Newsletter: July 2022

Dear AMMnet,

Welcome to the July 2022 issue of the AMMnet newsletter, where we share announcements, opportunities, and recent and upcoming AMMnet activities. Please contact info@ammnet.org if you would like to contribute any items to next month’s newsletter!

Contents:

  1. Special announcements
  2. Jobs, workshops, conferences, and opportunities
  3. Working group announcements
  4. Committee announcements
  5. Monthly seminar recap
  6. Celebrations

  1. Special announcements

AMMnet is now 150+ members strong!

Check out the #papers channel on the AMMnet Slack to post interesting papers or request a PDF of a paywalled paper!

AMMnet francophone: Vous êtes membre de notre communauté AMMnet et vous êtes intéressé par des activités 100% en français, venez nous rejoindre pour créer ce sous-groupe. Pour être membre, c’est simple, il suffit juste d’indiquer votre intérêt par un « Oui ». Nous serons ravis de savoir nombreux.

The Northwestern University Malaria Modeling team is conducting a study to identify strategies to enable local modelers to have deeper involvement in modeling activities to support National Malaria Control Program priorities. We are seeking malaria researchers, modelers, aspiring modelers, epidemiologists, and statisticians to participate in interviews. The findings from these interviews will enable the research team and its collaborators to identify the priorities of modelers and researchers in malaria-endemic countries who may be interested in modeling training and scientific development. If you are interested in participating in this study, or know someone who is interested, please visit this link to review the full study overview and provide your consent to participate.

  1. Jobs, workshops, conferences, and opportunities

AMMnet is looking for a Program Administrator to support our activities! This position will be based with the AMMnet secretariat at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA. For more information, see here and search for job ID 45246.

The Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH), within the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, is seeking a highly motivated senior disease modeler with strong analytical skills. The modeler will work within the Analytics and Intervention Modelling group to help design evidence-based strategic plans by providing analytical evidence and support execution of high-impact programs to ensure countries reduce their malaria burden. In this position the modeler will lead the technical work for the methodological development and application of the modelling activities aimed at providing support to National Malaria Control Programmes in endemic countries as well as to their partners including donors and NGOs. For additional information about the position contact Dr. Emilie Pothin. More information here.

The Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) is recruiting for multiple positions – Programmer, Senior Research Officer, Research Officer: https://telethonkids.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/4/home/requisition/1025?c=telethonkids

More job opportunities available at https://iddjobs.org/

Save the date: pre-ASTMH modeling meeting!

On Saturday, October 29, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is sponsoring a one-day hybrid malaria modeling meeting to coincide with ASTMH 2022 being held in the Foundation’s hometown, Seattle. If you’re attending ASTMH in person, fly out early to join the session in person, or join virtually from anywhere in the world. The event will run 9am-2am Seattle time, and for those attending in person, there’ll be an optional evening social event later that day. A formal announcement, including a link to register (attendance is free!), will be coming out in the next few weeks.

Online course on managing insecticide resistance:

Discover how we can keep the upper hand in our fight against the malaria mosquito by managing insecticide resistance development. Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrsRrWyY184

Save the date! The MOOC will start on July 25th on the FutureLearn platform. Sign up details to follow.

The VCWG, in collaboration with the University of Basel, the Swiss TPH, and many other organisations and institutions, has developed a Massive Open Online Course to help address the challenges of insecticide resistance in the mosquito vectors of disease. 

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…

  • Explore the concept of insecticide resistance (IR), and how it develops in a mosquito population 
  • Evaluate the impact of insecticide resistance on malaria vector control and the importance of managing it 
  • Investigate the principles of applied Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM) 
  • Identify IRM as an essential and integral component of vector control activities to reduce the burden of, eliminate, and eventually eradicate malaria

This course is intended for those with any involvement in mosquito vector control as well as students and scholars of Public Health, One Health, Entomology, Epidemiology or Evolutionary Biology. It will also appeal to the general public interested in malaria elimination, vector-borne diseases and mosquito control. It will last for three weeks with two to three hours of weekly study and is free to access!


Request For Proposals for Global Fund indicators assessment support funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Request for Proposals Announcement: Consultancy to support strengthening of malaria performance measurement for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB & Malaria (GFATM) with a focus on driving programme prioritization, optimization and sub-national tailoring.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is seeking to contract an organisation to provide specific proposals for new malaria data sources, collection methods and indicators to provide granular and timely data for decision-making including to support subnational planning and Global Fund grant assessments.

Interested parties are invited to submit a brief 2-3 page Concept Memo to the Foundation outlining the recommended budget, time and approach to fulfill the objectives set out in the Terms of Reference. The Foundation welcomes applications from partnerships of more than one organization particularly those including African institutions. Please use the linked Concept Memo template.

The deadline for Concept Memo submission is July 28th (2 weeks from the date of this announcement).  One, or a small number of applicants will be invited to submit a full contract proposal.  They will have 2 weeks to prepare this from invitation.  

Women in Malaria

Your help is critical to develop a standardised and easily searchable database of information about WiM members. To achieve this, please complete the brief survey on this link: https://forms.gle/2kp9mEEueEUATpN3A before the 12th August 2022.

It is important that everyone does this, regardless of whether you are a new or long standing member” by “whether you are a new member or you are already part of the WiM community – rest assured it will take less than 2 minutes!

Specifically, the survey will feed into a new database that curates basic items of information to be publicly accessible, whilst personal information will be kept private.

The rationale of the publicly accessible parts of the database are to promote visibility of WiM members to others. Such databases are very useful for finding experts for various purposes such as grant panels, media communications, conference invitations, policy development, etc. And the private information will only be used by WiM to ascertain membership demographics.

Finally, the last section of the survey is very important for the future of the WiM community because we are also soliciting volunteers to contribute in various ways to different sectors of the WiM’s activities.

  1. Working group announcements

The IPTi/PMC working group is re-starting and welcomes AMMnet members who are modeling intermittent preventive therapy for infants (IPTi) or perennial malaria chemoprevention (PMC). Contact Manuela Runge if interested.

AMMnet member Maciek Boni is looking to organize a working group around drug resistance. Get in touch if you are interested!

  1. Committee announcements

AMMnet francophone

Vous êtes membre de notre communauté AMMnet et vous êtes intéressé par des activités 100% en français, venez nous rejoindre pour créer ce sous-groupe. Pour être membre, c’est simple, il suffit juste d’indiquer votre intérêt par un « Oui ». Nous serons ravis de savoir nombreux. Prochaine réunion le 29 juillet.

Data and Technical Resources

Next meeting: August.

Membership

Please forward the sign-up link to anyone you think may be interested in AMMnet:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfW1su4kM_jtdah_JrnGahCe8_KnTl7cQP1slp1NHqmA3o1tg/viewform

Training and Exchange Program

The Committee would like ideas from AMMnet members about trainings you would like to be arranged in the network:

https://jamboard.google.com/d/1fc9Sha5E2KIn172vro6mLOcPF_6oDvQ_lvK9IL6ui6I/edit?usp=sharing

Next meeting: end of August.

Values and Guidance for Effective Country Support

The committee met on July 5th and discussed scope and type of planned outputs of the committee.

The committee will gather country modeling and context-related experiences among AMMnet members as well as relevant stakeholders and partners via qualitative interviews or surveys and generate a best practices document for modelers and model output users. If you would like to share your experience or suggest someone else for the interviews, please contact Manuela Runge.

Next committee meeting planned for mid August.

Website/Social Networking

We have 390 followers on our Twitter account (@AMMnetwork) and 63 on Linkedin! If you have any new positions or celebrations that you would like to share, please get in touch with Branwen for Twitter and/or Manuela for LinkedIn. If you have something that you would like to post on the website https://ammnet.org/ please contact Tatiana.

The next committee meeting is planned for August 8. Please contact Tatiana if you would like to participate and are not on the mailing list yet.

Workshops

The workshops committee met on June 30 and discussed organizing virtual mini-symposia, social activities at upcoming conferences in 2022 (PAMCA and ASTMH), and building toward a standalone AMMnet conference in late 2023 or 2024.

Please add topics of interest for mini-symposia here:

https://jamboard.google.com/d/1ss_8Z8p0SOl01MCRm0HMBhOZYEoiEUDcs7H_W7y5odo/viewer

Next meeting: 21 July. Contact Jaline Gerardin if you would like to be added.

  1. Monthly seminar recap

In the July AMMnet seminar, Lisa White from Oxford presented on “Upcoming challenges for malaria modelling”. The first part of her presentation was based on the following question: “what will the next cohort of malaria modellers look like?”. She indicated a tension between increased demand for contextually-relevant malaria modeling on the one hand and a global recruitment crisis for analytic and modelling on the other hand. Reflecting on the reasons for this situation, she mentions the high costs and the lack of incentives for capacity building, as well as the weight of old conventions. She suggested a framework for meaningful capacity building, relying on three levels: foundational (including training in academic as well as policy-facing modelling), supportive (fostering collaborative network, data structures, and career development pathways) and connective (communication, links with policy makers). A lively discussion with the audience followed, where many additional topics were highlighted, such the responsibility of funders and publishers or the challenges faced by modellers in malaria endemic countries. Finally, in a second part, Dr. White introduced the topic of antimalarial resistance, where she argued that a strategy trying to compromise between a reduced drug pressure and an increased use of drugs to save lives might prove counterproductive, and that models should be mobilized to try and solve this apparent dilemma.

At our next seminar on August 2, 2022, Busiku Hamainza from the Zambia National Malaria Elimination Centre will present on the role of data and surveillance on strategic planning. The seminar will take place as usual via Zoom here at 3pm UTC. 

  1. Celebrations

Member publications, 17 June – 16 July 2021

  • Ngongang-Yipmo, E.S., Tchouakui, M., Menze, B.D., Mugenzi, L.M.J., Njiokou, F., Wondji, C.S., 2022. Reduced performance of community bednets against pyrethroid-resistant Anopheles funestus and Anopheles gambiae, major malaria vectors in Cameroon. Parasites & Vectors 15, 230. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-022-05335-2.
  • Loeffel M, Ross A (2022) The relative impact of interventions on sympatric Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum malaria: A systematic review. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 16(6): e0010541. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0010541.
  • Rubenstein BL, Chinkhumba J, Chilima E, Kwizombe C, Malpass A, Cash S, Wright K, Troell P, Nsona H, Kachale F, Ali D, Kaunda E, Lankhulani S, Kayange M, Mathanga DP, Munthali J, Gutman JR. A cluster randomized trial of delivery of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy at the community level in Malawi. Malar J. 2022 Jun 21;21(1):195. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-022-04216-4
  • Vera-Arias CA, Holzschuh A, Oduma CO, Badu K, Abdul-Hakim M, Yukich J, Hetzel MW, Fakih BS, Ali A, Ferreira MU, Ladeia-Andrade S, Sáenz FE, Afrane Y, Zemene E, Yewhalaw D, Kazura JW, Yan G, Koepfli C. High-throughput Plasmodium falciparum hrp2 and hrp3 gene deletion typing by digital PCR to monitor malaria rapid diagnostic test efficacy. Elife. 2022 Jun 28;11:e72083.  https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.72083
  • Kagoro FM, Allen E, Mabuza A, Workman L, Magagula R, Kok G, Davies C, Malatje G, Guérin PJ, Dhorda M, Maude RJ, Raman J, Barnes KI. Making data map-worthy-enhancing routine malaria data to support surveillance and mapping of Plasmodium falciparum anti-malarial resistance in a pre-elimination sub-Saharan African setting: a molecular and spatiotemporal epidemiology study. Malar J. 2022 Jun 29;21(1):207.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-022-04224-4 
  • Lubinda, J., Bi, Y., Haque, U., Lubinda, M., Hamainza, B., and Moore, A.J. 2022. Spatio-temporal monitoring of health facility-level malaria trends in Zambia and adaptive scaling for operational intervention. Commun Med. 2:79 https://doi.org/10.1038/s43856-022-00144-1.   
  • Mfisimana, L.D., Nibayisabe, E., Badu, K., Niyukuri, D., 2022. Exploring predictive frameworks for malaria in Burundi. Infectious Disease Modelling 7, 33–44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.idm.2022.03.003.
  • Longley, R.J., Grigg, M.J., Schoffer, K., Obadia, T., Hyslop, S., Piera, K.A., Nekkab, N., Mazhari, R., Takashima, E., Tsuboi, T., Harbers, M., Tetteh, K., Drakeley, C., Chitnis, C.E., Healer, J., Tham, W., Sattabongkot, J., White, M.T., Cooper, D.J., Rajahram, G.S., Barber, B.E., William, T., Anstey, N.M., and Mueller, I. 2022. Plasmodium vivax malaria serological exposure markers: Assessing the degree and implications of cross-reactivity with P. knowlesi. Cell Reports Medicine. 3:100662 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100662.  
  • Thiery Masserey, Tamsin Lee, Monica Golumbeanu, Andrew J Shattock, Sherrie L Kelly, Ian M Hastings, Melissa A Penny (2022) The influence of biological, epidemiological, and treatment factors on the establishment and spread of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. eLife 11:e77634. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.77634
  • Stanley, C.C., Mukaka, M., Kazembe, L.N., Buchwald, A.G., Mathanga, D.P., Laufer, M.K., Chirwa, T.F., 2022. Analysis of Recurrent Times-to-Clinical Malaria Episodes and Plasmodium falciparum Parasitemia: A Joint Modeling Approach Applied to a Cohort Data. Frontiers in Epidemiology 2.https://doi.org/10.3389/fepid.2022.924783
  • Forson AO, Hinne IA, Dhikrullahi SB, Sraku IK, Mohammed AR, Attah SK, Afrane YA. The resting behavior of malaria vectors in different ecological zones of Ghana and its implications for vector control. Parasit Vectors. 2022 Jul 8;15(1):246. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-022-05355-y.   

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