Battling a Fatal Wave of Malaria in DRC | Doctors Without Borders

The situation has engendered a profound sense of loss within the communities. “Other regions of the province seem to be affected by this as well, but we cannot yet explain it,” says Dr. Mathieu Bichet, MSF’s medical director in Geneva. “An investigation is underway. However, we can say that it is exacerbated by problems related to access to health care facilities and the lack of drugs.”

Since June, MSF has been using all available resources to provide free care to people throughout the region, setting up treatment and intensive care units, supplying drugs to health care facilities, and organizing the transfer of seriously ill patients to MSF-supported hospitals. MSF is also training national health employees to provide a very effective artemisinin-based treatment for malaria.

via Battling a Fatal Wave of Malaria in DRC | Doctors Without Borders.


Liverpool school expands disease research –

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is recruiting about 150 scientists and researchers as it embarks on an expansion partly driven by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The charity established by the Microsoft founder and his wife has given the century-old institution about $290m over the past few years for its research into diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.

via Liverpool school expands disease research –

Fighting dengue with carnivorous mosquitoes | theSundaily

MPSJ Health Department director Dr Roslan Mohamed Husin said Kampung Seri Aman had been chosen as a research area due to a dengue outbreak in the area in 2010 and studies which showed the area had a high breeding rate of the aedes mosquito.

“This year, there have been less than 15 dengue cases in the area, which shows our efforts have indeed curbed the breeding of aedes mosquitoes,” he said, adding there were no cases of cross-breeding so far.

The toxo mosquito is larger than other mosquitoes, averaging 19mm in length, or the size of a 10 sen coin. Its lifespan is around three weeks, and during this time it can eat up to 400 larvae.

Dr Roslan said it was up to USM whether new areas should be identified for the introduction of more toxo mosquitoes, as the data collected from the areas is sent back to the university for research purposes into the feasibility of this initiative.

via Fighting dengue with carnivorous mosquitoes | theSundaily.

Plasmodium vivax malaria relapses at a travel medicine centre in Rio de Janeiro, a non-endemic area in Brazil

Twenty-one relapses (39.6%) of P.

vivax malaria were observed. The overall median time to relapse, obtained by the Kaplan-Meier method, was 108 days, and the survival analysis demonstrated an association between non-weight-adjusted primaquine dosing and the occurrence of relapse (p<0.03).

Primaquine total dose at 3.6mg/kg gave improved results in preventing relapses.

Conclusions: A known challenge to individual cure and environmental control of malaria is the possibility of an inappropriate, non-weight-based primaquine dosing, which should be considered a potential cause of P. vivax malaria relapse.

Indeed, the total dose of primaquine associated with non-occurrence of relapses was higher than recommended by Brazilian guidelines.

via Plasmodium vivax malaria relapses at a travel medicine centre in Rio de Janeiro, a non-endemic area in Brazil.

NoCot notes dramatic decrease in Malaria cases | Davao Today

The DOH’s 2011-2016 Malaria Program Medium Term Plan aims to ensure universal access to reliable diagnosis, highly effective, and appropriate treatment and preventive measures; capacitate local government units (LGUs) to own, manage, and sustain the Malaria Program in their respective localities; sustain financing of anti-malaria efforts at all levels of operation; and ensure a functioning quality assurance system for malaria operations.

In its website, the DOH said, Malaria is the ninth leading cause of morbidity in the Philippines.  It is usually acquired through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito and can be transmitted in three ways: blood transfusion from an infected individual, sharing of intravenous needles and transplacenta or the transfer of malaria parasites from an infected mother to its unborn child.

As of 2012, 58 out of 81 provinces in the country are declared malaria endemic with 14 million people at risk, the DOH said.  It added, 90% of Malaria cases were recorded in 25 endemic provinces or areas among the poorest in the country with forestal, swampy, hilly and mountainous characteristics.

via NoCot notes dramatic decrease in Malaria cases | Davao Today.

Mosquito nets drastically reduces malaria cases in Papua New Guinea – International – Catholic Online

The Pacific Climate Change Science Program reports that maximum temperatures in Port Moresby have increased by 0.11 degrees Celsius per decade since 1950 and believes they could rise by 0.4-1.0 degrees Celsius by 2030. The government predicts climate change could result in 200,000 more people in highland regions being affected by malaria epidemics.

via Mosquito nets drastically reduces malaria cases in Papua New Guinea – International – Catholic Online.

A New Counterfeit Problem: Anti-Malaria Drugs | BU Today | Boston University

A consortium of governments and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is betting Zaman will score a breakthrough. The organization, Saving Lives at Birth, recently gave him a two-year, $250,000 grant for his “PharmaCheck” device, which would scan pills with fluorescence and imaging to measure such properties as their concentration. The NIH studied 27 tests of drugs bought in Asia and Africa over almost a dozen years, beginning in 1999, and determined that a paucity of active ingredients has rendered some antimalarial drugs ineffective. According to the NIH, fully one-third of the drugs failed for that reason or because they were counterfeit or expired.

“The device will be an easy-to-use, robust system” for weeding out phony and ineffective drugs, Zaman promises. Operating on a pump, tubing, and a microchip smaller than a credit card, the shoebox-sized PharmaCheck would weigh in at less than 10 pounds. There are currently methods for testing drugs’ effectiveness, Zaman says, but they’re inadequate, expensive, or require highly trained personnel and equipment.

He says that PharmaCheck, which he’s developing with help from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the US Agency for International Development, would be given to governments, nongovernmental organizations, drug companies, and perhaps hospitals.

via A New Counterfeit Problem: Anti-Malaria Drugs | BU Today | Boston University.