While its evolutionary history is disputed, there’s no doubt malaria was a key factor in the history of the Americas I am in the midst of a fascinating book about the way the world changed after Columbus “discovered” America in 14921. Called, appropriately, 1493: Uncovering the World Columbus Created, it is author Charles C. Mann’s follow-up to an earlier, equally engaging book on pre-Colombian … [Read more...]
Looking Ahead to 2012 and Beyond – What is the Future of the Global Fund?
At the beginning of December I went to the 60th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Attended by over 3500 scientists, practitioners, clinicians and students from around the world, the meeting is one of the pre-eminent global events for discussing and disseminating information related to all tropical diseases and health issues. Malaria, as you might expect, has … [Read more...]
Where There is No Medicine, Let Alone a Doctor
Remote or poorly accessible communities create special challenges for delivery of health care. There were goats in my classroom this morning. Quite adorable kids, but unfortunately not the right species for my health survey. The school is located in Bunda District, sandwiched between Lake Victoria and the long western arm of Serengeti National Park, which stops only a few kilometers from the … [Read more...]
The “E” word and the “V” word: Two Holy Grails of Malaria Control
The Roll Back Malaria Partnership talks confidently of elimination—many others question if this is possible without new interventions. The recent publication of the first Phase 3 clinical trial for a malaria vaccine shows promise, but is it actually good enough? REVIEW OF: Roll Back Malaria Partnership, “Eliminating Malaria: Learning from the Past, Looking Ahead”, Progress & … [Read more...]
Breaking the Promise of Bednets? Let’s Not Jump to Conclusions…
Review of Trape et al., (2011), Malaria morbidity and pyrethroid resistance after the introduction of insecticide-treated bednets and artemisinin-based combination therapies: a longitudinal study, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, published online August 18th. Jean-François Trape and colleagues have been causing quite a media stir with the article they recently published in The Lancet Infectious … [Read more...]
Can of Worms: Travel Parasites to Know About
Malaria isn’t the only parasite you need to think about when you travel In my last post, I shared some of the misguided myths about malaria that I had heard while hanging out with the tourists on Zanzibar. Then, in the in-flight magazine on the internal flight between Dar and Mwanza (my flight was over an hour late…hence how the airline, Precision Air, earned its local nickname: “Imprecision … [Read more...]
Myths About Malaria
I infiltrated the tourist circles of Zanzibar to find out what travellers really know about the most deadly parasite on the planet Travellers these days are pretty savvy; the ease of international travel and the ubiquity of the internet have encouraged more people to explore the world than ever before, and to be well-informed about the locations they are planning to visit. A key milestone in … [Read more...]
What is the malaria antigen test?
QUESTION: How does the malaria antigen test work? After how many days presence of malaria can antigens be detected in the blood ? Is it posible to detect antigens on the first day of fever ? ANSWER: The malaria antigen test works by detecting antigens in the blood which are released by the parasite. The antigens are usually LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) or HRP2 (Histidine-rich protein 2). … [Read more...]
Is Malaria Deadly?
QUESTION: Can malaria come back, and is it deadly? ANSWER: In some cases, and if not treated properly, malaria can come back. One example of when malaria comes back is when the infection is not completely cleared from the blood, for example if the full course of treatment is not taken. This is more common with Plasmodium falciparum malaria, as it can multiply rapidly in the blood. This … [Read more...]
QUESTION: I just want to find out what can cause malaria to be untreatable because have been injected (13) times and no changes. What can cause it, and i need a drug name that can take care it. ANSWER: Treatment for malaria is very rarely in the form of an injection, so I suspect you are not being treated appropriately. Malaria is caused by being bitten by a mosquito infected with … [Read more...]