By Stacey Naggiar
Advocacy and Communications Officer, MACEPA, and Global Health Corps Fellow
PATH’s Steve Davis visits Zambia
Above, PATH President and CEO Steve Davis and Zambia Country Director Nanthalile Mugala giving a radio interview with ZNBC presenter Raphael Kumwenda in Lusaka. See more pictures below from PATH’s 40th anniversary celebration in Lusaka.
In the news
What if the elusive vaccine for malaria actually isn’t a vaccine at all? Researchers in Australia report a strong link between a mother’s education level and the odds her child will be infected with malaria. They’re calling it a “social vaccine” and suggest that this research should encourage policymakers to strengthen education efforts. (via EurekAlert)
NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast shares a story about an economist who noticed a connection between illegal gold mining and malaria in Colombia. The problem is that in the search for gold, miners leave behind pools of water where mosquitoes can breed and as a migrant population, the miners themselves spread the disease. According to a geochemical distribution of gold in the country, researchers confirmed that malaria incidence is higher where there’s more gold, meaning the association can’t simply be attributed to other factors like poverty.
New research from Taiwan finds that a combination of crab shells and silver can curb the spread of malaria. Not in their purest forms but the research, published in Hydrobiologia, suggests that non-toxic chitin-rich crab shell powder and silver nanoparticles work to kill mosquito larvae and pupa. (via Phys.org)
As the political situation deteriorates in Venezuala, the health system continues to be severely impacted. New government data find malaria cases jumped 76 percent last year—there was also a 30 percent increase in infant mortality and 65 percent increase in maternal mortality. Lack of transparency with health data is a major contributor to the problem. (via Reuters)
USAID has suspended $21 million in funding the Kenya’s Ministry of Health amid concerns of corruption. BBC News reports that the funding cuts will not impact life-saving and essential health services. The Kenyan government has said they are working with the US government to strengthen and fix their accounting procedures.
The Economist has a piece about the growing trend of aid money coming not from charities or NGOs but from private-sector companies who can profit from the work. “One reason for the shift towards the private sector is the changing nature of aid. A smaller share now is made up of traditional projects, such as building schools or handing out food parcels, and more is “technical assistance”, for example to streamline a country’s tax code and strengthen tax collection, or to set up an insurance scheme to help farmers when crops fail. Private firms may be best-placed to advise on, or even run, these schemes.”
From NPR: the results of a new study that put hand-washing methods to the test, asking who does it better, the CDC or the WHO? Turns out the WHO technique reduced bacteria on hands slightly more than the CDC method did. But the takeaway is that everyone, especially medical professionals, should be giving their hands at least a 15 second scrub.
Watch “Meet PATH Zambia” on YouTube: short interviews with PATH Zambia staff in honor of the official opening of the country office and PATH’s 40th Birthday.
More from PATH 40th birthday celebration in Zambia
PATH President and CEO Steve Davis; MACEPA’s Abdi Mohamed, Duncan Earle, and Mulenga Mwenda; and Dr. Elizabeth Chizema, director of the National Malaria Elimination Centre, tour the NMEC’s lab facilities.
Steve Davis with Abdi Mohamed and Dr. Chizema at the newly minted National Malaria Elimination Centre.
Davis marked the PATH anniversary celebration by providing remarks with the guest of honor, Zambia Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, and country director for PATH Zambia, Dr. Nanthalile Mugala.
And it wouldn’t have been a Zambian party without traditional Zambian music and dance.