World malaria experts gather for Nairobi conference in November
With malaria deaths still at unacceptable levels in Africa, an unprecedented gathering will convene in Nairobi, Kenya, in early November to highlight new findings emerging from the work of malaria researchers from across Africa and the world.
The Fifth Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Pan-African Malaria Conference, to be held in Nairobi, 1–6 November, 2009, will bring together more than 1,500 scientists, policymakers, health care workers, community members, and other experts on the disease. The latest research on drugs, insecticides, and vaccines will be presented over the six days of the conference.
WHAT: MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference 2009 – An international forum to advance efforts to eradicate malaria
WHEN: 1 - 6 November 2009.
WHERE: Kenyatta International Conference Center, Nairobi, Kenya
Journalist site visits to research projects and malaria-endemic communities across Africa will be organized prior to the conference, beginning the week of 28 September.
As the world rapidly approaches the 2010 targets to deliver effective and affordable malaria protection and treatment to 80 percent of those at risk, the conference will highlight an Africa-wide effort to reach these targets, empower communities, battle complacency, and eliminate the many barriers that are keeping effective prevention and treatment tools from reaching the most vulnerable.
”Close to 3,000 young children still die every day from malaria and this devastating disease is intertwined with the pervasive poverty of Africa,” says Francine Ntoumi,MIM Secretariat Coordinator.
”The MIM conference is a unique opportunity to learn about malaria and what is being done to defeat it.”
The conference will bring together the world’s leading experts on all aspects of malaria —current prevention and control efforts, research and development of vaccines, new affordable and effective drugs, and community-based strategies to increase access. Agenda topics include:
• New medicines for malaria: With drug resistance spreading, scientists report on new advances in drugs to control malaria.
• Advances in malaria vaccine development: Scientists report findings from the latest clinical trials. How close are we to an effective vaccine to combat the disease?
• Country level commitment to malaria control: Leadership and ownership are essential if malaria is to become no longer “a fact of life”. How must policy be adapted to the needs of those afflicted by malaria?
• Insecticide treated bed nets: Scientists know they are effective, and researchers examine the most effective programs for distribution and behavior change.
• Insecticide resistance: Scientists find new evidence of mosquitoes overcoming insecticides used in bed nets and in other malaria control efforts.
• Unlocking the potential of the malaria genome: Decoding the parasite’s DNA was a huge achievement. But is it leading scientists to new drugs and vaccines?
• Access to malaria commodities: How effective are proposed innovative solutions to increase access to antimalarials?
• How have we done in scaling up production to ensure 80% coverage with the most effective prevention and treatment by 2010? Treatment as prevention: New evidence on how intermittent use of malaria medicines can prevent the disease and may induce immunity in children and pregnant women.
• HIV and malaria: Co-infection poses a major treatment challenge and scientists have evidence that malaria in pregnancy may facilitate fetal HIV transmission.
• Genetically engineered mosquitoes to control malaria: Is the transgenic mosquito ever going to fly? Scientists debate the risks and benefits.
• Monitoring “adverse events” in Africa: What mechanisms are needed to ensure post market safety monitoring of new malaria drugs?
• Field-based reports from ten countries: Is malaria control working at the community level via community health workers and home-based management of fevers?
• Malaria and migration to the city: Research on the changing landscape of controlling malaria in an increasingly urbanized Africa.
• Africa’s human resource drain: What is the impact of the mounting exodus of health workers and scientists on malaria research and control?
• Advances in rapid diagnostic tests: Not all fevers are malaria. Researchers examine the critical role that correct diagnosis plays in dispensing treatment.
The Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) (www.mim.su.se), launched in Dakar, Senegal in 1997, is an international alliance of organizations and individuals seeking to maximize the impact of scientific research against malaria in Africa to ensure that research findings yield practical health benefits. The MIM conference in Nairobi follows the successful conference held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, November 2005. The MIM Secretariat was previously hosted for 3-year terms by the Wellcome Trust (UK) and the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (US), and the Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University (Sweden). Since January 2006, the Secretariat has been hosted for the first time in Africa, by African Malaria Network Trust (AMANET) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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