Archive for the malaria category

Ending the neglect

January 28th, 2011

UK-based journalist Emilie Filou (who recently authored this great article on Trachoma), writes about neglected tropical diseases again for This is Africa. The article also features snippets from interviews Filou conducted with Dr. Neeraj Mistry, Managing Director of the Global Network, and Dr. Peter Hotez. The piece discusses the role of pharmaceuticals in NTD control, the importance of integration across other disease and issue areas and elimination goals.

From the article:

“The term ‘other disease’ has been a great frustration,” says Dr Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and an expert on NTDs. “It’s quite clear that you won’t get Bono or Angelina Jolie to help out with ‘other diseases’. That’s what spurred us to call them Neglected Tropical Diseases as a group. It’s not the greatest of names, but it will help galvanise awareness,” he says.

Advocacy group The Global Network for NTDs is now lobbying to include NTDs under the remit of The Global Fund, Pepfar or the President’s Malaria Initiative. “We have new data coming out of Zimbabwe that shows that women infected with schistosomiasis are three times more likely to be infected with HIV,” explains Dr Neeraj Mistry, managing director of the Global Network.

“Treating schistosomiasis therefore becomes an intervention for HIV control; it’s those links we need to make to justify the inclusion of NTDs in global health efforts.”

There are many more such synergies: HIV-positive individuals have seen a decrease in their viral load when de-wormed; lymphatic filariasis is transmitted by mosquitoes, so the use of bednets, widely distributed for malaria control, is an efficient prevention measure.

Dr Mistry says that including NTDs in the Global Fund would only increase their budget marginally, but substantially increase their impact. “It costs as little $0.5 per year to treat an individual against NTDs. Compare that with the $100 it costs to treat someone with HIV, or the $35 the average African family spends on malaria control. In terms of investment, you won’t find a better return in health.”

To read the full article click here

Global Health and Corruption

January 27th, 2011

By: Alanna Shaikh

It feels like everyone is talking about global health and corruption right now. Rajiv Shah mentioned it explicitly in his recent speech on USAID’s new approach to international development. The Associated press wrote an over the top alarmist article (1) about the Global Fund’s Inspector General uncovering a .03 percent loss of grant money to corruption. CGD put up two blog posts on corruption and global health, which has been followed a by a slew of other bloggers joining in the conversation.

Read more: Global Health and Corruption

Payne, Fortenberry to Co-Chair Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Caucus

January 11th, 2011

The following announcement was just released by Representative Donald Payne of New Jersey and Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska. We welcome Representative Fortenberrys leadership in co-chairing  the Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucus and look forward to continuing to work on joint, cost-effective solutions to build on the successes weve already seen:

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressmen Donald M. Payne (D-NJ) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) today announced that they will serve  as co-chairmen of the bipartisan  Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Caucus, formerly the Congressional Malaria Caucus, for the 112th Congress.

The Congressional Malaria Caucus was launched by Payne and former Rep. John Boozman (R-AR), with the assistance of former First Lady Laura Bush, in 2008 to raise Congressional awareness of the United States’ efforts to stem the tide of malaria across the globe.  In 2009, the Caucus expanded to include within its mission neglected tropical disease (NTD) control and prevention.

“Malaria kills as many as three million people each year, and NTDs affect more than one billion people worldwide,” said Fortenberry.  “Every 45 seconds, a child in Africa dies from malaria.  Every day, countless children are left disfigured, blinded, developmentally debilitated, and killed by NTDs.   These diseases form a heartbreaking global health emergency.  As the United States’ own public health experience has demonstrated, diseases like malaria are treatable, preventable, and curable.  I share the Caucus’ goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015, and working to curb the spread of NTDs among our world’s most vulnerable.”

“In a time of crucial discussions about U.S. foreign assistance reform, malaria and NTD control and prevention represent some of the strongest returns on investment for foreign assistance dollars,” said Payne. “Over the last few years, through proven, effective and low-cost control interventions, the United States, along with our global partners, has been able to slash malaria disease burdens and deaths in Africa and elsewhere around the world.  The strong connection between malaria and NTDs results in synergistic solutions and joint prevention campaigns for the deceases have proven highly effective and low-cost.  I look forward to working with Mr. Fortenberry to continue to build on these successes. ”

Malaria, an infectious blood disease spread by mosquitoes, is most prevalent in the developing world, with 90 percent of deaths occurring in Africa.  The majority of those killed are pregnant women and children under five years old.

More than one-sixth of the world’s population is infected by NTDs, particularly in the most impoverished areas of Latin America and Africa.  Most NTDs are preventable and treatable parasitic infectious diseases spread by insects or contaminated soil and water, particularly in tropical climates.

Fortenberry is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.  Payne is the co-founder of the Caucus and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee.

More from the 2010 World Malaria Report

December 20th, 2010

By: Mark Green, Malaria No More

The World Health Organization’s 2010 World Malaria Report confirms the simple truth that gets me out of bed every morning and into work as a malaria advocate: while malaria is still a terrible killer, it is also completely preventable and treatable.

This year’s World Malaria Report shows that cases of malaria declined by 18 million and deaths caused by malaria declined by 82,000 worldwide. In 2009, there were 243 million cases of malaria, and malaria caused 781,000 deaths. That’s a drop in malaria deaths of nearly 10% in just one year. Now that’s something worth celebrating!

The idea of ending malaria deaths of breaking the disease’s death grip in too many parts of Africa – is no longer a pipe dream.

But to get there, progress must be accelerated. Without sustained funding, all of the gains we have achieved could be lost. The news today brings much hope, but of course there’s so much work yet to be done. It is a tragedy that three-quarters of a million people die from a disease that is entirely preventable and treatable. This is a crisis that we know how to solve, but we must have the will.

People ask me all the time if the money we spend in Africa is making any difference at all. They see the images of malnourished children and hear the stories of conflict and corruption.

This year’s report gives us evidence that it is, but behind all of these stats are countless stories of individuals persevering in the face of malaria. These stories would not be possible without leadership and resources from all corners of the globe. This report demonstrates just how many of these new success stories are being written.

Mark Green serves as the Malaria Policy Center’s Managing Director. Mark Green joined the Malaria Policy Center after his tenure as United States Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania.  Prior to serving as ambassador, Mark served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a member of the House Judiciary and International Relations Committees, and served as an Assistant Majority Whip. He has also written for End the Neglect in the past.

World Malaria Report 2010

December 15th, 2010

Yesterday the World Health Organization released the 2010 World Malaria Report. Some highlights from the report can be found below:

  • Indoor residual spraying protected 75 million people, or 10% of the population at risk in 2009.
  • In Africa, a total of 11 countries showed a greater than 50% reduction in either confirmed malaria cases or malaria admissions and deaths over the past decade.
  • Morocco and Turkmenistan were certified by WHO in 2009 as having eliminated malaria.
  • Resurgences in cases were observed in parts of at least three African countries, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, and Zambia.
  • Financial disbursements reached their highest ever in 2009 at $1.5 billion, but new commitments for malaria control appear to have leveled off in 2010, at $1.8 billion.
  • In 2010, more African households (42%) owned at least one insecticide treated bednets, and more children under five years of age were using an insecticide treated bednet (35%) compared to previous years.
  • By the end of 2009, 11 African countries were providing sufficient courses of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) to cover more than 100% of malaria cases seen in the public sector.
  • The number of deaths due to malaria is estimated to have decreased from 985,000 in 2000 to 781,000 in 2009.

Click here to read the full report.

Weekly Blog Round-Up 11/8-11/12

November 12th, 2010

This Week on End the Neglect…

  1. Dr. Peter Hotez was named President of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
  2. Agencies from Suriname, Brazil, and Colombia were honored as Malaria Champions of the Americas.
  3. Our guest blogger, Alanna Shaikh wrote two blogs for us this week, the first one was about her response to an article published in the Guardian about animals and their role in the spreading diseases and the second was about women and NTDs.
  4. Notre Dames student run group, ND Fighting NTDs, wrote about their plans to spread NTD awareness this week on campus.
  5. Albert Sabin was honored in a Veterans Day themed entry yesterday.
  6. The Global Network for NTDs and Sabine Vaccine Institute staff attended different panels this week at the mHealth Summit. Anjana Padmanabhan (Global Network for NTDs Communications Associate) attended a panel that examined hurdles in global health initiatives in regards to medicine distribution and  how the use of modern technology can drastically help alleviate them, Eteena Tadjiogueu (Sabin Vaccine Institute Communications Associate) wrote about a panel that discussed using mobile technologies to monitor and control infectious diseases, and Linda Diep (Global Network for NTDs Communications Intern) wrote about a panel she attended about mobile technology and maternal health.
  7. Today we had a blog by the Sabin Vaccine Institute Staff about World Pneumonia Day activities, which includes video footage of the PneumoniaFighters on the streets of DC!

Malaria Champions of the Americas 2010 Announced

November 9th, 2010

In a previous blog post, we highlighted the Second Annual Malaria Champions of the Americas Award. The Champions have been named and awarded, read all about it here!

Reading List 11/5/2010

November 5th, 2010

Todays readings are all about initiatives being started that could ultimately lead to the eradication of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)! Starting off with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, they have expanded there team by four experts all working on NTD research.The Kenya Minister for Public Health and Sanitation has advocated for wider spread public health initiatives. Vestergaard Frandsen, a textile manufacturing has announced new curtains that when used will give consumers 24 hour protection from Malaria.

LSTM Expands Parasitology Research Portfolio, Alpha Galileo Kenya: Minister advocates wider use of CDI in public health delivery, Afrique Jet PermaNet net curtains safe, protect against malaria, says manufacturer, Compass News Paper

The Only Source of Knowledge is Experience

November 3rd, 2010

All week, my colleagues and I are attending various sessions at the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. We will be listening to global health experts speak on a cadre of hot global health topics including  schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis,  water and hygiene, malaria, tuberculosis, human rights and integrated control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

This includes presentations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Children without WormsSchistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Helen Keller International (HKI), Taskforce for Global Health and the National Institutes of Health (NIH),  among many others.

To kick off what will be a week chock-full of the latest research and data, as well as fruitful discussion and debate in the dynamic realm of tropical medicine, tonight’s opening plenary session featured Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director, CDC, delivers remarks at opening plenary of ASTMH Annual Meeting. Photo Credit: ASTMH blog

Read more: The Only Source of Knowledge is Experience

11/1/2010 Reading List

November 1st, 2010

Its the first of the month readers! Today we have a brand new list of reads for your NTD and global health fix. This Monday were reading about iThemba Pharmaceuticals -  a South African company that will benefit from the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases, a new polio vaccine, a debate amongst NTD experts on the best sustainable solutions to control these diseases, and the current state of the elimination of malaria.

Pooling Knowledge for Neglected Diseases, Rianna Stefanakis & Don Joseph, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News WHO Says New Vaccine Could Eradicate Polio, Vidushi Sinha, VOA News Control of the neglected tropical diseases needs a long-term commitment, Yaobi Zhang, Chad MacArthur, Likezo Mubila, & Shawn K. Baker, BMC Medicine Malaria Elimination Impossible Without Vaccine, Experts Say, Maria Cheng, The Huffington Post

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    • The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is a major advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.
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