4 August 2015
SAMRC establishes Malaria Research Centres of Excellence by investing R 3 million
The SAMRC has established three Malaria Research Centres of Excellence to assist the National Department of Health in reaching their goal of malaria elimination by 2018. An investment of R3 million will fund these centres in the current financial year. Although South Africa has met the World Health Organisation (WHO) criteria for targeting elimination, there are still gaps in our knowledge that need to be filled before we can achieve elimination.
“It was heartening to note that novel technologies and techniques are being developed such as insecticide impregnated wall linings as well as implementing the sterile insect technique to reduce the vector mosquito populations. This would lower the transmission of malaria resulting in fewer cases and deaths, said Professor Rajendra Maharaj, Director SAMRC Office of Malaria Research.
One of the key findings of the conference was that communities need to play a larger role in deciding how best to eliminate the scourge of malaria. Second to this, research shows that imported malaria is driving the residual malaria transmission in the country. Measures to curb imported malaria would require cross border interventions being implemented in countries adjacent to South Africa. The meeting also highlighted that insecticide resistance is one of the challenges that needs to be overcome to successfully implement the elimination agenda.
The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) is a part of a significant paradigm shift that leans towards the elimination of malaria becoming a reality. SAMRC’s Office of Malaria Research (MOMR) is host to the largest national gathering to showcase new findings, innovation and ground breaking research related to malaria in South Africa.
The Malaria Research meeting, is taking place in Durban, addressing the following areas:
- Funding solutions to aid the malaria elimination programmes in South Africa
- Means of achieving zero local malaria cases
- The effectiveness of current malaria interventions