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Malaria N 9 - Introduction

Y. Dutheil

I suggest that together, we can control malaria. It is not a question of a new "vertical" programme, but the institution of a new approach involving the entire health sector in order to combat this illness." This priority project that Gro Harlem Brundtland, the new Director General of the WHO, intends to implement as soon as she takes up her duties from July 21st onwards, is in line with the partnership created since 1994 in Africa itself, by the African Conferences on Malaria. These meetings enable in fact the representatives of all the African health care sectors responsible for the control of malaria to share their findings and strategies and to co-ordinate their efforts.


Five years ago, SmithKline Beecham International decided to organise a biennial conference in the knowledge that investigators and health care authorities in Africa lacked a network for malarial scientific exchanges which enabled an exchange of their findings on a continental scale. In 1994, the first African Conference on malaria welcomed participants from 26 anglophone and francophone African countries at Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). In 1996, the second conference brought together participants from 32 African nations in Dakar (Senegal). The third conference, which will take commence on the 21st June 1998 in Nairobi, will bring together participants from 32 African states. For the first time, representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank and the Organisation for African Unity (O.A.U.) will participate in their activities.


The third African Conference on malaria will enable those Africans in-charge and who are in the front-line in the struggle against malaria:- To discuss the implementation of the new WHO/World Bank initiative for the long term control of malaria in Africa.- To exchange their scientific findings with regard to epidemiology, therapeutic strategies and the prevention and implementation of national antimalarial programmes.- To study the possibilities for the establishment of a multinational south-south co-operation with regard to research, training or the setting up of infrastructures.- To develop permanent contacts with their African counterparts. Aside from the conference, the concept of a network benefits from exchanges via electronic mail and the Internet and from the contribution of the scientific review - "Malaria", published, since 1995, by SmithKline Beecham.- To solemnly put malaria, principally by means of the media, on the political agenda of institutions and donor countries in order to increase the finance available for the research and development of new treatments and vaccines.

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