By Chelsea Montes de Oca
Advocacy and Communications Officer, MACEPA, and Global Health Corps Fellow
A group of researchers from the University of Oxford embarked on a six-week journey from Namibia to Kenya. The expedition was sponsored by Land Rover, who supplied a specially equipped vehicle with a small DNA extraction and sequencing laboratory in the rear. Their mission was to show how mobile genetic sequencing can be used to combat malaria in Africa and test the new equipment in the field. The team of researchers spent a week in Zambia and partnered with the PATH-sponsored lab at the National Malaria Elimination Centre to collect specimens in the Copperbelt. There was also a capacity-building component to the project. The team hosted a training for MACEPA and National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC) staff and invited researchers from the Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC) in Ndola to see the machine in action. Check out a few photos below, see the project’s website, and stay tuned for a short video on this science in action.
National Health Week
Zambia’s annual National Health Week showcases the health interventions and services prioritized by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and partners. The President of Zambia himself, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, dubbed the event with the theme “Promoting Wellness for All.” PATH’s malaria projects, MACEPA and PAMO, supported the National Malaria Elimination Programme to highlight key malaria interventions at the event. President Lungu visited the NMEC tent where he was tested for malaria by a community health worker from Chipata clinic, posed for pictures in the Malaria Ends With Me photo frame—including with Chilumba Sikombe from MACEPA and Elizabeth Chiyende from PAMO!—and booted the “kick out malaria” football. President Lungu was encouraged by the level of commitment from the NMEC and urged everyone to continue to work hard toward malaria elimination.
Student visit from Seattle Academy
A group of students from the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences visited Zambia and made a point of learning about PATH’s operations in the country. The group was able to hear from representatives from every PATH project, visit the NMEC, and travel to a health center in Kabwe with the ETB project. The visit to NMEC included a tour of the insectary, the MACEPA-supported lab, and a malaria test. It was all smiles at the end when everyone tested negative. The teachers and students are hoping for further collaboration with PATH.
Tackling malaria hotspots in the Amazon
The World Health Organization posted a photo essay documenting a study on malaria burden in the northern Amazonian region of Loreto, Peru. Click here to learn how this project is using drones to better map potential breeding sites.
A New Ebola Vaccine Strategy in Africa: Smaller Doses
The World Health Organization announced a new plan to reach Ebola-stricken villages in unstable areas of the DRC. Health workers have been advised to stretch supplies and to give the vaccine to everyone, not just contacts of victims. Read more about this new strategy here.