Recorded Webinars

 

"Leadership in multisectoral and transdisciplinary collaboration to address malaria and attain the SDGs" ~ Livestreamed on 22 July 2021

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to improve quality of life, and envision a world free of poverty, hunger, and the harshest effects of climate change by 2030. Africa faces significant challenges in achieving these goals, which necessitate significant infrastructure and investment. It is only by directing our academic efforts towards problem-oriented solutions that we can accelerate progress in achieving the 2030 SDGs. The important role of leadership in initiating and maintaining the necessary collaboration between sectors and across disciplines to address the SDGs is often underestimated and forms the focus of this webinar, with malaria as an illustrative case in point. Malaria is still the most lethal tropical infectious disease, impacting adversely on the existent poor quality of life in malaria-endemic communities in Africa, despite the significant advances made to combat malaria through research. The main strategies behind malaria control is the use of drugs to combat the parasite and through preventing the bites of mosquito vectors. However, new and innovative ideas are needed to reach malaria elimination. By creating opportunities for transdisciplinary research and practical interaction, stimulation of innovative and sustainable control measures is enabled that will not only make a change locally but will have an impact globally. The webinar brings together a panel of experts from a variety of disciplines, affiliated with the University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC). This presents a purposeful platform for transdisciplinary ideologies and discussion. Each expert has a specific leadership, management and academic skillset to participate meaningfully, and this is key in driving capacity building in this space. They are also stakeholders with access to multiple sectors, which allow them to leverage knowledge, expertise, reach, and resources, towards the shared goal of working towards the elimination of malaria.

   

"Integrated vector management and new innovations to limit epigenetic changes in malaria endemic communities" ~ Livestreamed on 6 November 2020

The WHO and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underscore the importance of combating malaria under the third SDG (Good Health and Well-being), which aims to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Malaria is an ongoing public health concern. Malaria control and elimination faces many challenges both at the parasite and vector control levels. Currently, malaria vector control is still primarily insecticide based and relies on indoor residual spraying (IRS) and the use of long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets (LLINs). Mosquitoes build up resistance to the insecticidal measures deployed to prevent malaria transmission. Some of these implemented measures bear long term transgenerational effects on human beings, and impact on the environment. If malaria elimination is ever to be achieved in South Africa and globally without impacting on future generations, then current research towards innovative, safer, sustainable and effective alternative control tools, methods and strategies need to be encouraged. The development and integration of these vector control tools and strategies, coupled with current and novel parasite control measures, education and health promotion strategies, and very importantly the contributions of the affected communities are needed to ensure eventual malaria elimination. The webinar brought together three researchers affiliated to the UP ISMC through research, addressing the importance and necessity of insecticides to fight a devastating disease whilst looking at long term, safer alternative tools and strategies to contribute towards elimination of malaria.

 

 

 

Published by Taneshka Kruger

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