Global malaria map key weapon in fight against malaria, scientists say

Information on the global burden of malaria remains the subject of "best guesses," and as a result resource allocation for malaria control remains "driven by perceptions and politics, rather than an objective assessment of need," say two prominent malaria researchers in PLoS Medicine.

Simon Hay and Robert Snow (Kenya Medical Research Institute and University of Oxford), say that it has been almost 40 years since the last global map of malaria endemicity was constructed, and that "there have been no recent efforts to construct a credible evidence-based global malaria map."

To address this unmet need, researchers in Kenya and Oxford have launched the Malaria Atlas Project to develop the science of malaria cartography. In their PLoS Medicine paper, Hay and Snow discuss details and goals of the project, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest biomedical research charity.

The map will be constructed using information from sources such as satellites and population censuses. Statistical approaches will enable comparisons to be made between areas where good information on malaria exists with areas where there is no information to fill in the "gaps" to create a global map of malaria risk worldwide.

"How we design malaria control and measure its impact depends on knowing how much malaria exists in a given area," says Professor Bob Snow. "Like any war, knowing where your enemy is located and in what strength determines how you engage them. Intelligence is key – without an intelligent approach to global malaria control I fear there will be much wasted funding and many missed opportunities."

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All works published in PLoS Medicine are open access. Everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere—to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use—subject only to the condition that the original authorship is properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Citation: Hay SI, Snow RW (2006) The Malaria Atlas Project: Developing global maps of malaria risk. PLoS Med 3(12): e473

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030473

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-12-hay.pdf

CONTACT:

Craig Brierley

Media Officer

The Wellcome Trust

+44 20 7611 7329

c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk

Further information about the Malaria Atlas Project is available from: http://www.map.ox.ac.uk

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Why are health professionals still reluctant to give intensive insulin therapy to critically ill patients"

Clinical trials have shown that giving critically ill patients insulin, to keep their blood sugar levels within normal levels, can improve the chances of recovery, and yet many health professionals fail to offer this treatment. A policy paper in PLoS Medicine, by Marcus J. Schultz (University of Amsterdam) and colleagues, explores the reasons why some doctors and nurses are still reluctant to prescribe so-called "intensive insulin therapy" to patients in the intensive care unit.

Citation: Schultz MJ, Royakkers AANM, Levi M, Moeniralam HS, Spronk PE (2006) Intensive insulin therapy in intensive care: An example of the struggle to implement evidence-based medicine. PLoS Med 3(12): e456.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030456

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-12-schultz.pdf

CONTACT:

Marcus Schultz

University of Amsterdam

Academic Medical Center
ICU, C3-415
Meibergdreef 9
Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Netherlands
+31 20 5669111
+31 20 5669111 (fax)
m.j.schultz@amc.uva.nl

About PLoS Medicine

PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org


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