Malaria experts gather to talk about new ways to tackle malaria

Feb 24 2012
Posted in: MNM UK 0Comments

By Sarah Kline

Earlier this week I joined malaria experts from across the world to discuss the latest tools to tackle malaria – from drugs and insecticides to new tests and vaccines – and how they can be best used.

Some of the figures shared were staggering – malaria costs Nigeria $850 million a year and Uganda $600-800 million. Yet both countries are seeing progress compared to 10 years ago.

African government representatives listed the increases in domestic funding for health and for malaria. In Zambia the health budget is rising 46% in 2012 (compared to 2011); in Namibia the government spends 11% of GDP on health. Increases in domestic financing for health are as important as finding more money from donors if we are to win the fight against malaria.

We discussed the latest work to stamp out drug and insecticide resistance. There are lots of ingenious ways people are finding to stamp out resistance – from using a mixture of different nets and sprays to developing new drugs and new insecticides. We heard about the potential of everything from insect repellent clothing, to paint and even curtains.

The group also discussed the latest on the development of the first malaria vaccine that if approved could be introduced as early as 2015/16. It was exciting to talk with country programme managers and think through what it will mean to have the first ever malaria vaccine and how it can be used alongside nets, tests and drugs to help protect people from malaria.

Here at Malaria No More UK we are always looking for what the latest developments are in malaria research and development and how these new tools can be used on the ground. You may remember we made a film about malaria research and development tools last year and help launch the RBM publication on financing for R&D.

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