Despite significant reductions in malaria in endemic countries over the past decade, fever is still often presumptively treated as malaria without being properly diagnosed. This leads to overuse of frontline treatment for malaria (ACT) and to the mismanagement of other potentially life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea. The availability of high quality, inexpensive malariaRead More ›
By Alia McKee, Kaylin Fabian and Karen Sommer Shalett Despite recent progress, the Democratic Republic of Congo remains the second most malaria-affected country in the world, with upwards of 10 million cases reported each year. Population Services International (PSI) and its partner network member Association de Santé Familiale (ASF) want to ensure that all Congolese haveRead More ›
By Anna Dirksen, PSI Consultant The 68th World Health Assembly ended yesterday at World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva. More than 3,000 delegates from WHO’s 194 Member States — including a significant number of the world’s health ministers — participated in the meeting, where they debated a wide variety of health policy topics. TheRead More ›
By: Jenny Tolep, External Relations & Communications PSI was recently announced as the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network’s (APMEN) 36th Partner Institution. Established in 2009, APMEN is a network of 17 Asia Pacific country partners and various partner institutions, working together to eliminate malaria in the region by 2030. APMEN receives funding from the AustralianRead More ›
In the past decade, the development and deployment of highly effective tools like insecticide treated nets (ITNs) to prevent malaria and artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs) to treat it have fueled significant declines in malaria rates. In the Africa region, malaria deaths have dropped by 33 percent. However, while the science behind product development proceeds rapidly, theRead More ›
The Guardian Development Professionals Network hosted a conversation this morning on the progress and missteps against malaria drug resistance. PSI deputy director of the malaria and child survival department Angus Spiers joined other experts for a conversation about the present challenges and what is being done to slow down resistance. Here is an excerpt of the conversation:
AngusSpeirsPSI: Hello, this is Angus Spiers from PSI. Very happy to be part of this discussion. Prudence, (I hope you’re well, it’s been too long), you make a number of very pertinent points, particularly the need for rapid identification of resistance foci and measures to effectively target them.
We have been focusing on a number of areas in the Mekong region to help combat artemisinin resistance, particularly with case management in the private sector where a large proportion of people seek treatment (see ACTwatch) but receive little in the way of effective diagnosis and are often treated with sub-standard monotherapies which only help drive resistance.
Resistance and Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT)
PrudenceHamade: I know PSI is working in Myanmar to try to replace monotherapies with ACTs as well but I am afraid it might be too little too late.
ACTs still cure patients with malaria but they are taking longer to do so allowing the ‘resistant parasite’ which remains when all the non-resistant parasites are cleared to be transmitted to others Being positive 72 hours after treatment ( Day 3) is only a proxy measure of resistance how can we better determine resistance and when we do what can be done to make sure the resistant parasites are not passed on to others.Read More ›
By Deputy Editor Tom Murphy
The development of artemisinin-based drugs to treat malaria proved to be one of the most important advancements in stopping malaria. Malaria deaths are down from 1 million in 2000 to 650,000 in 2010 due in part to medical advancements, greater coverage of insecticide treated bed nets and improved coordination. However, evidence of resistance to artemisinin-based drugs is popping up in southeast Asia.
What further complicates the problem is the location of the resistance. Experts are observing resistance on the Thai border with Myanmar and Cambodia as well as in Vietnam. “Resistance to chloroquine and pyrimethamine started here,” said Arjen Dondorp, director of malaria research at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok, to NPR. “Those two were very important drugs until recently. Very cheap, good drugs. We’ve lost them to resistance, especially here in the region. And then it has spread from here to the rest of the world.”Read More ›
ExxonMobil continues its established collaboration with Harvard by supporting the position. The oil giant has invested over $100 million in bednets, anti-malarial medicines and sector leadership since 2000. Part of that funding has gone to the June Science of Eradication event that brought together individuals from various sectors to train them as future leaders in the malaria fight.
“ExxonMobil has long valued our partnership with Harvard to combat malaria,” said Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “Dr. Rabinovich is bringing her unique expertise and knowledge to this program, and we look forward to seeing the impact this partnership will have on the malaria field.”
The WHO estimates that there were 216 million cases in 2011. Mortality rates caused by malaria are down by over 25% since 2000, but malaria was still responsible for killing roughly 655,000 people in 2010. There are know interventions to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of malaria, but the disease continues to affect children in sub-Saharan Africa at a high rate.
By Dr. Bruno Moonen, Director, Malaria Control Team, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)
In 2011, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership set new goals for further scale-up of impact by 2015. The goals comprise ambitious targets for malaria case management, including in the private sector, which is increasingly recognized as an important point of care for common febrile illnesses. The Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm), currently being piloted in seven countries, is a novel financing mechanism established to dramatically increase access to quality assured, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), especially in the private sector, by applying a factory-gate subsidy at the top of the supply chain. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, host of the first phase of the AMFm, has commissioned an independent evaluation of the pilot. The evaluation draws on, among other sources, PSI’s ACTwatch market survey data. By the end of 2012, based on the evidence from the evaluation, the Global Fund Board will decide whether to continue hosting this innovative but, to some, controversial mechanism for improving access to malaria treatment.
Even without results from the evaluation being available, opinions on the AMFm have been polarized, and this may jeopardize a purely evidence-based decision on the mechanism’s future. Despite the controversy, the global malaria community should not lose sight of the targets it has set for universal coverage of both diagnosis and treatment in the private sector. The issue is not whether the AMFm is categorically good or bad; rather, what matters is how we will ensure access to high-quality diagnosis and treatment for all, and whether the AMFm, or some derivation of this mechanism, may be a relevant tool in certain settings. Two main points are important to highlight:Read More ›