A new study in the April issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, asks the question “With more than $220 million dollars dedicated to malaria treatment and prevention, why is the annual mortality rate from malaria on the rise" .
The study, entitled “Malaria Vector Management: Where Have We Come From and Where Are we Headed"” conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, examines the current methods used to control and prevent the spread of malaria.
Robert J. Novak, Ph.D., professor of medicine, division of infectious diseases and Ephantus J. Muturi, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, division of infectious diseases, who lead the study, say the millions of dollars currently being spent on malaria primarily address the mortality of pregnant women and infants. And, while these efforts are important and have resulted in successfully decreasing the death rate in that group with the use of bed nets and insecticides, the disease has burgeoned among teens and adults who are not being protected.
Dr. Muturi, a native of Kenya, who himself has been stricken by malaria, finds the lack of immediate attention frustrating on a more personal level. “I have family in Kenya who are at risk every day. Bed nets work at night and have helped contain the spread of malaria, but what about the hours when people aren’t in their beds" The protection during the day is minimal with current insecticides that cannot be used on a regular basis. The search for a vaccine is necessary, but so are the immediate needs of at-risk communities.”
The scientists say that organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The World Health Organization’s Roll Back Malaria, lead in funding research for drug and vaccine development and to provide bed nets, but little of this funding is directed to help identify and address environmental factors that contribute to the growth and spread of this fatal disease.
“We need to address three issues – vectors, parasites, and protect the human host, in an integrated fashion” says Dr. Novak. He explains that by working with environmental and epidemiological information that is already available, researchers can determine where malaria mosquito populations are most concentrated and then design a control program with the right preventive methods. “We can quickly access information by working with the Integrated Malaria Management Consortium. But, funding is needed to know where, when and how to apply the current tools that we have to be most effective with disease prevention. And, to properly educate the at-risk populations so they can better protect themselves.”
Some of the tools that Dr. Novak refers to include modifying the environmental sources proven to house malaria mosquitoes; using environmentally friendly insecticides; determining the exact sections of marsh land, rivers and rice paddies that contain mosquito larvae, and only treating those areas during breeding times to more effectively manage the mosquito population. Identifying these “hot spots” is not only more environmentally friendly, but is also cost effective.
“Relying on drugs and bed nets is the same mentality as in the 1960s and we know that thinking didn’t work since malaria is still here stronger than ever, so we need to attack the disease in new and more efficient methods,” says Dr. Novak. “By properly combining past successful tactics in managing malaria with new technology in insecticides, surveillance, GIS/remote satellite, PCR and new drugs, malaria can become a minor disease.”
Rosalind D'Eugenio | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy