WORLD MALARIA EXPERTS MET IN ISRAEL
THE SOLUTION COULD BE IN ISRAEL'S PAST
A World Health Organization conference was held in Jerusalem, Israel, on December 2013
Experts believe the multipronged approach that wiped out the disease in pre-state Israel could be applied to African countries today.
The mosquito-borne parasites that cause malaria were wiped out in Israel several years before the state’s founding in 1948. The tactics that proved successful here in the 1920 and 1930s, coupled with new technologies, could be exactly what sub-Saharan Africa needs to address its malaria epidemic, which causes the death of a child every 30 seconds. Some 250 million people worldwide are infected by the parasite.
Despite billions invested in malaria vaccine research and mosquito netting, the problem persists and may even be getting worse, says public-health and medicine historian Maureen Malowany from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health.
Looking at the past for lessons.
Back in the 1920s, Mandatory Palestine faced an enormous malaria epidemic. Quinine could ease symptoms, but nobody knew how to stop the disease at its source.
“In comes Israel J. Kligler, who arrived from the United States in 1921 with a doctorate in microbiology,” says Malowany.
Before his death in 1944, Kligler succeeded in eradicating malaria through a multipronged approach.
His method included not only draining marshes, spraying larva-infested areas and introducing new treatments, but also improving housing conditions and mounting a vast community education effort.
The precursor of today’s World Health Organization (WHO) called Kligler and his colleagues “benefactors not only to the Palestinian population but to the world as a whole.” Members of the League of Nations’ Malaria Committee were so impressed with Kligler’s inroads that they proposed taking his model across the globe.
Efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa have stagnated
Yet despite subsequent successes in Brazil and Egypt with this approach, “the campaign lost steam and never reached sub-Saharan Africa,” Malowany says. “By 1969, everybody was withdrawing funding and some areas had bounce-back malaria. There was a huge rise in epidemics. Until 1992, no progress was made.”
Finally, in answer to a plea from African scientists, in 1997 WHO announced a “Roll Back Malaria” campaign. It relied heavily on bed nets, which reduced child mortality from malaria by 60 percent but once again ignored the source.
“When nets became the darling of the funders, countries no longer allocated funding for mainstream malaria control at the larval level
It was not until 10 years later that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pumped new money and energy into national malaria elimination programs in sub-Saharan Africa, and vaccine research that has not borne fruit. Meanwhile, there is resistance to new synthetic drugs as seen in Cambodia.
Malowany says “donor fatigue” set in, and progress has stagnated.
Read more - http://israel21c.org/health/world-malaria-experts-look-to-israels-past-for-future-solutions/
MALARIA CASES REACH A 40% INCREASE IN THE UNITED STATES
November 2013 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 1,925 malaria cases were reported in the United States in 2011. This number represents a 14% increase since 2010. According to the report, five people in the U.S. died from malaria or associated complications in 2011. Almost all of the malaria cases reported in the U.S. were acquired overseas, particularly in Africa and India.
Read more - http://www.malarianexus.com/news/malaria-cases-reach-a-40-year-high-in-the-united-states/
WHAT IS MALARIA?
Malaria is a life-threatening blood disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted to humans by the Anopheles mosquito. Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease.
Read more - http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150670.php
JEWS ERADICATED MALARIA IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL IN THE 1920s
Contrary to what most people think, large sections of the land of Israel in the 1920s were uninhabitable and covered with swamps. Malaria was widespread. Jewish pioneers drained the swamps and did much work to successfully eradicate the malaria virus.
In 1867, Mark Twain toured the land of Israel. Known back then as Palestine, here is how he described it:
“a desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent, mournful expanse… there was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes… desolate and unlovely.”
Today, Mark Twain wouldn’t recognize this land. Out of the rocky soil, out of the swamps, and out of the deserts, Israelis have created gardens, vineyards and farms with some of the most innovative techniques in the world.
In 1920, more than a third of all Jewish residents of Palestine had malaria. So with no other choice, they went to work. They drained the swamps, sprayed the land and changed the flow of water in irrigation canals to interrupt the mosquitoes’ breeding.
They were so successful that a commission from the League of Nations visited Palestine to learn what they did. Less than 20 years after Israel’s statehood, the country was officially malaria-free. Once the threat of malaria was gone, Jewish settlers were free to focus on making the desert bloom.
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ISRAELI RESEARCH COULD LEAD TO CURING MALARIA
Hebrew University researchers discover how the deadly malaria parasite evades the immune system.Read more - http://israel21c.org/news/new-israeli-research-could-cure-malaria/