University of Pretoria
Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control
Malaria is a complex parasitic disease confined mostly to tropical areas and transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. According to the World Health Organization' records for 2012, there were 207 million malaria cases worldwide with 627,000 deaths. Most of these deaths (90%) occurred in sub-Saharan Africa of which 77% were in children younger than 5 years of age. Malaria-endemic countries are faced with high cost of prevention and treatment of the disease.
An urgent need exists for research and surveillance in many malaria areas to eliminate malaria with the use of an integrated management approach, including safer alternatives to DDT. To reduce reliance on this potentially harmful compound, support is needed for integrated and multi-partner strategies for malaria control, and for continued development of new technologies and strategies as sustainable alternative malaria control methods.
The battle to control malaria is largely based on two strategies: control of the vector mosquitoes, and control of the malaria parasite. At the same time n
ovel approaches to secure community disease awareness and support for public health campaigns are also important and will enable communities to contribute to an integrated management approach.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) invited higher education institutions, science councils and registered non-profit research organisations in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to submit applications to become part of their new initiative, MRC Collaborating Centres for Malaria Research. The University of Pretoria’s Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP CSMC) recently received word that their application has been successful. The network of MRC collaborating centres for malaria research will collectively provide a multidisciplinary approach to malaria research; synergise efforts on malaria research to achieve common goals; and facilitate scientific collaboration among malaria researchers in Southern Africa.