By Sarah Pickersgill
Advocacy and Communications Officer, MACEPA, and Global Health Corps Fellow
Nearly 1,000 community members gathered this week to watch the Malaria Movie Pilot, a film produced by MACEPA last year. The movie was screened in three villages (Siamatika, Chaanga, and Namoomba) in Southern Province, Zambia. Siavonga District Health staff led discussions with community members about malaria prevention, and in particular the proper use of insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs), as well as upcoming interventions in these villages. The communications team also interviewed individual audience members to learn about their knowledge of malaria, preferred sources of health information and thoughts on the content and format of the movie.
In the news
Global head of drug development and chief medical officer for Novartis Vas Narasimhan provides commentary on the new antimalarial candidate KAF156 and its role in the fight to combat artemisinin resistance globally. (via Fortune Magazine)
Micaela Elvira Martinez from Princeton University and Samuel Rund from the University of Notre Dame discuss the benefits of a national mosquito database. Agencies around the United States have been collecting data on mosquitoes for decades and, if made public, this information could enhance research as well as our ability to predict outbreaks of diseases such as Zika. The challenge will be standardizing data inputs from over 1,000 different agencies across the US. (via The Atlantic)
At very low infection levels, finding malaria parasites in a blood sample can be extremely difficult even for the most experienced malaria microscopists. Engineers at Intellectual Ventures Laboratory are working to automate the process, arguing that if computers can learn to recognize faces and fingerprints—why not malaria parasites? (via Pacific Standard)
Catch an abstract of Professor Ayodele S Jegede’s inaugural lecture at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, on Malaria Matters this week. Professor Jegede discusses the important relationship between health workers and clients as well as the need for a National Disease Observatory System.
Tanzania is intensifying its malaria control efforts with plans to distribute 27 million LLINs across the country. (via AllAfrica)
After success with a project in Rwanda, California’s Zipline will be launching the world’s largest drone delivery system in Tanzania this January. Blood, vaccines, and malaria and AIDS drugs will be delivered to more than 1,000 health facilities across the country. (via Reuters)
The malaria outbreak in South Sudan is one of the most severe in its history. Since February, the country has recorded 900,000 cases and over 4,000 deaths. (via Sudan Tribune)
Check out this dynamic photo essay from the Johns Hopkins Center for Communications Program, titled “The Net Detectives.” This is the story of those whose job it is to monitor nets for durability and effectiveness while looking for clues on how to make a good malaria prevention tool even better.
A biotech company is using livestock, doused in human scent, to lure mosquitoes to their deaths. Future plans involve the human-scent spray being incorporated into livestock deworming programs in Africa. (via The Times (UK))