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IVCC’s Annual Report 2019-2020 Available Now 10th December 2020

The IVCC Annual Report 2019-2020 has been published. The report showcases IVCC’s work to facilitate innovative approaches to preventing vector-borne diseases and tackle the growing threat of insecticide resistance. With activities across the globe and spanning research and development and market access, we are accelerating the process from innovation to impact. The report is a reminder of the importance of collaborative working and the progress laid out in it is testament, too, to the commitment of our partners from industry, academia, the public sector and advocacy. We are grateful for the support of all of our funders, who make life-saving vector control possible.

“ IVCC is showing its resilience, nimbleness and adaptability to keep a constant focus on its goals and how its people will work together to overcome and rise to this unprecedented challenge of our time.”

The Right Honourable Sir Stephen O’Brien KBE
Chair, Board of Trustees, IVCC

For more information or to request a physical copy please provide your full name and postal address to Chris Larkin on christopher.larkin@ivcc.com.

David Beckham Travels to the Future to Announce the End of Malaria 3rd December 2020

 

In a ground-breaking new short film, produced by RSA Films Amsterdam, for the campaign Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live, David Beckham appears as never been seen before – as an older man in his 70’s – sending a message of hope and optimism from a time in the future when we have eradicated one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases – malaria.

Against the backdrop of the on-going global disruption due to the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the film aims to reignite the belief that humankind is capable of uniting to defeat diseases, and in doing so we can create a safer, healthier, stronger world for us all, and for future generations.

Developed by Ridley Scott Creative Group, Amsterdam, and Directed by John Filipe, the film opens with an older Beckham delivering an inspiring speech to a large, expectant crowd. As he continues to speak, a visual transformation takes place, and the older man changes back into David Beckham today, speaking as a father and directly to everyone watching, about how a future free of malaria in our lifetimes is entirely possible – but only if we keep up the fight.

David Beckham is a founding member of Malaria No More UK Leadership Council and a committed champion in the fight against malaria with over a decade of support for Malaria No More UK. In his long-term role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador he has seen the impact of malaria on people’s lives in countries such as Sierra Leone.

David Beckham said: “The fight against malaria is a cause close to my heart because the disease remains a huge killer of children and we have the opportunity to change that in our lifetime. I’ve worked with Malaria No More UK since 2009, supporting campaigns and helping shine a light on the challenge. Their campaigns always use great creativity and innovation to attract attention to the issue and I’m delighted also to have met some of the inspiring people who are working so hard to end this disease.”

To accompany the main film there is a behind-the-scenes montage film which features leading scientists, doctors, researchers, activists, and champions from key organisations who are all playing a critical part in helping to end malaria in a generation.

Ingrid Etoke, IVCC said: Growing up in Cameroon in West Africa, I always had the shadow of malaria hanging over me. I suffered from malaria many times and I lost my cousins to the disease. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I believe that in the not-too-distant future, we will beat this disease and young children dying from malaria will become an old and distant memory. This will mean more funds are freed up to invest in education, in infrastructure, in the economy, in healthcare in defeating other diseases and in doing so creating a world that is better prepared to take on future pandemics.”

Malaria has plagued humanity throughout history and ending it has, at times, felt like a distant dream. Progress to end the disease has stalled over recent years. Countries and leaders need to maintain funding, commit to greater access to existing tools and invest in new transformative tools to ensure that ending malaria is a high priority.

This global coalition campaign asks everyone to share the film far and wide on social media, and in doing so, demand that their leaders remain committed to delivering a safer, malaria-free world that we now know is possible.

Experts convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO) agree that malaria eradication is likely to save millions of lives and billions of dollars. In 2019 The Lancet Commission on malaria eradication – made up of leading scientists from around the world – found that if we focus efforts on strengthening leadership, increasing investment, prioritising research and innovation, including the development of new tools, and implementing smart, data driven programmes, ending malaria is possible within a generation. Decisions made now by global political leaders – backed by strong public support – will determine this trajectory.

Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, said: Two decades of global commitment and action have shown the world that the global malaria community knows what it takes to drive unprecedented progress in the malaria fight, cutting deaths by more than 60 per cent and saving more than 7 million lives since 2000. But the world we live in has vastly changed since then, and the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 on malaria responses may not be known for some time.  

“The emergence of COVID-19 has shown the world how critical our health systems are. It is crucial that 2021 sees the world getting back on track towards achieving existing targets to reduce malaria as we come through the pandemic. By investing in ending malaria, we will not only save lives that would otherwise be lost to this deadly disease; we will also protect current health systems

 from the double burden of malaria and other diseases like COVID-19. Increased investment in malaria also helps to build the foundations of stronger health systems going forward which will protect communities from future health crises, giving children everywhere a better start in life and building a more secure world for all.”

Indeed, this year’s WHO World Malaria Report, shows that now is not the time to step away, with over 400,000 malaria deaths reported in 2019, predominantly among children under five across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The report also reveals that COVID-19 poses a threat to malaria progress, but that existing investment and infrastructure to date – combined with a remarkable collective effort – has enabled countries to fight back. Most malaria prevention campaigns moved forward in 2020 without major delays – millions of mosquito nets will have been delivered by end of year, hundreds of thousands of houses have been sprayed with insecticide, and millions of children have been reached with preventative treatment.

However, even with the remarkable actions taken by countries, malaria cases and deaths may rise since history has shown that malaria will return with a vengeance when health systems are disrupted. The World Malaria Report shows that interruptions in diagnosis and treatment have ranged from between 5% to 50%, and the full impact of COVID-19 on malaria responses may not be known for some time.

 

 

World Malaria Report 2020 30th November 2020

The World Malaria Report, published annually, provides a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends. The report tracks investments in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas: prevention, diagnosis, treatment and surveillance. It also includes dedicated chapters on malaria elimination and on key threats in the fight against malaria. The report is based on information received from national malaria control programmes and other partners in endemic countries.

This year WHO is publishing a special edition of the World Malaria Report that highlights a period of unprecedented success in global malaria control. Beginning in the 1990s, the world laid the foundation for a renewed malaria response that contributed to 1.5 billion cases and 7.6 million deaths averted over the past two decades. Despite this remarkable progress, the global gains in combatting malaria have levelled off in recent years, and many high burden countries have been losing ground. In 2017, WHO warned that the fight against malaria had reached a crossroads. The “High Burden to High Impact” response, launched in 2018, aims to reignite progress.

Find out more in this years World Malaria Report.

The Role of Surface Type in IRS 22nd October 2020

This blog post is a guest blog from Aimee-Louise Whalley who is undertaking a MSc at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. 

 

After completing my undergraduate degree, I was a little lost and unsure of what was next! I had worked and travelled but found myself eager to study biology again, in a field that made a huge difference to people’s lives. During my master’s degree in Tropical Disease Biology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) I developed an interest in vector control and chose to carry out my research project with IVCC. The project was investigating the role of surface type in Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS).

In 2018, there were 228 million cases of malaria globally, 405,000 of which resulted in death. Despite increasing our knowledge and advancements in technology for combatting malaria, and other vector-borne diseases, new control tools must be developed, and existing tools must be improved if we want to reach eradication. IRS is one such control tool, which involves the coating of internal walls and other surfaces with a residual insecticide. Previous studies have shown variation in IRS performance across sprayed surface types, with suggestions that porous surfaces like mud and dung are particularly poor for insecticide persistence. Mud is a common housing material in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is most present. If the role of surface type is understood further and investment is made into overcoming the challenges IRS faces, more effective IRS application can be achieved. This could result in prevented disease and lives saved.

The initial idea for my MSc project was to conduct bioassays on mud brick samples taken from several countries across Africa. This would help identify the physicochemical properties that may be responsible for the residual efficacy of sprayed insecticide on the different muds. As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted all of our lives, laboratory research plans were halted, and the scope of the research had to change. During my project I conducted a review of the literature, to summarise the existing knowledge on the differences in residual efficacy seen between common surface types (for example dung, mud, cement, wood and paint), and on surface-insecticide interactions that influence residual efficacy. Following that, I looked at three IVCC laboratory data sets to observe any variability in residual efficacy between and within surface types. The results found that porous surfaces like mud and dung surfaces showed the shortest and most varied residual efficacies compared to less porous surfaces like wood and paint.

Mud varies in composition and can vary across geographical location. The physicochemical analysis of seven mud brick samples across geographies were used to identify the properties that influence insecticide persistence. A positive correlation was seen with increasing mud porosity and short insecticide residual efficacy. This research provides preliminary findings from which can be built upon in future laboratory research, which would lead to a better understand of the interactions between surfaces and insecticides. I have highlighted that surface type does play a significant role in IRS performance and must be considered throughout the development of new IRS products. This is key to understanding how effective new IRS products entering the market will be. This should include testing new products on different surface types in the development stage and collaborating with stakeholders to develop innovative ways to improve the residuality of IRS products on challenging surfaces, particularly mud.

From my experience with IVCC and LSTM I feel fortunate to have gained an insight into the workings of a Product Development Partnership and how stakeholder collaborations allow for sustainable research and development. I was given the independence to develop my own research on this topic, with guidance and support from Dr Derric Nimmo, Dr Graham Small and Dr Rosemary Lees. Prior to my master’s degree I had limited research experience and initially I was nervous about carrying out a desk-based project as being in a laboratory setting was much more in my comfort zone. However, through carrying out this project I have learnt numerous new skills which I will take away into my future career; from identifying the gaps in knowledge to establishing research questions, to analysing data sets and visually communicating research findings.

 

Modelling Research Fellow Links Up with IVCC 22nd September 2020

IVCC, in partnership with Imperial College, London, is delighted to welcome Dr Ellie Sherrard-Smith as its first co-funded Research Fellow.  Working between Imperial’s Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology within the School of Public Health and Liverpool based IVCC, Ellie will provide IVCC with expert mathematical modelling advice on its product development programme and vector control projects.

Using the Imperial Malaria model, Ellie will identify modelling needs and interpreting new research related to the modelling of vector control products and guide IVCC activities to maximise impact.  Using modelling to explore statistically characterised novel tools, Ellie’s work will provide public health impact estimates and test the impact of novel interventions to optimise product Target product profiles (TPPs).

Prior to joining IVCC as a Research Fellow, Ellie was a Research Associate where she focused on the impact of combining malaria interventions such as drugs and vaccine, vector control and larval source management.

Ellie holds a BSc in Zoology and a PhD in Parasitology, both from Cardiff University.

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