By Sarah Pickersgill
Advocacy and Communications Officer, MACEPA, and Global Health Corps Fellow
Time to mobilize
In Eastern Province this week, MACEPA assisted with community engagement on indoor residual spraying (IRS) with a team from the Program for the Advancement of Malaria Outcomes (PAMO), a USAID-funded PATH Zambia malaria project. Above is a photo from a training at Manyane Rural Health Centre in Petauke District. The participants will serve as community mobilizers who are responsible for sharing IRS messages with households in their areas to improving coverage of indoor spraying.
In the news
In UNGA news, Bill and Melinda Gates presented their global health scorecard, Goalkeepers, in New York this week. Check out this video of former President Barack Obama’s keynote speech at the public release.
Bill Gates only gives himself a C+? Donald McNeil Jr. discusses Bill Gates’ remarks on the Goalkeepers scorecard in this New York Times article. Gates comments on the astonishing progress in global health made to date but warns of donor fatigue and the resulting threat of malaria and HIV resurgence, two diseases particularly vulnerable to funding fluctuations.
Want more data on global health goals? The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) published an analysis of the most recent Global Burden of Disease Study (2016) in The Lancet. For more, listen to this podcast with “GBD guru” Chris Murray, representatives from Ethiopia, Nepal, and Peru, and Lancet editor Richard Horton.
How close are we to beating HIV? To reach the HIV tipping point, you must have three things: 90 percent of people with the disease know their status, 90 percent of that group are taking antiretrovirals, and that 90 percent of people are controlling the virus to a point that it cannot be detected or transmitted. If this 90-90-90 goal is met, 73 percent of people will be considered noncontagious and the epidemic will begin to burn out. Thanks largely to PEPFAR, many high burden countries like Zimbabwe (60.4 percent) and Swaziland (73 percent) have made great progress. For comparison, the United States (49 percent) still has a way to go. (via New York Times)
A new study examining HIV and malaria co-infection in Nigeria was recently published in the Journal of Tropical Pediatrics. The study explores whether HIV infection could affect the development of antimalarial immunity. (via Oxford Academic)
Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has donated $5 million to Roll Back Malaria in support of their efforts to eliminate malaria. (via Gulf News)
A malaria outbreak in Nicaragua has prompted neighboring Costa Rica to issue a health alert. According to the Ministry of Health there, nine indigenous cases have been reported in Costa Rica this year after consistently reporting zero local cases in the country since 2012. (via Outbreak News Today)
An international research team has demonstrated the critical role played by carbohydrates on the surface of malaria parasites. It was found that interfering with the parasite’s ability to attach these carbohydrates to its proteins hinders liver infection and transmission to the mosquito. This discovery could impact the efficacy of a malaria vaccine, with researchers positing that “it may be that a version of RTS,S with added carbohydrates will perform better than the current vaccine.” (via Phys.org)
Researchers from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, University of Notre Dame, and the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Seattle have received an $11.5 million grant to combat malaria drug resistance. Researchers will create genetic crosses of the malaria parasite inside a genetically engineered mouse that has a “humanized liver” (a liver consisting of more than 90 percent human cells). These genetic crosses of the malaria parasite provide extremely useful information about the parasite’s evolution and increasing resistance to antimalarial drugs. (via EurekaAlert)
A highly drug-resistant malaria “superbug” from western Cambodia has been reported in southern Vietnam and is elevating failure rates for the anti-malarial treatment DHAp (dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine). C580Y, the mutation of an artemisinin drug-resistant malaria parasite, is a serious threat to malaria elimination efforts in the Greater Mekong Subregion and globally. (via University of Oxford)