MDA survey, Western Province, Zambia
The 2017 mass drug administration survey in Zambia’s Southern and Western provinces recently concluded. These pictures from Western Province help to illustrate what it takes to reach and record information from households in very rural areas—as well what sometimes happens with (aging?) malaria commodities.
Photos: Emmanuel Vwavwa
In the news
The World Health Organization has elected a new director general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Ethiopia. Dr. Ghebreyesus has had an impressive career as a former minister of foreign affairs for Ethiopia, former minister of health for Ethiopia as well as positions with The Global Fund, Roll Back Malaria, and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. His five-year term begins on July 1, 2017. (Read more in the press release from the WHO and articles from the New York Times, The Guardian, and NPR.)
PATH president and CEO Steve Davis released a statement congratulating Dr. Ghebreyesus and urging WHO to act on lessons learned in the aftermath of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. “PATH urges the new Director-General to prioritize the necessary policies and investments to promote innovation through health research and development, increase global access to lifesaving medicines and technologies, and continue global progress toward ending HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, polio, and preventable maternal and child deaths,” Davis added.
PATH issued another statement in response to the US proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 calling the cuts to health research and development funding “shortsighted and dangerous.” Steve Davis said, “The cuts proposed today to US-led global health and development programs through the US State Department, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directly threaten America’s ability to respond to these challenges, while putting the health of millions of women, children, and men around the world—including Americans—at risk.”
Last week the Associated Press released a critical report exposing the World Health Organization’s travel expenses. The report, according to internal documents, reveals that the agency spends more on travel, including first class flights and luxury hotel rooms, than it does on public health problems like AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. “If WHO is not being as lean as possible, it’s going to be hard to remain credible when they make their next funding appeal,” Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Global Health Institute at Harvard University, said.
New research from the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that a modification of an experimental malaria vaccine fully protected four out of eight monkeys infected with the parasite. Researchers say the findings “justify progression of this next-generation AMA1 vaccine toward possible human trials.” (via Science Daily)
Step D procurement
Ordering the right items for the right audience at the right time is critical to our work. As activity planning heats up conference rooms can fill up, becoming staging areas for the essential items to move us down the road to elimination. Case in point last week when we found Juliana Ngalande surrounded by all things Step D—scissors and biohazard bags, t-shirts and medical gloves, hand sanitizer and towels. Step D is now being introduced to Kaoma District in Western Province, Zambia. That means the training of 192 community health workers—the largest Step D training to date!—and all the necessary procurements in place to ensure those on the front line are equipped to track and kill the malaria parasite in their communities.