Rotarians Against Malaria Updates
Updates on this page are from the RAM Newsletter, February & September 2012
Solomon Islands Update
In 2011 the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) distributed over 46,000 long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINs) as part of the campaign to maintain high population coverage with LLINs. This is following the distribution of just over 316,000 LLINs in 2010. During the first six months of 2012. 11,005 bed nets have been distributed.
Reports from a survey conducted in 2011 indicates that 91 % of all households surveyed owned at least one ITN (LLIN) and 81.5% of households owning more than one ITN (LLIN).
Indoor Residual Spraying
The 2011 Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) campaign saw over 37,900 households sprayed with insecticide. This intervention, coupled with high LLIN coverage has significantly reduced the transmission of malaria in Solomon Islands, such that the annual incidence of confirmed malaria cases (Annual Parasite Incidence) has decreased markedly to under 47 cases per 1,000 population in 2011 (actual data available at present indicates an API of 46.5 cases per 1,000 population in 2011)
In the 6 months of 2012 , 91,248 people were tested and 10,833 were positive, of those tested 6,993 were infants with 638 tested positive.
There has also been significant gains in the roll out of diagnostic capacity in health facilities across Solomon Islands, with approximately 94% of health facilities having access to either microscopy services or available stock of rapid diagnostic test kits for malaria.
To increase community awareness of malaria, and to encourage community acceptance of key malaria interventions, the NVBDCP with the Solomons Ministry of Health and Medical Services Health Promotion Unit have been actively visiting schools. In 2011, over 230 schools were visited, with presentation of malaria information and educational materials provided.
The Adopt A Village program has been extended to Timor Leste. The Global Fund grants for supply and distribution of treated bed nets does not cover the entire country – there is a gap.
RAM is currently in a position where we can order the LLINs for RAWCS Project 143/2010-2011. To facilitate the delivery of these nets and Rotary’s role in the distribution process Dili Rtn Daryl Mills OAM is currently in discussion with the Timor Leste Ministry of Health.
TLMOH advised that Australian Rotarians would be welcome to join LLIN distribution teams.
RAM Port Moresby, has the Global Fund contract to distribute long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINs) throughout Papua New Guinea. To date nets have been delivered to almost 3 million people. It is stressed how logistically difficult such a task is in Papua New Guinea.
Check Presentation concerning New Guinea August 2012 (pdf download)
Gates Foundation renews its commitment
The “big news” early in 2011 was the announcement that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed its commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Gates Foundation is giving $750 million through a promissory note—a new and innovative funding mechanism.
“These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “The Global Fund is one of the most effective ways we invest our money every year.”
Providing funding through a promissory note gives the Global Fund the flexibility and authority to distribute funds efficiently based on immediate needs, leading to greater impact.
Bill Gates issues an annual letter. To view the latest go to
Unique drug-discovery project wins Gates Foundation support
A unique drug-discovery project developing a cure for malaria has been awarded a prestigious grant from the Gates Foundation. The project, based on Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for cell and Molecular Therapies, has taken a leap forward by discovering a novel approach to finding compounds from nature.
Eskitis Institute Director Professor Ron Quinn said his team was delighted to receive $100,000 in funding from the Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations Grant, which backs transformational ideas that could change the face of health in developing countries.
“The grant recognises our work in introducing an innovative way of screening compounds against the malaria parasite proteins, Professor Quinn said.
“This new screening test is a lot simpler and more effective in identifying compounds that can fight the malaria parasite and it enables screening of a wider range of proteins. There are enormous untapped resources in our environment – our aim is to use cutting-edge science and technology to uncover those and use them for the benefit of the global community.”
The breakthrough project’s ultimate goal is to locate the initial chemical lead that can then be developed into the next-generation drug. The malaria parasite, transmitted by mosquitoes, has the potential to develop resistance to most of the drugs in the market.
World Health Organisation figures estimate a child dies from malaria every 30 seconds, adding up to more than one million deaths each year. While most deaths occur in Africa, WHO predicts climate change may increase the geographic spread of the disease.
Although malaria predates written history, researches are still actively working to find new drugs that are affordable, effective, sustainable, safe for human consumption, and can be readily marketed to the developing countries where the disease in rampant.
Eskitis Institute has a unique biota collection of more than 45,000 samples of plants and marine invertebrates from tropical and temperate Australia, China and Papua New Guinea.
Source: The above article was written by Sabrina Rashid and included in Griffith News, October 2009. Authorisation for inclusion in this newsletter is by kind permission of Professor Ron Quinn, Director, Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies.
Check these links ---
To find out more about RAWCS RAM projects:
Check the RAM Australia Website http://www.ramaustralia.org/
RAM New Guinea website http://www.ram.com.pg
The Global Fund http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/
To donate to RAM and save lives:
To donate to RAM through RAWCS click here