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I was going to post about World Malaria Day which was in fact two days ago, and as part of the research checked the Tukae site. I’m delighted to see that it has been totally revamped and has a very clear message on the work that is being done there. It looks good and there’s some slick flash animated quotes at the top (not sure how accessible it is but that’s a different hat I wear!) The mission is very clearly stated and there is a seperate page on the job creation and revenue raising activities that are an essential part of their work at Emau Hill.

The Malaria project is ongoing – this is to implement a practical, community based, 4 point programme to control and treat malaria, with a particular focus on children. It will reduce the incidence of malaria through:

1 Providing long-term treatment bednets,

2 Providing resource for insecticide treatment of dwellings,

3 Giving access to rapid diagnostic testing,

4 Holding a stock of malaria treatment.

This is a very ambitious project and the funding needed is considerable – £12,000 initially and £36,000 over a 13 months period. £7,000 is already raised.

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I’ve just found a brilliant blog from a couple from America who are having the honeymoon to beat all honeymoons.  Steve and Christy McCrosky married in California in June last year and have since been travelling all over Europe, Africa, South East Asia and Fiji.  They planned to be away for seven months so must be nearing the end shortly.  They have an amazing photo site here.  The reason I found it was they spent part of their time camping at Emau Hill and talking to Steve and Pia.  The camp site sounds great – it wasn’t finished when I was there but the fully erect and equipped tents sound good.  Have a read for yourself here.  And yes Steve and Pia are some pretty amazing people.  Oh and congratulations Steve and Christy  I’ve added your blog to the blogroll on here.

I’ve written quite a bit about malaria and the campaign that Tukae are running to raise money for a clinical officer and technician to be based at Emau Hill for a year. They will provide free malaria treatment for all children under the age of 13, following Tanzanian government guidelines. So I was interested to read in the latest copy of Scientific American that a company is developing a chemical that kills viral pathogens but also suppresses the development of the plasmodium parasite that causes malaria.

The so called ‘provector’ will use visual, olfactory and chemical signals to entice the mosquitoes to ingest the antimalarial and antiviral treatments. They haven’t finalised the delivery method yet, but it looks like it might be in the form of an artificial flower which while being shielded from other insects, will have a protective surface that will allow the mosquitoes’ proboscis to get through to reach the petals. This is a totally different way of looking at Malaria prevention, in that they are targetting the pathogens themselves, rather than the mosquitoes, which are just the carriers. Whatever it takes, it is important that this killer disease is conquered. It can and does kill children in the East Usambaras where Steve and the team are working. The World Health organisation fact sheet on malaria has the chilling statistics – ‘an African child has between 1.6 and 5.4 episodes of malaria fever each year’ and every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria.

Animoto seems to be all over the blogs at the moment. It’s a great site that creates professional standard videos from your photos. There are a number of music tracks you can choose and you can do a 30 second video for free. See here for my trip to Emau Hill.

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