Your MACEPA Malaria Minute (3/17/2017)

By Stacey Naggiar
Advocacy and Communications Officer, MACEPA, and Global Health Corps Fellow

Malamine Kane, a tradesman who occasionally does some repair and maintenance for PATH Senegal, became so convinced by the Zero Malaria campaign that he took it upon himself to go paint the campaign’s logo and malaria health messages at a health post in Thiaroye (a Dakar suburb). We are enthused to see the commitment of citizens toward malaria elimination in their communities.

Photo: PATH/Phillipe Guinot.

Photo: PATH/Phillipe Guinot.

Join Malamine. Zero malaria starts with you. (As seen on MACEPA’s Instagram.)

Stat News has a feature on the early stages of planning a gene drive experiment in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda. The project, Target Malaria, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, involves researchers in London working to genetically engineer mosquitoes to reduce or eliminate the number of malaria-transmitting-females in the population. Simultaneously, scientists in Burkina Faso are studying the mosquito populations and educating the community about their work. Taking into account every possible ethical concern and ecological consequence, the researchers are creating a dialogue with experts around the world, conducting risk assessments, and engaging the community at every level of the project. (Read more via MIT Technology Review)

A study published in Lancet Global Health examined how many African children under five received ACT (artemisinin-combination therapy) treatment for malaria when presenting with a fever and testing positive with a rapid diagnostic test. The modeling study included data from 33 countries and found what the researchers describe as “unacceptably low” levels (under 20 percent) of children reached with the lifesaving drugs. 

Researchers at Cardiff University have figured out a way to efficiently develop artemisinin—a plant-derived, first-line treatment for malaria—in the lab, making it possible to produce more of the drug and at a lower cost. (via Science Daily)

Burundi is experiencing a malaria epidemic with more than 700 deaths this year. The government has said it needs $31 million to fight malaria and is currently sending doctors and community health workers to villages to care for people who can’t reach clinics. (via VOA)

The National Malaria Control Programme in Cameroon is reporting that malaria kills at least 4,000 people a year in the country. The Permanent Secretary of the NMCP urged people to sleep under long-lasting treated mosquito nets and talked about the important role of communications and sensitization in encouraging healthy behaviors. (via Cameroon Concord)

PATH participated in the international gathering of all things film, media, and music at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin this year, creating an important dialogue about the intersection of tech and social impact.

Above, PATH’s director of drug development, David Shoultz, and Neal Myrick from the Tableau Foundation had a live chat about the Visualize No Malaria partnership with Zambia’s Ministry of Health. VNM is an example of how the private sector can have social impact, in this case using sophisticated data visualizations to help Zambia achieve their goal of malaria elimination.

Also at SXSW, PATH asked, what if virtual reality could be used for good? PATH’s Instagram featured a virtual reality film made by Oculus and PATH partner Care about the challenges young women face living in rural Niger.

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