APMEN Newsroom

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.


Tuesday
Apr292014

UNICEF-Global Fund MOU and Press Release

 

A global MOU between UNICEF and the Global Fund has now been signed (and a copy, in English only at the moment, is attached).

A joint press release has also been issued here http://www.unicef.org/media/media_73153.html

Tuesday
Apr292014

Press release: GSK and MMV announce start of Phase III programme of tafenoquine for Plasmodium vivax malaria

GlaxoSmithKline and Medicines for Malaria Venture announced on 28 April 2014 the start of a Phase III global programme to evaluate the efficacy and safety of tafenoquine, an investigational medicine under development for the treatment and relapse prevention (radical cure) of Plasmodium vivax malaria.

Read the full press release here. (PDF, 116KB)

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