Scientists evaluate impact of preemptive malaria treatment for infants

y of infants in Tanzania. The scientists involved in the Ghana study believe the differences may be in part explained by the more intense and highly seasonal malaria transmission in the area where they were working compared to the setting of the Tanzanian study.

The IPTi Consortium, which involves leading malaria research centers in Africa, Europe and the United States, in addition to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), was formed in 2003 with a $28 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Other promising research findings at the MIM conference

Several other research presentations at the MIM conference provide fresh insights into potentially promising new approaches to fighting malaria in children.

Scientists from the Health Sciences Research Institute (IRSS) in Burkina Faso, a country where 150 of every 1,000 children die from malaria, will discuss a new study of 148 children (74 of them in a control group) that found vitamin A and zinc supplements reduced malaria attacks by 20 percent and the overall severity of infections, including fever attacks, by 50 percent. The researchers have now expanded their project to cover 300 children in an effort to determine the most effective dosage.

"Our key message is that the supplements of vitamin A and zinc confer a solid measure of protection against malaria," said Jean-Bosco Ouedraogo, director of IRSS. "In order to convince public health officials, we need to provide more assurance. Within two years we will have the evidence regarding the most effective dosing and we will be ready to go." (Monday, 4:00 p.m., Bubinga Hall, Parallel Session 1, Presentation 6)

Meanwhile, Jane Achan of Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda will present results from a clinical trial evaluating an approach to administering quinine that could save young lives by making an effective treatment for severe malaria more widel


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