APMEN Newsroom

Friday
May232014

APLMA holds second Taskforce meeting: Regional Financing for Malaria

The Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) has held the first ever meeting of the Regional Financing for Malaria Taskforce in Kowloon, Hong Kong on May 12, 2014.

The meeting was attended by malaria and public health experts, as well as invited economists and representatives from international donor funding bodies to discuss the malaria financing situation in the Asia Pacific.

The agenda targeted National Malaria Control Programs and how to best support them, and highlighted the gaps in financing for malaria and other emerging diseases priorities in the region.

Representative from APLMA’s secretariat, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and WHO provided participants with the current landscape for malaria funding in the region, including the role of Regional Malaria Trust fund, established in 2013 with funding from the United Kingdom and Australian governments.
 
To follow the conversation, updates and photos, visit the @APLMA_Malaria Twitter account.
 
APLMA  has an official website. Visit aplma.org for more information.


Thursday
May222014

APMEN Surveillance and Response Training to be held in October

 

A two week training on surveillance and response will be held in Wuxi, China, at the Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases (JIPD) from October 20 -31, 2014, as part of the APMEN Elimination Training Series. The APMEN Elimination Training Series seeks to address emerging training needs in malaria elimination needs in the Asia Pacific region.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce will support a four week training course, which includes a two week component on surveillance and response for APMEN Country Partners and others. This training will be co-hosted by JIPD, in collaboration with the UCSF Global Health Group, University of Queensland and APMEN partners.The APMEN Elimination Training Series seeks to address emerging training needs for malaria elimination in the Asia Pacific region. 

The curriculum will include an overview on surveillance system activities that range from control to prevention of reintroduction, stratification, use of GIS for mapping and targeting interventions, and data analysis. A business meeting of the newly established APMEN Surveillance and Response Working Group will also be convened during the training, to review a draft work plan and activities underway. 

One of the strengths of APMEN is the resources and technical expertise made available through our Country Partners, Partner Institutions, and the broader APMEN community. The APMEN Surveillance and Response training aims to capitalize on these strengths.  If Country Partners or Partner Institutions have any relevant training materials or would like to assist in the training, please contact the APMEN Secretariat via email at apmen@sph.uq.edu.au

Note:  A friendly reminder for those who were sent the Surveillance & Response survey on April 28. This survey will inform the APMEN two week training on surveillance and response in October 2014.

Please send completed surveys or any questions to Cara Smith Gueye (APMEN Joint Secretariat, UCSF Global Health Group): smithc1@globalhealth.ucsf.edu.

 

Wednesday
May212014

World Malaria Day 2014: APMEN countries celebrate!

Last month, the 15 Country Partners of APMEN celebrated World Malaria Day (WMD) on April 25, in strong support of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) and World Health Organization global campaign. This year again the theme was,  “Invest in the future: Defeat malaria.” 

In a special edition APMEN newsletter, we recapped four Country Partner stories from Bhutan, Cambodia, Vanuatu and Indonesia.

View/download the APMEN newsletter World Malaria Day 2014 recap issue here.

A full review of RBM partners’ worldwide activities can be found on the official WMD 2014 website.

 

Monday
May192014

Communicating and Monitoring Surveillance and Response Activities for Malaria Elimination: China's “1-3-7” Strategy

 

Results from an APMEN co-funded study on China's "1-3-7" malaria elimination strategy have been published in PLoS Medicine. 

The "1-3-7” approach defines targets used to guide and monitor case reporting, investigation, and response, respectively.

China launched its malaria elimination program in July 2010 with a plan to achieve elimination by 2020.

 

Read the full paper in PLoS Medicine here.

Monday
May192014

Groundbreaking ‘lab-on-chip’ for malaria tested in the Solomon Islands

 

Dr Stephanie Yanow in Honiara, Solomon Islands, demonstrating the use of the Accutas system for malaria elimination.

In many countries with large malaria burdens and low resource settings, access to quality diagnostics is very limited. Current technology for diagnosing malaria is based on microscopic examination of blood smears in advanced laboratory settings, or rapid diagnostic tests in the field which, if not kept in strict conditions at the point-of-care, can be unreliable.

Researchers from the University of Alberta have developed a prototype for a ‘lab-on-chip’ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) portable machine for diagnosing malaria and other pathogens for use in the field. 

The machine called the Accutas system, includes a small, disposable chip for loading blood samples and a miniaturized PCR device to test for malaria, with real-time results diagnosed within two hours of testing. 

      

The chip sample, which can withstand tropical temperatures, cost approximtely US$1 and the Accutas portable instrument that plugs into a laptop costs approximately US$3000.

Principle investigator Dr Stephanie Yanow, from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, travelled to APMEN Country Partner, the Solomon Islands, in May to showcase the lab-on-chip device and gain user feedback on the Accutas system and its usability in the field. 

“Applications for this technology include diagnosis of acute infection, support for surveillance in elimination settings, and to monitor efficacy of new vaccines undergoing clinical trials,” Dr Yanow said. 

“During my visit to the Solomon Islands, I met with program officers, health officials and clinical staff who identified many ways in which the Accutas could support malaria elimination. I was delighted by their enthusiasm and look forward to planning field trials to pilot the device in the Solomon Islands next year.

“In order to proceed to full eradication of the disease on a global scale, active surveillance of asymptomatic cases must be a priority.”

The Accutas system has already shown greater sensitivity and specificity compared to microscopy, which is commonly used to test for malaria in the field, and can detect all 5 species of malaria that cause human infections.

Over the last 6 years, Dr. Yanow has led a research program in partnership with local Alberta-based company, Aquila Diagnostics Systems, Inc., to develop the Accutas system.

Dr Yanow is currently on a six-week fellowship to the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, thanks to an Endeavour Executive Fellowship sponsored by the Australian government’s Department of Education.

Read the full 'A lab-on-chip for malaria diagnosis and surveillance' research paper in Malaria Journal.


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