Catnip Chemical Repels Mosquitos, Attracts Cats

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Written by Kerre Ann Willsher, PhD Nepetalactone, a chemical in Catnip (nepeta cataria), a species of mint, has been found to be a very effective mosquito repellant (American Chemical Society. & ScienceDaily, 2001; Le Page, 2021).  This is good news as some species of mosquito are developing resistance to DEET which is the most widely used repellant worldwide. Insect repellant is an important adjunct to current tools such as insecticide-treated bed nets in the prevention … Continued

Quarterly Update: August-October 2021

Written by Kerre Willsher, PhD The Covid19 mayhem means that Rotarians Against Malaria has their work cut out for them in many cases. Fortunately, with the assistance of Rotary Clubs, Districts, and the general public, we are “up to it.” 1.5 million malaria cases and 7.6 million malaria-related deaths have been prevented since 2000 (World Health Organization, 2021). Dr Jenny Kerrison reports that there will be a one-off stipend of $29,500 for a Papua/New Guinean scholar … Continued

Climate, environment and the transmission of malaria

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A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the world’s leading authority on climate science – has warned that climate change will probably cause global temperatures to rise by more than 1.5C, bringing widespread extreme weather. Today we are highlighting a recent article by Antonella Rossati, Olivia Bargiacchi, Vesselina Kroumova, Marco Zaramella, Annamaria Caputo, Pietro Luigi Garavelli on climate, environment and transmission of malaria. We have excerpted the abstract below, and … Continued

The World Health Organization E 2025 Initiative

3.2 billion people are at risk of being infected with Malaria, and each year, more than 400,000 people die of it (Wangdi & Clements, 2018; World Health Organization, 2017, 2021b). The E 2025 initiative developed as the result of the identification by the World Health Organization of another 25 countries that have the capacity to eliminate Malaria by 2025. E2025 builds upon E 2020 which supported 21 countries in their effort to eliminate Malaria by … Continued

We need vaccines against malaria. Why has development been so slow?

Written by Kerre A. Willsher, PhD The 39 countries that have eliminated Malaria cannot afford to become complacent (World Health Organization, 2021), and nor can anyone else. With continuous exposure to Malaria, people develop some immunity to it. However, when Malaria is eliminated, the population does not have exposure and begin to lose their immunity (World Health Organization, 2021). If there is a recurrence of Indigenous Malaria, the risk of severe or fatal illness greatly … Continued

Malaria Parasites Found in Spleens

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Written by Kerre A. Willsher, PhD. Scientists have recently discovered that Malaria treatment and containment is even trickier that first thought because plasmodium can also be concealed in the spleen as well as the liver. The spleen has a vital role in immunity to disease, destruction of parasites and the filtration of  blood. The discovery which was made in Papua Province, Indonesia, was reported in a recent editions of the New England Journal of Medicine … Continued

What will it take to eradicate malaria?

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What will it take to eradicate malaria? This article by González‑Silva & Rabinovich (2021) in Malaria Journal draws on the history of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to highlight the insights into the eradication of a pathogen. The authors highlighted the ongoing need to be open and adapt to the changing bio and socio-political contexts over time on the journey to eradication.

The RAM Scientific Committee reports on recent scientific developments (part 3)

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Malaria is notoriously hard to vaccinate against. A new vaccine technology might change that. There is still a long way to go, but RNA vaccines might help in the fight against malaria.  One avenue for finally getting the upper hand in the fight against malaria? RNA vaccination, using some of the same principles as the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccines. For the past five years, researchers have been working to bring RNA vaccines to the … Continued

The RAM Scientific Committee reports on recent scientific developments (part 2)

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Infections halved in children in Ivory Coast using new technology.  A new lure-and-kill style device trial shows potential for a major drop in malaria-spreading mosquitoes. Called Eave Tubes, the lure-and-kill type devices developed in the Netherlands work like this: Plastic PVC tubes are installed in holes drilled underneath the roofs of houses. The tubes are fitted with screens laced with an insecticide approved for use with close human contact. Mosquitoes are attracted to the scent of the houses’ inhabitants, which wafts out through the tubes, … Continued

The RAM Scientific Committee reports on recent scientific developments (part 1)

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Climate Change Could Have Direct Consequences on Malaria Transmission in Densely Populated Zones in Africa.  A study shows that the lower incidence of disease in the Ethiopian highlands at the turn of the century has a close connection with a temporary slowdown in global warming. For several years there has been a heated debate on the impact of global warming on malaria incidence. It is believed that the largest effect could occur in the highlands, … Continued