By Sarah Pickersgill
Advocacy and Communications Officer, MACEPA, and Global Health Corps Fellow
PATH received the Alteryx For Good award for our innovative work using data to empower frontline health workers with the critical tools to prevent, track, and treat malaria cases toward malaria elimination. Check out the video below to learn more about how the National Malaria Elimination Centre molecular lab in Lusaka, Zambia, is using Alteryx tools.
Below, MACEPA director for country programs Duncan Earle accepts the Alteryx For Good award in London.
Meanwhile, in Senegal MACEPA wrapped up a tour of the movie “Champion de Bonaba” in the villages of Kanel, Linguere, and Matam. “Champion de Bonaba” is a series produced by PATH and Speak Up Africa as part of the “Zero Palu! Je m’engage” campaign. The video is about Daouda, a young man who has lost his wife to malaria. Daouda then decides to campaign against this disease and become a “Community Champion.” Over 1,500 community members joined to view the movie and participate in discussions and contests after the film.
In Ethiopia the Malaria Elimination Roadmap launching ceremony took place in Amhara this month. The launch was attended by more than 300 participants from governmental and nongovernmental organizations and stakeholders. At the event, Asefaw Getachew presented an overview of PATH/MACEPA, focusing on the lessons learned from the project and how they plan to leverage the implementation of this roadmap.
In the news
PATH has been awarded a four-year grant of $120 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support its Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access. This grant will allow PATH to work on many types of vaccines at once as well as respond quickly to developing threats. (via The Seattle Times, Devex)
This week also saw the launching of Resolve, a five-year $225 million global health initiative. It will be led by former CDC director Tom Frieden. In addition to fighting cardiovascular disease, the program will focus on global health security. The initiative will be funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (via The New York Times, The Washington Post, STAT)
Stop funding major health issues at your peril, warns Bill Gates. This week, Bill and Melinda Gates published the Goalkeepers report which tracks 18 data points from the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report shows that the world is on a course to fall short of the SDG targets for 2030 around world health issues such as malaria, child and maternal mortality, HIV, and AIDS. (via Quartz, Wired)
PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) and the US Department of Defense’s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) are conducting a clinical trial to evaluate the RTS,S malaria vaccine regimen. In the largest trial of its kind, the study will involve 160 participants who will be exposed to malaria-causing parasites via mosquito bites. (via Medical Xpress)
University researchers are teaming up with NASA’s Applied Sciences Program and the Peruvian government to develop a system that uses Earth-observing satellites to help predict, months in advance, malaria outbreaks at the household level. In hopes of preventing such outbreaks, the models developed from the satellite data will also simulate what would result from various interventions, from handing out bednets and sprays to administering preventive anti-malaria treatment. (via Phys.org)
Unstable and insufficient supply of artemisinin keeps the price of today’s most effective malaria medicines high. Scientists in at the University of Denmark have had success rapidly producing artemisinin by genetically engineering moss at an industrial scale. Five genes responsible for biosynthesizing the precursor of artemisinin, dihydroartemisinic acid, are introduced into the moss in order to biosynthetically derive the artemisinin itself. (via Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News)
In the Ethiopian Highlands, high elevation and low temperatures have long protected the region from malaria-carrying mosquitos. However, rising temperatures over the last three decades have threatened these formerly protected areas. (via Climate.gov)
In a recent study published in The Lancet, scientists have identified a new malaria drug candidate, AQ-13, to combat the rising threat of drug resistance. Initial trials in Mali have given researchers reason to be optimistic.
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have found a new class of compounds called hexahydroquinolines (HHQs) that are highly effective in preventing the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from an infected host (in this case, a mouse) to mosquitoes. Breaking the transmission of malaria from host to mosquito is a critical step in stopping the spread of malaria, especially in areas of high infection rate. (via Phys.org)
Dyann F. Wirth, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is offering a free online course, (PH425x) MalariaX: Defeating Malaria from the Genes to the Globe. Hoping to ignite the curiosity of young scientists, Wirth’s curriculum covers the biology of malaria, genomic approaches to malaria elimination, and malaria transmission dynamics. (via Global Health Now)
Unitaid and the government of Mozambique are launching the TIPTOP project to prevent malaria in pregnancy. The program is projected to reach about 100,000 pregnant women in Mozambique. (via Unitaid, All Africa)
Check out some of the health campaigns and graphic designs that are saving lives around the world, as showcased on last week’s BBC Health Check. (via Wired)