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FROM AMITA'S DESK

Dear friends,
 
The end of the year brings with it the season for introspection.  As we look at the unusual year that has passed us by, we have much to be feel positive about even in this difficult year. The 15th East Asia Summit that concluded last week, reaffirmed the commitment to the goal of an Asia-Pacific free of malaria by 2030. The EAS Chairman’s statement also welcomed ongoing efforts to implement proposed actions in the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Elimination Roadmap, including the five-year progress report delivered to the EAS Leaders in 2020.  
 
The COVID-19 pandemic dominated the conversation within the Ministries of Health and provided an opportunity to accelerate discussions around integrated health systems strengthening work in-country. We saw greater focus on community-based approaches to malaria service delivery and expect that this will lead to greater community engagement within malaria programs in the region. The pandemic reinforced the importance of data and surveillance systems and we are seeing more countries investing in dashboards and public health control rooms that allow for data-based decision making and resource deployment in a timely manner. The innovation engine has received impetus as there is increased focus on point of care tests that can support diagnosis of malaria as well as COVID. The APMEN-APLMA Secretariat is developing deeper country engagement plans that will include these key elements as part of its support to national malaria control and elimination strategies.
 
APMEN members demonstrated resilience and openness in moving to new ways of working with the Secretariat. New online platforms like the APMEN TechTalks and APMENxChange were adopted quickly and even the virtual APMEN Annual Meeting this year saw strong participation, robust engagement and continued involvement in these online discussions from all partners. 

We hope that 2021 will see some return to regular ways of working and look forward to continued collaboration between APMEN partners. If you would like to discuss any specific country support opportunities with us, please do get in touch at
info@apmen.org.
 
Best wishes,
Amita


Amita Chebbi 
Senior Director, APMEN/ APLMA

LATEST NEWS
Bangladesh photo
New APMEN study from Bangladesh highlights the need to tailor radical cure to local context 
 
A recent study investigated perceptions of malaria and its treatment among the local population to inform contextualized strategies for rolling out radical cure for P.vivax in Bangladesh. Results revealed that socio-economic conditions increase exposure to infectious diseases, febrile patients often self-treat, and sustaining dialogue is key to fostering trust needed to end malaria.  (Read more)
 
Zero Malaria Challenge Photo
Zero Malaria Challenge at the 75th UNGA 

Led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the global malaria partnership put a spotlight on the urgent need to protect historic gains against malaria that are under threat as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Keodane Hem, a youth ambassador from Cambodia represented Asia-Pacific in the discussion. (Watch here)
Bangladesh survey
Wide range of G6PD activities found in Bangladesh 
 
An APMEN funded cross-sectional survey assessed the prevalence of G6PD in Bangladesh and emphasized the importance of routine G6PD testing to guide antimalarial treatment. (Read more)
 
Indonesia Photo
New analysis highlights beneficial effects of primaquine 

An analysis of more than 26,000 patient treated for P.vivax infection in a routine care setting in Papua, Indonesia provides reassuring evidence that in an area with a high burden of malaria and low G6PD prevalence, the beneficial effects of primaquine outweigh its risks. (Read more)
South Asia Photo
Life-saving malaria campaigns on track in the majority of malaria-affected countries despite COVID-19

New data confirms that over 90% of life-saving malaria intervention campaigns scheduled for this year are on track across Africa, Asia and the Americas. These campaigns help protect millions from the disease and avoid a severe increase in malaria cases and deaths in the face of significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Read more)
Huyen Thanh Nguyen, PATH conducting training session in Binh Phuoc province
 G6PD Operational Research in Vietnam
 
PATH is partnering with Vietnam’s National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology to assess the operational feasibility of integrating quantitative point-of-care G6PD testing in district hospitals and commune health stations. This FCDO-funded study will assess health worker proficiency in performing G6PD diagnostic tests, and health worker and patient perceptions.
APMEN EVENTS
APMEN Techtalks
APMEN TechTalks on G6PD 

Last September, APMEN TechTalks explored the “Implementation of G6PD testing – its challenges and opportunities”. Experts and partners discussed the key challenges around the implementation of routine G6PD diagnosis in the light of novel treatment regimens and novel G6PD diagnostics. Watch the full webinar here. 
APMEN Webinar
APMEN TechTalks on Bednets and IRS

What is the current level of use of IRS and bednets as vector control tools, and how are we doing in monitoring continued susceptibility of mosquitoes to insecticides? This APMEN webinar on the “Role and status of bednets, indoor residual spraying ​and insecticide resistance in Asia Pacific” answered these critical questions.
NEW INITIATIVES
WHO photo
Evaluation of genetically modified mosquitoes for the control of vector-borne diseases
 
A new position statement on the evaluation of genetically modified mosquitoes for the control of vector-borne diseases clarifies WHO’s stance on the evaluation and use of GMMs for the control of vector-borne diseases. GMMs could be a valuable new tool in efforts to eliminate malaria and to control diseases carried by Aedes. (Read more)
 
 
Activity building in Thailand
Network building activity in Thailand
 
Empowering the disease-affected community in the decision-making process becomes a necessity when it comes to meaningful community engagement. The CSO Platform with the support of ARC, has strengthened four community and civil society networks in districts of Kanchanaburi and Ranong provinces.
 
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Four ways to strengthen the medical product supply chain and protect patients from poor-quality medicines
 
The substandard versions with the wrong dose of active ingredient can lead to a rise in drug-resistant malaria, a threat to the 2030 elimination goal in the Asia–Pacific region. The problem of SFs has grown over time and the COVID-19 pandemic has led to further proliferation of SFs because the rising demand for certain products far outstrips supply, according to the World Health Organization. (Read more)
P. vivax Study Database
 
MMV will shortly launch an online database of current efficacy, effectiveness, implementation, safety and operational research studies focusing on improving access to radical cure for P. vivax malaria. If you are leading a study that is either in preparation, ongoing or has recently been completed that you would like to see included in the database please contact lynchc-consultants@mmv.org. Follow @VivaxHub on twitter to find out more.
UPCOMING EVENTS 
MACONDO. Mapping malaria risks by drone webinar: studies from Malaysia Tanzania and Peru
24 November 2020, 4pm GMT
 

APMEN TechTalks: Community Participation: A Foundation for Malaria Elimination
25 November 2020, 2pm GMT+8
 

Malaria Gamechangers:  Medicine Quality & innovations to detect Substandard and Falsified Medicines (SFMs) in Asia Pacific
2 December 2020, 2pm GMT+8
 

Joint International Tropical Medicine Meeting (JITMM) 2020 Virtual Conference: Tropical Disease Control amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
15-16 December 2020
PUBLICATIONS
Blogs

Malaria education video by DVBD
Malaria education video was uploaded by DVBD- Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.
 
Cambodia winning the fight against malaria
Cambodia could maintain a zero malaria death for three consecutive years. The government’s new goal is to eliminate Plasmodium falciparum by 2023. (Read more)
 
Malaria and COVID-19: country perspectives
In a virtual forum, 10 Ministry of Health representatives shared their experiences and reflections. (Read more)

Reports

Vector Biology and Control: An Update for Malaria Elimination Initiative in India, Aug 2020.
 
Newsletter Issue: Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network, Oct 2020.

WHO Report: Antimalarial drug efficacy, resistance and response: 10 years of surveillance (2010-2019), Nov 2020.
 
IVCC: Vector Control 10 Challenges and 10 Solutions, Nov 2020.

Newsletter Issue: Regional CSO Platform- GMS, Nov 2020.

Research articles

Preventing the re-establishment of malaria in Sri Lanka amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Prasad Ranaweera, et al. Malaria Journal 2020; 19:386

Evaluation of the malaria reporting system supported by the District Health Information System 2 in Solomon Islands. Kinley Wangdi, et al. PubMed. 2020 Oct; 19(1):372

Reactive Case Detection (RACD) and foci investigation strategies in malaria control and elimination: a review. Ruwanthi Perera, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Nov; 19:401

Efficacy of single dose primaquine with artemisinin combination therapy on P. falciparum gametocytes and transmission: A WWARN individual patient meta-analysis. Stepniewska K, et al. J Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 11; jiaa498

New insights into malaria vector bionomics in Lao PDR: a nationwide entomology survey. Sébastien Marcombe, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Nov; 19:396
 
Lure, retain, and catch malaria mosquitoes. How heat and humidity improve odour-baited trap performance. Antoine Cribellier, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Oct; 19:357

Use of a Plasmodium vivax genetic barcode for genomic surveillance and parasite tracking in Sri Lanka. Rajika L. Dewasurendra, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Sep; 19:342

Efficacy and tolerability of artemisinin-based and quinine-based treatments for uncomplicated falciparum malaria in pregnancy: a systematic review and individual patient data meta-analysis. Saito M, et al. Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 Aug; 20(8):943-952
 

The Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network Clinical Trials Publication Library: A Live, Open-Access Database of Plasmodium Treatment Efficacy Trials. Takata J, et al. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Jul; 103(1):359-368.
 
Malaria distribution and performance of malaria diagnostic methods in Malaysia (1980–2019): a systematic review. Mohd Amirul Fitri A. Rahim, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Nov; 19:395
 
Genetic variations in histidine-rich protein 2 and histidine-rich protein 3 of Myanmar Plasmodium falciparum isolates. Hương Giang Lê, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Nov; 19:388
 
Malaria parasites in macaques in Thailand: stump-tailed macaques (Macaca arctoides) are new natural hosts for Plasmodium knowlesiPlasmodium inui, Plasmodium coatneyi and Plasmodium fieldi. Wirasak Fungfuang, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Oct; 19:350
 
Mass radical treatment of a group of foreign workers to mitigate the risk of re-establishment of malaria in Sri Lanka. Manonath M. Marasinghe, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Sep; 19:346
 
Non-malarial febrile illness: a systematic review of published aetiological studies and case reports from Southern Asia and South-eastern Asia, 1980–2015. Shrestha P, et al. BMC Med 2020 Sept 18; 299
 
Towards harmonization of microscopy methods for malaria clinical research studies. Dhorda M, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Sep 4; 19(1):324

Stratifying malaria receptivity in Bangladesh using archived rapid diagnostic tests. André Barembaye Sagna, et al. Malaria Journal 2020 Sep; 19:345

The APMEN Newsletter is a bi-monthly compilation of stories from the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network. The next issue will be on January 25 (Monday) and will receive newsletter items by January 15 (Friday). Kindly send to newsletter@apmen.org.

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