the malaria fight. Approximately half of the world’s population live in malaria-endemic areas, and consequently, are at risk of infection. With over 200 million infections and over 600,000 deaths a year, the risk to individuals and the burden on health care systems are enormous. To treat malaria appropriately and, just as importantly, to know when not to treat for malaria, requires accurate diagnosis. For decades, the only option for malaria diagnosis was microscopy, but microscopy is extremely challenging to implement with quality due to significant needs for complex equipment, electricity, water, well-trained and well-remunerated staff and many other reasons. The advent of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria greatly improved our ability to diagnose malaria simply and effectively. RDTs are high quality, simple and quick tests that can be performed with just a few drops of finger-stick blood at the point of care and without any ancillary equipment. The benefits that the introduction of high-quality and properly deployed malaria RDTs have brought to individuals, to health care systems and to entire communities, is immeasurable.

Q: What are some of the new testing developments you’re working on?

We are always looking at ways to improve products or to fill a missing diagnostic need with a view of improving patient and health system outcomes. I think that we find ourselves at a time when malaria elimination is within reach and many of the tools needed to achieve that goal already exist, but not quite all of them. One of the missing pieces of the puzzle is a simple, affordable test capable of detecting the malarial parasites in asymptomatic patients. No such test exists today, but it will be critical for elimination, as we will need to find and treat patients who have no fever and no visible symptoms, but who do have circulating parasites and are therefore acting as a reservoir for future reinfection of the community. Alere is actively looking at developing just such a test.

Q: What are the key challenges you must solve to make this next-generation test a reality?

What we are talking about here is developing a test whose performance is many times better than the best tests currently available, which still meets our exacting quality standards and which can be reliably and sustainably manufactured, delivered and effectively deployed at accessible prices. We’re optimistic we can deliver that, given the great range of technologies at our disposal within Alere and the fantastic teams of dedicated and innovative people we have in R&D and manufacturing. So there may be challenges ahead, but we are very confident that we can rise to meet those challenges.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Alere, Malaria Tests, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite

You can't beat an opponent you can't see

Malaria thrives on misinformation. It always has. Even the word malaria is a misnomer. It’s Italian for “bad air,” because the Romans attributed the seasonal sickness (that killed at least four Popes, and probably the poet Dante) to noxious fumes coming off the swamps. It wasn’t until 1897 that Dr. Ronald Ross confirmed the mosquito as the vector that spreads the disease.

And misinformation is one of the big reasons malaria continues to kill a child at the rate of one every sixty seconds. Solving the information challenge is going to be key if we’re going to end this disease, and no piece of information is more vital than knowing who is carrying the parasite and who isn’t.

THE HIDDEN MALARIA CHALLENGE

While there are more than 200 million malaria cases every year – that is, people who are getting sick from the disease – it is estimated that there are five times as many people carrying the parasite in their bodies at any given moment – a ticking time bomb of illness and infection.

That amounts to more than one billion people – one out of every seven people on the planet – who are potentially infected with the malaria parasite, jeopardizing their health, hampering their productivity and making them a source of infection for their families and communities. And, most of them have no idea they’re carrying the potentially deadly disease!

 



The biggest host of the malaria parasite is healthy people, not sick people or mosquitoes.

The insight that sick patients showing up at clinics are only the tip of the malaria iceberg underpins emerging strategies for eradicating the disease. Simply put: you can’t beat malaria if you can’t find it. So any attempt to eradicate the disease must start with developing the diagnostic capabilities to find and free the roughly one billion people living with the parasite in their body and stop them from transmitting.

It may sound like a daunting task, until you consider how far we’ve come in recent years – and how fast.

THE DIAGNOSTIC REVOLUTION

Until 2010, there was no practical way to get a timely, accurate diagnosis for malaria. If you had a fever and wanted to be tested for malaria, you had to travel a long distance – sometimes tens of miles on foot – to find a hospital or clinic equipped with an expensive microscope and a trained lab technician. You had to take a blood slide, then wait several hours for the result – hoping that the lab technician read it right.

It was impractical, and people simply didn’t do it.

In many African languages, the words for “malaria” and “fever” are the same. It’s easy to understand why. Absent practical diagnostics, doctors simply treated every fever as if it was malaria and hoped for the best.

Then came the breakthrough: the rapid diagnostic test, or RDT. This simple, fifty-cent, finger-prick blood test can tell you in a matter of minutes with better than 99% accuracy if your fever is malaria.

The RDT has revolutionized the malaria fight, enabling lightly trained community health workers operating on the far reaches of the health system to test patients for malaria. Negative results are as important as positive ones as they direct doctors to consider other top killers, such as pneumonia and upper-respiratory infection. There are now more than 200 million RDTs distributed across Africa each year.

NEXT GENERATION TESTS

Today, we need to revolutionize diagnosis yet again, this time with a focus on identifying asymptomatic cases and guiding treatment.

Current RDTs have a sensitivity of 200 parasites per microliter of blood – sufficient for identifying all cases in sick people. But finding low-levels of the parasite in asymptomatic patients is like an elaborate game of hide and seek. To do it, we need a new generation of simple, portable, inexpensive diagnostic tests that are 10 times more sensitive, detecting malaria at levels of 20 parasites per microliter or even lower.

Fortunately, through innovative public–private partnerships led by groups like the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Seattle-based partner PATH, we’re well on our way to developing next-generation diagnostic tests.

Other next-generation diagnostics will potentially help solve some of the treatment challenges that stand in the way of elimination. Efforts to tackle the dominant strain of malaria in Asia and South America, known as P. vivax, have been hamstrung by the fact that some people have an adverse reaction to the drug recommended for completely clearing the parasite, due to a common inherited trait known as G6PD enzyme deficiency.

The development of diagnostics to identify individuals with G6PD deficiency would ensure better use of current drugs and potential new single-dose treatments, such as tafenoquine, currently in development by GlaxoSmithKline and MMV.

Armed with new diagnostics, we’ll be in a position to take the fight to the parasite. Instead of passively waiting for sick people to show up at clinics, we can go on offense: actively testing and treating entire communities to find and root out malaria, while ensuring the type of treatment provided to patients will be safe and effective.

Which sets up the next of our challenges - check back in next week to read about another big innovation in the malaria fight: developing a complete cure!

Q&A: Read about Malaria No More’s partner Alere and their quest for new diagnostics here.

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This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

Intro: Going on Offense 

Challenge 1: Find the Parasite

Challenge 2: Radical Cure (10/8/2014)

Challenge 3: Block Transmission (10/14/2014)

Challenge 4: Data & Mobile (10/21/2014)

Challenge 5: Fuel the Fight (10/28/2014)

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria

After a century of playing defense, it’s time for the malaria fight to go on offense

In 1897, Dr. Ronald Ross – an Indian-born, British surgeon who counted poetry, mathematics, and songwriting among his other passions - made a medical discovery that would change the course of history.

Stationed in Secundebad, a monsoon-drenched city in Central India, Dr. Ross identified the malaria parasite in the gut of a dissected Anopheles mosquito. His discovery confirmed that the winged pest was in fact the vector responsible for spreading one of the oldest, deadliest, and most devastating diseases on the planet.

Dr. Ross was knighted and awarded a Nobel Prize for his efforts, and deservedly so: His discovery laid the foundation for the modern fight against malaria.

Historic Progress

We’ve made significant strides since Dr. Ross’ time. Malaria has been eliminated throughout most of the developed world, including the United States in 1951. And progress is accelerating: Just since 2000, we’ve cut global malaria deaths by half, saving 3.3 million lives - most of them children and pregnant women in Africa.

However, the work is far from done. A child still dies every minute from a mosquito bite, and more than 200 million people are afflicted with the disease each year, keeping adults out of work, children out of school, and stifling the growth of developing economies.

Based on the progress of the past decade, there is a growing determination among the global health community to eradicate the disease once and for all, recognizing that the only way to ensure zero malaria deaths is to have zero malaria.

Going on Offense

So what will it take to finish the job?

We need to rethink the malaria problem in as radical a way as Dr. Ross did more than a century ago. For all our progress, the prevailing approach to controlling malaria has fundamentally been about playing defense: trying to prevent mosquitos from biting and treating people when they’re sick so they don’t die. Don’t get me wrong. That has been the most cost-effective way of tackling a complex problem, going after the “low-hanging fruit” and bringing down the number of cases and deaths dramatically.

But to win this fight, we need to take a “parasite’s-eye” view of the problem. We must attack the malaria parasite where it lives - in the human reservoir – with aggressive new approaches to find, clear, and prevent onward-transmission of malaria, even in asymptomatic carriers of the disease. In short, we must go on offense.

As part of that approach, we need to confront one of the newest and most urgent threats to the advances we’ve made against malaria: Resistance in Asia to the frontline treatment of the disease, artemisinin. The last time drug-resistant malaria developed in that part of the world, it spread to India and Africa, robbing us of chloroquine as an effective tool.

If that happens again, it could cost millions of lives, since we are at least 4 to 5 years away from developing a viable treatment alternative.

The Path Forward

We find ourselves at another watershed moment in the malaria fight, and the only way we’re going to succeed is through relentless innovation. We need the next generation of tools and new implementation approaches; we need to harness the power of distinctly modern advances such as the use of mobile phones and big data in heatlh.

Broadly speaking, we’ve identified five key challenges the world needs to solve to win this fight. Every two weeks, starting this Monday, we’ll zero in on one challenge and let you know who’s innovating to find solutions. The series will culminate in some big news regarding the malaria community’s plan to reach eradication, delivered by one of the world’s biggest names and most prolific innovators in fighting disease, Bill Gates.

So stay tuned, and join us here next week as we launch with Challenge #1: Find the Parasite!

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This is the introduction to our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria. You can find others here:

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Domenico learned about our Power of One campaign through his employer, Novartis. Domenico works in the Vaccines and Diagnostics Division and is passionate about Africa. He leveraged his professional move from Italy to Switzerland to help fundraise for the campaign. At his family’s going-away party, Domenico shared stories from his travels to malaria-endemic regions in Asia and Africa, mainly Uganda, where he supports orphanages, educational institutions for disabled children, as well as projects for the economic independence of small communities. He hit a nerve and got the attention of his friends. Today, 56 have decided to support him and joined the campaign!

Domenico also hosted a garage sale to benefit the cause, which inspired shoppers to pay the full price, instead of haggling for a better deal!

“This is a cause I really care about,” says Domenico. “I have increased my personal engagement significantly, and thanks to the support of my family and friend, we will be able to help 4,128 children with malaria”. Domenico found the campaign so rewarding, that he continues to fundraise for Power of One and to engage people around him. “One of my friends – a musician – after having donated called me in the middle of the night and told me he had just composed a song for my campaign. We are now discussing how we could use the song to help fight malaria.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee

Malaria No More ambassador Katharine McPhee is fighting for good on TV and in her real life. Having traveled with us to Ghana and Burkina Faso in 2012 and having supported our most recent campaign called the Power of One (Po1), Katharine had a lot to talk about with a bunch of teenagers over pizza.

Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer launched a web series called Pizza with an Icon, where teens can ask questions of influencers and all the good work they’re doing. In this segment, Katharine talks about her travels and how everyone can do their part to help end malaria deaths.

"It's such a tragedy that there are people dying from something that is so easy to cure," Katharine said. "It’s important for people to know that it’s not that hard to make a dent in a small part of the world that you may not necessarily even have any connection with.”

We couldn’t be more grateful to Katharine and all her hard work on the cause.

“Katharine has been an incredible supporter of Malaria No More for years, she is truly engaged in the push to eliminate deaths from malaria,” said our CEO, Martin Edlund. “Using her platform to raise awareness for the Power of One test and treatment campaign partnered with Novartis and Alere, Katharine has made a huge impact helping us move toward achieving our goal of raising three million treatments in our first partner country, Zambia.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman

On World Malaria Day, our partner Novartis kicked off an employee engagement effort encouraging their employees to get behind the malaria fight. From April 25th, to our Independence Day, July 4th, Novartis employees got active and joined the fight through Power of One.

Roger Waltzman, in charge of developing new antimalarials at Novartis, is one of the top contributors to this employee engagement effort, having raised over 18,000 USD towards treatments for kids in Africa. Here, he’s filled us in on his work and how he raised all that money.

Q. Why do you believe in fighting malaria, and how did this contribute to your decision to start a fundraiser?

A. I believe it’s crucial to make available high quality medical treatments for people all over the world, particularly for those vulnerable people who are at risk for preventable, curable diseases. The focus of my work at Novartis is developing new antimalarials and I wanted to generate more attention both within and outside my work environment about the importance of this effort.

Q. Did anything interesting happen while you were fundraising? Did any of your supporters do or say anything really encouraging?

A. Quite a few people didn’t know that developing new antimalarials is the focus of my work and they seemed happy to hear this and happy to contribute. I appreciated their comments; one person simply said, “Good work should be supported,” and I thought that was so matter-of-fact and genuine. Some people contributed $1, since you could contribute any amount, and others contributed much more!

Q. How has this program increased your charitable efforts this year, compared to an average year?

A. I made a personal commitment to contribute to the campaign 10% of however much money I could raise from others. That ended up being one of my largest charitable contributions this year and I was delighted to do it.

Q. Now that the employee engagement campaign is over, how will you continue your efforts to help end malaria?

A. My daily work is focused on the development of better treatment or prevention of malaria, so the biggest change is that I feel even more determined and inspired by seeing the very positive response this campaign engendered in friends and family.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with our Power of One, Malaria No More, or the Novartis employee engagement campaign?

A. I was delighted that MNM created a campaign that was so simple, with a personal link for tracking contributions, and by enabling donors to contribute as little as $1. I felt completely comfortable asking my friends, family, and colleagues to consider donating something, anything, since the amount did not need to be large. I usually don’t find fundraising a particularly comfortable activity, but this enabled me to feel very comfortable with the “ask.” I am delighted that Novartis and MNM are collaborating in this and other ways. Eradicating malaria will take a huge effort on the part of many people and we need to collaborate for the benefit of the hundreds of millions of people who are infected every year.

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Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime

This past World Mosquito Day we were on ABC 7’s Let’s Talk Live discussing what else but mosquitoes, the deadliest animals on the planet.

Malaria Policy Center staff Josh Blumenfeld and Hannah Bowen, as well as our partner from DC Mosquito Squad, Damien Sanchez, spoke to the threat of malaria on Wednesday’s show. Watch the full show below.

Watch the video here: http://www.wjla.com/blogs/lets-talk-live/2014/08/world-mosqutio-day-22781.html 

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight

Arnold Mbolo, a high school senior from a family of six kids, joined the Junior Ambassador program in April 2014 after placing 6th with a comedic sketch in the MNM Cameroon school contest. When asked why he participated, he responded “I like challenges. I’m a competitive person. But, I realized that the contest educated me. Before, I barely knew anything about malaria, hence I have also won in knowledge.”

For Arnold, humor is something he’s been around all his life - with a professional comedian as an uncle, helping him to develop into a charismatic comedian who is responsible for “cultural animation” in his local youth association, MOJAM. In just four months, Arnold has emerged as an all-star Junior Ambassador, using his energy and comedic talents in various events at school and with MNM to ensure his community is invested in putting an end to malaria.

The goal of the Junior Ambassador Program is to engage youth leaders from high schools across Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital city, to target their peers and wider communities through interpersonal communications, including clubs, school events and other activities. Arnold has done just that. He mobilized the other Junior Ambassadors to organize a school fair at his high school, where they had a stand teaching students about malaria prevention, which was also visited by the Secretary to the Minister of Education who encouraged the Junior Ambassadors to keep doing great work. He was selected as the K.O PALU mosquito mascot for the World Malaria Day Caravan and performed his winning sketch at stops throughout the city. Arnold has also received permission from his school to post K.O. PALU educational posters and a malaria prevention mural, ensuring malaria education and awareness are a part of everyday activities at school.

For World Mosquito Day 2014, Arnold worked with a fellow Junior Ambassador to mobilize hundreds of youth and community members, the mayor, and local chief to clean up a neighborhood to get rid of its standing water – which can be mosquito breeding grounds, especially during the rainy season.

Arnold is truly leading the charge, setting an example for fellow Junior Ambassadors and his community and motivating them to join the fight against malaria.

Stay tuned for more on the amazing work our Junior Ambassadors are doing in Cameroon to ensure their communities understand the threat of malaria and know how to protect themselves against the disease.

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Cameroon, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa

On World Mosquito Day, spoiling a BBQ is a mosquito’s most minor offense

My daughter Nell is just 8-months old, so this is her first summer. Her first taste of freshly yanked grass from the yard. Her first sunburn.

She and her big sister, 4-year-old Maret get to stay up way past their bedtimes, as we soak up what remains of the humid evenings and the lingering sunlight. And of course there’s the uninvited guest at outdoor summer events - the mosquito, that tiny but persistent blight on our backyard barbecues and pool parties.

This week at Malaria No More, we stop to acknowledge World Mosquito Day August 20th. Devoting an entire day to the mosquito may seem like overkill, until you remember that the mosquito is, in fact, the world’s deadliest living creature. This day in particular was chosen because it marks the anniversary of British surgeon Dr. Ronald Ross discovering that mosquitoes carried malaria back in 1897 – a breakthrough that set us on the path to ending this disease.

"A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease."

As I dab the calamine lotion on the red bumps that dot Maret’s skin, I get a flash of the anxiety parents must feel in Africa, where mosquitoes lead to the deaths of more than a thousand children every day.

I remember El Hadj Diop, the Senegalese father who dedicated his life to ending deaths from malaria in his home community after losing his 11-year-old daughter, Ami, to the disease. I’m haunted by the face of the nameless Nigerian dad I encountered as he arrived, desperate, at a clinic with his daughter on the verge of a malaria coma. Pictures of both fathers hang above my desk.



Above:  El Hadj holds up a picture of his deceased daughter; a Nigerian father holds his malaria stricken daughter

These are but two examples of the African parents who lose their precious children to a mosquito bite every minute of every day. And my eyes well up at the prospect of that happening to Nell or Maret. We’re lucky here in the U.S., where malaria was eradicated in 1951. A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease.

The good news is that we can help protect children who still live with the reality of a potentially deadly mosquito bite. Just one dollar buys and delivers a life-saving test and treatment for a child in Africa through our Power of One campaign, thanks to our partnership with Alere and Novartis.

So this World Mosquito Day, please consider contributing. With your help, we’re closer than ever to mosquitoes becoming just another summer nuisance alongside sunburns and brain freezes, instead of the world’s most deadly predator.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas

For many Americans, it’s difficult to see the impact foreign aid has on people half a world away. We’re working hard to close that gap, and bring stories from malaria endemic countries home. That’s why, last week, we brought three Senate staffers to Dakar, Senegal and Geneva, Switzerland; where the staff learned firsthand the impact malaria has across all aspects of the Senegalese health system. They also experienced the inspiring progress that Senegal has made with the help of partners like the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, to which the U.S. is the largest donor.

Day 1

The week kicked off in Dakar with meetings at the U.S. Embassy and Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program, where staffers heard from the program officers on the ground working to eliminate malaria about challenges and successes in the region. We learned how malaria fits within a broader health and economic context in the region, and why so many parts of the Senegalese government, private sector leaders, and development partners are committed to fighting malaria. The PMI Resident Advisor helped to guide us around and explain how PMI’s staff from USAID and the CDC support Senegal’s health system.

Day 2

Tuesday started bright and early with a short drive to the Peace Corps Headquarters in Ngor where the team was briefed by Country Director Cheryl Gregory Faye and Vanessa Dickey, Director of Programming & Training, then boarded a van for the almost two-hour drive to Thies, where we saw the great work Peace Corps volunteers are doing to combat malaria as part of their continent-wide “Stomp Out Malaria in Africa” program. We even Skyped with volunteers from other countries who are implementing the same community-based case management strategies that were developed in Senegal and which are now in Benin, Madagascar, and other countries. Over a lunch of delicious family-style Senegalese yassa chicken, we heard presentations from current Peace Corps volunteers about some of the major challenges they face in the area, including commodity stock outs, village access and communication. We learned what they are doing in partnership with PMI to overcome these obstacles and stomp out malaria.

 

Senegal Peace Corps & SLAP Lab

Above: Lunch with the Peace Corps; visit to SLAP lab

In the afternoon we were able to see cutting-edge research taking place at the Parasite Control Service. Dr. Sy and Dr. Ndiaye presented the monitoring and research activities which are supported by various US governmental and higher education institutions including the NIH, CDC, USAID, Peace Corps as well as Tulane and Harvard Universities. The lab, although subject to challenges like fluctuating electricity (our demonstration of the microscopy center was cut short by a power outage), is helping track insecticide resistance and studying the genetic markers of parasites to track parasite populations over time. The day ended with two site visits, one to a larger health center in Thies and another smaller health hut in Keur Madaro, where we had the opportunity to meet the community leaders and health workers.

Day 3

On Wednesday, the team headed out to see another key global malaria partner, PATH. The PATH country director explained PATH’s work to strengthen the health system in Senegal through community empowerment and malaria prevention and treatment. After a brief visit and presentation from young members of the Malaria No More Club in a nearby school, the staff headed to a lunch, hosted by MNM’s long-time partner, Senegalese NGO Speak Up Africa, with key business leaders to hear why they care about malaria and what they are doing to stop malaria from draining Senegal’s economy. The ideas proposed by bankers, builders, and leaders of other industries included issuing a malaria bond, setting up a health investment fund, and contributing in-kind expertise and materials to the fight – something several leaders in the room pledged to do.

We made a quick stop to see a warehouse where the Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets procured with PMI funding are housed before being distributed nationwide, then arrived to our last meeting in Dakar with the Minister of Health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck. Given her previous experience as Roll Back Malaria’s Executive Director, the Honorable Awa Marie Coll-Seck’s vast knowledge of malaria allowed our time to be more of a working session than a typical courtesy call. During the hour she spent with the team, the Senate staffers were able to report back what they found from their time in Dakar, including the challenges of supply chain management to rural areas, but also the successes of the partnership between PMI and the inspiring staff of the National Malaria Control Program.

 

Senegal LLIN & Minister of Health

Above: Visit to the LLIN warehouse; meeting with the Minister of Health

The Minister of Health also spoke about Senegal’s commitment to pre-elimination and its challenges and strategies for tackling the higher-burden southeastern regions, such as indoor residual spraying and seasonal chemo-prevention for children. She also stressed the need for private sector engagement, and shared that she was very pleased to have presented Senegal’s story at the official health event during the trade and investment themed U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. the week before.

Geneva

After an overnight flight to Geneva, the team ended the trip with debriefing meetings to link the lessons from Senegal with broader global strategies for malaria and innovation for the next wave of the fight.

Experts from the Global Fund, the WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, Medicines for Malaria Venture, and MNM’s Power of One partner Novartis all shared their perspectives on the global fight against malaria, answered the staff’s questions in great detail, and closed out a busy, but productive, week.

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Advocacy, Senegal, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/how-ebola-makes-malaria-more-deadly https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/how-ebola-makes-malaria-more-deadly

If you’re even a casual consumer of news, you’ve likely heard plenty about New York City resident Eric Silverman, who was hospitalized recently at Mt. Sinai hospital after displaying symptoms of Ebola.

While the media went into overdrive, it turns out that the Brooklyn man – who recently returned from Sierra Leone – was likely suffering from malaria. The mistake is understandable, since the two diseases display similar symptoms - such as fever, headache, and aching joints. As The Gothamist headline joked, “Ebola Man" Probably Just Had Boring Malaria.

The Ebola fears are well justified: As the death toll in West Africa surpassed 1,000, the World Health Organization recently approved the experimental use of drugs to try to save infected patients. But the reality is that “boring” malaria kills more people every day - about 1,700 - than have died in the Ebola outbreak to date. And, with the rainy season underway in West Africa, the Ebola outbreak may compound malaria’s deadly effects. As Bloomberg reports, Sierra Leone residents suffering from malaria are staying away from health clinics and hospitals, fearing they may be quarantined or infected with Ebola from a sick patient.

Unlike Ebola, we have simple cost-effective treatments for malaria. They key is getting them in time, since kids can die within the first 24 hours of the onset of malaria symptoms.

So, as health officials tackle the Ebola crisis, they must take special pains to encourage people to seek timely testing and treatment for similar-seeming illnesses, so “boring” malaria doesn’t become even more deadly.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/asia-the-next-frontier-in-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/asia-the-next-frontier-in-the-malaria-fight

MNM staff just returned from Singapore, where we held an official event to kick-off our partnership to fight malaria with the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

The Asia-Pacific region is home to more than two billion people at risk of malaria infection and accounts for 32 million cases of malaria each year. Recently, resistance to the front line treatment to the disease, aretemisin-based combination therapies (ACTs), has emerged in the Greater Mekong Region. This is a major concern to the public health community, as ACTs are the most effective way to treat malaria, and past resistance to malaria treatment has spread from Asia to Africa, where most cases of the disease occur.

The reception celebrating the new collaboration took place at the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore with attendance from both private sector and government leaders including Alere, the American Chamber of Commerce, Bayer, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Edelman, Kimberly-Clark, and US Embassy and Australian officials.

While many of the business leaders in the room understand the importance of defeating malaria in the region, the goal of the event was also to take advantage of their expertise and resources to leverage engagement across additional sectors.  To that end, MNM staff heard directly from the private sector representatives, including a presentation from Alere, about strategies to garner support within their organization as well as effective ways to engage new champions in the business world.

The event was a great start in helping to deepen the bench for the Champions of APLMA, which will be a major focus of the new partnership. The group will build a coalition of private sector leaders in Asia-Pacific to raise the profile of malaria as a massive roadblock to the region’s social and economic progress, and to advocate for the elimination of the disease in Asia and beyond.

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Advocacy, Asia, Malaria Policy, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/from-malaria-victim-to-malaria-victor https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/from-malaria-victim-to-malaria-victor

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Today’s supporter, Chinweike, is what we at MNM call a super supporter. When his company, Novartis, encouraged him to take part in fundraising for our Power of One campaign, he set himself a lofty goal – to raise $1,500. Through Po1, that’s enough to provide malaria tests and treatments to 1,500 African children. And not only did Chinwe achieve his goal, he far surpassed it – raising $12,347! In fact, his personal fundraiser was so successful that he had to raise the bar for himself after just two days, as he had already met his initial $1,500 goal. For him it was more than just participating in a Novartis employee engagement effort. It was personal.

Growing up in Nigeria, Chinwe suffered from malaria during his childhood, as did many of his family members. Chinwe, who is now working at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, beat tough odds. While major progress has been made since he was a child in Nigeria, malaria still takes a massive toll on the world’s children - with a child dying every minute from the treatable disease.

Though he left the country as a teenager, he says his ties to the continent still remain. He has taken part in African medical and education programs since leaving, and was especially drawn to the scale and ambition of the Power of One effort, which has already raised enough money to provide malaria treatments to two million children. “A death a minute for a preventable and treatable disease is just unacceptable,” says Chinwe. “To be able to change a life with a dollar is quite a bargain.”

Chinwe’s passion for Po1 was contagious. Though he had just started in his position, he used the campaign as a way to connect with new co-workers. He took the message everywhere he went – from work, to the airport, to his monthly poker game – he even fundraised at a couple’s engagement party! And his family is just as excited about the cause as he is. His 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter offered up their savings to be donated. His wife sent messages to her friends and family soliciting donations, and made sure Chinwe was actively fundraising through some good-natured spousal nagging.

And the impact was incredible – as Chinwe says he’d never given or raised even a third of what he did through Power of One. And he plans to continue raising money for the campaign throughout the year.

While Chinwe provided enough money to test and treat more than 12,000 children for malaria, he says he benefited from the effort as well. “It was a great thrill doing this,” he says. “I have reconnected with a host of great friends and colleagues from my pre-Novartis days, and in less than six months at the company I already know I have wonderful colleagues and friends I can count on.”

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Malaria Tests, Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Power of One, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/20750-nets-for-pregnant-women-and-children https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/20750-nets-for-pregnant-women-and-children

Thanks to MNM’s generous international donors, MNM Cameroon was able to purchase 20,750 long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINs).

The majority of the nets will go to the two populations who need it the most: pregnant women and children. Malaria attacks these two groups the most viciously, where 45% of malaria deaths are children under 5, and pregnant women suffer from miscarriages and birth complications.

The nets will also be used as prizes for community sensitization activities and radio contests to engage the public and test their malaria knowledge.

MNM Cameroon donated 15,000 LLINs to the Ministry of Public Health to be distributed to pregnant women during their antenatal visits in health centers in the Center region, where net possession is the lowest. When a pregnant woman goes in for her prenatal care, she will receive this three-year-lasting net, and as of her fourth month of pregnancy the health centers also provide her with free Intermittent Preventative Treatment (IPT), which protects her and her baby from malaria.

In Cameroon a child is lost every four hours to this killer. Mosquito nets are still the most efficient protection against malaria, but unfortunately orphanages are not covered by the universal net distributions.

Because of this - and in honor of the International Day of the African Child in June - MNM Cameroon went to four different children’s centers to teach 160 orphans, abandoned and disadvantaged children and caregivers about malaria. K.O. PALU Junior and Senior Ambassadors donated food to the orphanages, performing malaria themed songs and leading an interactive quiz with exciting prizes. After the sensitization session, nets were installed on each of their beds.

In Yaoundé, MNM was invited to join in on Day of the African Child celebrations at two centers in collaboration with “Association des Jeunes pour un Comportement Positif” (AJECP- an association founded and led by a former MNM intern) and “Hope for All.”

At one of the centers in Yaoundé, K.O. PALU Ambassador and Percussionist Zorobabel performed with his cute and talented sons for the first time. After his performance, the children performed a creative malaria-themed sketch, which included using headphones for a stethoscope.

In the Southwest, Peace Corps Volunteers stationed there came out to help, as did K.O. PALU Ambassador and singer Sine and Radio Balafon’s Cyrille Bojicko.

To increase the chances of the nets being used, MNM aired them out in advance and directly installed the nets after the sensitizations. With the help of the ambassadors, the team also put up posters in each center that encourage mosquito net usage.

After the installation of nets, every child received a bracelet and sticker to encourage them to sleep under their bed nets nightly in order to be healthy and fulfill their dreams.

Caregivers and the center’s directors testified about the malaria cases they have endured, including one 8-month-old baby who died from malaria. They expressed their gratitude toward COTCO-ExxonMobil for the net donation, promising to ensure the children use and maintain the nets regularly and appropriately. They all believe they will now suffer fewer cases of malaria thanks to these nets!

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Cameroon, Mosquito Nets, 2014--T::

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2014

Malaria No More News

Malaria No More NewsMother�™s First Fundraiser a Big HitOutbreak Responder: A different game for a different future.Q&A with Ray Chambers, Challenge #5: Fuel the FightThis Baby Accepts Credit CardsThe shrinking malaria mapBill Gates: We can eradicate malaria in our lifetimesChallenge #5: Fuel the FightChallenge 4: Data & MobileChallenge #4: Data & Mobile �“ Ashifi Gogo, CEO of SproxilChallenge 3: Block TransmissionChallenge #3: Block Transmission - Grey Frandsen, Kite PatchThis mosquito helps save lives from malariaChallenge #2: Complete Cure �“ Roger Waltzman, NovartisChallenge #2: Complete CureDeconstructing malaria with Femi KutiChallenge #1: Find the Parasite - Duncan Blair, AlereChallenge #1: Find the parasiteSolve For M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending MalariaDomenico�™s �œCiao” to malariaEating Pizza with Katharine McPheeFrom behind the scenes to the spotlightThe World�™s Deadliest Animal Gets AirtimeYoung Cameroonian comic joins the malaria fightIt�™s Summer Time, and the Life-Saving is EasyU.S. Senate Staff see malaria investments overseasHow Ebola Makes Malaria More DeadlyAsia: The next frontier in the malaria fightFrom malaria victim to malaria victor20,750 nets for pregnant women and children70,000 children treated through Venmo!

ntent-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8 https://www.malarianomore.org/ en Copyright 2014 2014-11-20T22:38:00+00:00 https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Being a mother of three children, Inge was touched by our Power of One campaign’s simplistic message – $1 given = 1 child saved – and decided to start her fundraiser. She learned about the campaign through her employer, Novartis, a company that has been committed to the fight against malaria for more than a decade.

Her boss at Novartis was the initial inspiration to get involved – and was one of her biggest supporters. “She was the first to donate a large amount of money to kick start the fundraiser,” said Inge. “And she also reached out to her personal network that resulted in donations adding up to several thousands of dollars.” Inge also shared stories with other co-workers who were also fundraising for the malaria fight.

Inge says the Power of One message made her first fundraising effort an easy one. “I just had to reach out to my family, friends and colleagues via email – and the results were amazing!” said Inge.

Inge’s campaign was so successful that she kept moving her fundraising goal up! “Two days after launching my fundraiser I had to increase the target,” said Inge. “One week before the end of the campaign, I was at 4400 treatments, so I raised the target again. I am proud that together, in the end we could raise more than 5600 treatments.”

While this was Inge’s first fundraising campaign ever, it doesn’t seem like it will be her last. “Personally it has been a very rewarding exercise,” said Inge. “I have been very blessed in many aspects and the campaign has given me the opportunity to ‘give back’ and feel the joy and pride in encouraging others doing the same.”

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Power of One, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future

MNM is always looking for new and interesting ways to bring attention to the malaria fight. That’s why we’re really excited to partner with Global Gaming Initiative on its latest endeavor, which will benefit Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign.

When we started Global Gaming Initiative, (GGI) we wanted to utilize technology for good by creating a fun and easy way for people to make a difference. Our solution - mobile games. The goal being to inspire the developed world to get involved globally and provide the developing word greater access to education.  This year we ourselves received a massive education in the realities of global health issues, specifically malaria. The reality that malaria is a completely treatable disease, which an estimated 627,000 still die from annually, was both beyond unsettling and urgently motivating. We partnered with developers who share our desire to create a future without malaria to create our combative agent, Outbreak Responder, as we know that nothing is possible without health.

Outbreak Responder - using beautiful graphics and strategic challenges puts the player on a mission to cure communities from the spread of malaria. The best part is, being an Outbreak Responder player, you literally become an agent of change as your in-game contributions unlock malaria tests and treatments for African children through Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign. We have long admired the work Malaria No More does on the ground and are thrilled to partner with them to help you provide a healthy future for children with malaria. This is what fun and games and saving lives looks like. It’s the power of the change in your pocket – so download Outbreak Responder, put your game time to good use and help us create a better future, one child at a time.

Learn more about Outbreak Responder here.

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #5 focuses on a crucial component of finally ending malaria – maintaining and growing funding. For more, we spoke to Ray Chambers, co-founder of Malaria No More and United Nations Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria.

1. What are some of the changes you anticipate in global financing for health over the next decade?

Funding has increased dramatically for global health since the world got serious about saving millions of children and mothers from preventable causes. The results have been impressive: Since 2000 the number of under-five deaths worldwide has declined from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. But continuing to fund these gains from donor countries is not sustainable, especially if we want to move toward the elimination of malaria. We need to support three existing trends that can shift us to a new funding paradigm.

Endemic countries must increase their domestic health budgets. Domestic financing for malaria increased over the period of 2005 to 2012, from $436 million in 2005 to $522 million in 2012, rising at an estimated rate of 4% per year - a move in the right direction. But most countries still fall short of the Abuja target of dedicating 15% of their domestic budgets to improving health.

We must approach financing of life-saving commodities more creatively. We’re seeing early success from pay-for-performance social impact bonds that demonstrate the returns on investing in net distribution in Mozambique. An innovative tax on airline tickets to support work on AIDS, TB and Malaria has produced millions of dollars for AIDS treatment.

The private sector has recognized that healthier communities are better places to do business, and investing in the health of employees in the countries where they operate can help the bottom line as well.

2. How important have the Millennium Development Goals been to galvanizing support for malaria and other global health programs?

As a businessman I was drawn to the MDGs as time-bound, quantifiable targets against which we could measure our success. The inclusion of malaria in Goal 6 of the MDGs was essential to allowing the global health community to rally around the malaria targets. With this support came coordinated plans and, crucially, financing to enact those plans. Similarly with child and maternal health, by quantifying where we were, and where we needed to get, the MDGs provided the outline of a roadmap others could build upon and collectively enact. And with all 193 countries signing on to the MDGs back in 2000, their value has gone well beyond the tangible achievements of lives saved. They’ve linked all of us in a shared pursuit of something greater than our individual or even national selves. This shared global consciousness will carry the spirit and ambitions of the MDGs well beyond 2015.

3. How do you expect the funding landscape to change at the end of 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals deadline hits?

Relying on outdated models of north-to-south donor contributions will eventually hit a wall, and some would argue that the fatigue has already begun to set in. If we continue to think creatively about how we finance life-saving programs and commodities among a broader community - leveraging previously untapped resources, especially from the private sector - funding for health should continue to grow. Companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Unilever and AngloGold Ashanti have demonstrated the leadership role businesses can play in keeping populations healthy. Similarly, the private sector plays an essential role in the research and development of new technologies and vaccines that could replace existing costly interventions. Now is the time to test new models of funding while investing in research that could deliver cheaper, more effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

4. What would the consequences be if malaria funding were scaled back?

Recent history has already demonstrated what happens when funding for malaria is decreased or held-up. From 2006 t0 2008 net coverage dropped due to delayed funding disbursements, resulting in an upsurge of malaria cases in 2009.  We’ve successfully covered almost every person in need of a net with a net, and in doing so saved over 3.3 million children since 2000. But as a result of this success, millions of children protected by nets have no immunity to malaria. If their nets aren’t replaced every three years, we will see malaria infections and deaths far exceed previous levels. Total funding for malaria control is expected to reach $2.85 billion each year between 2014 and 2016, substantially below the required amount for this period. We have come so close to lifting the burden of malaria off an entire continent. A final push - in political commitment, partner support and funding - will put the end of malaria deaths in our grasp and make elimination a reality.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Advocacy, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards

Above:  Manishha Patel used inventive and fun memes to rally her friends to donate to Power of One.

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

MNM supporter Manishha raised money for our Power of One campaign with the help of her good-hearted loved ones and colleagues at her employer, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF). Fundraising for the cause came naturally to her given the lessons her parents taught her growing up – to be appreciative of the opportunities she has and to help those less fortunate.

“My parents are from a very rural and poor region of India,” says Manishha. “They always taught us to be grateful for the opportunities that were given to us in Canada and to help and care for the less fortunate.”

 



Manishha has always felt a strong urge to help those less fortunate. “I have always wanted to help people in underdeveloped countries, and Power of One affected me because of the impact it can have for people in Africa – the idea that just one dollar can save one person’s life really resonated with me and I wanted to help them in any way that I could.”

In addition to drawing on the wise words of her parents, she drew on the talents of her boyfriend. Together, they came up with eye-catching posters, featuring funny pictures of babies offering words of encouragement. And the kid theme didn’t end there – Manishha even inspired her niece and godchildren to donate their piggybank savings.

Manishha’s colleagues were a huge help too. They championed her cause to their families, friends, religious organizations, and sports teams, helping her break her past fundraising record of $500! “The sheer amount of support from GNF as a whole was phenomenal,” said Manisha. “The encouragement and support I received for the campaign was unbelievable, and helped me eventually recruit more than 330 friends to join Power of One.”

Good news is Manishha isn’t done yet. “This is the kind of work I have dreamed of doing and that is why I decided to get involved in the fundraiser,” said Manishha. “I will continue to promote the cause of Malaria No More and I hope that, in the very near future, malaria will no longer be as devastating a disease as it is now.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates

This video of the shrinking malaria was shared by Bill Gates at the ASTMH conference.

Malaria has been killing for centuries. In 1900, it was taking lives from nearly every country on Earth, but the goal is to wipe this killer disease from the planet within a generation.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes

It was a packed house last night, as the best and brightest in the public health world poured into a New Orleans conference hall to hear one of the world’s most prolific philanthropists share his vision for the future of global health.

As Bill Gates joked, he was eager to finally have a captive audience for his thoughts on some of the world’s most pervasive diseases, as he typically bores dinner party guests with his excitement over discussing topics such as dengue fever, polio and malaria.

During his keynote speech at the Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Gates focused his remarks on Ebola and malaria. He spoke to the lessons the global health community can take from the Ebola crisis, and how it can serve to educate and strengthen our response to other public health issues. He spent the bulk of his speech talking about malaria, and urging the gathered group of the world’s premier scientists and doctors to embrace the idea of malaria eradication in our lifetimes. He also announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be increasing its already substantial financial commitment to fighting malaria by 30 percent.

Gates laid out the elements of a new strategy to achieve the ambitious goal of eradication, including fostering innovation in the surveillance and research & development arenas, as well as continued investment in malaria control efforts as we concurrently set our longer term vision on eradication.

You can read more on the new plan here. It is not an easy task, but with a shared vision and energy in the global health community, it is possible. His closing statement, which drew a standing ovation, echoed the sentiment that malaria eradication is within our grasp: “I’m optimistic we’ll get there faster than the skeptics think.”

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malaria elimination, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

To win the malaria fight, we need to rethink how we pay for it

Malaria No More was founded by two prominent business leaders, Ray Chambers and Peter Chernin, who saw combating malaria as a unique opportunity to save lives and improve livelihoods on a global scale. As Chernin put it, ending malaria represents “the best humanitarian investment in the world today.”

It’s easy to see why. Malaria is a devastating disease and one of the top killers of children under the age of five and pregnant women worldwide. It’s also a huge drain on economies, accounting for approximately $12 billion in lost economic productivity in Africa each year, due to the burden it places on health systems and the toll of work absenteeism and missed school days.

By contrast, the existing tools are simple and scalable - a mosquito net can protect a mother and child for three years for around $5; a 50 cent rapid diagnostic test and $1 treatment can save a child’s life – and, as this series highlights, revolutionary new technologies are just around the corner.

When Malaria No More was founded in 2006, global spending on malaria was only a few hundred million dollars a year, and approximately a million people were dying from mosquito bites annually.

Through a massive global effort – including $3 billion in annual funding, led by the U.S. and U.K. governments, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the World Bank, the private sector and philanthropists - the rate of malaria deaths in Africa has been cut in half in under a decade. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved since the year 2000 from malaria alone.

 

Malaria funding now vs next

Planning for a Rainy Day

The danger with malaria - the thing that keeps us malaria fighters up at night - is that if you lose focus, even for a single rainy season, the disease can come roaring back with devastating consequences.

There have been 75 documented instances of malaria resurgence from the 1930s to the year 2000, and nearly all of them were associated with the weakening of malaria control efforts. If we stopped investing in malaria control today, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis, claiming millions of lives, and undo the hard-fought gains we’ve made in the past decade.

As the burden of malaria continues to be reduced, we need to shift from catalytic “scale up” funding models to sustainable, long-term approaches that will enable us to end the disease. That means diversifying the sources of funding so that the continued commitment of international donors is buoyed by growing domestic and regional investments, as well as innovative financing approaches. It also means using better data to find efficiencies that will stretch and strengthen the impact of malaria spending at the country level.

Put Your Money Where Your Malaria Is

We often say that malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. But the reverse is also true: malaria control is equally a cause and consequence of economic growth. It’s not just geography that caused malaria to be eliminated first in the United States in 1951 and most of Europe by 1975 - it was equally the result of economic growth, development and increased spending on health and infrastructure.

The current slate of countries moving toward malaria elimination – mostly in Asia and South America – are already covering the bulk of the expense themselves: almost 80 percent of interventions are self-financed, according to a recent analysis by UCSF’s Global Health Group and Cambridge Economic Policy Associates. 

 

Malaria funding vs deaths

In Africa, however, most countries still fall short of the self-declared “Abuja target” of dedicating 15% of domestic budgets to improving health. As “Africa Rising” moves from rhetoric to reality and economies on the continent continue to grow, Africa has the wherewithal to finance an increasing share of its malaria elimination ambitions. And it has powerful financial incentive to ensure the work continues - a recent study by Accenture estimated the present-day economic value (i.e. profit) of continued investment in malaria control in Africa at more than $322 billion between now and 2035, due to the tremendous health and productivity gains that would result.

Endemic countries also have the opportunity to stretch their budgets by working smarter. To the extent that countries can draw on good timely data to inform program decisions, they can save money by targeting the appropriate mix of interventions by region and setting. Zambia and Zimbabwe, for instance, have saved millions of dollars by using malaria risk-mapping to optimize their net and insecticide spraying programs.

Particularly as countries reduce their malaria burden, one-size-fits-all, national-scale approaches may no longer apply. Namibia, a country moving toward elimination, has used malaria and mobility data to develop a more sophisticated, spatially targeted malaria program.

The Future of Funding

Regional financing mechanisms are emerging for countries, companies, and philanthropists to invest in malaria control and elimination in their own backyards. Asia-Pacific has set the ambitious goals of eliminating drug-resistant malaria by 2020, and all malaria by 2030. To help finance the efforts, the Asian Development Bank and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance this year set up a regional trust fund to solve this pressing regional challenge.

Mechanisms for nontraditional donors to play a part in eliminating the disease are growing as well. In Indonesia, a small group of high net worth individuals have pledged to co-invest alongside the government and Global Fund in health priorities, while in the Philippines and Ghana companies with large local operations – the Pilipinas Shell Foundation and AngloGold Ashanti – have managed Global Fund malaria grants working hand-in-hand with government agencies.

Innovative financing efforts, including concepts such as development impact bonds, also have the potential to contribute. Creators of The Mozambique Malaria Performance bond aim to establish a sustainable new funding source that can also improve the efficiency of malaria programs through a pay-for-performance model.

It’s an attractive concept: private investors front the costs of malaria control interventions to be repaid by a group of government and private-sector partners who reap the rewards of successful malaria control, including healthy citizens, employees and consumers. But we have yet to see investors step up to participate in such an instrument vehicle. If these models take root, malaria could evolve from being “the best humanitarian investment” to an actual investment opportunity—one that pays a dividend to those who contribute.

Achieving the historic goal of malaria eradication requires endurance. To sustain and extend the gains of the past decade, the global community must commit to providing predictable, sustainable, long-term support.

Our success in fighting malaria over the past decade has been built upon a solid foundation of funding, and the continued support of the U.S., U.K. and Australian governments; as well as institutions such as the Global Fund and the World Bank, will be essential to finishing the job. But we also need endemic countries and regions to commit to shouldering an increasing share of the costs as we move toward malaria elimination.

In the end, it will not be one sector or government that will finally eradicate malaria. It will be a global success—one we should all be proud to have contributed to.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile

How the mobile revolution in Africa is transforming global health

When I first moved to West Africa, back in 2009, you could travel to the most remote, rural villages – places without power, running water, or any other modern conveniences – and you would invariably find Coca-Cola. Somehow the familiar red-and-white brand had solved the distribution and marketing challenges of reaching these ends-of-the-earth consumers.

In those same remote villages, you can also find some of Africa’s highest-tech companies – mobile providers like MTN, Tigo, Airtel, Vodacom and Safaricom. Africa has leapfrogged the power line and the PC and gone directly to mobile phones. By the end of 2015, there will be an estimated 1 billion mobile phone accounts in Africa – one for nearly every man, woman and child on the continent.

First Disease Beaten By Mobile

In our first challenge (“Find the Parasite”), we talked about the importance of rapid diagnostics to locate the malaria parasite in people. What is a diagnostic test result but a plus or a minus, a one or a zero? It’s a bit of data. But in many malaria-endemic countries, that data used to just sit in stacks of paper to be collected every so often by health authorities. When you combine this data with rapid reporting via mobile phones, you have the makings of a revolution in global health.

Of all the tools in the malaria fight (including the obvious ones such as nets, testing, treatment and spraying) mobile phones may be the ones that tip the balance toward ending this disease. That’s why at Malaria No More we’ve been bold in proclaiming that malaria can be the first disease beaten by mobile.

A Swiss-Army Knife for Malaria

Sounds ambitious, but when you look at the problems we have to solve – from case detection and response, to stock management, and health education – mobile is at the center of the solutions time and again. It’s the Swiss Army knife of the malaria fight, helping to solve and accelerate a wide variety of other solutions. Here are a few examples of how mobile and data are already transforming the malaria fight.

The Novartis-led SMS for Life program has demonstrated the potential of mobile to address stock outs and ensure that people have malaria drugs when and where they need them. The pilot program focused on three districts in Tanzania. When it started, 26% of public health facilities were completely stocked out of malaria drugs at any given time. That means that parents had a one-in-four chance of showing up at a clinic with a sick child only to find that they didn’t have a dollar’s worth of life-saving treatment on hand.

To address the problem, under the umbrella of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Novartis and its public and private partners set up a simple, SMS reporting system that enabled health workers and pharmacists at public health facilities to record and report their stock levels on a weekly basis. This made it possible to anticipate shortages and distribute malaria drug supply more efficiently. Six months later, less than 1% of the facilities were stocked out of malaria drugs: a 97% reduction in stock outs through better and faster information flows. SMS for Life has now been expanded to several other African countries including Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.

 

Mobile swiss army knife for malaria

In a similar fashion, mobile phones may be the key to solving the challenge of counterfeit and stolen malaria treatments. Nigeria is the epicenter of the malaria challenge, accounting for nearly a quarter of the world’s malaria burden. As the market for antimalarial treatments has grown, so too has the attraction for counterfeiters. Recent estimates suggest that nearly 40% of all antimalarials on the market are counterfeit.

The challenge is compounded by the fact that most Nigerians don’t get their treatments from public health facilities. Eighty percent of people go to the private sector for treatment. And this isn’t your corner Walgreens we’re talking about. In Nigeria, it’s not uncommon to see malaria drugs sold alongside open-air butcher stands and car parts in public markets.

The solution to this problem? You guessed it - mobile. Working with companies such as Sproxil, PharmaSecure and mPedigree, the Nigerian government now requires that every antimalarial drug (and antibiotic) carry a label that consumers can scratch off like a lottery ticket and text in for free to confirm their drug is authentic and safe. Read more about Sproxil’s efforts to combat counterfeiters here.

This scalable use of the technology is revolutionizing the fight against counterfeits, and even helping authorities to track down contraband drugs. Malaria No More is working with a group of partners to go a step further: to explore how this data – a real-time sample of antimalarial consumption – can be used to draw fresh insights that can inform public health decision-making to save even more lives.

The Big Benefits of Data

A study in Kenya presents another compelling example of leveraging non-health data to fight malaria.

Caroline Buckee of the Harvard School of Public Health worked with Kenya’s largest mobile operator to analyze anonymized mobile phone usage records from 15 million consumers to track human migration patterns. Researchers then combined this migration map with regional malaria incidence data to identify how malaria travels around the country via human carriers.

Unsurprisingly, most of the malaria emanated from the high-transmission areas along Lake Victoria on Kenya’s western border.  But the data also spotlighted unusually high migration from the Lake Zone region about 50 miles inland to the western highlands region.

A few clicks of a Google map reveal that the western highlands are host to massive and bustling tea plantations that serve as a kind of bus depot for malaria transmission. Infected workers came from the Lake Zone to the highlands, where mosquitoes picked up the parasite and infected fellow plantation workers, who in turn transported the parasite back to their home communities farther inland.

These data-driven insights can help direct resources and interventions to make the malaria fight more effective. For example, eliminating malaria in the Lake Zone might cut off the source of infections in the highlands – even if you didn’t run a large-scale elimination program in the highlands themselves.

Mobile Aids Elimination

If anything, harnessing the power of mobile and data becomes more important as countries move toward malaria elimination. As the scale of the problem shrinks, the need for timely and precise surveillance data only grows. Vital elements such as real-time reporting of cases and accurate intervention mapping are now possible thanks to web, mapping, mobile and data analytics tools.

As you move toward the end game of elimination, countries must be able to track and respond to every case immediately to prevent it from spreading. They set up a sort of SWAT-team approach (painful pun intended): rapid-response systems in which health workers immediately report cases and teams show up to test and treat people in a perimeter around the infection to contain the spread of the parasite.

Even more so than Coca-Cola, that gives us something to smile about.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 4 (link to post) looks at ways technology and data can be used to fight malaria. Ashifi Gogo is the head of Sproxil, a company that uses mobile phone technology to combat dangerous counterfeit malaria medication.

1) Many people aren’t aware of the major threat counterfeit drugs pose, can you briefly describe the problem and how mobile authentication, such as Sproxil, helps fight it?

Drug counterfeiting, while particularly prevalent in emerging markets, is a global disease that threatens the safety and well-being of all citizens. 700,000 people die every year from fake anti-malarial and tuberculosis drugs alone: it is the equivalent of the entire population of Boston disappearing in a single year.

By leveraging the increasing popularity of mobile phones, we developed a simple, but powerful and secure SMS system: Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™). We partner directly with manufacturers and distributors to append security labels with a scratch-off panel on each product. At point of sale, a consumer will scratch off the panel to reveal a unique, single use code that they SMS to our phone number for free. The consumer instantly receives a response back confirming that the product is genuine or warning that it is suspicious. Our 24/7 help desk, which supports major local languages, is available for reports of counterfeiting activity and for questions relating to the product or solution.

To further reduce access barriers, we have multiple channels for verification: mobile apps (available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry 7), web apps and our help desk.

2) You’re working to integrate Sproxil into more countries. Where do you provide service currently, and where do you plan to expand?

We have operations in Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and the U.S. and can execute projects on six major continents. In an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters, we do not disclose our plans for expansion.

3) Beyond preventing counterfeits, do you see other ways to leverage this data to improve health?

Our technology was developed to be flexible and scalable. By creating direct communication channels between our clients and their patients, MPA can help foster healthier lifestyles. Our technology can support medical adherence programs, message patients with expiration reminders and health and wellness information or connect them with health care providers or other experts and even send special coupons or recommendations for other wellness products.  The opportunities for improving health by connecting patients with the appropriate resources make the possibilities limitless.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission

The secret to ending malaria could be protecting mosquitoes from humans

As villains go, the mosquito is well cast. The tiny pest is unique in nature in two important respects. First, it has no redeeming value to the broader ecosystem (the name of the particular breed that transmits malaria, “Anopheles,” actually means “useless” in Greek); and second, the mosquito is by far the deadliest creature on the planet to human beings, claiming 725,000 lives a year—principally to malaria, but also to diseases including dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Even Disney, the company that made ants and lobsters lovable, has it in for the mosquito. In a now-famous 1943 animated short titled “the Winged Scourge,” a Disney narrator brands mosquitoes “public enemy number one” for transmitting malaria, and cheers as the Seven Dwarves gleefully pump insecticide and stomp the bug.

Our first two columns explored how finding the parasite(link) and completely curing(link) infected people are two of the keys to ending this disease. The missing piece is to block transmission and stop the endless shuttling of the parasite back and forth between man and mosquito.

You see, for malaria, the transit between mosquito and man isn’t just a joy ride—it’s an essential step in reproduction. By blocking transmission you isolate the mosquito and interrupt that process. In mosquitoes, the parasites die quickly due to their host’s short life spans; and the ones in humans stay contained until you can eliminate them with medication.

The classic approach to blocking transmission is to protect people from mosquito bites using bed nets or insecticide sprays. And make no mistake, these tools have been extraordinarily effective: a major factor in saving 3.3 million lives from the disease since 2000.

Rethinking the Problem

But to break the back of transmission, we have to rethink the problem. We must move beyond vilifying the mosquito—and the key may be protecting mosquitoes from humans.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Consider that mosquitoes only carry the malaria parasite for up to 30 days—a mosquito’s maximum lifespan—while humans can carry the parasite for decades if left untreated. And where mosquitoes can only travel a mile or two on their tiny wings, humans circle the globe transporting the parasite like carry-on luggage. So if we’re looking for someone to blame for malaria transmission, we must start by taking a hard look in the mirror.

The surest way to avoid getting malaria from mosquitoes is to stop giving it to them. That’s why a new generation of treatments that completely eliminate the malaria parasite from the human body will be so important (for more, read Challenge 2: Complete Cure). But it is only one of the novel approaches that will make it possible to stop transmission.

 



Next Generation Protection

Soon, the tried-and-true bed net may be joined by new vector-control technologies that use radar-jamming molecules to disguise humans from mosquitoes. That’s the goal of a technology called Kite Patch, which took the crowd-funding site Indiegogo by storm. Worn on your clothes, this small sticker is a spatial repellent that blocks a mosquito’s ability to register carbon dioxide. In effect, it acts like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility, making people virtually undetectable to mosquitoes. (Read more about the Kite Patch technology and what it could mean for malaria.)

This past summer, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline registered for regulatory review of the first partially effective malaria vaccine—called RTS,S—and hopes for a WHO seal of approval as early as 2015. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the number of malaria episodes by a quarter in infants immunized and cut in half malaria cases in older children (toddlers) - low by vaccine standards, but unprecedented in terms of malaria.

But even as we celebrate this milestone – the first vaccine against a parasite – the focus of research is moving beyond only protecting individual people against malaria symptoms (as RTS,S does) to blocking transmission.

New vaccine approaches target two “choke points” when parasites are at their fewest in number during their complex life cycle: the transitions from mosquito to man, and from man to mosquito. These potential vaccines could effectively hold the line against onward transmission of the parasite, stopping malaria dead in its tracks.

Despite the PR campaign against mosquitoes, the goal of malaria control has never been to eradicate the insect, but only to control it as a way to get at our true adversary: the parasite. Little did we suspect that the key to eradicating malaria around the globe could involve making the mosquito an asset in the malaria fight.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mosquito Nets, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 3 addresses new technologies and approaches that are in development to block the transmission of the malaria parasite between humans and mosquitoes. To learn more about one such innovation, we spoke with Grey Frandsen from Kite Patch, a sticker that protects humans from mosquitoes by disrupting the insect’s ability to detect humans.

 

1. In our eco-conscious age, a lot of people are wary of putting chemicals on their skin to repel mosquitoes. But mosquito bites are an annoying problem in the U.S., and a deadly one in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia where the pests carry life-threatening diseases, including malaria and dengue fever. Can you tell us how Kite Patch works to protect from mosquitoes without using the traditional skin contact of insect repellents?

Kite Patch is a small, beautifully-designed little “sticker” that creates something akin to an invisibility cloak, or as some suggest, a defense shield, around our bodies with spatial compounds emitted from the materials on the sticker. This product form is being designed to emit a certain level of those spatial compounds over a period of time so that the compounds hover and swirl around the body with movement and wind, and travel away from our bodies in varying distances to intercept mosquitoes as they track toward us. Once mosquitoes come into contact with these compounds, they lose the ability to detect carbon dioxide and sense skin odors – the two primary mechanisms by which they track us.

We’ve designed Kite’s brand to capture the spirit of freedom and joy – something we believe will be the result of new technologies and products, such as Kite Patch, that will lift both the burden of disease and the burden of the fear of disease.

 

2. Kite Patch coming to fruition was a collaborative effort involving several different groups pitching in on funding. Can you tell us about the process of getting this innovation from the idea to the production stage, and where you’re at now?

Kite Patch absolutely is a story about collaboration. It’s also the result of a new model developed by ieCrowd to transform innovative discoveries into solutions to global challenges. This model brought together the innovative discovery, the capital, the development partners and experts, the team, and the range of stakeholders that now make up the large, global Kite campaign.

People may know the Kite Patch from our Indiegogo campaign. Last year we launched a crowdfunding effort to raise awareness and support for a specific field test of some of our Kite Patch prototypes. We wanted to expand the number of people involved in our development process and inspire people to play a role in getting a new technology to market.

The result was amazing. The campaign went viral and Indiegogo named it one of the top five campaigns ever. We enjoyed support from around the world. Over 500 publications ran original stories about our campaign, the technology, our process for commercializing this technology, and how we branded and marketed the campaign and the product itself.

As for the product itself, Kite technology stems from scientific findings initially discovered at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) with assistance from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ieCrowd exclusively licensed the technology from UCR, and has, since then, furthered the science into a range of new technologies, in order to advance disruptive products such as Kite Patch. Kite products - ranging from new mosquito repellents to spatial attractants - feature spatial and non-spatial active ingredients.

The next major step is to get Kite Patch to the field, to markets, and into the hands of people who need it the most. To do so, we’ll continue to build partnerships around the world with those who share our passion for eliminating this horrible disease.

 

3. Some readers may think a sticker is a novelty item, but you see Kite Patch having major implications on the field of public health. Can you tell us how far-reaching you hope Kite Patch will be?

We want to be humble about the role Kite technology and products can play, but we do know this: while our mock-ups make it look cool and pretty (and don’t those kids in the below Kite Patch video look cute? Those are mine!), the Kite technology platform is being developed to support what we believe can be one of the most powerful weapons platform in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases. We have a world-class team working 24/7 to build a powerful platform of actives that can ideally be deployed around the world in a range of applications – all of which will have minimal impact on our health and the health of our environment.

 

WATCH: Kite Patch in Action

 

Specifically, we’re working on repellents and attractants that can be deployed in any number of product forms that will play important roles in public health and disease intervention efforts globally. We pay attention to every detail and we’re designing each of our products with history and current technologies and needs in mind. Most importantly, we have opened our development process to people around the world and continue to build our technology and products with significant inputs and feedback from the Kite crowd.

Our technical foundation is strong, and ieCrowd’s system for deploying disruptive new solutions like Kite Patch is ready for action. We’re excited about the prospects of the Kite platform, and with the help of the crowd, amazing partners, and the world’s best team, we have no doubt that it will be among the leading tools to fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more

While most of the world thinks of mosquitoes as blood sucking, disease-spreading pests, there’s a new guy in town who’s on a mission to redeem the rep of his fellow mosquitoes.  Meet Edward, the handsome, malaria-fighting skeeter who happens to be one of the stars of Seriously’s new mobile game, Best Fiends. 

The Best Fiends are a pack of fun-loving creatures who spend their time fighting slugs to protect the citizens of Minutia.  But Edward has his own side gig – educating the world about malaria and helping Malaria No More to beat back this awful mosquito-borne disease to protect humans!  Getting by on a diet of coconut water instead of blood, Edward changed his ways, and has developed a whole arsenal of tools to help prevent and treat the spread of this disease.

Want to help Edward end malaria?  Visit our Edward page for a whole list of ways you can support the malaria fight, and make sure to download the game on your iPhone or iPad!

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #2 focuses on the development of a single-dose cure for malaria, so we sat down with Dr. Roger Waltzman. Waltzman works for the Malaria Initiative at Novartis, the maker of one of the top malaria treatments on the market.

Q: Novartis is a pioneer in the research and development of malaria treatments. What is the quick history of innovations Novartis has been a part of?

A: Novartis is in the fight against malaria for the long haul. Together with Chinese partners, Novartis developed the first artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), today’s gold standard in malaria treatment, and launched the first child-friendly, dispersible formulation developed jointly with Medicines for Malaria Venture. More recently, we launched another new formulation which reduces the pill burden for adults; this helps to ensure patients follow through with their full treatment course. Today, Novartis partners with the best institutions and intensifies its research efforts to develop new compounds against malaria to eventually eliminate the disease. With two compounds in Phase 2 clinical development and one drug target in pre-clinical research, Novartis scientists are building one of the most promising malaria pipelines in the industry.

Q: What kind of treatments will it take to eliminate malaria?

A: A two-pronged approach is required to eliminate malaria. First, new treatments must be developed that attack the malaria parasites in novel ways in case resistance against current treatments spreads. These treatments will also need to provide a “complete cure”. Second, within malaria-endemic countries, a large proportion of people with malaria do not show malaria symptoms and therefore do not seek treatment for their infection. They constitute a reservoir of malaria parasites that can be transmitted to other, more vulnerable populations, therefore targeting and treating these individuals is central to achieving the goal of malaria elimination.

Q: What is a “complete cure” for malaria? How is it different from what we have today?

A: “Complete cure” implies that the treatment not only targets the parasites in the blood in their asexual stage, which is the stage when symptoms of malaria appear, but also in their sexual stage (gametocytes). Gametocytes can be harbored in the human without provoking any symptoms, and transported upon a mosquito bite, infecting other humans. A complete cure would enable a patient to be cleared from all malaria parasites. It would also stop transmission to other humans. Current treatments do not necessarily offer the potential for a complete cure.

Q: Why is a single-dose treatment important and how do you see it affecting malaria prevalence globally?

A: Developing a new combination, similar to today’s three-day ACT treatment, which is powerful enough to treat malaria in one single dose, would enable the patient to take the entire treatment at once, virtually eliminating the risk of insufficient treatment. Indeed, with current treatments patients sometimes save tablets for other family members or friends or in case they are infected by malaria again, not realizing they may be inadequately treated. Also, parasites can become resistant to treatments when dosing is inadequate. A single-dose treatment has the potential to ensure complete and effective treatment for patients. In addition, depending upon its efficacy and safety, the treatment could be given to people who show no symptoms but harbor malaria parasites in their blood, and can therefore transmit malaria. Ultimately, treatment of asymptomatic people could help eliminate the disease in broad population groups, potentially leading to malaria eradication.

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure

Inventing a Wonder Drug to Win the Malaria Fight

The story of malaria control is the story of the promise – and peril – of wonder drugs. With hundreds of millions of people infected with malaria around the globe every year, effective treatment may be the difference between ending the disease and humanitarian disaster.

Quinine, the first antimalarial, was discovered in the bark of the cinchona tree in the foothills of the Andes Mountains back in the 1600s. But it was hard to produce and administer, and there still was no reliable global supply by World War I.

Finding a cheap, reliable alternative to quinine that could be mass-produced became a military imperative during World War II. America suffered humiliating defeats “not because the ammunition was gone,” The New York Times reported, “but because the quinine tablets gave out.”

However, the synthetic drugs that emerged from that furious R&D effort – most notably chloroquine – were little match for the fast-evolving parasite, which developed resistance in under a decade.

Progress Threatened

Our current front-line treatments for malaria, called artemisinin-based combination therapies (or ACTs for short), underscore the arms race between science and parasite. ACTs have been wildly successful in saving lives – a true wonder drug by any definition – but their effectiveness may also be cut short by resistance.

First touted for its curative powers in an ancient Chinese medical book dating back to 168 BC, artemisinin was finally brought to scale globally by Swiss healthcare company Novartis, which received WHO international approval for its drug in 1999. Global funders threw their weight behind ACTs five years later, and today more than 280 million ACT treatments are distributed every year in Africa alone.

But resistance is once again threatening to rob us of our best tool in the malaria fight. Just as chloroquine resistance emerged along the Thai-Cambodia border back in the 1960s, first signs of artemisinin resistance have now been documented in the region. If it follows the same pattern as past resistance – emerging across Asia, in India, making the leap to Africa – it could potentially cost millions of lives.

History has shown that containment isn’t an option: Only by eliminating malaria in Asia-Pacific can we staunch the spread of resistance. So the Greater Mekong subregion will be ground zero for a renewed global eradication effort.

In Search of a Solution

The race is already on to develop the next generation of wonder drugs—this time tailor-made for eradication. Such a drug would have four key features.

 



First, it would be a single-dose treatment. The pharma industry talks about the “pill burden” – the total number of pills someone has to take to complete a full course of treatment. The more pills, over more days, the greater the chance that a patient will stop midway and fail to be fully cured.

Malaria treatment currently requires between three and 14 days of treatment, depending on the strain of the parasite. Getting people to take all their pills is complicated by the fact that the drugs are so fast-acting and effective that malaria symptoms may subside after the first or second day, leading people to think they’ve been treated, when in fact trace amounts of the parasite may still be hanging around in their bodies waiting to mount another attack. A single dose treatment would ensure that everyone who is treated is parasite-free.

The second feature of a new wonder drug is that it will be a “complete cure.” Malaria is so challenging in part because the parasite plays hide and seek in the human body: traveling in the bloodstream, lodging in the liver, the brain – even bone marrow, as a recent study highlighted.

Before you can hope to eliminate malaria in a community of people, you must be able to effectively eliminate it in a single person. A complete cure treatment would wipe out the parasite at every stage of its lifecycle, ensuring zero risk of passing the parasite along to others.

The third feature is what we call a prophylactic effect. Essentially, you want a drug that will remain in the body for a period of time to prevent a person from developing another case of malaria if bitten again by an infected mosquito.

And finally, the new treatment would have a high barrier to resistance, so even as you scale up use it’s able to maintain its effectiveness. This means developing an arsenal of molecules that attack the parasite in novel ways, and then using drugs in combination to stave off resistance. New malaria drugs are a great investment, but they’re expensive to develop, so we must ensure they last.

In the Pipeline

The good news is we’re well on our way to making a new slate of wonder drugs (or “one-der” drugs) a reality. Supported by a product development partnership called Medicines for Malaria Venture out of Geneva, the malaria community and pharma industry leaders including Novartis, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline have started clinical trials for treatments that will make ending malaria a reality.

As one example, Novartis has fast-tracked its first non-artemisinin based single-dose drug candidate, called KAE609, and recently published results showing that it was able to clear malaria parasites in adults in 12 hours on average. Read more about the quest for a malaria wonder drug here.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria

Femi Anikulapo Kuti has been able to stand tall as an icon in the music industry without being overshadowed by the colossal image of his legendary father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Over the years he has blended jazz and funk with afrobeat to create a cocktail of unique indelible sounds of afrobeat, and this has earned him four nominations for the prestigious Grammy Awards.

Today Femi Kuti joins Malaria No More to have a Twitter conversation on malaria, music and the Nigerian society. It promises to be an enthralling conversation as Femi is vocal in his opinions. To join this conversation, follow the Malaria No More Twitter account in Nigeria: @MalariaNoMoreN1 and tweet your questions to Femi Kuti as from 11AM - 12PM ET using the hashtag #AskFemiKuti. Femi Kuti is currently one of the ambassadors for the Malaria No More campaign in Nigeria.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #1 focuses on finding the parasite, so we sat down with Duncan Blair, PhD. Blair is the Director of Public Health Initiatives at Alere, the maker of one of the top malaria diagnostic tools on the market.

 

Q: Why are malaria RDTs a focus for your business?

With Alere being the global leader in rapid diagnostic tests for communicable diseases it would be almost impossible for us not to be involved in the malaria fight. Approximately half of the world’s population live in malaria-endemic areas, and consequently, are at risk of infection. With over 200 million infections and over 600,000 deaths a year, the risk to individuals and the burden on health care systems are enormous. To treat malaria appropriately and, just as importantly, to know when not to treat for malaria, requires accurate diagnosis. For decades, the only option for malaria diagnosis was microscopy, but microscopy is extremely challenging to implement with quality due to significant needs for complex equipment, electricity, water, well-trained and well-remunerated staff and many other reasons. The advent of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria greatly improved our ability to diagnose malaria simply and effectively. RDTs are high quality, simple and quick tests that can be performed with just a few drops of finger-stick blood at the point of care and without any ancillary equipment. The benefits that the introduction of high-quality and properly deployed malaria RDTs have brought to individuals, to health care systems and to entire communities, is immeasurable.

Q: What are some of the new testing developments you’re working on?

We are always looking at ways to improve products or to fill a missing diagnostic need with a view of improving patient and health system outcomes. I think that we find ourselves at a time when malaria elimination is within reach and many of the tools needed to achieve that goal already exist, but not quite all of them. One of the missing pieces of the puzzle is a simple, affordable test capable of detecting the malarial parasites in asymptomatic patients. No such test exists today, but it will be critical for elimination, as we will need to find and treat patients who have no fever and no visible symptoms, but who do have circulating parasites and are therefore acting as a reservoir for future reinfection of the community. Alere is actively looking at developing just such a test.

Q: What are the key challenges you must solve to make this next-generation test a reality?

What we are talking about here is developing a test whose performance is many times better than the best tests currently available, which still meets our exacting quality standards and which can be reliably and sustainably manufactured, delivered and effectively deployed at accessible prices. We’re optimistic we can deliver that, given the great range of technologies at our disposal within Alere and the fantastic teams of dedicated and innovative people we have in R&D and manufacturing. So there may be challenges ahead, but we are very confident that we can rise to meet those challenges.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Alere, Malaria Tests, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite

You can't beat an opponent you can't see

Malaria thrives on misinformation. It always has. Even the word malaria is a misnomer. It’s Italian for “bad air,” because the Romans attributed the seasonal sickness (that killed at least four Popes, and probably the poet Dante) to noxious fumes coming off the swamps. It wasn’t until 1897 that Dr. Ronald Ross confirmed the mosquito as the vector that spreads the disease.

And misinformation is one of the big reasons malaria continues to kill a child at the rate of one every sixty seconds. Solving the information challenge is going to be key if we’re going to end this disease, and no piece of information is more vital than knowing who is carrying the parasite and who isn’t.

THE HIDDEN MALARIA CHALLENGE

While there are more than 200 million malaria cases every year – that is, people who are getting sick from the disease – it is estimated that there are five times as many people carrying the parasite in their bodies at any given moment – a ticking time bomb of illness and infection.

That amounts to more than one billion people – one out of every seven people on the planet – who are potentially infected with the malaria parasite, jeopardizing their health, hampering their productivity and making them a source of infection for their families and communities. And, most of them have no idea they’re carrying the potentially deadly disease!

 



The biggest host of the malaria parasite is healthy people, not sick people or mosquitoes.

The insight that sick patients showing up at clinics are only the tip of the malaria iceberg underpins emerging strategies for eradicating the disease. Simply put: you can’t beat malaria if you can’t find it. So any attempt to eradicate the disease must start with developing the diagnostic capabilities to find and free the roughly one billion people living with the parasite in their body and stop them from transmitting.

It may sound like a daunting task, until you consider how far we’ve come in recent years – and how fast.

THE DIAGNOSTIC REVOLUTION

Until 2010, there was no practical way to get a timely, accurate diagnosis for malaria. If you had a fever and wanted to be tested for malaria, you had to travel a long distance – sometimes tens of miles on foot – to find a hospital or clinic equipped with an expensive microscope and a trained lab technician. You had to take a blood slide, then wait several hours for the result – hoping that the lab technician read it right.

It was impractical, and people simply didn’t do it.

In many African languages, the words for “malaria” and “fever” are the same. It’s easy to understand why. Absent practical diagnostics, doctors simply treated every fever as if it was malaria and hoped for the best.

Then came the breakthrough: the rapid diagnostic test, or RDT. This simple, fifty-cent, finger-prick blood test can tell you in a matter of minutes with better than 99% accuracy if your fever is malaria.

The RDT has revolutionized the malaria fight, enabling lightly trained community health workers operating on the far reaches of the health system to test patients for malaria. Negative results are as important as positive ones as they direct doctors to consider other top killers, such as pneumonia and upper-respiratory infection. There are now more than 200 million RDTs distributed across Africa each year.

NEXT GENERATION TESTS

Today, we need to revolutionize diagnosis yet again, this time with a focus on identifying asymptomatic cases and guiding treatment.

Current RDTs have a sensitivity of 200 parasites per microliter of blood – sufficient for identifying all cases in sick people. But finding low-levels of the parasite in asymptomatic patients is like an elaborate game of hide and seek. To do it, we need a new generation of simple, portable, inexpensive diagnostic tests that are 10 times more sensitive, detecting malaria at levels of 20 parasites per microliter or even lower.

Fortunately, through innovative public–private partnerships led by groups like the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Seattle-based partner PATH, we’re well on our way to developing next-generation diagnostic tests.

Other next-generation diagnostics will potentially help solve some of the treatment challenges that stand in the way of elimination. Efforts to tackle the dominant strain of malaria in Asia and South America, known as P. vivax, have been hamstrung by the fact that some people have an adverse reaction to the drug recommended for completely clearing the parasite, due to a common inherited trait known as G6PD enzyme deficiency.

The development of diagnostics to identify individuals with G6PD deficiency would ensure better use of current drugs and potential new single-dose treatments, such as tafenoquine, currently in development by GlaxoSmithKline and MMV.

Armed with new diagnostics, we’ll be in a position to take the fight to the parasite. Instead of passively waiting for sick people to show up at clinics, we can go on offense: actively testing and treating entire communities to find and root out malaria, while ensuring the type of treatment provided to patients will be safe and effective.

Which sets up the next of our challenges - check back in next week to read about another big innovation in the malaria fight: developing a complete cure!

Q&A: Read about Malaria No More’s partner Alere and their quest for new diagnostics here.

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This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

Intro: Going on Offense 

Challenge 1: Find the Parasite

Challenge 2: Radical Cure (10/8/2014)

Challenge 3: Block Transmission (10/14/2014)

Challenge 4: Data & Mobile (10/21/2014)

Challenge 5: Fuel the Fight (10/28/2014)

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria

After a century of playing defense, it’s time for the malaria fight to go on offense

In 1897, Dr. Ronald Ross – an Indian-born, British surgeon who counted poetry, mathematics, and songwriting among his other passions - made a medical discovery that would change the course of history.

Stationed in Secundebad, a monsoon-drenched city in Central India, Dr. Ross identified the malaria parasite in the gut of a dissected Anopheles mosquito. His discovery confirmed that the winged pest was in fact the vector responsible for spreading one of the oldest, deadliest, and most devastating diseases on the planet.

Dr. Ross was knighted and awarded a Nobel Prize for his efforts, and deservedly so: His discovery laid the foundation for the modern fight against malaria.

Historic Progress

We’ve made significant strides since Dr. Ross’ time. Malaria has been eliminated throughout most of the developed world, including the United States in 1951. And progress is accelerating: Just since 2000, we’ve cut global malaria deaths by half, saving 3.3 million lives - most of them children and pregnant women in Africa.

However, the work is far from done. A child still dies every minute from a mosquito bite, and more than 200 million people are afflicted with the disease each year, keeping adults out of work, children out of school, and stifling the growth of developing economies.

Based on the progress of the past decade, there is a growing determination among the global health community to eradicate the disease once and for all, recognizing that the only way to ensure zero malaria deaths is to have zero malaria.

Going on Offense

So what will it take to finish the job?

We need to rethink the malaria problem in as radical a way as Dr. Ross did more than a century ago. For all our progress, the prevailing approach to controlling malaria has fundamentally been about playing defense: trying to prevent mosquitos from biting and treating people when they’re sick so they don’t die. Don’t get me wrong. That has been the most cost-effective way of tackling a complex problem, going after the “low-hanging fruit” and bringing down the number of cases and deaths dramatically.

But to win this fight, we need to take a “parasite’s-eye” view of the problem. We must attack the malaria parasite where it lives - in the human reservoir – with aggressive new approaches to find, clear, and prevent onward-transmission of malaria, even in asymptomatic carriers of the disease. In short, we must go on offense.

As part of that approach, we need to confront one of the newest and most urgent threats to the advances we’ve made against malaria: Resistance in Asia to the frontline treatment of the disease, artemisinin. The last time drug-resistant malaria developed in that part of the world, it spread to India and Africa, robbing us of chloroquine as an effective tool.

If that happens again, it could cost millions of lives, since we are at least 4 to 5 years away from developing a viable treatment alternative.

The Path Forward

We find ourselves at another watershed moment in the malaria fight, and the only way we’re going to succeed is through relentless innovation. We need the next generation of tools and new implementation approaches; we need to harness the power of distinctly modern advances such as the use of mobile phones and big data in heatlh.

Broadly speaking, we’ve identified five key challenges the world needs to solve to win this fight. Every two weeks, starting this Monday, we’ll zero in on one challenge and let you know who’s innovating to find solutions. The series will culminate in some big news regarding the malaria community’s plan to reach eradication, delivered by one of the world’s biggest names and most prolific innovators in fighting disease, Bill Gates.

So stay tuned, and join us here next week as we launch with Challenge #1: Find the Parasite!

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This is the introduction to our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria. You can find others here:

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Domenico learned about our Power of One campaign through his employer, Novartis. Domenico works in the Vaccines and Diagnostics Division and is passionate about Africa. He leveraged his professional move from Italy to Switzerland to help fundraise for the campaign. At his family’s going-away party, Domenico shared stories from his travels to malaria-endemic regions in Asia and Africa, mainly Uganda, where he supports orphanages, educational institutions for disabled children, as well as projects for the economic independence of small communities. He hit a nerve and got the attention of his friends. Today, 56 have decided to support him and joined the campaign!

Domenico also hosted a garage sale to benefit the cause, which inspired shoppers to pay the full price, instead of haggling for a better deal!

“This is a cause I really care about,” says Domenico. “I have increased my personal engagement significantly, and thanks to the support of my family and friend, we will be able to help 4,128 children with malaria”. Domenico found the campaign so rewarding, that he continues to fundraise for Power of One and to engage people around him. “One of my friends – a musician – after having donated called me in the middle of the night and told me he had just composed a song for my campaign. We are now discussing how we could use the song to help fight malaria.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee

Malaria No More ambassador Katharine McPhee is fighting for good on TV and in her real life. Having traveled with us to Ghana and Burkina Faso in 2012 and having supported our most recent campaign called the Power of One (Po1), Katharine had a lot to talk about with a bunch of teenagers over pizza.

Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer launched a web series called Pizza with an Icon, where teens can ask questions of influencers and all the good work they’re doing. In this segment, Katharine talks about her travels and how everyone can do their part to help end malaria deaths.

"It's such a tragedy that there are people dying from something that is so easy to cure," Katharine said. "It’s important for people to know that it’s not that hard to make a dent in a small part of the world that you may not necessarily even have any connection with.”

We couldn’t be more grateful to Katharine and all her hard work on the cause.

“Katharine has been an incredible supporter of Malaria No More for years, she is truly engaged in the push to eliminate deaths from malaria,” said our CEO, Martin Edlund. “Using her platform to raise awareness for the Power of One test and treatment campaign partnered with Novartis and Alere, Katharine has made a huge impact helping us move toward achieving our goal of raising three million treatments in our first partner country, Zambia.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman

On World Malaria Day, our partner Novartis kicked off an employee engagement effort encouraging their employees to get behind the malaria fight. From April 25th, to our Independence Day, July 4th, Novartis employees got active and joined the fight through Power of One.

Roger Waltzman, in charge of developing new antimalarials at Novartis, is one of the top contributors to this employee engagement effort, having raised over 18,000 USD towards treatments for kids in Africa. Here, he’s filled us in on his work and how he raised all that money.

Q. Why do you believe in fighting malaria, and how did this contribute to your decision to start a fundraiser?

A. I believe it’s crucial to make available high quality medical treatments for people all over the world, particularly for those vulnerable people who are at risk for preventable, curable diseases. The focus of my work at Novartis is developing new antimalarials and I wanted to generate more attention both within and outside my work environment about the importance of this effort.

Q. Did anything interesting happen while you were fundraising? Did any of your supporters do or say anything really encouraging?

A. Quite a few people didn’t know that developing new antimalarials is the focus of my work and they seemed happy to hear this and happy to contribute. I appreciated their comments; one person simply said, “Good work should be supported,” and I thought that was so matter-of-fact and genuine. Some people contributed $1, since you could contribute any amount, and others contributed much more!

Q. How has this program increased your charitable efforts this year, compared to an average year?

A. I made a personal commitment to contribute to the campaign 10% of however much money I could raise from others. That ended up being one of my largest charitable contributions this year and I was delighted to do it.

Q. Now that the employee engagement campaign is over, how will you continue your efforts to help end malaria?

A. My daily work is focused on the development of better treatment or prevention of malaria, so the biggest change is that I feel even more determined and inspired by seeing the very positive response this campaign engendered in friends and family.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with our Power of One, Malaria No More, or the Novartis employee engagement campaign?

A. I was delighted that MNM created a campaign that was so simple, with a personal link for tracking contributions, and by enabling donors to contribute as little as $1. I felt completely comfortable asking my friends, family, and colleagues to consider donating something, anything, since the amount did not need to be large. I usually don’t find fundraising a particularly comfortable activity, but this enabled me to feel very comfortable with the “ask.” I am delighted that Novartis and MNM are collaborating in this and other ways. Eradicating malaria will take a huge effort on the part of many people and we need to collaborate for the benefit of the hundreds of millions of people who are infected every year.

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Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime

This past World Mosquito Day we were on ABC 7’s Let’s Talk Live discussing what else but mosquitoes, the deadliest animals on the planet.

Malaria Policy Center staff Josh Blumenfeld and Hannah Bowen, as well as our partner from DC Mosquito Squad, Damien Sanchez, spoke to the threat of malaria on Wednesday’s show. Watch the full show below.

Watch the video here: http://www.wjla.com/blogs/lets-talk-live/2014/08/world-mosqutio-day-22781.html 

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight

Arnold Mbolo, a high school senior from a family of six kids, joined the Junior Ambassador program in April 2014 after placing 6th with a comedic sketch in the MNM Cameroon school contest. When asked why he participated, he responded “I like challenges. I’m a competitive person. But, I realized that the contest educated me. Before, I barely knew anything about malaria, hence I have also won in knowledge.”

For Arnold, humor is something he’s been around all his life - with a professional comedian as an uncle, helping him to develop into a charismatic comedian who is responsible for “cultural animation” in his local youth association, MOJAM. In just four months, Arnold has emerged as an all-star Junior Ambassador, using his energy and comedic talents in various events at school and with MNM to ensure his community is invested in putting an end to malaria.

The goal of the Junior Ambassador Program is to engage youth leaders from high schools across Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital city, to target their peers and wider communities through interpersonal communications, including clubs, school events and other activities. Arnold has done just that. He mobilized the other Junior Ambassadors to organize a school fair at his high school, where they had a stand teaching students about malaria prevention, which was also visited by the Secretary to the Minister of Education who encouraged the Junior Ambassadors to keep doing great work. He was selected as the K.O PALU mosquito mascot for the World Malaria Day Caravan and performed his winning sketch at stops throughout the city. Arnold has also received permission from his school to post K.O. PALU educational posters and a malaria prevention mural, ensuring malaria education and awareness are a part of everyday activities at school.

For World Mosquito Day 2014, Arnold worked with a fellow Junior Ambassador to mobilize hundreds of youth and community members, the mayor, and local chief to clean up a neighborhood to get rid of its standing water – which can be mosquito breeding grounds, especially during the rainy season.

Arnold is truly leading the charge, setting an example for fellow Junior Ambassadors and his community and motivating them to join the fight against malaria.

Stay tuned for more on the amazing work our Junior Ambassadors are doing in Cameroon to ensure their communities understand the threat of malaria and know how to protect themselves against the disease.

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Cameroon, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa

On World Mosquito Day, spoiling a BBQ is a mosquito’s most minor offense

My daughter Nell is just 8-months old, so this is her first summer. Her first taste of freshly yanked grass from the yard. Her first sunburn.

She and her big sister, 4-year-old Maret get to stay up way past their bedtimes, as we soak up what remains of the humid evenings and the lingering sunlight. And of course there’s the uninvited guest at outdoor summer events - the mosquito, that tiny but persistent blight on our backyard barbecues and pool parties.

This week at Malaria No More, we stop to acknowledge World Mosquito Day August 20th. Devoting an entire day to the mosquito may seem like overkill, until you remember that the mosquito is, in fact, the world’s deadliest living creature. This day in particular was chosen because it marks the anniversary of British surgeon Dr. Ronald Ross discovering that mosquitoes carried malaria back in 1897 – a breakthrough that set us on the path to ending this disease.

"A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease."

As I dab the calamine lotion on the red bumps that dot Maret’s skin, I get a flash of the anxiety parents must feel in Africa, where mosquitoes lead to the deaths of more than a thousand children every day.

I remember El Hadj Diop, the Senegalese father who dedicated his life to ending deaths from malaria in his home community after losing his 11-year-old daughter, Ami, to the disease. I’m haunted by the face of the nameless Nigerian dad I encountered as he arrived, desperate, at a clinic with his daughter on the verge of a malaria coma. Pictures of both fathers hang above my desk.



Above:  El Hadj holds up a picture of his deceased daughter; a Nigerian father holds his malaria stricken daughter

These are but two examples of the African parents who lose their precious children to a mosquito bite every minute of every day. And my eyes well up at the prospect of that happening to Nell or Maret. We’re lucky here in the U.S., where malaria was eradicated in 1951. A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease.

The good news is that we can help protect children who still live with the reality of a potentially deadly mosquito bite. Just one dollar buys and delivers a life-saving test and treatment for a child in Africa through our Power of One campaign, thanks to our partnership with Alere and Novartis.

So this World Mosquito Day, please consider contributing. With your help, we’re closer than ever to mosquitoes becoming just another summer nuisance alongside sunburns and brain freezes, instead of the world’s most deadly predator.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas

For many Americans, it’s difficult to see the impact foreign aid has on people half a world away. We’re working hard to close that gap, and bring stories from malaria endemic countries home. That’s why, last week, we brought three Senate staffers to Dakar, Senegal and Geneva, Switzerland; where the staff learned firsthand the impact malaria has across all aspects of the Senegalese health system. They also experienced the inspiring progress that Senegal has made with the help of partners like the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, to which the U.S. is the largest donor.

Day 1

The week kicked off in Dakar with meetings at the U.S. Embassy and Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program, where staffers heard from the program officers on the ground working to eliminate malaria about challenges and successes in the region. We learned how malaria fits within a broader health and economic context in the region, and why so many parts of the Senegalese government, private sector leaders, and development partners are committed to fighting malaria. The PMI Resident Advisor helped to guide us around and explain how PMI’s staff from USAID and the CDC support Senegal’s health system.

Day 2

Tuesday started bright and early with a short drive to the Peace Corps Headquarters in Ngor where the team was briefed by Country Director Cheryl Gregory Faye and Vanessa Dickey, Director of Programming & Training, then boarded a van for the almost two-hour drive to Thies, where we saw the great work Peace Corps volunteers are doing to combat malaria as part of their continent-wide “Stomp Out Malaria in Africa” program. We even Skyped with volunteers from other countries who are implementing the same community-based case management strategies that were developed in Senegal and which are now in Benin, Madagascar, and other countries. Over a lunch of delicious family-style Senegalese yassa chicken, we heard presentations from current Peace Corps volunteers about some of the major challenges they face in the area, including commodity stock outs, village access and communication. We learned what they are doing in partnership with PMI to overcome these obstacles and stomp out malaria.

 

Senegal Peace Corps & SLAP Lab

Above: Lunch with the Peace Corps; visit to SLAP lab

In the afternoon we were able to see cutting-edge research taking place at the Parasite Control Service. Dr. Sy and Dr. Ndiaye presented the monitoring and research activities which are supported by various US governmental and higher education institutions including the NIH, CDC, USAID, Peace Corps as well as Tulane and Harvard Universities. The lab, although subject to challenges like fluctuating electricity (our demonstration of the microscopy center was cut short by a power outage), is helping track insecticide resistance and studying the genetic markers of parasites to track parasite populations over time. The day ended with two site visits, one to a larger health center in Thies and another smaller health hut in Keur Madaro, where we had the opportunity to meet the community leaders and health workers.

Day 3

On Wednesday, the team headed out to see another key global malaria partner, PATH. The PATH country director explained PATH’s work to strengthen the health system in Senegal through community empowerment and malaria prevention and treatment. After a brief visit and presentation from young members of the Malaria No More Club in a nearby school, the staff headed to a lunch, hosted by MNM’s long-time partner, Senegalese NGO Speak Up Africa, with key business leaders to hear why they care about malaria and what they are doing to stop malaria from draining Senegal’s economy. The ideas proposed by bankers, builders, and leaders of other industries included issuing a malaria bond, setting up a health investment fund, and contributing in-kind expertise and materials to the fight – something several leaders in the room pledged to do.

We made a quick stop to see a warehouse where the Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets procured with PMI funding are housed before being distributed nationwide, then arrived to our last meeting in Dakar with the Minister of Health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck. Given her previous experience as Roll Back Malaria’s Executive Director, the Honorable Awa Marie Coll-Seck’s vast knowledge of malaria allowed our time to be more of a working session than a typical courtesy call. During the hour she spent with the team, the Senate staffers were able to report back what they found from their time in Dakar, including the challenges of supply chain management to rural areas, but also the successes of the partnership between PMI and the inspiring staff of the National Malaria Control Program.

 

Senegal LLIN & Minister of Health

Above: Visit to the LLIN warehouse; meeting with the Minister of Health

The Minister of Health also spoke about Senegal’s commitment to pre-elimination and its challenges and strategies for tackling the higher-burden southeastern regions, such as indoor residual spraying and seasonal chemo-prevention for children. She also stressed the need for private sector engagement, and shared that she was very pleased to have presented Senegal’s story at the official health event during the trade and investment themed U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. the week before.

Geneva

After an overnight flight to Geneva, the team ended the trip with debriefing meetings to link the lessons from Senegal with broader global strategies for malaria and innovation for the next wave of the fight.

Experts from the Global Fund, the WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, Medicines for Malaria Venture, and MNM’s Power of One partner Novartis all shared their perspectives on the global fight against malaria, answered the staff’s questions in great detail, and closed out a busy, but productive, week.

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Advocacy, Senegal, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/how-ebola-makes-malaria-more-deadly https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/how-ebola-makes-malaria-more-deadly

If you’re even a casual consumer of news, you’ve likely heard plenty about New York City resident Eric Silverman, who was hospitalized recently at Mt. Sinai hospital after displaying symptoms of Ebola.

While the media went into overdrive, it turns out that the Brooklyn man – who recently returned from Sierra Leone – was likely suffering from malaria. The mistake is understandable, since the two diseases display similar symptoms - such as fever, headache, and aching joints. As The Gothamist headline joked, “Ebola Man" Probably Just Had Boring Malaria.

The Ebola fears are well justified: As the death toll in West Africa surpassed 1,000, the World Health Organization recently approved the experimental use of drugs to try to save infected patients. But the reality is that “boring” malaria kills more people every day - about 1,700 - than have died in the Ebola outbreak to date. And, with the rainy season underway in West Africa, the Ebola outbreak may compound malaria’s deadly effects. As Bloomberg reports, Sierra Leone residents suffering from malaria are staying away from health clinics and hospitals, fearing they may be quarantined or infected with Ebola from a sick patient.

Unlike Ebola, we have simple cost-effective treatments for malaria. They key is getting them in time, since kids can die within the first 24 hours of the onset of malaria symptoms.

So, as health officials tackle the Ebola crisis, they must take special pains to encourage people to seek timely testing and treatment for similar-seeming illnesses, so “boring” malaria doesn’t become even more deadly.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/asia-the-next-frontier-in-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/asia-the-next-frontier-in-the-malaria-fight

MNM staff just returned from Singapore, where we held an official event to kick-off our partnership to fight malaria with the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

The Asia-Pacific region is home to more than two billion people at risk of malaria infection and accounts for 32 million cases of malaria each year. Recently, resistance to the front line treatment to the disease, aretemisin-based combination therapies (ACTs), has emerged in the Greater Mekong Region. This is a major concern to the public health community, as ACTs are the most effective way to treat malaria, and past resistance to malaria treatment has spread from Asia to Africa, where most cases of the disease occur.

The reception celebrating the new collaboration took place at the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore with attendance from both private sector and government leaders including Alere, the American Chamber of Commerce, Bayer, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Edelman, Kimberly-Clark, and US Embassy and Australian officials.

While many of the business leaders in the room understand the importance of defeating malaria in the region, the goal of the event was also to take advantage of their expertise and resources to leverage engagement across additional sectors.  To that end, MNM staff heard directly from the private sector representatives, including a presentation from Alere, about strategies to garner support within their organization as well as effective ways to engage new champions in the business world.

The event was a great start in helping to deepen the bench for the Champions of APLMA, which will be a major focus of the new partnership. The group will build a coalition of private sector leaders in Asia-Pacific to raise the profile of malaria as a massive roadblock to the region’s social and economic progress, and to advocate for the elimination of the disease in Asia and beyond.

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Advocacy, Asia, Malaria Policy, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/from-malaria-victim-to-malaria-victor https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/from-malaria-victim-to-malaria-victor

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Today’s supporter, Chinweike, is what we at MNM call a super supporter. When his company, Novartis, encouraged him to take part in fundraising for our Power of One campaign, he set himself a lofty goal – to raise $1,500. Through Po1, that’s enough to provide malaria tests and treatments to 1,500 African children. And not only did Chinwe achieve his goal, he far surpassed it – raising $12,347! In fact, his personal fundraiser was so successful that he had to raise the bar for himself after just two days, as he had already met his initial $1,500 goal. For him it was more than just participating in a Novartis employee engagement effort. It was personal.

Growing up in Nigeria, Chinwe suffered from malaria during his childhood, as did many of his family members. Chinwe, who is now working at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, beat tough odds. While major progress has been made since he was a child in Nigeria, malaria still takes a massive toll on the world’s children - with a child dying every minute from the treatable disease.

Though he left the country as a teenager, he says his ties to the continent still remain. He has taken part in African medical and education programs since leaving, and was especially drawn to the scale and ambition of the Power of One effort, which has already raised enough money to provide malaria treatments to two million children. “A death a minute for a preventable and treatable disease is just unacceptable,” says Chinwe. “To be able to change a life with a dollar is quite a bargain.”

Chinwe’s passion for Po1 was contagious. Though he had just started in his position, he used the campaign as a way to connect with new co-workers. He took the message everywhere he went – from work, to the airport, to his monthly poker game – he even fundraised at a couple’s engagement party! And his family is just as excited about the cause as he is. His 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter offered up their savings to be donated. His wife sent messages to her friends and family soliciting donations, and made sure Chinwe was actively fundraising through some good-natured spousal nagging.

And the impact was incredible – as Chinwe says he’d never given or raised even a third of what he did through Power of One. And he plans to continue raising money for the campaign throughout the year.

While Chinwe provided enough money to test and treat more than 12,000 children for malaria, he says he benefited from the effort as well. “It was a great thrill doing this,” he says. “I have reconnected with a host of great friends and colleagues from my pre-Novartis days, and in less than six months at the company I already know I have wonderful colleagues and friends I can count on.”

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Malaria Tests, Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Power of One, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/20750-nets-for-pregnant-women-and-children https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/20750-nets-for-pregnant-women-and-children

Thanks to MNM’s generous international donors, MNM Cameroon was able to purchase 20,750 long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINs).

The majority of the nets will go to the two populations who need it the most: pregnant women and children. Malaria attacks these two groups the most viciously, where 45% of malaria deaths are children under 5, and pregnant women suffer from miscarriages and birth complications.

The nets will also be used as prizes for community sensitization activities and radio contests to engage the public and test their malaria knowledge.

MNM Cameroon donated 15,000 LLINs to the Ministry of Public Health to be distributed to pregnant women during their antenatal visits in health centers in the Center region, where net possession is the lowest. When a pregnant woman goes in for her prenatal care, she will receive this three-year-lasting net, and as of her fourth month of pregnancy the health centers also provide her with free Intermittent Preventative Treatment (IPT), which protects her and her baby from malaria.

In Cameroon a child is lost every four hours to this killer. Mosquito nets are still the most efficient protection against malaria, but unfortunately orphanages are not covered by the universal net distributions.

Because of this - and in honor of the International Day of the African Child in June - MNM Cameroon went to four different children’s centers to teach 160 orphans, abandoned and disadvantaged children and caregivers about malaria. K.O. PALU Junior and Senior Ambassadors donated food to the orphanages, performing malaria themed songs and leading an interactive quiz with exciting prizes. After the sensitization session, nets were installed on each of their beds.

In Yaoundé, MNM was invited to join in on Day of the African Child celebrations at two centers in collaboration with “Association des Jeunes pour un Comportement Positif” (AJECP- an association founded and led by a former MNM intern) and “Hope for All.”

At one of the centers in Yaoundé, K.O. PALU Ambassador and Percussionist Zorobabel performed with his cute and talented sons for the first time. After his performance, the children performed a creative malaria-themed sketch, which included using headphones for a stethoscope.

In the Southwest, Peace Corps Volunteers stationed there came out to help, as did K.O. PALU Ambassador and singer Sine and Radio Balafon’s Cyrille Bojicko.

To increase the chances of the nets being used, MNM aired them out in advance and directly installed the nets after the sensitizations. With the help of the ambassadors, the team also put up posters in each center that encourage mosquito net usage.

After the installation of nets, every child received a bracelet and sticker to encourage them to sleep under their bed nets nightly in order to be healthy and fulfill their dreams.

Caregivers and the center’s directors testified about the malaria cases they have endured, including one 8-month-old baby who died from malaria. They expressed their gratitude toward COTCO-ExxonMobil for the net donation, promising to ensure the children use and maintain the nets regularly and appropriately. They all believe they will now suffer fewer cases of malaria thanks to these nets!

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Cameroon, Mosquito Nets, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/70000-children-treated-through-venmo1 https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/70000-children-treated-through-venmo1

Your friend just paid you to split a cab ride, and you just purchased a malaria treatment for a child in Africa. It’s that easy! Through mobile payments provider Venmo, people all over America have been donating to our Power of One platform as part of their everyday lives.

When we launched Power of One, we wanted to make it so effortless to treat a child for malaria that you could do it while going about your daily business. When we met Venmo, a mobile app that lets you easily pay your friends back for a beer or concert ticket and socialize it in your newsfeed, we not only realized that this was attainable, but that the platform’s socially engaged user base could create a massive impact.

As of today, Venmo donors have provided a whopping 70,000 malaria treatments to children in Zambia, a total of $35,000 in one-dollar treatments, which was matched with 35,000 treatments provided by our Power of One partner, Novartis.

Users were able to donate with just one tap on their phone while cashing out their Venmo balance to their bank account. Even cooler, they could donate through their newsfeed! Any time a payment was made to Malaria No More, the payment would appear in their friends’s newsfeed, along with a hyperlink to create a one-touch donation of their own. The result was a viral loop of donations, and Venmo users had tons of fun with all of the social features that came with it (see below).

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Venmo for their innovative efforts to end malaria deaths, and to our treatment partner Novartis for matching the impact that was made. Through the help of our partners and supporters, we’re one step closer to finally making malaria no more!



Venmo users having fun while treating kids for malaria

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T::

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Malaria No More NewsMother�™s First Fundraiser a Big HitOutbreak Responder: A different game for a different future.Q&A with Ray Chambers, Challenge #5: Fuel the FightThis Baby Accepts Credit CardsThe shrinking malaria mapBill Gates: We can eradicate malaria in our lifetimesChallenge #5: Fuel the FightChallenge 4: Data & MobileChallenge #4: Data & Mobile �“ Ashifi Gogo, CEO of SproxilChallenge 3: Block TransmissionChallenge #3: Block Transmission - Grey Frandsen, Kite PatchThis mosquito helps save lives from malariaChallenge #2: Complete Cure �“ Roger Waltzman, NovartisChallenge #2: Complete CureDeconstructing malaria with Femi KutiChallenge #1: Find the Parasite - Duncan Blair, AlereChallenge #1: Find the parasiteSolve For M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending MalariaDomenico�™s �œCiao” to malariaEating Pizza with Katharine McPheeFrom behind the scenes to the spotlightThe World�™s Deadliest Animal Gets AirtimeYoung Cameroonian comic joins the malaria fightIt�™s Summer Time, and the Life-Saving is EasyU.S. Senate Staff see malaria investments overseasHow Ebola Makes Malaria More DeadlyAsia: The next frontier in the malaria fightFrom malaria victim to malaria victor20,750 nets for pregnant women and children70,000 children treated through Venmo!

ntent-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8 https://www.malarianomore.org/ en Copyright 2014 2014-11-20T22:38:00+00:00 https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/mothers-first-fundraiser-a-big-hit

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Being a mother of three children, Inge was touched by our Power of One campaign’s simplistic message – $1 given = 1 child saved – and decided to start her fundraiser. She learned about the campaign through her employer, Novartis, a company that has been committed to the fight against malaria for more than a decade.

Her boss at Novartis was the initial inspiration to get involved – and was one of her biggest supporters. “She was the first to donate a large amount of money to kick start the fundraiser,” said Inge. “And she also reached out to her personal network that resulted in donations adding up to several thousands of dollars.” Inge also shared stories with other co-workers who were also fundraising for the malaria fight.

Inge says the Power of One message made her first fundraising effort an easy one. “I just had to reach out to my family, friends and colleagues via email – and the results were amazing!” said Inge.

Inge’s campaign was so successful that she kept moving her fundraising goal up! “Two days after launching my fundraiser I had to increase the target,” said Inge. “One week before the end of the campaign, I was at 4400 treatments, so I raised the target again. I am proud that together, in the end we could raise more than 5600 treatments.”

While this was Inge’s first fundraising campaign ever, it doesn’t seem like it will be her last. “Personally it has been a very rewarding exercise,” said Inge. “I have been very blessed in many aspects and the campaign has given me the opportunity to ‘give back’ and feel the joy and pride in encouraging others doing the same.”

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Power of One, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/outbreak-responder-a-different-game-for-a-different-future

MNM is always looking for new and interesting ways to bring attention to the malaria fight. That’s why we’re really excited to partner with Global Gaming Initiative on its latest endeavor, which will benefit Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign.

When we started Global Gaming Initiative, (GGI) we wanted to utilize technology for good by creating a fun and easy way for people to make a difference. Our solution - mobile games. The goal being to inspire the developed world to get involved globally and provide the developing word greater access to education.  This year we ourselves received a massive education in the realities of global health issues, specifically malaria. The reality that malaria is a completely treatable disease, which an estimated 627,000 still die from annually, was both beyond unsettling and urgently motivating. We partnered with developers who share our desire to create a future without malaria to create our combative agent, Outbreak Responder, as we know that nothing is possible without health.

Outbreak Responder - using beautiful graphics and strategic challenges puts the player on a mission to cure communities from the spread of malaria. The best part is, being an Outbreak Responder player, you literally become an agent of change as your in-game contributions unlock malaria tests and treatments for African children through Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign. We have long admired the work Malaria No More does on the ground and are thrilled to partner with them to help you provide a healthy future for children with malaria. This is what fun and games and saving lives looks like. It’s the power of the change in your pocket – so download Outbreak Responder, put your game time to good use and help us create a better future, one child at a time.

Learn more about Outbreak Responder here.

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/qa-with-ray-chambers-challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #5 focuses on a crucial component of finally ending malaria – maintaining and growing funding. For more, we spoke to Ray Chambers, co-founder of Malaria No More and United Nations Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria.

1. What are some of the changes you anticipate in global financing for health over the next decade?

Funding has increased dramatically for global health since the world got serious about saving millions of children and mothers from preventable causes. The results have been impressive: Since 2000 the number of under-five deaths worldwide has declined from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. But continuing to fund these gains from donor countries is not sustainable, especially if we want to move toward the elimination of malaria. We need to support three existing trends that can shift us to a new funding paradigm.

Endemic countries must increase their domestic health budgets. Domestic financing for malaria increased over the period of 2005 to 2012, from $436 million in 2005 to $522 million in 2012, rising at an estimated rate of 4% per year - a move in the right direction. But most countries still fall short of the Abuja target of dedicating 15% of their domestic budgets to improving health.

We must approach financing of life-saving commodities more creatively. We’re seeing early success from pay-for-performance social impact bonds that demonstrate the returns on investing in net distribution in Mozambique. An innovative tax on airline tickets to support work on AIDS, TB and Malaria has produced millions of dollars for AIDS treatment.

The private sector has recognized that healthier communities are better places to do business, and investing in the health of employees in the countries where they operate can help the bottom line as well.

2. How important have the Millennium Development Goals been to galvanizing support for malaria and other global health programs?

As a businessman I was drawn to the MDGs as time-bound, quantifiable targets against which we could measure our success. The inclusion of malaria in Goal 6 of the MDGs was essential to allowing the global health community to rally around the malaria targets. With this support came coordinated plans and, crucially, financing to enact those plans. Similarly with child and maternal health, by quantifying where we were, and where we needed to get, the MDGs provided the outline of a roadmap others could build upon and collectively enact. And with all 193 countries signing on to the MDGs back in 2000, their value has gone well beyond the tangible achievements of lives saved. They’ve linked all of us in a shared pursuit of something greater than our individual or even national selves. This shared global consciousness will carry the spirit and ambitions of the MDGs well beyond 2015.

3. How do you expect the funding landscape to change at the end of 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals deadline hits?

Relying on outdated models of north-to-south donor contributions will eventually hit a wall, and some would argue that the fatigue has already begun to set in. If we continue to think creatively about how we finance life-saving programs and commodities among a broader community - leveraging previously untapped resources, especially from the private sector - funding for health should continue to grow. Companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Unilever and AngloGold Ashanti have demonstrated the leadership role businesses can play in keeping populations healthy. Similarly, the private sector plays an essential role in the research and development of new technologies and vaccines that could replace existing costly interventions. Now is the time to test new models of funding while investing in research that could deliver cheaper, more effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

4. What would the consequences be if malaria funding were scaled back?

Recent history has already demonstrated what happens when funding for malaria is decreased or held-up. From 2006 t0 2008 net coverage dropped due to delayed funding disbursements, resulting in an upsurge of malaria cases in 2009.  We’ve successfully covered almost every person in need of a net with a net, and in doing so saved over 3.3 million children since 2000. But as a result of this success, millions of children protected by nets have no immunity to malaria. If their nets aren’t replaced every three years, we will see malaria infections and deaths far exceed previous levels. Total funding for malaria control is expected to reach $2.85 billion each year between 2014 and 2016, substantially below the required amount for this period. We have come so close to lifting the burden of malaria off an entire continent. A final push - in political commitment, partner support and funding - will put the end of malaria deaths in our grasp and make elimination a reality.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Advocacy, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/this-baby-accepts-credit-cards

Above:  Manishha Patel used inventive and fun memes to rally her friends to donate to Power of One.

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

MNM supporter Manishha raised money for our Power of One campaign with the help of her good-hearted loved ones and colleagues at her employer, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF). Fundraising for the cause came naturally to her given the lessons her parents taught her growing up – to be appreciative of the opportunities she has and to help those less fortunate.

“My parents are from a very rural and poor region of India,” says Manishha. “They always taught us to be grateful for the opportunities that were given to us in Canada and to help and care for the less fortunate.”

 



Manishha has always felt a strong urge to help those less fortunate. “I have always wanted to help people in underdeveloped countries, and Power of One affected me because of the impact it can have for people in Africa – the idea that just one dollar can save one person’s life really resonated with me and I wanted to help them in any way that I could.”

In addition to drawing on the wise words of her parents, she drew on the talents of her boyfriend. Together, they came up with eye-catching posters, featuring funny pictures of babies offering words of encouragement. And the kid theme didn’t end there – Manishha even inspired her niece and godchildren to donate their piggybank savings.

Manishha’s colleagues were a huge help too. They championed her cause to their families, friends, religious organizations, and sports teams, helping her break her past fundraising record of $500! “The sheer amount of support from GNF as a whole was phenomenal,” said Manisha. “The encouragement and support I received for the campaign was unbelievable, and helped me eventually recruit more than 330 friends to join Power of One.”

Good news is Manishha isn’t done yet. “This is the kind of work I have dreamed of doing and that is why I decided to get involved in the fundraiser,” said Manishha. “I will continue to promote the cause of Malaria No More and I hope that, in the very near future, malaria will no longer be as devastating a disease as it is now.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/shrinking-malaria-map-bill-gates

This video of the shrinking malaria was shared by Bill Gates at the ASTMH conference.

Malaria has been killing for centuries. In 1900, it was taking lives from nearly every country on Earth, but the goal is to wipe this killer disease from the planet within a generation.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/bill-gates-we-can-eradicate-malaria-in-our-lifetimes

It was a packed house last night, as the best and brightest in the public health world poured into a New Orleans conference hall to hear one of the world’s most prolific philanthropists share his vision for the future of global health.

As Bill Gates joked, he was eager to finally have a captive audience for his thoughts on some of the world’s most pervasive diseases, as he typically bores dinner party guests with his excitement over discussing topics such as dengue fever, polio and malaria.

During his keynote speech at the Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Gates focused his remarks on Ebola and malaria. He spoke to the lessons the global health community can take from the Ebola crisis, and how it can serve to educate and strengthen our response to other public health issues. He spent the bulk of his speech talking about malaria, and urging the gathered group of the world’s premier scientists and doctors to embrace the idea of malaria eradication in our lifetimes. He also announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be increasing its already substantial financial commitment to fighting malaria by 30 percent.

Gates laid out the elements of a new strategy to achieve the ambitious goal of eradication, including fostering innovation in the surveillance and research & development arenas, as well as continued investment in malaria control efforts as we concurrently set our longer term vision on eradication.

You can read more on the new plan here. It is not an easy task, but with a shared vision and energy in the global health community, it is possible. His closing statement, which drew a standing ovation, echoed the sentiment that malaria eradication is within our grasp: “I’m optimistic we’ll get there faster than the skeptics think.”

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malaria elimination, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-5-fuel-the-fight

To win the malaria fight, we need to rethink how we pay for it

Malaria No More was founded by two prominent business leaders, Ray Chambers and Peter Chernin, who saw combating malaria as a unique opportunity to save lives and improve livelihoods on a global scale. As Chernin put it, ending malaria represents “the best humanitarian investment in the world today.”

It’s easy to see why. Malaria is a devastating disease and one of the top killers of children under the age of five and pregnant women worldwide. It’s also a huge drain on economies, accounting for approximately $12 billion in lost economic productivity in Africa each year, due to the burden it places on health systems and the toll of work absenteeism and missed school days.

By contrast, the existing tools are simple and scalable - a mosquito net can protect a mother and child for three years for around $5; a 50 cent rapid diagnostic test and $1 treatment can save a child’s life – and, as this series highlights, revolutionary new technologies are just around the corner.

When Malaria No More was founded in 2006, global spending on malaria was only a few hundred million dollars a year, and approximately a million people were dying from mosquito bites annually.

Through a massive global effort – including $3 billion in annual funding, led by the U.S. and U.K. governments, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the World Bank, the private sector and philanthropists - the rate of malaria deaths in Africa has been cut in half in under a decade. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved since the year 2000 from malaria alone.

 

Malaria funding now vs next

Planning for a Rainy Day

The danger with malaria - the thing that keeps us malaria fighters up at night - is that if you lose focus, even for a single rainy season, the disease can come roaring back with devastating consequences.

There have been 75 documented instances of malaria resurgence from the 1930s to the year 2000, and nearly all of them were associated with the weakening of malaria control efforts. If we stopped investing in malaria control today, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis, claiming millions of lives, and undo the hard-fought gains we’ve made in the past decade.

As the burden of malaria continues to be reduced, we need to shift from catalytic “scale up” funding models to sustainable, long-term approaches that will enable us to end the disease. That means diversifying the sources of funding so that the continued commitment of international donors is buoyed by growing domestic and regional investments, as well as innovative financing approaches. It also means using better data to find efficiencies that will stretch and strengthen the impact of malaria spending at the country level.

Put Your Money Where Your Malaria Is

We often say that malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. But the reverse is also true: malaria control is equally a cause and consequence of economic growth. It’s not just geography that caused malaria to be eliminated first in the United States in 1951 and most of Europe by 1975 - it was equally the result of economic growth, development and increased spending on health and infrastructure.

The current slate of countries moving toward malaria elimination – mostly in Asia and South America – are already covering the bulk of the expense themselves: almost 80 percent of interventions are self-financed, according to a recent analysis by UCSF’s Global Health Group and Cambridge Economic Policy Associates. 

 

Malaria funding vs deaths

In Africa, however, most countries still fall short of the self-declared “Abuja target” of dedicating 15% of domestic budgets to improving health. As “Africa Rising” moves from rhetoric to reality and economies on the continent continue to grow, Africa has the wherewithal to finance an increasing share of its malaria elimination ambitions. And it has powerful financial incentive to ensure the work continues - a recent study by Accenture estimated the present-day economic value (i.e. profit) of continued investment in malaria control in Africa at more than $322 billion between now and 2035, due to the tremendous health and productivity gains that would result.

Endemic countries also have the opportunity to stretch their budgets by working smarter. To the extent that countries can draw on good timely data to inform program decisions, they can save money by targeting the appropriate mix of interventions by region and setting. Zambia and Zimbabwe, for instance, have saved millions of dollars by using malaria risk-mapping to optimize their net and insecticide spraying programs.

Particularly as countries reduce their malaria burden, one-size-fits-all, national-scale approaches may no longer apply. Namibia, a country moving toward elimination, has used malaria and mobility data to develop a more sophisticated, spatially targeted malaria program.

The Future of Funding

Regional financing mechanisms are emerging for countries, companies, and philanthropists to invest in malaria control and elimination in their own backyards. Asia-Pacific has set the ambitious goals of eliminating drug-resistant malaria by 2020, and all malaria by 2030. To help finance the efforts, the Asian Development Bank and the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance this year set up a regional trust fund to solve this pressing regional challenge.

Mechanisms for nontraditional donors to play a part in eliminating the disease are growing as well. In Indonesia, a small group of high net worth individuals have pledged to co-invest alongside the government and Global Fund in health priorities, while in the Philippines and Ghana companies with large local operations – the Pilipinas Shell Foundation and AngloGold Ashanti – have managed Global Fund malaria grants working hand-in-hand with government agencies.

Innovative financing efforts, including concepts such as development impact bonds, also have the potential to contribute. Creators of The Mozambique Malaria Performance bond aim to establish a sustainable new funding source that can also improve the efficiency of malaria programs through a pay-for-performance model.

It’s an attractive concept: private investors front the costs of malaria control interventions to be repaid by a group of government and private-sector partners who reap the rewards of successful malaria control, including healthy citizens, employees and consumers. But we have yet to see investors step up to participate in such an instrument vehicle. If these models take root, malaria could evolve from being “the best humanitarian investment” to an actual investment opportunity—one that pays a dividend to those who contribute.

Achieving the historic goal of malaria eradication requires endurance. To sustain and extend the gains of the past decade, the global community must commit to providing predictable, sustainable, long-term support.

Our success in fighting malaria over the past decade has been built upon a solid foundation of funding, and the continued support of the U.S., U.K. and Australian governments; as well as institutions such as the Global Fund and the World Bank, will be essential to finishing the job. But we also need endemic countries and regions to commit to shouldering an increasing share of the costs as we move toward malaria elimination.

In the end, it will not be one sector or government that will finally eradicate malaria. It will be a global success—one we should all be proud to have contributed to.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile

How the mobile revolution in Africa is transforming global health

When I first moved to West Africa, back in 2009, you could travel to the most remote, rural villages – places without power, running water, or any other modern conveniences – and you would invariably find Coca-Cola. Somehow the familiar red-and-white brand had solved the distribution and marketing challenges of reaching these ends-of-the-earth consumers.

In those same remote villages, you can also find some of Africa’s highest-tech companies – mobile providers like MTN, Tigo, Airtel, Vodacom and Safaricom. Africa has leapfrogged the power line and the PC and gone directly to mobile phones. By the end of 2015, there will be an estimated 1 billion mobile phone accounts in Africa – one for nearly every man, woman and child on the continent.

First Disease Beaten By Mobile

In our first challenge (“Find the Parasite”), we talked about the importance of rapid diagnostics to locate the malaria parasite in people. What is a diagnostic test result but a plus or a minus, a one or a zero? It’s a bit of data. But in many malaria-endemic countries, that data used to just sit in stacks of paper to be collected every so often by health authorities. When you combine this data with rapid reporting via mobile phones, you have the makings of a revolution in global health.

Of all the tools in the malaria fight (including the obvious ones such as nets, testing, treatment and spraying) mobile phones may be the ones that tip the balance toward ending this disease. That’s why at Malaria No More we’ve been bold in proclaiming that malaria can be the first disease beaten by mobile.

A Swiss-Army Knife for Malaria

Sounds ambitious, but when you look at the problems we have to solve – from case detection and response, to stock management, and health education – mobile is at the center of the solutions time and again. It’s the Swiss Army knife of the malaria fight, helping to solve and accelerate a wide variety of other solutions. Here are a few examples of how mobile and data are already transforming the malaria fight.

The Novartis-led SMS for Life program has demonstrated the potential of mobile to address stock outs and ensure that people have malaria drugs when and where they need them. The pilot program focused on three districts in Tanzania. When it started, 26% of public health facilities were completely stocked out of malaria drugs at any given time. That means that parents had a one-in-four chance of showing up at a clinic with a sick child only to find that they didn’t have a dollar’s worth of life-saving treatment on hand.

To address the problem, under the umbrella of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Novartis and its public and private partners set up a simple, SMS reporting system that enabled health workers and pharmacists at public health facilities to record and report their stock levels on a weekly basis. This made it possible to anticipate shortages and distribute malaria drug supply more efficiently. Six months later, less than 1% of the facilities were stocked out of malaria drugs: a 97% reduction in stock outs through better and faster information flows. SMS for Life has now been expanded to several other African countries including Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.

 

Mobile swiss army knife for malaria

In a similar fashion, mobile phones may be the key to solving the challenge of counterfeit and stolen malaria treatments. Nigeria is the epicenter of the malaria challenge, accounting for nearly a quarter of the world’s malaria burden. As the market for antimalarial treatments has grown, so too has the attraction for counterfeiters. Recent estimates suggest that nearly 40% of all antimalarials on the market are counterfeit.

The challenge is compounded by the fact that most Nigerians don’t get their treatments from public health facilities. Eighty percent of people go to the private sector for treatment. And this isn’t your corner Walgreens we’re talking about. In Nigeria, it’s not uncommon to see malaria drugs sold alongside open-air butcher stands and car parts in public markets.

The solution to this problem? You guessed it - mobile. Working with companies such as Sproxil, PharmaSecure and mPedigree, the Nigerian government now requires that every antimalarial drug (and antibiotic) carry a label that consumers can scratch off like a lottery ticket and text in for free to confirm their drug is authentic and safe. Read more about Sproxil’s efforts to combat counterfeiters here.

This scalable use of the technology is revolutionizing the fight against counterfeits, and even helping authorities to track down contraband drugs. Malaria No More is working with a group of partners to go a step further: to explore how this data – a real-time sample of antimalarial consumption – can be used to draw fresh insights that can inform public health decision-making to save even more lives.

The Big Benefits of Data

A study in Kenya presents another compelling example of leveraging non-health data to fight malaria.

Caroline Buckee of the Harvard School of Public Health worked with Kenya’s largest mobile operator to analyze anonymized mobile phone usage records from 15 million consumers to track human migration patterns. Researchers then combined this migration map with regional malaria incidence data to identify how malaria travels around the country via human carriers.

Unsurprisingly, most of the malaria emanated from the high-transmission areas along Lake Victoria on Kenya’s western border.  But the data also spotlighted unusually high migration from the Lake Zone region about 50 miles inland to the western highlands region.

A few clicks of a Google map reveal that the western highlands are host to massive and bustling tea plantations that serve as a kind of bus depot for malaria transmission. Infected workers came from the Lake Zone to the highlands, where mosquitoes picked up the parasite and infected fellow plantation workers, who in turn transported the parasite back to their home communities farther inland.

These data-driven insights can help direct resources and interventions to make the malaria fight more effective. For example, eliminating malaria in the Lake Zone might cut off the source of infections in the highlands – even if you didn’t run a large-scale elimination program in the highlands themselves.

Mobile Aids Elimination

If anything, harnessing the power of mobile and data becomes more important as countries move toward malaria elimination. As the scale of the problem shrinks, the need for timely and precise surveillance data only grows. Vital elements such as real-time reporting of cases and accurate intervention mapping are now possible thanks to web, mapping, mobile and data analytics tools.

As you move toward the end game of elimination, countries must be able to track and respond to every case immediately to prevent it from spreading. They set up a sort of SWAT-team approach (painful pun intended): rapid-response systems in which health workers immediately report cases and teams show up to test and treat people in a perimeter around the infection to contain the spread of the parasite.

Even more so than Coca-Cola, that gives us something to smile about.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-4-data-mobile-ashifi-gogo-ceo-of-sproxil

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 4 (link to post) looks at ways technology and data can be used to fight malaria. Ashifi Gogo is the head of Sproxil, a company that uses mobile phone technology to combat dangerous counterfeit malaria medication.

1) Many people aren’t aware of the major threat counterfeit drugs pose, can you briefly describe the problem and how mobile authentication, such as Sproxil, helps fight it?

Drug counterfeiting, while particularly prevalent in emerging markets, is a global disease that threatens the safety and well-being of all citizens. 700,000 people die every year from fake anti-malarial and tuberculosis drugs alone: it is the equivalent of the entire population of Boston disappearing in a single year.

By leveraging the increasing popularity of mobile phones, we developed a simple, but powerful and secure SMS system: Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™). We partner directly with manufacturers and distributors to append security labels with a scratch-off panel on each product. At point of sale, a consumer will scratch off the panel to reveal a unique, single use code that they SMS to our phone number for free. The consumer instantly receives a response back confirming that the product is genuine or warning that it is suspicious. Our 24/7 help desk, which supports major local languages, is available for reports of counterfeiting activity and for questions relating to the product or solution.

To further reduce access barriers, we have multiple channels for verification: mobile apps (available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry 7), web apps and our help desk.

2) You’re working to integrate Sproxil into more countries. Where do you provide service currently, and where do you plan to expand?

We have operations in Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and the U.S. and can execute projects on six major continents. In an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters, we do not disclose our plans for expansion.

3) Beyond preventing counterfeits, do you see other ways to leverage this data to improve health?

Our technology was developed to be flexible and scalable. By creating direct communication channels between our clients and their patients, MPA can help foster healthier lifestyles. Our technology can support medical adherence programs, message patients with expiration reminders and health and wellness information or connect them with health care providers or other experts and even send special coupons or recommendations for other wellness products.  The opportunities for improving health by connecting patients with the appropriate resources make the possibilities limitless.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mobile and Malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission

The secret to ending malaria could be protecting mosquitoes from humans

As villains go, the mosquito is well cast. The tiny pest is unique in nature in two important respects. First, it has no redeeming value to the broader ecosystem (the name of the particular breed that transmits malaria, “Anopheles,” actually means “useless” in Greek); and second, the mosquito is by far the deadliest creature on the planet to human beings, claiming 725,000 lives a year—principally to malaria, but also to diseases including dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Even Disney, the company that made ants and lobsters lovable, has it in for the mosquito. In a now-famous 1943 animated short titled “the Winged Scourge,” a Disney narrator brands mosquitoes “public enemy number one” for transmitting malaria, and cheers as the Seven Dwarves gleefully pump insecticide and stomp the bug.

Our first two columns explored how finding the parasite(link) and completely curing(link) infected people are two of the keys to ending this disease. The missing piece is to block transmission and stop the endless shuttling of the parasite back and forth between man and mosquito.

You see, for malaria, the transit between mosquito and man isn’t just a joy ride—it’s an essential step in reproduction. By blocking transmission you isolate the mosquito and interrupt that process. In mosquitoes, the parasites die quickly due to their host’s short life spans; and the ones in humans stay contained until you can eliminate them with medication.

The classic approach to blocking transmission is to protect people from mosquito bites using bed nets or insecticide sprays. And make no mistake, these tools have been extraordinarily effective: a major factor in saving 3.3 million lives from the disease since 2000.

Rethinking the Problem

But to break the back of transmission, we have to rethink the problem. We must move beyond vilifying the mosquito—and the key may be protecting mosquitoes from humans.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Consider that mosquitoes only carry the malaria parasite for up to 30 days—a mosquito’s maximum lifespan—while humans can carry the parasite for decades if left untreated. And where mosquitoes can only travel a mile or two on their tiny wings, humans circle the globe transporting the parasite like carry-on luggage. So if we’re looking for someone to blame for malaria transmission, we must start by taking a hard look in the mirror.

The surest way to avoid getting malaria from mosquitoes is to stop giving it to them. That’s why a new generation of treatments that completely eliminate the malaria parasite from the human body will be so important (for more, read Challenge 2: Complete Cure). But it is only one of the novel approaches that will make it possible to stop transmission.

 



Next Generation Protection

Soon, the tried-and-true bed net may be joined by new vector-control technologies that use radar-jamming molecules to disguise humans from mosquitoes. That’s the goal of a technology called Kite Patch, which took the crowd-funding site Indiegogo by storm. Worn on your clothes, this small sticker is a spatial repellent that blocks a mosquito’s ability to register carbon dioxide. In effect, it acts like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility, making people virtually undetectable to mosquitoes. (Read more about the Kite Patch technology and what it could mean for malaria.)

This past summer, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline registered for regulatory review of the first partially effective malaria vaccine—called RTS,S—and hopes for a WHO seal of approval as early as 2015. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the number of malaria episodes by a quarter in infants immunized and cut in half malaria cases in older children (toddlers) - low by vaccine standards, but unprecedented in terms of malaria.

But even as we celebrate this milestone – the first vaccine against a parasite – the focus of research is moving beyond only protecting individual people against malaria symptoms (as RTS,S does) to blocking transmission.

New vaccine approaches target two “choke points” when parasites are at their fewest in number during their complex life cycle: the transitions from mosquito to man, and from man to mosquito. These potential vaccines could effectively hold the line against onward transmission of the parasite, stopping malaria dead in its tracks.

Despite the PR campaign against mosquitoes, the goal of malaria control has never been to eradicate the insect, but only to control it as a way to get at our true adversary: the parasite. Little did we suspect that the key to eradicating malaria around the globe could involve making the mosquito an asset in the malaria fight.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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5 challenges to end malaria, Mosquito Nets, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-3-block-transmission-grey-frandsen-kite-patch

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge 3 addresses new technologies and approaches that are in development to block the transmission of the malaria parasite between humans and mosquitoes. To learn more about one such innovation, we spoke with Grey Frandsen from Kite Patch, a sticker that protects humans from mosquitoes by disrupting the insect’s ability to detect humans.

 

1. In our eco-conscious age, a lot of people are wary of putting chemicals on their skin to repel mosquitoes. But mosquito bites are an annoying problem in the U.S., and a deadly one in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia where the pests carry life-threatening diseases, including malaria and dengue fever. Can you tell us how Kite Patch works to protect from mosquitoes without using the traditional skin contact of insect repellents?

Kite Patch is a small, beautifully-designed little “sticker” that creates something akin to an invisibility cloak, or as some suggest, a defense shield, around our bodies with spatial compounds emitted from the materials on the sticker. This product form is being designed to emit a certain level of those spatial compounds over a period of time so that the compounds hover and swirl around the body with movement and wind, and travel away from our bodies in varying distances to intercept mosquitoes as they track toward us. Once mosquitoes come into contact with these compounds, they lose the ability to detect carbon dioxide and sense skin odors – the two primary mechanisms by which they track us.

We’ve designed Kite’s brand to capture the spirit of freedom and joy – something we believe will be the result of new technologies and products, such as Kite Patch, that will lift both the burden of disease and the burden of the fear of disease.

 

2. Kite Patch coming to fruition was a collaborative effort involving several different groups pitching in on funding. Can you tell us about the process of getting this innovation from the idea to the production stage, and where you’re at now?

Kite Patch absolutely is a story about collaboration. It’s also the result of a new model developed by ieCrowd to transform innovative discoveries into solutions to global challenges. This model brought together the innovative discovery, the capital, the development partners and experts, the team, and the range of stakeholders that now make up the large, global Kite campaign.

People may know the Kite Patch from our Indiegogo campaign. Last year we launched a crowdfunding effort to raise awareness and support for a specific field test of some of our Kite Patch prototypes. We wanted to expand the number of people involved in our development process and inspire people to play a role in getting a new technology to market.

The result was amazing. The campaign went viral and Indiegogo named it one of the top five campaigns ever. We enjoyed support from around the world. Over 500 publications ran original stories about our campaign, the technology, our process for commercializing this technology, and how we branded and marketed the campaign and the product itself.

As for the product itself, Kite technology stems from scientific findings initially discovered at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) with assistance from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ieCrowd exclusively licensed the technology from UCR, and has, since then, furthered the science into a range of new technologies, in order to advance disruptive products such as Kite Patch. Kite products - ranging from new mosquito repellents to spatial attractants - feature spatial and non-spatial active ingredients.

The next major step is to get Kite Patch to the field, to markets, and into the hands of people who need it the most. To do so, we’ll continue to build partnerships around the world with those who share our passion for eliminating this horrible disease.

 

3. Some readers may think a sticker is a novelty item, but you see Kite Patch having major implications on the field of public health. Can you tell us how far-reaching you hope Kite Patch will be?

We want to be humble about the role Kite technology and products can play, but we do know this: while our mock-ups make it look cool and pretty (and don’t those kids in the below Kite Patch video look cute? Those are mine!), the Kite technology platform is being developed to support what we believe can be one of the most powerful weapons platform in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases. We have a world-class team working 24/7 to build a powerful platform of actives that can ideally be deployed around the world in a range of applications – all of which will have minimal impact on our health and the health of our environment.

 

WATCH: Kite Patch in Action

 

Specifically, we’re working on repellents and attractants that can be deployed in any number of product forms that will play important roles in public health and disease intervention efforts globally. We pay attention to every detail and we’re designing each of our products with history and current technologies and needs in mind. Most importantly, we have opened our development process to people around the world and continue to build our technology and products with significant inputs and feedback from the Kite crowd.

Our technical foundation is strong, and ieCrowd’s system for deploying disruptive new solutions like Kite Patch is ready for action. We’re excited about the prospects of the Kite platform, and with the help of the crowd, amazing partners, and the world’s best team, we have no doubt that it will be among the leading tools to fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/best-fiends-malaria-no-more

While most of the world thinks of mosquitoes as blood sucking, disease-spreading pests, there’s a new guy in town who’s on a mission to redeem the rep of his fellow mosquitoes.  Meet Edward, the handsome, malaria-fighting skeeter who happens to be one of the stars of Seriously’s new mobile game, Best Fiends. 

The Best Fiends are a pack of fun-loving creatures who spend their time fighting slugs to protect the citizens of Minutia.  But Edward has his own side gig – educating the world about malaria and helping Malaria No More to beat back this awful mosquito-borne disease to protect humans!  Getting by on a diet of coconut water instead of blood, Edward changed his ways, and has developed a whole arsenal of tools to help prevent and treat the spread of this disease.

Want to help Edward end malaria?  Visit our Edward page for a whole list of ways you can support the malaria fight, and make sure to download the game on your iPhone or iPad!

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Mobile and Malaria, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure-roger-waltzman-novartis

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #2 focuses on the development of a single-dose cure for malaria, so we sat down with Dr. Roger Waltzman. Waltzman works for the Malaria Initiative at Novartis, the maker of one of the top malaria treatments on the market.

Q: Novartis is a pioneer in the research and development of malaria treatments. What is the quick history of innovations Novartis has been a part of?

A: Novartis is in the fight against malaria for the long haul. Together with Chinese partners, Novartis developed the first artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), today’s gold standard in malaria treatment, and launched the first child-friendly, dispersible formulation developed jointly with Medicines for Malaria Venture. More recently, we launched another new formulation which reduces the pill burden for adults; this helps to ensure patients follow through with their full treatment course. Today, Novartis partners with the best institutions and intensifies its research efforts to develop new compounds against malaria to eventually eliminate the disease. With two compounds in Phase 2 clinical development and one drug target in pre-clinical research, Novartis scientists are building one of the most promising malaria pipelines in the industry.

Q: What kind of treatments will it take to eliminate malaria?

A: A two-pronged approach is required to eliminate malaria. First, new treatments must be developed that attack the malaria parasites in novel ways in case resistance against current treatments spreads. These treatments will also need to provide a “complete cure”. Second, within malaria-endemic countries, a large proportion of people with malaria do not show malaria symptoms and therefore do not seek treatment for their infection. They constitute a reservoir of malaria parasites that can be transmitted to other, more vulnerable populations, therefore targeting and treating these individuals is central to achieving the goal of malaria elimination.

Q: What is a “complete cure” for malaria? How is it different from what we have today?

A: “Complete cure” implies that the treatment not only targets the parasites in the blood in their asexual stage, which is the stage when symptoms of malaria appear, but also in their sexual stage (gametocytes). Gametocytes can be harbored in the human without provoking any symptoms, and transported upon a mosquito bite, infecting other humans. A complete cure would enable a patient to be cleared from all malaria parasites. It would also stop transmission to other humans. Current treatments do not necessarily offer the potential for a complete cure.

Q: Why is a single-dose treatment important and how do you see it affecting malaria prevalence globally?

A: Developing a new combination, similar to today’s three-day ACT treatment, which is powerful enough to treat malaria in one single dose, would enable the patient to take the entire treatment at once, virtually eliminating the risk of insufficient treatment. Indeed, with current treatments patients sometimes save tablets for other family members or friends or in case they are infected by malaria again, not realizing they may be inadequately treated. Also, parasites can become resistant to treatments when dosing is inadequate. A single-dose treatment has the potential to ensure complete and effective treatment for patients. In addition, depending upon its efficacy and safety, the treatment could be given to people who show no symptoms but harbor malaria parasites in their blood, and can therefore transmit malaria. Ultimately, treatment of asymptomatic people could help eliminate the disease in broad population groups, potentially leading to malaria eradication.

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/challenge-2-complete-cure

Inventing a Wonder Drug to Win the Malaria Fight

The story of malaria control is the story of the promise – and peril – of wonder drugs. With hundreds of millions of people infected with malaria around the globe every year, effective treatment may be the difference between ending the disease and humanitarian disaster.

Quinine, the first antimalarial, was discovered in the bark of the cinchona tree in the foothills of the Andes Mountains back in the 1600s. But it was hard to produce and administer, and there still was no reliable global supply by World War I.

Finding a cheap, reliable alternative to quinine that could be mass-produced became a military imperative during World War II. America suffered humiliating defeats “not because the ammunition was gone,” The New York Times reported, “but because the quinine tablets gave out.”

However, the synthetic drugs that emerged from that furious R&D effort – most notably chloroquine – were little match for the fast-evolving parasite, which developed resistance in under a decade.

Progress Threatened

Our current front-line treatments for malaria, called artemisinin-based combination therapies (or ACTs for short), underscore the arms race between science and parasite. ACTs have been wildly successful in saving lives – a true wonder drug by any definition – but their effectiveness may also be cut short by resistance.

First touted for its curative powers in an ancient Chinese medical book dating back to 168 BC, artemisinin was finally brought to scale globally by Swiss healthcare company Novartis, which received WHO international approval for its drug in 1999. Global funders threw their weight behind ACTs five years later, and today more than 280 million ACT treatments are distributed every year in Africa alone.

But resistance is once again threatening to rob us of our best tool in the malaria fight. Just as chloroquine resistance emerged along the Thai-Cambodia border back in the 1960s, first signs of artemisinin resistance have now been documented in the region. If it follows the same pattern as past resistance – emerging across Asia, in India, making the leap to Africa – it could potentially cost millions of lives.

History has shown that containment isn’t an option: Only by eliminating malaria in Asia-Pacific can we staunch the spread of resistance. So the Greater Mekong subregion will be ground zero for a renewed global eradication effort.

In Search of a Solution

The race is already on to develop the next generation of wonder drugs—this time tailor-made for eradication. Such a drug would have four key features.

 



First, it would be a single-dose treatment. The pharma industry talks about the “pill burden” – the total number of pills someone has to take to complete a full course of treatment. The more pills, over more days, the greater the chance that a patient will stop midway and fail to be fully cured.

Malaria treatment currently requires between three and 14 days of treatment, depending on the strain of the parasite. Getting people to take all their pills is complicated by the fact that the drugs are so fast-acting and effective that malaria symptoms may subside after the first or second day, leading people to think they’ve been treated, when in fact trace amounts of the parasite may still be hanging around in their bodies waiting to mount another attack. A single dose treatment would ensure that everyone who is treated is parasite-free.

The second feature of a new wonder drug is that it will be a “complete cure.” Malaria is so challenging in part because the parasite plays hide and seek in the human body: traveling in the bloodstream, lodging in the liver, the brain – even bone marrow, as a recent study highlighted.

Before you can hope to eliminate malaria in a community of people, you must be able to effectively eliminate it in a single person. A complete cure treatment would wipe out the parasite at every stage of its lifecycle, ensuring zero risk of passing the parasite along to others.

The third feature is what we call a prophylactic effect. Essentially, you want a drug that will remain in the body for a period of time to prevent a person from developing another case of malaria if bitten again by an infected mosquito.

And finally, the new treatment would have a high barrier to resistance, so even as you scale up use it’s able to maintain its effectiveness. This means developing an arsenal of molecules that attack the parasite in novel ways, and then using drugs in combination to stave off resistance. New malaria drugs are a great investment, but they’re expensive to develop, so we must ensure they last.

In the Pipeline

The good news is we’re well on our way to making a new slate of wonder drugs (or “one-der” drugs) a reality. Supported by a product development partnership called Medicines for Malaria Venture out of Geneva, the malaria community and pharma industry leaders including Novartis, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline have started clinical trials for treatments that will make ending malaria a reality.

As one example, Novartis has fast-tracked its first non-artemisinin based single-dose drug candidate, called KAE609, and recently published results showing that it was able to clear malaria parasites in adults in 12 hours on average. Read more about the quest for a malaria wonder drug here.

This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

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Malaria Treatments, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/femi-kuti-answers-questions-malaria

Femi Anikulapo Kuti has been able to stand tall as an icon in the music industry without being overshadowed by the colossal image of his legendary father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Over the years he has blended jazz and funk with afrobeat to create a cocktail of unique indelible sounds of afrobeat, and this has earned him four nominations for the prestigious Grammy Awards.

Today Femi Kuti joins Malaria No More to have a Twitter conversation on malaria, music and the Nigerian society. It promises to be an enthralling conversation as Femi is vocal in his opinions. To join this conversation, follow the Malaria No More Twitter account in Nigeria: @MalariaNoMoreN1 and tweet your questions to Femi Kuti as from 11AM - 12PM ET using the hashtag #AskFemiKuti. Femi Kuti is currently one of the ambassadors for the Malaria No More campaign in Nigeria.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-spotlight-on-alere

This Q&A is part of our Solve for M: Five Challenges for Ending Malaria series. Challenge #1 focuses on finding the parasite, so we sat down with Duncan Blair, PhD. Blair is the Director of Public Health Initiatives at Alere, the maker of one of the top malaria diagnostic tools on the market.

 

Q: Why are malaria RDTs a focus for your business?

With Alere being the global leader in rapid diagnostic tests for communicable diseases it would be almost impossible for us not to be involved in the malaria fight. Approximately half of the world’s population live in malaria-endemic areas, and consequently, are at risk of infection. With over 200 million infections and over 600,000 deaths a year, the risk to individuals and the burden on health care systems are enormous. To treat malaria appropriately and, just as importantly, to know when not to treat for malaria, requires accurate diagnosis. For decades, the only option for malaria diagnosis was microscopy, but microscopy is extremely challenging to implement with quality due to significant needs for complex equipment, electricity, water, well-trained and well-remunerated staff and many other reasons. The advent of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria greatly improved our ability to diagnose malaria simply and effectively. RDTs are high quality, simple and quick tests that can be performed with just a few drops of finger-stick blood at the point of care and without any ancillary equipment. The benefits that the introduction of high-quality and properly deployed malaria RDTs have brought to individuals, to health care systems and to entire communities, is immeasurable.

Q: What are some of the new testing developments you’re working on?

We are always looking at ways to improve products or to fill a missing diagnostic need with a view of improving patient and health system outcomes. I think that we find ourselves at a time when malaria elimination is within reach and many of the tools needed to achieve that goal already exist, but not quite all of them. One of the missing pieces of the puzzle is a simple, affordable test capable of detecting the malarial parasites in asymptomatic patients. No such test exists today, but it will be critical for elimination, as we will need to find and treat patients who have no fever and no visible symptoms, but who do have circulating parasites and are therefore acting as a reservoir for future reinfection of the community. Alere is actively looking at developing just such a test.

Q: What are the key challenges you must solve to make this next-generation test a reality?

What we are talking about here is developing a test whose performance is many times better than the best tests currently available, which still meets our exacting quality standards and which can be reliably and sustainably manufactured, delivered and effectively deployed at accessible prices. We’re optimistic we can deliver that, given the great range of technologies at our disposal within Alere and the fantastic teams of dedicated and innovative people we have in R&D and manufacturing. So there may be challenges ahead, but we are very confident that we can rise to meet those challenges.

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5 challenges to end malaria, Alere, Malaria Tests, Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/5-challenges-to-end-malaria-find-the-parasite

You can't beat an opponent you can't see

Malaria thrives on misinformation. It always has. Even the word malaria is a misnomer. It’s Italian for “bad air,” because the Romans attributed the seasonal sickness (that killed at least four Popes, and probably the poet Dante) to noxious fumes coming off the swamps. It wasn’t until 1897 that Dr. Ronald Ross confirmed the mosquito as the vector that spreads the disease.

And misinformation is one of the big reasons malaria continues to kill a child at the rate of one every sixty seconds. Solving the information challenge is going to be key if we’re going to end this disease, and no piece of information is more vital than knowing who is carrying the parasite and who isn’t.

THE HIDDEN MALARIA CHALLENGE

While there are more than 200 million malaria cases every year – that is, people who are getting sick from the disease – it is estimated that there are five times as many people carrying the parasite in their bodies at any given moment – a ticking time bomb of illness and infection.

That amounts to more than one billion people – one out of every seven people on the planet – who are potentially infected with the malaria parasite, jeopardizing their health, hampering their productivity and making them a source of infection for their families and communities. And, most of them have no idea they’re carrying the potentially deadly disease!

 



The biggest host of the malaria parasite is healthy people, not sick people or mosquitoes.

The insight that sick patients showing up at clinics are only the tip of the malaria iceberg underpins emerging strategies for eradicating the disease. Simply put: you can’t beat malaria if you can’t find it. So any attempt to eradicate the disease must start with developing the diagnostic capabilities to find and free the roughly one billion people living with the parasite in their body and stop them from transmitting.

It may sound like a daunting task, until you consider how far we’ve come in recent years – and how fast.

THE DIAGNOSTIC REVOLUTION

Until 2010, there was no practical way to get a timely, accurate diagnosis for malaria. If you had a fever and wanted to be tested for malaria, you had to travel a long distance – sometimes tens of miles on foot – to find a hospital or clinic equipped with an expensive microscope and a trained lab technician. You had to take a blood slide, then wait several hours for the result – hoping that the lab technician read it right.

It was impractical, and people simply didn’t do it.

In many African languages, the words for “malaria” and “fever” are the same. It’s easy to understand why. Absent practical diagnostics, doctors simply treated every fever as if it was malaria and hoped for the best.

Then came the breakthrough: the rapid diagnostic test, or RDT. This simple, fifty-cent, finger-prick blood test can tell you in a matter of minutes with better than 99% accuracy if your fever is malaria.

The RDT has revolutionized the malaria fight, enabling lightly trained community health workers operating on the far reaches of the health system to test patients for malaria. Negative results are as important as positive ones as they direct doctors to consider other top killers, such as pneumonia and upper-respiratory infection. There are now more than 200 million RDTs distributed across Africa each year.

NEXT GENERATION TESTS

Today, we need to revolutionize diagnosis yet again, this time with a focus on identifying asymptomatic cases and guiding treatment.

Current RDTs have a sensitivity of 200 parasites per microliter of blood – sufficient for identifying all cases in sick people. But finding low-levels of the parasite in asymptomatic patients is like an elaborate game of hide and seek. To do it, we need a new generation of simple, portable, inexpensive diagnostic tests that are 10 times more sensitive, detecting malaria at levels of 20 parasites per microliter or even lower.

Fortunately, through innovative public–private partnerships led by groups like the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Seattle-based partner PATH, we’re well on our way to developing next-generation diagnostic tests.

Other next-generation diagnostics will potentially help solve some of the treatment challenges that stand in the way of elimination. Efforts to tackle the dominant strain of malaria in Asia and South America, known as P. vivax, have been hamstrung by the fact that some people have an adverse reaction to the drug recommended for completely clearing the parasite, due to a common inherited trait known as G6PD enzyme deficiency.

The development of diagnostics to identify individuals with G6PD deficiency would ensure better use of current drugs and potential new single-dose treatments, such as tafenoquine, currently in development by GlaxoSmithKline and MMV.

Armed with new diagnostics, we’ll be in a position to take the fight to the parasite. Instead of passively waiting for sick people to show up at clinics, we can go on offense: actively testing and treating entire communities to find and root out malaria, while ensuring the type of treatment provided to patients will be safe and effective.

Which sets up the next of our challenges - check back in next week to read about another big innovation in the malaria fight: developing a complete cure!

Q&A: Read about Malaria No More’s partner Alere and their quest for new diagnostics here.

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This is one of five topics we’re covering in our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria, in partnership with Devex and the Gates Foundation. You can find others here:

Intro: Going on Offense 

Challenge 1: Find the Parasite

Challenge 2: Radical Cure (10/8/2014)

Challenge 3: Block Transmission (10/14/2014)

Challenge 4: Data & Mobile (10/21/2014)

Challenge 5: Fuel the Fight (10/28/2014)

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/solve-for-m-5-key-challenges-to-ending-malaria

After a century of playing defense, it’s time for the malaria fight to go on offense

In 1897, Dr. Ronald Ross – an Indian-born, British surgeon who counted poetry, mathematics, and songwriting among his other passions - made a medical discovery that would change the course of history.

Stationed in Secundebad, a monsoon-drenched city in Central India, Dr. Ross identified the malaria parasite in the gut of a dissected Anopheles mosquito. His discovery confirmed that the winged pest was in fact the vector responsible for spreading one of the oldest, deadliest, and most devastating diseases on the planet.

Dr. Ross was knighted and awarded a Nobel Prize for his efforts, and deservedly so: His discovery laid the foundation for the modern fight against malaria.

Historic Progress

We’ve made significant strides since Dr. Ross’ time. Malaria has been eliminated throughout most of the developed world, including the United States in 1951. And progress is accelerating: Just since 2000, we’ve cut global malaria deaths by half, saving 3.3 million lives - most of them children and pregnant women in Africa.

However, the work is far from done. A child still dies every minute from a mosquito bite, and more than 200 million people are afflicted with the disease each year, keeping adults out of work, children out of school, and stifling the growth of developing economies.

Based on the progress of the past decade, there is a growing determination among the global health community to eradicate the disease once and for all, recognizing that the only way to ensure zero malaria deaths is to have zero malaria.

Going on Offense

So what will it take to finish the job?

We need to rethink the malaria problem in as radical a way as Dr. Ross did more than a century ago. For all our progress, the prevailing approach to controlling malaria has fundamentally been about playing defense: trying to prevent mosquitos from biting and treating people when they’re sick so they don’t die. Don’t get me wrong. That has been the most cost-effective way of tackling a complex problem, going after the “low-hanging fruit” and bringing down the number of cases and deaths dramatically.

But to win this fight, we need to take a “parasite’s-eye” view of the problem. We must attack the malaria parasite where it lives - in the human reservoir – with aggressive new approaches to find, clear, and prevent onward-transmission of malaria, even in asymptomatic carriers of the disease. In short, we must go on offense.

As part of that approach, we need to confront one of the newest and most urgent threats to the advances we’ve made against malaria: Resistance in Asia to the frontline treatment of the disease, artemisinin. The last time drug-resistant malaria developed in that part of the world, it spread to India and Africa, robbing us of chloroquine as an effective tool.

If that happens again, it could cost millions of lives, since we are at least 4 to 5 years away from developing a viable treatment alternative.

The Path Forward

We find ourselves at another watershed moment in the malaria fight, and the only way we’re going to succeed is through relentless innovation. We need the next generation of tools and new implementation approaches; we need to harness the power of distinctly modern advances such as the use of mobile phones and big data in heatlh.

Broadly speaking, we’ve identified five key challenges the world needs to solve to win this fight. Every two weeks, starting this Monday, we’ll zero in on one challenge and let you know who’s innovating to find solutions. The series will culminate in some big news regarding the malaria community’s plan to reach eradication, delivered by one of the world’s biggest names and most prolific innovators in fighting disease, Bill Gates.

So stay tuned, and join us here next week as we launch with Challenge #1: Find the Parasite!

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This is the introduction to our new series, Solve for M: 5 Key Challenges to Ending Malaria. You can find others here:

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Solve for M, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/domenicos-ciao-to-malaria

Malaria No More’s Supporter Spotlight series shines a light on people from around the world who share one thing in common – a commitment to finally bring an end to malaria.

Domenico learned about our Power of One campaign through his employer, Novartis. Domenico works in the Vaccines and Diagnostics Division and is passionate about Africa. He leveraged his professional move from Italy to Switzerland to help fundraise for the campaign. At his family’s going-away party, Domenico shared stories from his travels to malaria-endemic regions in Asia and Africa, mainly Uganda, where he supports orphanages, educational institutions for disabled children, as well as projects for the economic independence of small communities. He hit a nerve and got the attention of his friends. Today, 56 have decided to support him and joined the campaign!

Domenico also hosted a garage sale to benefit the cause, which inspired shoppers to pay the full price, instead of haggling for a better deal!

“This is a cause I really care about,” says Domenico. “I have increased my personal engagement significantly, and thanks to the support of my family and friend, we will be able to help 4,128 children with malaria”. Domenico found the campaign so rewarding, that he continues to fundraise for Power of One and to engage people around him. “One of my friends – a musician – after having donated called me in the middle of the night and told me he had just composed a song for my campaign. We are now discussing how we could use the song to help fight malaria.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/eating-pizza-with-katharine-mcphee

Malaria No More ambassador Katharine McPhee is fighting for good on TV and in her real life. Having traveled with us to Ghana and Burkina Faso in 2012 and having supported our most recent campaign called the Power of One (Po1), Katharine had a lot to talk about with a bunch of teenagers over pizza.

Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer launched a web series called Pizza with an Icon, where teens can ask questions of influencers and all the good work they’re doing. In this segment, Katharine talks about her travels and how everyone can do their part to help end malaria deaths.

"It's such a tragedy that there are people dying from something that is so easy to cure," Katharine said. "It’s important for people to know that it’s not that hard to make a dent in a small part of the world that you may not necessarily even have any connection with.”

We couldn’t be more grateful to Katharine and all her hard work on the cause.

“Katharine has been an incredible supporter of Malaria No More for years, she is truly engaged in the push to eliminate deaths from malaria,” said our CEO, Martin Edlund. “Using her platform to raise awareness for the Power of One test and treatment campaign partnered with Novartis and Alere, Katharine has made a huge impact helping us move toward achieving our goal of raising three million treatments in our first partner country, Zambia.”

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/support-spotlight-roger-waltzman

On World Malaria Day, our partner Novartis kicked off an employee engagement effort encouraging their employees to get behind the malaria fight. From April 25th, to our Independence Day, July 4th, Novartis employees got active and joined the fight through Power of One.

Roger Waltzman, in charge of developing new antimalarials at Novartis, is one of the top contributors to this employee engagement effort, having raised over 18,000 USD towards treatments for kids in Africa. Here, he’s filled us in on his work and how he raised all that money.

Q. Why do you believe in fighting malaria, and how did this contribute to your decision to start a fundraiser?

A. I believe it’s crucial to make available high quality medical treatments for people all over the world, particularly for those vulnerable people who are at risk for preventable, curable diseases. The focus of my work at Novartis is developing new antimalarials and I wanted to generate more attention both within and outside my work environment about the importance of this effort.

Q. Did anything interesting happen while you were fundraising? Did any of your supporters do or say anything really encouraging?

A. Quite a few people didn’t know that developing new antimalarials is the focus of my work and they seemed happy to hear this and happy to contribute. I appreciated their comments; one person simply said, “Good work should be supported,” and I thought that was so matter-of-fact and genuine. Some people contributed $1, since you could contribute any amount, and others contributed much more!

Q. How has this program increased your charitable efforts this year, compared to an average year?

A. I made a personal commitment to contribute to the campaign 10% of however much money I could raise from others. That ended up being one of my largest charitable contributions this year and I was delighted to do it.

Q. Now that the employee engagement campaign is over, how will you continue your efforts to help end malaria?

A. My daily work is focused on the development of better treatment or prevention of malaria, so the biggest change is that I feel even more determined and inspired by seeing the very positive response this campaign engendered in friends and family.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with our Power of One, Malaria No More, or the Novartis employee engagement campaign?

A. I was delighted that MNM created a campaign that was so simple, with a personal link for tracking contributions, and by enabling donors to contribute as little as $1. I felt completely comfortable asking my friends, family, and colleagues to consider donating something, anything, since the amount did not need to be large. I usually don’t find fundraising a particularly comfortable activity, but this enabled me to feel very comfortable with the “ask.” I am delighted that Novartis and MNM are collaborating in this and other ways. Eradicating malaria will take a huge effort on the part of many people and we need to collaborate for the benefit of the hundreds of millions of people who are infected every year.

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Malaria Treatments, Novartis, Supporter Spotlight, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/the-worlds-deadliest-animal-gets-airtime

This past World Mosquito Day we were on ABC 7’s Let’s Talk Live discussing what else but mosquitoes, the deadliest animals on the planet.

Malaria Policy Center staff Josh Blumenfeld and Hannah Bowen, as well as our partner from DC Mosquito Squad, Damien Sanchez, spoke to the threat of malaria on Wednesday’s show. Watch the full show below.

Watch the video here: http://www.wjla.com/blogs/lets-talk-live/2014/08/world-mosqutio-day-22781.html 

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/young-cameroonian-comic-joins-the-malaria-fight

Arnold Mbolo, a high school senior from a family of six kids, joined the Junior Ambassador program in April 2014 after placing 6th with a comedic sketch in the MNM Cameroon school contest. When asked why he participated, he responded “I like challenges. I’m a competitive person. But, I realized that the contest educated me. Before, I barely knew anything about malaria, hence I have also won in knowledge.”

For Arnold, humor is something he’s been around all his life - with a professional comedian as an uncle, helping him to develop into a charismatic comedian who is responsible for “cultural animation” in his local youth association, MOJAM. In just four months, Arnold has emerged as an all-star Junior Ambassador, using his energy and comedic talents in various events at school and with MNM to ensure his community is invested in putting an end to malaria.

The goal of the Junior Ambassador Program is to engage youth leaders from high schools across Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital city, to target their peers and wider communities through interpersonal communications, including clubs, school events and other activities. Arnold has done just that. He mobilized the other Junior Ambassadors to organize a school fair at his high school, where they had a stand teaching students about malaria prevention, which was also visited by the Secretary to the Minister of Education who encouraged the Junior Ambassadors to keep doing great work. He was selected as the K.O PALU mosquito mascot for the World Malaria Day Caravan and performed his winning sketch at stops throughout the city. Arnold has also received permission from his school to post K.O. PALU educational posters and a malaria prevention mural, ensuring malaria education and awareness are a part of everyday activities at school.

For World Mosquito Day 2014, Arnold worked with a fellow Junior Ambassador to mobilize hundreds of youth and community members, the mayor, and local chief to clean up a neighborhood to get rid of its standing water – which can be mosquito breeding grounds, especially during the rainy season.

Arnold is truly leading the charge, setting an example for fellow Junior Ambassadors and his community and motivating them to join the fight against malaria.

Stay tuned for more on the amazing work our Junior Ambassadors are doing in Cameroon to ensure their communities understand the threat of malaria and know how to protect themselves against the disease.

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Cameroon, 2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/world-mosquito-day-america-africa

On World Mosquito Day, spoiling a BBQ is a mosquito’s most minor offense

My daughter Nell is just 8-months old, so this is her first summer. Her first taste of freshly yanked grass from the yard. Her first sunburn.

She and her big sister, 4-year-old Maret get to stay up way past their bedtimes, as we soak up what remains of the humid evenings and the lingering sunlight. And of course there’s the uninvited guest at outdoor summer events - the mosquito, that tiny but persistent blight on our backyard barbecues and pool parties.

This week at Malaria No More, we stop to acknowledge World Mosquito Day August 20th. Devoting an entire day to the mosquito may seem like overkill, until you remember that the mosquito is, in fact, the world’s deadliest living creature. This day in particular was chosen because it marks the anniversary of British surgeon Dr. Ronald Ross discovering that mosquitoes carried malaria back in 1897 – a breakthrough that set us on the path to ending this disease.

"A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease."

As I dab the calamine lotion on the red bumps that dot Maret’s skin, I get a flash of the anxiety parents must feel in Africa, where mosquitoes lead to the deaths of more than a thousand children every day.

I remember El Hadj Diop, the Senegalese father who dedicated his life to ending deaths from malaria in his home community after losing his 11-year-old daughter, Ami, to the disease. I’m haunted by the face of the nameless Nigerian dad I encountered as he arrived, desperate, at a clinic with his daughter on the verge of a malaria coma. Pictures of both fathers hang above my desk.



Above:  El Hadj holds up a picture of his deceased daughter; a Nigerian father holds his malaria stricken daughter

These are but two examples of the African parents who lose their precious children to a mosquito bite every minute of every day. And my eyes well up at the prospect of that happening to Nell or Maret. We’re lucky here in the U.S., where malaria was eradicated in 1951. A mosquito bite in the states only means a few days of minor irritation, rather than contracting a life-threatening disease.

The good news is that we can help protect children who still live with the reality of a potentially deadly mosquito bite. Just one dollar buys and delivers a life-saving test and treatment for a child in Africa through our Power of One campaign, thanks to our partnership with Alere and Novartis.

So this World Mosquito Day, please consider contributing. With your help, we’re closer than ever to mosquitoes becoming just another summer nuisance alongside sunburns and brain freezes, instead of the world’s most deadly predator.

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2014--T:: https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas https://www.malarianomore.org/news/entry/u.s.-senate-staff-see-government-malaria-investments-overseas

For many Americans, it’s difficult to see the impact foreign aid has on people half a world away. We’re working hard to close that gap, and bring stories from malaria endemic countries home. That’s why, last week, we brought three Senate staffers to Dakar, Senegal and Geneva, Switzerland; where the staff learned firsthand the impact malaria has across all aspects of the Senegalese health system. They also experienced the inspiring progress that Senegal has made with the help of partners like the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, to which the U.S. is the largest donor.

Day 1

The week kicked off in Dakar with meetings at the U.S. Embassy and Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program, where staffers heard from the program officers on the ground working to eliminate malaria about challenges and successes in the region. We learned how malaria fits within a broader health and economic context in the region, and why so many parts of the Senegalese government, private sector leaders, and development partners are committed to fighting malaria. The PMI Resident Advisor helped to guide us around and explain how PMI’s staff from USAID and the CDC support Senegal’s health system.

Day 2

Tuesday started bright and early with a short drive to the Peace Corps Headquarters in Ngor where the team was briefed by Country Director Cheryl Gregory Faye and Vanessa Dickey, Director of Programming & Training, then boarded a van for the almost two-hour drive to Thies, where we saw the great work Peace Corps volunteers are doing to combat malaria as part of their continent-wide “Stomp Out Malaria in Africa” program. We even Skyped with volunteers from other countries who are implementing the same community-based case management strategies that were developed in Senegal and which are now in Benin, Madagascar, and other countries. Over a lunch of delicious family-style Senegalese yassa chicken, we heard presentations from current Peace Corps volunteers about some of the major challenges they face in the area, including commodity stock outs, village access and communication. We learned what they are doing in partnership with PMI to overcome these obstacles and stomp out malaria.

 

Senegal Peace Corps & SLAP Lab

Above: Lunch with the Peace Corps; visit to SLAP lab

In the afternoon we were able to see cutting-edge research taking place at the Parasite Control Service. Dr. Sy and Dr. Ndiaye presented the m