Your MACEPA Malaria Minute: News roundup

By Sarah Pickersgill
Advocacy and Communications Officer, MACEPA, and Global Health Corps Fellow

In the news

While the rest of the world has seen historic declines, one country’s malaria burden has re-surged. The political and economic factors aiding the spread of malaria in Venezuela are under examination in The Economist this week.

Emmanuel Degleh’s story highlights how trustworthy reporting can bring about useful change. This article in The Guardian looks at how the need for information during the Ebola outbreak raised the profile and power of journalism and information infrastructures in Liberia.

A study published in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has found that the increased use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) has had some unintended side effects. Although RDTs have reduced the overuse of antimalarial drugs, this new study shows that, consequentially, the number of patients receiving antibiotics has shot up. This tendency to over-prescribe antibiotics could contribute to the global rise in antibiotic-resistant infections. (PRI)

The accomplishments from the first 100 days of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ tenure as the WHO’s new director general are examined in this in-depth analysis from Devex.

Researchers at the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Wellcome Trust analyzed 50,000 surveys spanning 115 years since 1900 to help put the malaria fight in a wider historical context. Abdisalan Noor of the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KEMRI-WTRP), remarks that “Shown in context, the cycles and trend over the past 115 years are inconsistent with explanations in terms of climate or deliberate intervention alone. The role of socio-economic development, for example, remains poorly understood.” (University of Oxford)

Under-five mortality has fallen to an all-time low, yet children around the world continue to die at an alarming rate, with 5.6 million deaths recorded last year. Pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria account for almost one-third of these deaths globally. (The Guardian)

Malaria transmission continues to rise in Kenya as 1,000 people tested positive from a sample of 2,500 who sought treatment from hospitals in Marsabit, a region in northern Kenya. (Reliefweb)

A cross sectional survey was conducted in primary health care facilities in southern Malawi to determine implementation quality for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria. The study identified inadequate number of personnel, anti-malarial drug stock-outs, and inconsistent health information records to be major challenges. (Malaria Journal)

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