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    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.


    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.


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Tanzania seems to  have  achieved a significant breakthrough in the fight against malaria through the use of a unique air  conditioner that  repels  and knocks down mosquitoes using ultrasonic waves.

A report by the Tanzania Daily News, quoted the head of Parasitology and Entomology Department  of  Muhimbili University of Health and  Allied Sciences  (MUHAS) in Tanzania, Dr Billy Ngasala, as saying that the LG electronic air conditioner has been tested and has proved that it is capable of repelling mosquitoes.

"This product is safe and has no  harmful effect to  humans. The  advantage of this product  is that  it  can be used in sitting rooms in  contrast  to  the  mosquito nets, which  are used in bedrooms. Hence, this innovative  tool  can  be  integrated  in mosquito control programmes by reducing mosquito-human  contact,"  Dr  Ngasala said.

The  report  suggested  that  the  LG  air conditioner anti-mosquito technology has a potential to be a  new tool in the fight against  malaria.  More importantly,  the device is said to be tailored for the African market as the air conditioner is fitted with LG's tropical compressor that is designed to operate in hotter climates.

To  contain  the  erratic  power  supply  in Africa, the air conditioner has been fitted with an automatic voltage switch to assist in  protecting  the  compressor  against damage  from power fluctuations  and blackouts.
The critical issue at stake is how to translate and  transfer  this  technology  into  an international project, which can be used on a large-scale and replicated across societies in Africa. The goal would be to use it as part of a complex mix of sophisticated tools to control malaria.

But  there  are  more  questions.  Can  it become a policy and practice issue? Where would funding come from to roll it out?

There is some good news though, as  Dr Ngasala was quoted as saying the findings from the  anti-mosquito air  conditioner have been shared with relevant boards and approval has been secured following similar research in Nigeria and Sudan. The World Health  Organisation is also said to  have given the device a standard approval.

There are arguments about copious research findings, documentation and other interventions on malaria such as the LG air conditioner that  are  yet to  be translated into innovative solutions. These could have a profound effect  on the  campaign  to eliminate malaria.

This has led to calls to malaria researchers, policy makers and all stakeholders to share such crucial information across countries by taking advantage of the borderless information and communication technologies available.

Two  global agencies involved in  malaria control reported  recently  that  there  is a large pool of data  and  knowledge on malaria with nearly 100 years of interna- tional  malaria programme  experience to draw on.

“MEDLINE search on the word 'malaria' provided links to 66,714 published scientific articles, while a Google internet search gave about 32,200,000 hits,” the two organisations stated in a report.

The  Multisectoral Action Framework  for Malaria  report  said  majority  of these promising  malaria control  interventions and ideas are not new, but the challenge is how to  translate them  into workable policies and  practice from a  home-spun innovation to a global project.

There is a call therefore for the implementa- tion of innovative strategies in a concerted and in a  large-scale manner in what the document  has termed  “how to  make  it happen.”

Making it happen
There is a concern that  piloted  projects, which do  not  make their  way through national borders to  affect  others  in the global  community, do not  appear to  be making any significant impact on control- ling malaria.

The call to stakeholders therefore is to re- direct their innovations and interventions at “several levels and  in  multiple  sectors, globally and across inter and intra-national boundaries, and by different organizations.”

The proposal in the  Multisectoral  Action Framework  for Malaria  report  is  that malaria interventions, research and innovative ideas should go through a “try it and test it” strategy locally, nationally and globally as opposed to piloted or demon- strated projects.

To this effect, the International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and their Health (INDEPTH) has been linking up  the  tried and tested  strategies and bridging  the  gap between  research  and policy at local and international levels.

INDEPTH Network is an umbrella organization of independent health research centres operating health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS)  sites in low- and middle-income countries across Africa, Asia and Oceania. Its aim is to fill the gap in global epidemiology by supporting  the generation  of longitudinal  health  and demographic evidence.

This year, a small working group of about 10 researchers from its  member  HDSS sites, had a “Research to Policy Working Group” meeting in Accra. The 2-day event had one objective: to figure out how its member sites can translate research findings to maximize impact on policy and practice.

The meeting also looked at what policies the research centres have introduced or changed, as a result of their  work at  the national and global stage, and the processes involved.

Professor Osman Sankoh, Executive Director  of INDEPTH  Network,  told  the gathering,  that  the  Network has  been involved in research for some time now and it was time to move from just publications to policies.

The meeting was attended  by representa- tives from sites including  the  Navrongo HDSS in Ghana, Agincourt HDSS in South Africa, Kilite  Awlaeelo  HDSS in Ethiopia, Ifakara HDSS in Tanzania and Vadu HDSS in India.

Since  1998,  INDEPTH  has  compiled  a database of over 2517 peer-reviewed articles from the member centres with 201 of these on various aspects of malaria research.

Its work in malaria research has  made  an impact on malaria control initiatives like the use of insecticide  treated  bed  nets  and artemisinin-based combination therapies.

Thinking big
Malaria is full of complexities and various socio-economic and environmental factors, such as the climate, agriculture and poverty, play a  role in the  spread of the  disease. Therefore the studies and innovations being churned out on malaria must be translated into large-scale programmes across national borders.
Fortunately,  there  is  a growing  trend  of research findings and solutions on malaria leading to a global networking of small local laboratories and large-scale projects. This is the way to make an impact on societies.

Another local innovation worthy of mention is the  recently reported  saliva test  kit for malaria research  taking place in Kenya.  It holds  potential if  it is  extended  beyond national borders. The report published by a local news medium, Star, in Kenya said the locally-made kit to test malaria from saliva may be available in a few years if an ongoing study  at  the  Kenya  Medical  Research Institute (KEMRI) succeeds.

This is certainly the way to move the malaria elimination agenda forward, mixing new and old tools together as a potent force against malaria.

Twelfth Edition