Against Malaria Foundation Blog
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Malaria vaccine update - an additional comment

Monday, 12 November 2012 12:30 by RobMather
While recent field trial results for the potential malaria vaccine RTS,S may be disappointing, it is worth noting this is important work and the science may well prove an important contributor to the eventual development of a successful, cost-effective malaria vaccine. From an editorial in The New England Journal Of Medicine by Johanna Daily:
 
“The results of this trial suggest that this candidate malaria vaccine is not ready to become part of the routine panel of infant immunizations. [AMF added bold] However, this trial did show protection in a subset of children and thus should be used as an opportunity to enlighten researchers regarding the host responses that correlate with vaccine protection. There are many vaccine candidates in the pipeline that use alternative parasite targets and vaccination strategies. Whether leaders in malaria-vaccine development will be able to support the costs needed to integrate sophisticated host-response studies or other value-added studies into these future vaccine trials remains to be seen. The results of this immunization trial suggest that a malaria vaccine is possible, but a more detailed understanding of effective host responses will be necessary to achieve this goal and avert the illnesses and deaths associated with this devastating infection for millions of children."
 
We hope significant funding will be directed to vaccine research for the five malaria parasites. While it is the case, currently, there has never been an effective vaccine against a parasite, there is reason to believe scientific research will lead to one being developed. The impact of such a vaccine could be hugely significant.
 
 
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Malaria vaccine update

Friday, 9 November 2012 12:38 by RobMather
Everyone involved in malaria control has a fervent wish a malaria vaccine is found.
 
There is what could be bad news about one potential malaria vaccine.
 
"An experimental malaria vaccine once thought promising is turning out to be a disappointment, with a new study showing it is only about 30 percent effective at protecting infants from the killer disease.
 
'If it turns out to have a clear 30 percent efficacy, it is probably not worth it to implement this in Africa on a large scale', said Genton Blaise, a malaria expert at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, who also sits on a WHO advisory board. He said the vaccine might work better under certain conditions but more research was needed.
 
Scientists have been working for decades to develop a malaria vaccine, a complicated endeavor since the disease is caused by five different species of parasites. There has never been an effective vaccine against a parasite. Worldwide, there are several dozen malaria vaccine candidates being researched.
 
Eleanor Riley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the vaccine might be useful if used together with other strategies, like bed nets. She was involved in an earlier study of the vaccine and had hoped for better results. 'We're all a bit frustrated that it has proven so hard to make a malaria vaccine,' she said. 'The question is how much money are the funders willing to keep throwing at it.'
 
WHO said it couldn't comment on the incomplete results and would wait until the trial was finished before drawing any conclusions."
 
 
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Infant mortality due to malaria falls in Africa

Friday, 14 October 2011 14:05 by General

Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Executive Director of the 'Roll Back Malaria' Partnership, has just given an interview stating that malaria has moved from being the largest cause of infant mortality to the third largest in Africa, although this differs in many countries and regions.

Read more here.

 

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A malaria success story: Zambia

Thursday, 9 December 2010 16:00 by AndrewGarner
Free Zambia from malariaZambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa. Malaria has staggered the nation for decades - as recently as 2006, malaria was its number one killer, accounting for half of all deaths in Zambia. But in spite of this seemingly insurmountable malaria burden, Zambia has achieved unprecedented progress. Since 2000, malaria infection rates in Zambia have dropped 66%. So how does such a remarkable reduction happen?

Between 2006 and 2008, 3.6 million nets reached Zambia's populace. And in this three year period alone, malaria deaths dropped by half.

These nets were not provided by the Zambian government, which couldn't afford the nets by itself. They weren't bought by Zambian families, 73% of whom live below the poverty line. Instead, it was international donors who paved the way for Zambia's incredible change. In short - it was you.

Thanks to you, AMF partners have distributed 332,660 LLINs to Zambia. That's a full 25% of all the nets our partners have distributed in the world. Check out our distribution partner World Vision to see some pictures of completed distributions in the country. And remember: Zambia is only the beginning.
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Study highlights the need for quick and accurate malaria testing

Thursday, 8 July 2010 14:11 by AndrewGarner

A recent study, looking at data from 2007, has suggested that of the 183 million African children under 5 who sought treatment for fever 43% were likely to have malaria. The common assumption is that all childhood fevers are caused by malaria and so the child is given anti-malaria treatment unnecessarily. This depletes stocks of the treatment and may also increase the chances of P.falciparum becoming resistant to current anti-malaria drugs.

This emphasises the need for accurate, rapid diagnostic tests for malaria which are simple, cheap and effective. The study, which breaks down the data geographically, may also help in prioritising where the anti-malarial spend is focused.

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Climate change may be a 'distraction' on malaria spread

Thursday, 20 May 2010 15:20 by AndrewGarner

The BBC have reported on a new study by a research group at Oxford University which says that climate change will have little effect on the spread of malaria in comparison with ongoing control measures.

Epidemiologoist Peter Gething and Simon Hay of the Malaria Atlas Project, who also supply the malaria maps used on our own site, said, "the impact of public-health measures such as improved medications, widespread insecticide use and bed nets have overwhelmed the influence of climate change."

The paper was published today in Nature.

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Haiti - Earthquake

Thursday, 14 January 2010 16:02 by AndrewGarner

The immediate needs in Haiti are search and rescue teams and medical aid. Immediate support can be given via the DEC,the Red CrossWorld Vision and others.

In the near to medium term malaria, already a problem in Haiti, is likely to increase significantly due to there being little to stop transmission. News media are quoting teams in Haiti as already concerned about a number of diseases including malaria.

We would like to help.

We have set up a specific donation page. 100% of funds donated here will buy nets for Haiti and we will liaise with the relevant authorities and partners to ensure they are distributed as soon as possible when they are needed, where they are needed.

We are starting the fund with $25,000 as the need is likely to be very large.

If you are able to help, thank you.

 

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Igor: the movie - changing the world one bed net at a time

Monday, 8 September 2008 16:55 by RichardStacy

IGOROn September 19 the movie “Igor” opens in cinemas across the United States.  This is an animated feature based on the exploits of a character who lives in the land of Malaria and features voice-overs from John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Jennifer Coolidge, Sean Hayes, Arsenio Hall, Eddie Izzard, Jay Leno, Molly Shannon, and Christian Slater.  The producers of the movie, Exodus Film Group, and Malaria.com have asked us to help them raise money to fund bed nets, capitalising on the interest in malaria that the movie will generate - something we were happy to do in our role of empowering anyone with a fundraising idea to turn money raised into bed nets that are proven to end-up over people’s heads.

Here is a link to the movie and the fundrasing page we have set up.

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