MFI

Embracing Humanity Worldwide
Our Mission is to facilitate the development and implementation of solutions to the
health, economic, and social problems caused by malaria.
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Current Goals

pinTo assist  with the development and coordination of networks that enhance communications, maximize exchange of views and expertise among malaria scientists and health workers, and encourage the most cost-effective use of available resources.
pinTo provide  a concerted voice for scientists in issues of public debate concerning malaria.

pin To educate  individuals and institutions about the enormity of the malaria problem worldwide, and help to secure financial assistance for malaria research and control programs.

pinTo support  the education and training of our next generation of malaria experts.

Present Projects

1. Malaria Foundation International Web Site:  www.malaria.org
A Gateway for Malaria Information

The Malaria Foundation International web site was established in 1995 to provide an interactive, central location to access information about malaria. This information ranges from General  (e.g., Learn About Malaria, Travel Advisories, Literature) to Scientific (MFI's Communication Center, On-Line Journals, Databases, Networks, comprehensive Conference Calendar, numerous links to agencies and societies) to Newsworthy  (updated information about global and local malaria initiatives, malaria in the news, announcements). This site brings together a wide variety of resources and is also the home base for information and electronic activities associated with the MFI's other projects listed below. This site is continually updated so that it remains dynamic, current, and useful.

2. Global Malaria Awareness Campaign

The Global Malaria Awareness Campaign is a program aimed at educating people about malaria and providing opportunities to donate voluntary services or financial support. To this end, the MFI website is a central site that provides information about malaria that is relevant for a broad audience (press, teachers, students, travelers, policy makers).

3. Malaria Project

Student Leaders Against Malaria builds a global network of students to work toward the eradication of malaria. A goal is to strengthen the social conscience of today's students and instill them with leadership qualities.

4. Malaria Communication Center

MFI's Communication Center is a discussion system and Jobs Bulletin Board provided for professionals and students working with malaria. The 'Discussions' may be public (initiated by MFI or others) or private (which are controlled by the group who initiate the discussion and can be password protected). People can post 'Jobs Sought' or 'Jobs Available' at the Jobs Bulletin Board. The MFI Communication Center is accessible from our homepage.

5. Scientific Sounding Board

The MFI is a grassroots organization involving scientists worldwide that achieves advocacy for malaria issues through our Scientific Sounding Board function. In this capacity, we solicit views and form an evidence-based concensus on issues of importance for malaria research and control of the disease. This function has the potential for influencing policies that can save lives, an example being our successful recent effort to prevent a global ban of the production and use of DDT for malaria control.

6. DDT: Replacement before a Ban

In partnership with the Malaria Project the Malaria Foundation International successfully organised the voice of over 400 of the world's leading scientists from around the world to debate the issue of a possible global ban of the insecticide DDT, jointly sign an open letter to stop this ban, and garner the support of the press worldwide. Due to this consolidated approach, DDT will not be banned until a suitable replacement is found. The result is that many thousands of lives each year will be saved.

This remains an active project as discussion on this topic continues. Read details here.

7. International Drug Resistance Surveillance Project

Thanks to the recent availability of a new, very fast and simple surveillance system of malaria drug resistance, the MFI proposes to implement a drug surveillance network in every malaria-endemic country. The MFI will collect and provide regularly updated information to national and international health authorities, scientists, and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Pierre Druilhe (a member of the MFI's International Board) and Philippe Brasseur initiated this project and direct and implement it.

This project was initially supported by a concerted action grant from the European Commission, received support and technical assessment by the TDR Component of the World Health Organization, and is now supported by several public and private bodies. Among the supporters are the Lions and Rotary clubs who have joined their networks with that of the MFI, and they will be actively involved in all malarious countries also networked by the Roll Back Malaria initiative of WHO. To date, training of technicians has been successfully implemented in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Madagascar, and Mayotte. Plans for future training include Brazil, Colombia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and India. A dedicated web-site where results will be available on-line (in real time) will be available in the near future. Further donations for this particular activity, including training, are most welcome. In an African country the overall cost to gather data each year is in the order of $10,000 per year.

8. MFI's Travel Scholarship Program including the Vanessa Botterill Memorial Award

The MFI has instituted an annual Travel Scholarship Award to allow promising young scientists to attend international conferences. This opportunity helps to establish research collaborations among scientists that, in time, bridges the gaps among countries and laboratories.

The Vanessa Botterill annual award is in memory of a young English woman, aged 24, who died from malaria in Kenya on 7 September 1997. This award is made possible by her family and friends, who raised funds from the Mutley Ball (below, see Past Projects #4) working together with the MFI.

9. MFI STAKEHOLDER ACTIVITIES

MFI acts as a stakeholder with many new global initiatives that have sprung up in the last few years, including the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM), Roll Back Malaria (RBM), and the Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI).

10. Drive Against Malaria

In 1998, in partnership with the MFI and MEMISA, British global explorer David Robertson launched a great challenge: to circumnavigate the globe in a four-wheel drive vehicle to draw attention to the growing danger of malaria. MFI assisted Mr. Robertson in raising public and political awareness in countries throughout Africa and Europe.

Having helped David get off to a good start, the MFI wishes him well in his travels!


Past Projects

 

1. Malaria Genome Focus Group

At the request of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Malaria Foundation International convened the Malaria Genome Focus Group, which was held on April 7, 1997 in Rockville, Maryland, USA. This group of people came to a general consensus on a number of issues and subsequently involved the scientific community at large via its web-based communications in formulating the next steps during the early stages of the Malaria Genome Project, which is now advancing rapidly. (Past and current information on the Malaria Genome Project)

2. The Second Global Meet on Parasitic Diseases

The "Second Global Meet Ronald Ross Centenary" was a special conference was a special conference with a focus on malaria which was sponsored by the Indian Society of Parasitology and co-sponsored by the Malaria Foundation International. The MFI assisted with program development, fundraising, a sponsored travel award program, promotion of the meeting, and the development and management of worldwide publicity. This meeting was held in Hyderabad, India from 18-22 August 1997 to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the landmark discovery by Ronald Ross of malaria in the mosquito. This meeting was a very strong demonstration of the commitment of scientists and public health officials to malaria research and control. Over 700 people, including malaria researchers, public health specialists, government officials and industry representatives attended from over 25 countries. Goals of the meeting included strengthening of scientist cooperation aimed at reviving public and funding agencies interest in this forgotten disease.

This was the first major MALARIA meeting of its scope and provided and unprecedented example of how attention can be drawn to the malaria problem via the media. TV, radio, and the press rallied strongly behind this meeting. Since, several new global initiatives have sprung up and followed the example of large scale public advocacy to bring attention on this disease. MFI continues to create awareness through its own programs and by facilitating the progress of the others through its role as a stakeholder where the common cause of preventing or controlling malaria is at stake.

3. Mutley Ball

The Mutley Ball was held in 1998 in London, in memory of Vanessa Botterill, a young woman who died of malaria after being diagnosed with the disease at the end of her travels in Africa. Through this event, funds were raised to bring attention to the severity of this disease and to support the education and training of young malaria scientists from Africa. In 2001, an annual travel scholarship program was initiated to enable students and junior scientists, who are citizens residing and working in sub-Saharan African countries, to participate in international malaria meetings. (Above, see Present Projects #8).

4. World Wide Malaria Directory

The MFI collaborated with SHARED towards a common goal to compile the most comprehensive interactive database of people, projects, and organisations related to malaria. This database is accessible to all and it allows professionals from all over the world to interact and share resources.

 

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