• Malaria a Threat to Southern Africa

    Advocacy groups believe that greater regional cooperation is needed to eliminate malaria as it remains a health threat to millions of people living in Southern Africa.

    Roll Back Malaria, a partnership of organisations, says 200 000 people continue to die from the disease in Southern African each year, with the occurrence remaining unacceptably high in the region.

    Roll Back Malaria’s, executive director, Kaka Mudambo, states that, "Low endemic countries have reached the stage of four per thousands, and in some zero cases of deaths; and those countries which are between zero and fifty and then we have the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo] where you still get a lot of malaria maybe three hundred to four hundred per thousand.”

    To read the article titled, “Malaria remains a threat in Southern Africa,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Lack of Information Hampers Malaria Fight

    According to a new study, some 60 percent of countries where malaria is endemic lack solid information about the quality of available drugs to treat the deadly disease.
    The study, published in the Malaria Journal in April, looked at 251 reports from 104-malaria endemic countries since 1946, and found that of the 43 countries that had some information about anti-malarial quality, more than half of these - 25 -  had only one or two published reports available.
    "Estimates of anti-malarial quality vary widely depending on the sampling methodology used, with most reports not employing rigorous scientific techniques, potentially biasing results," says the reports.
    To read the article titled, “Unknown unknowns hamper global malaria fight,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Clinton Health Access Initiative: Malaria Elimination Analyst

    Clinton Health Access Initiative
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Saturday, November 24, 2012
    Opportunity type: 
    The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is a global nonprofit health organisation that strengthens integrated health systems in the developing world and expands access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

    As part of this mission, CHAI is supporting Ministries of Health in the Southern African region to eliminate malaria from within their borders as part of a global drive toward malaria eradication. CHAI provides technical assistance to government malaria programmes on strategic planning, operational research, and programme implementation to catalyse tangible progress toward the elimination goal. CHAI South Africa is embarking on an innovative district-based approach to elimination that combines known interventions with new tools to aggressively reduce malaria transmission in one ‘pilot’ district as a proof-of-concept on elimination for South Africa and the region. In collaboration with provincial and national malaria programmes and with support from local malaria experts and partners, CHAI will provide direct technical and management assistance to the Mpumalanga Province Malaria Programme to systematically eliminate malaria from Ehlanzeni, its one malaria-endemic district.

    CHAI seeks to appoint a Malaria Elimination Analyst, based in South Africa.


    The CHAI South Africa team is seeking a highly motivated individual with outstanding academic credentials and strong analytical capabilities to fill the position of Malaria Elimination Analyst to lead CHAI’s district-based elimination strategy, based in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, with the Malaria Programmeme within the Provincial Department of Health.  The Malaria Elimination Analyst must be able to function independently and have a strong commitment to excellence. CHAI places great value on relevant personal qualities: resourcefulness, responsibility, tenacity, independence, energy and work ethic.  The Malaria Elimination Analyst will report to the Department of Health Provincial Malaria Manager and the CHAI Deputy Country Director with technical guidance and oversight from the National Department of Health and South Africa’s expert advisory committee. Specifically, key responsibilities will include the following:
    • Provide technical support to the Provincial Malaria Programmeme in district-based strategic and operational planning for elimination;
    • Support the design and roll-out of active surveillance for malaria elimination in Ehlanzeni District, including the use of geographical information systems (GIS) to identify and target malaria ‘hotspots’;
    • Provide extensive training to the district malaria team on malaria elimination implementation in collaboration with relevant partners and experts;
    • Establish effective district-based operations for implementation of interventions, including guidance on distribution and responsibilities of staff and engaging local stakeholders to improve integration and coordination;
    • Develop a strategy to engage the private sector (health facilities, farms, mines, and game parks) in malaria elimination;
    • Support and facilitate the improvement of data collection, data management, and analysis;
    • Provide support on design and implementation of operational and epidemiological research within the district;
    • Assist the district to generate and package evidence to inform scale-up of the approach and disseminate findings within South Africa and the region;
    • Liaise with relevant district and national partners and stakeholders on elimination;
    • Perform administrative tasks in support of CHAI’s South Africa office where required.
    • Bachelor’s degree in health science, statistics or related field;
    • Minimum of two years of professional experience, preferably in public health, health systems strengthening, management consulting, or other related fields;
    • Current Department of Health employees will not be considered;
    • Own transportation;
    • Exceptional problem solving skills and analytical capabilities;
    • Strong written and oral communication skills;
    • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships with government and NGO representatives;
    • Ability to work effectively in a challenging political and multicultural environment;
    • Ability to multi-task and communicate well in high-pressure situations;
    • Ability to absorb and synthesize a broad range of information;
    • Ability to work independently in unstructured settings and communicate effectively within a remote, decentralised team;
    • Ability to navigate complex government processes and favourably influence decision-making processes in a diplomatic and collaborative manger;
    • Aware of challenges related to working in a resource-limited setting  and demonstrated ability to overcome them;
    • High level of proficiency in relevant computer applications particularly Microsoft Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Word.
    • Graduate degree in public health, epidemiology, public administration or medical anthropology;
    • Knowledge of geographical information system (GIS) applications;
    • Experience working with malaria and/or other infectious diseases;
    • Knowledge of statistical software packages (ex. SPSS, Access, STATA, Epi Info and Excel);
    • Previous experience working in fast-paced, high-pressure multicultural environments;
    • South African work authorisation is strongly preferred.
    Apply online, click here.

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  • Clinton Health Access Initiative: Senior Vaccines Analyst

    Clinton Health Access INitiative
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Saturday, November 17, 2012
    Opportunity type: 
    The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is a global nonprofit health organisation that strengthens integrated health systems in the developing world and expands access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

    Based on the premise that business-oriented strategy can facilitate solutions to global health challenges, CHAI acts as a catalyst to mobilise new resources and optimize the impact of these resources to save lives, via improved organization of commodity markets and more effective national and sub-national level management. CHAI will apply the techniques it has used successfully to improve access to HIV/AIDS and malaria treatment in developing countries to achieve the same for essential vaccines. Immunisation is widely acknowledged as the most cost-effective and focused disease intervention and yet each year an estimated three million children under the age of five lose their lives to preventable illnesses. A majority of these deaths occur in low-income countries, where poverty and lack of affordability prevent access to life-saving vaccines. There is an unprecedented wave of new vaccines expected to become available within the next decade that could transform the global burden of disease. However, the cost of deploying these products while maintaining access to current vaccines is expected to exceed $4 billion annually by 2015. Given the current difficult financial climate, governments and donors may be unable to meet the escalating cost burden generated by these new products. As a result, the pricing and market conditions of new and existing vaccines will be a critical determinant of coverage levels and, therefore, health impact in the coming years. By working with key stakeholders, CHAI Vaccine Markets programme aims to support the achievement of affordable yet sustainable vaccine prices and supply, thereby increasing value for money and enabling accelerated introduction of new vaccines in developing countries.

    CHAI seeks to appoint a Senior Vaccines Analyst. The job location is flexible.


    As part of the global Vaccine Markets team, the Senior Analyst is expected to support the achievement of affordable yet sustainable global vaccine prices and supply, including but not limited to the following responsibilities:
    • Develop a detailed understanding and documentation of vaccine production dynamics including production capacity of key manufacturers, production technologies and their costs, cost reduction strategies, product development and manufacturing timelines, and manufacturers' vaccine development and marketing strategies;
    • Develop a detailed understanding of the global vaccine market for priority vaccines including an understanding of the vaccine demand and supply forecasts and potential prices and supply timelines
    • Develop and maintain a current understanding of international regulatory standards including World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification for vaccines and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and quality assurance and quality control best practices;
    • Support key partners and vaccine manufacturers to develop, implement and monitor plans to make vaccines available at affordable prices and to develop products that meet the needs of low income countries;
    • Screen vaccine suppliers in emerging markets, examining their product portfolio and pipeline, regulatory status and potential, and production capacity, among other components;
    • Cultivate relationships with suppliers that have the potential to become significant, quality-assured producers of relevant new vaccines for developing markets;
    • Build and maintain these relationships by providing valuable market insights and contacts, offering targeted support and guidance to navigate regulatory and procurement processes;
    • Link manufacturers to stakeholders in high volume countries and provide insight on country-specific product preferences that may affect supply decisions;
    • Prepare presentations, reports, and other analyses to inform global vaccines policy and increase the evidence base for high-impact interventions to accelerate new vaccine introduction and improve affordability and accessibility;
    • Any other duties as required by the Director - Vaccine Markets.
    • Minimum of three years of experience in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, and/or biotechnology. Experience with vaccines will be strongly preferred. Potential candidate profiles include vaccine business development, manufacturing or product management and commercialisation, or some combination thereof. Candidates with sufficient experience can be considered for a Vaccines Manager position instead of an analyst position;
    • Management consultants with experience in pharmaceuticals or vaccines are encouraged to apply;
    • Minimum: Bachelor’s degree, preferably in science, economics or a public health-related field;
    • MBA or advanced degree in science or public health will be preferred;
    • Outstanding analytical and problem solving skills, including experience with modelling and conducting quantitative and statistical analyses;
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
    • Ability to work independently and effectively in high-pressure, fast-paced environment and handle multiple tasks simultaneously;
    • High levels of proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and internet applications;
    • Experience working in emerging markets and fluency in local languages are an added advantage.
    Apply online, click here.

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  • MSF Fact Sheet: Malaria

    What is Malaria?

    Malaria is a parasitic infection transmitted from person to person by the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. These mosquitoes usually bite from around dusk to dawn. Once transferred to the human body, the infection travels to the liver where it multiplies and then enters the red blood cells. Inside the red blood cells the parasites multiply rapidly until they burst releasing even more parasites into the blood stream.
    Malaria begins as a flu-like illness, with symptoms first occurring 9-14 days after infection. Symptoms include fever (typical cycles of fever, shaking chills, and drenching sweats may develop), joint pain, headaches, frequent vomiting, convulsions and coma. Malarial death may be due to brain damage (cerebral malaria), or damage to vital organs.  The reduction of red blood cells can cause anaemia.
    There are four main species of the malaria parasite: P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. vivax and P. ovale. P. falciparum is the main cause of severe clinical malaria and death.
    It is possible to be re-infected with the same strain of malaria a number of times, as minimal resistance (and protection) is provided by previous infection.
    Severe Malaria

    If simple malaria is left untreated it can become severe;around 8 million malaria cases progress to severe malaria annually. Severe malaria, usually caused by the Plasmodium falciparum, causes organ damage and leads to death if untreated.
    People suffering from severe malaria are more likely to experience convulsions and coma. This can cause damage to organs including the brain, lungs, kidneys and blood vessels. If early diagnosis is not performed and effective drugs are not available for the treatment of severe malaria, the infection can rapidly become life-threatening.
    The majority of deaths due to malaria are due to severe complicated malaria. Children and pregnant women are the most at risk.
    Treatment and Prevention

    Currently, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the most effective treatment for malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. ACTs are a combination of an artemisinin derivative (artesunate, artemether or dihydroartemisinin) and a partner drug. The choice of the combination is based on the efficacy in the area, as well as other aspects such as the national protocol and the (expected) effectiveness. ACTs work quickly and have few side effects.
    For uncomplicated malaria, the treatment is a three-day course of ACT. For severe malaria it is injectable artesunate.  Artesunate reduces the risk of death by 39 percent in adults and 24 percent in children. In 2010, World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines were altered to recommend the use of artesunate, a derivative of artemisinin, for the treatment of severe malaria in children.
    In 2011, MSF treated 364,848 patients in outpatient departments and 10,503 in inpatient departments for malaria. The majority of these cases were severe, and half of them were treated at Baraka hospital – one of our projects in Democratic Republic of Congo.
    In many countries, MSF piloted the introduction of ACT and malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs). Since 2002, MSF has been advocating for systematic parasitological confirmation of diagnosis of malaria before treatment to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment of all patients. Since 2010, this has been integrated into WHO guidelines, but it is still yet to be integrated into many national protocols.
    Long lasting insecticide-treated bed nets are an important means of controlling malaria. In endemic areas, MSF systematically distributes nets to pregnant women and children under the age of five, who are most vulnerable to severe malaria with staff giving patients advice on the most effective way to use the net.. In 2011, 171 650 bed nets were sent to the field to be distributed to those most at risk
    Indoor residual spraying is implemented in all our health facilities and in the houses of some of the local communities.
    Educating communities about malaria and its symptoms and teaching them how to use their bed nets and what they should do after their houses have been sprayed with insecticide is an important part of prevention.
    Despite ongoing research, there is no vaccine against malaria.
    Children with malaria

    In areas where the malaria infection rate is high year after year, morbidity and mortality fall mainly on children and pregnant women. Children are particularly at risk for severe malaria as their immune system is less developed. If not treated quickly it can cause a coma with the chance of long-term neurological damage. Furthermore, children often suffer from anaemia due to malaria, leaving them vulnerable to other diseases.
    Pregnant Women with malaria

    Pregnant women are also particularly at risk of developing severe malaria.  WHO estimates that 1 in 10 maternal deaths can be attributed to malaria, and that each year 200,000 babies will die because their mother is infected with the disease.
    There is increasing evidence of the danger of malaria in pregnancy for the woman and her unborn child, both for whom, it can cause life-threatening complications. For the woman these complications could be anaemia or miscarriage; for the unborn child, low birth weight or premature birth. 
    Due to this we regularly test all women in our antenatal clinics for malaria, and provide them with two bed nets at their first visit.
    Price List

    The Cost of Malaria Prevention and Treatment Material  (*prices as of November 2011)

    Bed Net €4 Long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net
    Spray €0.40 to €1.60 Insecticide spray that provides six months effective protection against the infected mosquitoes
    Tests €0.40 Rapid diagnostic test for malaria

    Simple Malaria

    €10 ACT pills to cure 13 adults with uncomplicated malaria in three days
    €0.31 Three-day course of ASAQ or €0.36 for Coartem for babies (2-11 months)
    €0.35  For three-day course of ASAQ or €0.72 for Coartemfor children (1-5 years)
    €0.54  For three-day course of ASAQ or €0.95for Coartem for an older child (6-13 years)
    €0.77 For a three-day course of ASAQ or €1.05 for Coartem for an adult
    Severe Malaria

    €2.30  Treatment for severe malaria is artesunate via injection for a child

    Depending on the local situation regarding procurement of medicines we use ASAQ, Coartem, or other ACT combination

    For more information contact:

    Kate Ribet
    Communications Officer
    Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
    Tel: +27 (0) 11 403 4440
    Fax: +27 (0) 11 403 4443

    For more about MSF South Africa, refer to

  • Malaria Drug Resistance and High Infection Rates a Potential Time Bomb

    On 25th of April, the annual World Malaria Day, many health organisations will highlight important gains in fighting this deadly disease that claims more than one million lives every year. But despite notable progress in terms of innovation and investment, Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) continues to see continuously high rates of malaria in several African countries. In Democratic Republic of Congo, MSF has observed infection rates above emergency thresholds in several provinces over the last six months, which can be attributed to a dysfunctional surveillance system, failure of the health system to respond to elevated levels of malaria, poor organisation, and lack of diagnostic testing and drugs.

    Equally worrying are the continuing reports of emerging cases of drug resistant malaria in Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT) is currently the only effective drug to treat malaria. MSF administered ACT to nearly one million patients during 2010 in more than 30 countries. The emergence of resistance to ACT also in Africa would aggravate an already disastrous public health problem, as there are simply no effective alternative drugs available to treat this deadly disease.

    The risk factors which could lead to the rise of drug resistance are all present in Africa and need to be eliminated. Access to high quality care and treatment is still far too limited, leading to the use of substandard and fake drugs. Drugs are often taken in too small quantities or treatment is interrupted because of high cost or lack of awareness about the importance of completing the full course. Despite the existence of cheap rapid diagnostic tests that can confirm if the patient has malaria or not in just 15 minutes, antimalarial drugs are often given and taken without proper diagnostics, which leads to overuse of drugs when they are not needed.

    Several measures have to be taken urgently: more stringent malaria prevention and treatment initiatives, investment in health promotion, efforts to improve adherence to treatment, as well as measures to further reduce transmission. National malaria programmes need to regularly monitor drug efficacy and to be prepared to take action if reduced efficacy is detected. And in places where there is already resistance or reduced efficacy of drugs, concentrated efforts are needed to contain the spread of drug-resistant strains of malaria.

    A comprehensive package to detect, treat, monitor and prevent malaria will save more lives today, and gives the highest likelihood to avert – or at least delay as long as possible - any further emergence of resistance to the only lifesaving antimalarial drugs that exist in the world today.

  • South Africa to Host Malaria Conference

    Durban will host the 6th Multilateral Initiative Conference on Malaria in 2013.

    The conference, which is the world's largest gathering of the malaria community, will be attended by researchers, public health officials and policy makers to discuss developments in the treatment of malaria.

    Medical Research Council’s Dr Jayshree Raman, says that the event is going to focus on the issue of elimination and the possible vaccine that is going to be released, hoping sometime soon.

    To read the article titled, “Durban to host Malaria conference,” click here.

    SABC News
  • USAID’s US$32m to Fight Malaria

    The support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for assistance and combat Malaria in Angola has increased this year from US$18 – 32 million.

    Second secretary of US embassy in Angola, Jason Smith, notes that the value is included in a total of US$63 billion for at least 15 African countries to combat the biggest diseases in the next five years.

    Smith says that the American government works in partnership with Angolan executive through distributing insecticide-treated mosquito-nets, providing doses of medicines to combat malaria in children and pregnant women as well as undertaking the spraying inside homes.

    To read the article titled, “USAID has US$32 million to combat Malaria,” click here.

    All Africa
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