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BBC Examines Eastern DRC’s Battle With Malaria

A BBC News article and related video examine the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s battle with malaria. “‘Malaria is the main killer here in Congo, especially for pregnant women and children,’ says Dr. Vincker Lushombo, from Save the Children,” BBC writes. “Two decades of conflict and chaos have destroyed key infrastructure and left many families in the east living in makeshift camps, often exposed to malarial swamps,” according to the news service.

MSF Publishes List Of Top 10 Stories Of 2011 About Access To Medicine

This Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) special report highlights the top 10 stories of 2011 regarding access to essential medicines, according to MSF. The list includes the findings of the HPTN 052 clinical trial, which “show that providing people with HIV treatment early not only saves their lives but can reduce the risk…

‘Dramatic Gains’ In Fight Against Malaria In Jeopardy Due To Global Fund Shortfall

In this post on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Kent Campbell, director of the Malaria Control Program at PATH, says “dramatic gains” made in the fight against malaria, and the possibility of ending the disease, are in jeopardy because the “Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and…

WHO Researchers Release Critique Of Methods To Estimate Global Malaria Incidence

“Richard Cibulskis and colleagues at the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland present a critique of different estimation methods of the worldwide incidence of malaria in this week’s PLoS Medicine,” according to a post in the PLoS Medicine “Community Blog.” The blog states, “In this study, the authors produced their estimate by analyzing…

Government, Humanitarian Agencies Respond To Flooding In Philippines, Warn Of Disease Threat

“Philippine authorities are warning of the spread of diseases in cramped evacuation centers, days after flash floods hit the southern Philippines and claimed more than a thousand lives,” ABC/Asia Pacific News reports, noting that flooding also has affected the country’s northern provinces, displacing at least 50,000 people (Escalante, 12/20). Tropical Storm Washi “hit the main southern island of Mindanao over the weekend, bringing heavy rains, flash floods and overflowing rivers that swept whole coastal villages away,” forcing 44,000 people to evacuate the area, Agence France-Presse/Inquirer News writes (Celis, 12/21). Officials say hundreds of thousands of people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and the U.N. has stepped up its efforts in the area, the U.N. News Centre reports (12/20).

Global Fund Board Must ‘Sound Alarm’ To Renew Funding Commitments

In an opinion piece on the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) website, MSF International President Unni Karunakara writes that with the cancellation of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Round 11 grants, “The Board of the Global Fund must raise the alarm. Instead of accepting rationing, and cancelling ambitions, we…

Study Examines Relationship Between Malaria, Salmonella Infection

People with malaria are more prone to developing bacterial infections, particularly from salmonella, and “researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine [LSHTM] have discovered that the increased vulnerability to salmonella infections is a side effect of the body’s attempts to protect itself from the damaging effects of…

AP Examines WHO Target Of Reducing Malaria Deaths To Near Zero By 2015

The Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle examines what it will take for the WHO to reach its new target of reducing malaria deaths to near zero by the end of 2015 and how “[s]ome experts questioned if WHO should be setting such lofty goals, especially at a time of declining funding.”

Antimalarial Drugs Administered During Pregnancy Safer Than Contracting Malaria, Study Suggests

“Antimalarial drugs are safer for pregnant women than contracting the disease,” according to a study from the University of Oxford published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases on Tuesday that “assess[ed] the effects of malaria and its treatment in the first trimester of pregnancy,” HealthCanal.com reports. The researchers examined the medical records of women who attended an antenatal clinic at the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit in Thailand over a 25-year period and “found that malaria increased the risks of miscarriage from one in five pregnancies (in women without malaria) to one in two pregnancies,” the news service adds (12/12).

Goal Of Near-Zero Malaria Deaths Attainable With Continued Will, Resources

In this TIME “Ideas” opinion piece, David Bowen, CEO of Malaria No More, writes that with the right resources and political will, an end to malaria is possible. He recounts progress made against the disease, citing a report by the WHO released Tuesday that shows “deaths from malaria have fallen by more than 25 percent globally since 2000 — and by more than five percent in the last year alone,” and writes, “Despite these gains, much more needs to be done. The unacceptable fact still remains that malaria claims a child’s life in Africa every minute. The world has begun to mobilize the skills, resources and innovative genius needed to end this terrible death toll.”

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