Just in time for World Malaria Day: GHG partners with Novartis Foundation to tackle malaria in Namibia

The Global Health Group is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, the Namibian National Vector-borne Disease Control Program (NVDCP), the Multidisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Namibia (UNAM), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.  The partnership will conduct research on new strategies and interventions to more efficiently detect and eliminate pockets of persistent malaria transmission in the Zambezi region of northeastern Namibia.

The Namibian NVDCP has worked hard over the last ten years to bring down malaria cases in Namibia, and has achieved over a 98% reduction in cases since 2003.  In order to help Namibia reach their goal of elimination by 2020, the partnership will help strengthen surveillance capacity, identify risk factors for malaria transmission, and implement Targeted Parasite Elimination (TPE), a new strategy to wipe out remaining parasite reservoirs in the population.  TPE will focus on "hot spots", geographically limited areas of transmission, and "hot pops", subsets of the population that are more at risk of infection, identified through surveillance activities.

The new partnership builds off an ongoing study led by the Global Health Group, University of Namibia, and the NVDCP, which began in 2012.  The study uses reactive case detection, where each case of malaria that presents at a clinic is followed up at their household, in an effort to then further screen and treat surrounding family and neighbors.  Through reactive case detection, asymptomatic malaria cases can be detected, cases can be mapped to better understand transmission patterns in the region, and the efficiency of surveillance methods can be assessed. 

Read more about Novartis Foundation: Novartis Foundation commemorates World Malaria Day with new partnership for malaria elimination

Read the UCSF article: UCSF Joins Research Partnership to Eliminate Malaria in Namibia