Friday, 17 May 2013

MALARIA: Africa Fighting Malaria Updates and Events: May 16 2013

Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM) seeks to raise awareness of the huge burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and promote sensible policies for long-term solutions.

In early 2013 a batch of falsified Coartem was discovered in Yaoundé, Cameroon, containing no active pharmaceutical ingredients. The genuine product is manufactured by Novartis and is a WHO pre-qualified medicine. A pharmacist in Yaoundé requested Minilab testing as he suspected that the product was ineffective. The product failed screening by the minilab and was forwarded by an NGO to a WHO pre-qualified laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya, for more detailed analysis. Subsequent testing revealed that the product contained neither of the correct active pharmaceutical ingredients. 
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South Africa: Outbreaks limited by cool season

While it is advisable to be wary of malaria, experts agree that it is unlikely that the region is on the verge of an outbreak. "Malaria transmission in South Africa is seasonal, peaking in summer, with case numbers declining during the colder months. Given that we are approaching winter, we would not expect malaria prevalence to be reaching epidemic levels now," said Dr Jaishree Raman, a malaria researcher at the Medical Research Council. Malaria is caused by female mosquitoes who carry the infectious parasites to human hosts. It then takes about 10 to 15 days before symptoms appear, said Jasson Urbach, a director of Africa Fighting Malaria. 
Mosquitoes are deadly efficient disease transmitters. Research conducted at Michigan State University, however, demonstrates that they also can be equally adept in curing diseases such as malaria. A study in the current issue of Science shows that the transmission of malaria via mosquitoes to humans can be interrupted by using a strain of the bacteria Wolbachia in the insects. 
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Please email Africa@fightingmalaria.orgfor more information.

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