GlobalHealthAfrica

Posts Tagged ‘Malaria’

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Scientific Day Online 2013

In Malaria on May 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm

In this guest post, Kim West of MSF  highlights the upcoming MSF Scientific Day. For more information visit this link –>http://www.msf.org.uk/msf-scientific-day 

MSF Scientific Day 2013 will be streamed live online from the Royal Society of Medicine, London, UK, from 09.00am – 06.00pm (GMT+1)  on 10th May 2013

MSF Scientific Day is a unique opportunity to showcase medical and scientific research carried out in MSF programmes around the world.  Presenting and debating the findings from our research is vital to improve the quality of our humanitarian programmes.  By streaming the event online, we hope to engage the wider humanitarian and global health community in this discussion.

 Agenda highlights include:

  • The keynote speech by international health expert, co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation and TED talks alumnus Hans Rosling on the synergy and conflict between research and advocacy. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the impact of MSF’s research.
  • Treatment in conflict and emergency settings including TB in Somalia and hepatitis E in South Sudan
  • New approaches to preventing malaria in Mali and Chad, cholera vaccination in an outbreak in Guinea, and preventing malnutrition in Niger by cash transfer and food supplementation
  • Challenges for MSF including the introduction of a medical error reporting system and parenteral artesunate for severe malaria
  • The role of social media and health looking at the effect of MDR-TB patients blogging about their experiences

Online viewers can expect: 

  • A live stream of Scientific Day presentations and talks
  • A low-bandwidth stream for those with temperamental internet connection
  • A real-time online discussion with the chance to submit questions to presenters
  • An on-line gallery of posters presented at the event
  • Live Twitter Q&A sessions with selected presenters

Get involved in the debate by following @MSF_UK on Twitter and using the #MSFSci hashtag.  MSF Scientific Day news will also be available via their Facebook page

Contacts

Kim West, Scientific Day Digital Communications Office

scientificday.online@london.msf.org

Becky Roby, Conference Organiser:

scientificday@london.msf.org

medicne sans logo

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An African Public Health Story-The Zambia Malaria Initiative Part 1

In Health Policies, Malaria, News on March 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm

The Zambian National Malaria Control Programme appears to be a growing success.  Estimates from the Zambian Demographic Health Surveys indicate a 29% reduction in under-5 mortality for the period, 2001-2007. Even more, a research paper in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene highlights the improvements in household and individual adoption of malaria prevention tools such as insecticide treatment nets (ITN) and Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). By 2008, 60% of households in Zambia had at least one ITN and over 60% of pregnant women had received 2 or more doses of IPTp. However, an increase in malaria cases was reported in 2010.

Having read bits and pieces of Zambia’s efforts in combating malaria in the news media, I set out to understand and share, from public health literature, some of the factors that were responsible for their public health gains. In part 2, I will examine the implications of these factors, which I call the building blocks, and the challenges that lie ahead for Zambia and other African nations.

The Building Blocks

National Commitment

After the launch of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership in 1998, the Zambia Government put in place structures that demonstrated a commitment to the elimination of malaria. These included the establishment of a ministerial task force to coordinate the development of the 2000-2005 National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP) and the founding of the National Malaria Control Centre (NMCC) in 2002. The National Government also went ahead to eliminate taxation on ITNs and on corresponding insecticides while adopting artemesinin- based combination therapy (ACT) as its front-line anti-malaria therapy recommendation.

By 2005, the National Malaria Control Centre set out to reduce malaria incidence and under-5 mortality in five years by 75% and 20% respectively. These goals were set to be achieved through a combination of prevention strategies that included insecticide treated nets (ITN), indoor residual spraying (IRS) and prompt malaria diagnosis and treatment with Rapid Diagnostic Kits and artemesinin-based combination therapy (ACT). Coverage targets outlined in the 2006-2011 NMSP included: greater than 80% of households with an average of 3 ITNS/HH, greater than 80% of pregnant women receiving greater than or 2 doses of IPTp, greater than 80% of pregnant women sleeping under ITN or in a house with IRS, greater than 80% of children under 5 years sleeping under ITN or in a house with IRS and greater than 80% of sick persons treated with effective anti-malarial within 24 hours of onset.

To further along their goals to eliminate malaria, The Zambia Government also increased allocations for the malaria control initiatives. By 2008, budget allocations for malaria from the Zambia Government had come to $25.4 million.

These actions by the Government of Zambia provided evidence of its dedication to eliminating malaria and improving the health outcomes of Zambians.

 International community support

Zambia’s efforts to build the infrastructure for national scale malaria control program attracted substantial donor support. Donors included the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA), the World Bank, the U.S President Malaria Initiative (PMI), and the World Health Organization. Donations from these international organizations combined with domestic funds from the Zambian Government ensured that crucial aspects of the malaria control program were funded.

However, support for malaria control initiative in Zambia was also the result of a desire by the international community to have a successful model of a national scale malaria control initiative which can be replicated by other countries within the region.

Staying the course

 From 2002, Zambia began a nation-wide roll out of insecticide treated nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying (IRS) and Rapid diagnostic Tests (RDTs) kits. In the following years, efforts were made to expand the distribution of these key aspects of the malaria control program to ensure adequate population coverage. However, the inconsistent nature of donor funding impacted the distribution of bed nets for years 2004 and 2008.

Rollout of ITNs, IRS and RDTs at the National Level

Image

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

To ensure access to treatment for diagnosed malaria cases, ACTs were made free to all those seeking care within the public health sector.

 Data-Informed Decision-Making

Using the National Health Management Information Systems as well as sentinel surveys like the Zambian Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) and the Malaria Indicators Surveys, the Zambian Government and its International partners were able to monitor the progress of the nation-wide malaria control efforts.

Some data points captured by these data tracking tools include under-five child malaria mortality, yearly malaria in-patients from all facilities, and distribution, ownership and use of ITNs.

Climatic Advantages

Zambia has 3 distinct seasons within its tropical climate-a hot, rainy season (November-April), a cool dry winter (May-August), and a hot, dry season (September-October). These seasonal variations influenced the transmission of malaria by Plasmodium infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes were abundant from September to April but markedly reduced during the cold winters from May to August. As a result, efforts to reduce population malaria parasitemia during those winter months may induce reduced transmission during the other months.

To be continued

Sources

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18606763

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929038/

http://www.nber.org/papers/w16069

http://www.pmi.gov/countries/mops/fy13/zambia_mop_fy13.pdf

http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/pm/2013/495037/

http://www.malariajournal.com/content/12/1/10

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