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article imageSymposium wants greater innovation towards eliminating malaria

By Tim Sandle     Oct 13, 2013 in Health
A Malaria Consortium symposium has highlighted the need for increased innovation as part of malaria elimination efforts, during the Sixth Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Pan-African Malaria Conference in Durban.
The recent symposium on malaria was centered on the theme: “Scalable innovations for improved malaria control in the era of elimination.” The object was for countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia to share ideas about combating the deadly infection.
The Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) was established in 1997 with a mission to strengthen and sustain, through collaborative research and training, the capacity of malaria-endemic countries in Africa to carry out research that is required to develop and improve tools for malaria control.
MIM has the following research objectives, aimed at tackling malaria:
Chemotherapy and mechanisms of resistance to antimalarial drugs;
Health system research to improve malaria control in Africa;
Malaria vector control;
Development of malaria control tools from products of indigenous plants;
Evaluation of malaria control interventions, new strategies, and policies; and
Malaria pathogenesis.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (simple, single-celled animals). The classic symptoms of malaria are a cyclical occurrence of sudden coldness followed by shivering and then fever and sweating, occurring every two days.
The conference was moderated by the World Health Organization's Franco Pagnoni, and the keynote speakers were from John Snow Inc. (JSI), who spoke about improving supply chain management and from Save the Children, who covered ways to improve supervision. Here the aims are to train community-health workers to identify, treat and refer children under five with malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea.
The conference concluded that integrated approaches to malaria prevention and control interventions were of great importance. Commenting on the event, Malaria Consortium Technical Director Dr Sylvia Meek said in a statement that: “Our experience reflects the need for integrated approaches to malaria control, implementing programs that address multiple diseases as well as strengthening systems for delivery. Alongside malaria specific efforts, especially surveillance, these approaches can maintain momentum to achieve malaria elimination.”
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