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Five Minutes | Exclusive Malaria Interviews
5 minutes | Jul 18, 2019
Tracking Bednet Use in Uganda with a Remote Monitor
Long-lasting insecticidal bednets, or LLINs for short, are an integral part of the global effort to fight malaria, with the WHO recommending that everyone, all 3.4 billion people, at risk of malaria should have access to one. But how effective are they? To try and understand how bednets are being used in the field, a team of researchers led by Paul Krezanoski of the University of California have developed the so-called SmartNet, a remote bednet monitor. I speak to Paul about the unreliable mechanisms of monitoring bednet use and the technology behind the SmartNet.
5 minutes | Jul 1, 2019
The Ugandan Inventor Behind Bloodless Malaria Diagnosis
When testing for malaria, there are two primary options: lab-based diagnosis and RTDs, Rapid Diagnostic Tests. There are pros and cons with each. Lab-based diagnosis, whilst accurate, require expert training and a well-equipped lab, which may not be available in low-resource settings. RTDs, whilst portable and inexpensive, are not always accurate, reporting false positives and false negatives. But both of these methods require a blood sample from the patient. This in itself poses many risks; bruising, swelling and even infection. One of the new methods of malaria diagnosis in development does not require a blood sample - the so-called Matiscope by Brian Gitta, a Ugandan inventor.
0 minutes | Jun 1, 2019
Transgenic Malaria Control Kills 99% of Mosquitoes in African Trial
A new study has found that fungus, genetically enhanced to produce spider toxin, can kill a large-number of malaria-carrying mosquitos. I speak with Brian Lovett, who is one of the authors of the paper.
5 minutes | Apr 24, 2019
Halving Malaria Across the Commonwealth by 2023
In 2018, leaders of the Commonwealth countries pledged to reduce malaria cases by half by 2023. One year on, what has been done to try and achieve that aim?Malaria No More held a panel in London to try and answer that very question.
5 minutes | Apr 24, 2019
Where Are We In The Fight Against Malaria?
To take a look at where we are in the fight against malaria, I’m joined by Michal Fishman of Malaria No More. She’s co-chairs the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, which brings together organisations to reduce malaria cases.
5 minutes | Apr 8, 2019
The World's First Voice Petition To End Malaria
Malaria No More has just launched a petition, with David Beckham as its figurehead. The petition aims to get the attention of world leaders ahead of critical funding decisions for The Global Fund. But this petition is not asking for signatures or for your email address, it wants your voice, and for you to recording yourself saying ‘Malaria Must Die’. To learn more, I’m joined by Dr Elvis Eze, who is part of the campaign.
5 minutes | Apr 3, 2019
Tracking Insecticide Resistance Across the African Continent
Hello, I’m Thomas Locke and this is Five Minutes, the podcast that brings you closer to the malaria experts. The Mobile Malaria team, led by Dr George Busby from the University of Oxford, are about to set off on a six-thousand-kilometre journey across Africa. They’ll be making the journey in a Land Rover, taking portable DNA sequencing technology on the road. Sequencing DNA is no mean feat, it requires lots of specialist equipment, stuff you’d normally find in a lab. But this project won’t be done in a high-tech laboratory, it’ll be done from the boot of a car. I recently spoke with Dr Busby and began by asking how they’re able to take this highly technical operation on the road.
5 minutes | Mar 4, 2019
Enhancing Mosquito Genome Assembly with a Low-Input DNA Protocol
Hello, I’m Thomas Locke and this is Five Minutes, the podcast that brings you closer to the malaria experts. All of our genetic material is made from DNA. It’s a chemical found in the nucleus of our cells, in long structures called chromosomes. The entire set of our genetic material forms our genome; each one of our is unique. Having reference genomes, a list of the genes always occur in a particular species is really important. It allows scientists to identify genes that cause disease, understand genetic inheritance and track migration patterns. Or in the case of malaria, understand insecticide resistance. Creating reference genomes for mosquitos is a challenge. But now, in a partnership between the Sanger Institute and PacBio, it can be done with just 100 nanograms of DNA. I speak with Sarah Kingan, a scientist who helped develop the new protocol.
5 minutes | Feb 24, 2019
The Canadian Student Using a Smartphone Camera to Diagnose Malaria
Hello, I’m Thomas Locke and this is Five Minutes, the podcast that brings you closer to the people fighting malaria. The world’s access to mobile phones is increasing. Quartz Africa predicts that one billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa will have one by 2023. Fatou Secka, a student at Dalhousie University in Canada, is using this to revolutionise malaria diagnosis. Using a 3D-printed lens clip that attaches the back of a smartphone camera, she hopes to detect the presence of malaria parasites in a blood sample - a useful tool in rural communities, where access to specialist equipment is limited.
5 minutes | Feb 17, 2019
Aligning Malaria Communications to Engender Change
Hello, I’m Thomas Locke and this is Five Minutes, the podcast that brings you closer to the people fighting malaria. There are a number of stakeholders in the fight against malaria. Hundreds of organisations, nonprofits and government schemes are united by a common objective: to eradicate malaria. But how do you align this global community to ensure that everyone’s singing off of the same song sheet? Well, the Strategic Communications Partner Committee, the SCPC, tries to do just that. Part of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the SCPC works alongside stakeholders to develop and implement global malaria communications. Right now, between the 13th and the 14th of February, key members of the committee are meeting in Geneva, Switzerland for their annual face-to-face meeting. Joining me now is Xenya Scanlon, the Committee's Manager.
5 minutes | Jan 6, 2019
The Accuracy of Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria
Hello, I’m Thomas Locke and this is Five Minutes, the podcast that brings you closer to the people fighting malaria. Today I’m joined by Dr Mark Amos to discuss the accuracy of malaria testing. How accurate are Rapid Diagnostic Tests, or RTDs, tools that are becoming increasing popular? And how do they compare to traditional lab testing? This is Five Minutes with Dr Mark Amos.
5 minutes | Dec 29, 2018
An Interview with Penny Mordaunt, the Secretary of State for International Development
Hello, I’m Thomas Locke and this is Five Minutes, the podcast that brings you closer to the people fighting malaria. In the final episode of 2018, I’m pleased to share this interview with Penny Mordaunt. She’s the Secretary of State for International Development. Its aim is to build a safer and more prosperous world by tackling the global challenges of our time, including malaria.
5 minutes | Dec 23, 2018
Using Gene Drives to Target Malaria Carrying Mosquitos
Hello, I’m Thomas Locke and this is Five Minutes, the podcast that brings you closer to the people fighting malaria. Target Malaria is a consortium of researchers using 'gene drives' to help eliminate malaria. In this podcast, I speak with Dr Alekos Simoni, one of their researchers based at Imperial College London.
5 minutes | Dec 16, 2018
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria & NTDs
Hello, I’m Thomas Locke and this is Five Minutes, the podcast that brings you closer to the people fighting malaria. Today, I’m joined by Jeremy Lefroy MP, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and NTDs. Political attitudes are vital to the success of malaria elimination efforts and his responsibility is to inform other Parliamentarians about the disease. Today’s a good time to speak because the group’s annual report was released earlier this week.
5 minutes | Dec 9, 2018
The Programme Analyst Coordinating 'Bucket Trials' in India
I’m joined by Lukyn Gedge who is coordinating the Microbide Bucket Challenge in India. Her team is testing the efficacy of a new biodegradable larvicide that can kill mosquitos, releasing carbon dioxide and water into the atmosphere. This is Five Minutes with Lukyn Gedge.
5 minutes | Dec 2, 2018
The Scientist Developing a New Biodegradable Larvicide
Hello, I’m Thomas Locke and this is Five Minutes, the podcast that brings you closer to the people fighting malaria. Today, I’m joined by Mary Skelly, the CEO of Microbide, a chemical company based in Ireland. Her team is developing a biodegradable insecticide for the control of mosquitoes. It’s currently undergoing so-called 'bucket trials' in India. This is Five Minutes with Mary Skelly.
5 minutes | Nov 25, 2018
The Woman Fighting Malaria with Handmade Soap
I’m joined by Joan Nalubega, the Founder of Uganics. Her company makes and sells mosquito-repellent soap. It’s received worldwide attention after Reuters shared Joan’s story online. This is Five Minutes with Joan Nalubega.
5 minutes | Nov 18, 2018
The Journalist Responsible for the Removal of Kenya's Fake Malaria Drugs
To kickstart Series 2 of Five Minute, I’m joined by Stella Murumba, a Kenyan journalist. She’s been involved in an investigation into substandard antimalarial drugs. Her journalism has resulted in the Kenyan Health Ministry to recall Duo-Cotecxin, a commonly used antimalarial.
5 minutes | Nov 11, 2018
Five Minutes with Linda Lear | Rachel Carson, Silent Spring and DDT
Rachel Carson was born in 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania. Carson was a passionate scientist and ecologist, writing about the environment. Her most famous book, Silent Spring, was published in 1962 - two years before her death. The book emphasises the need to preserve our world. It also presented her theory about the environmental consequences of pesticide misuse - particularly DDT, a pesticide used to kill mosquitoes. To discuss this further, I’m joined by historian Linda Lear. She wrote “Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature”, a biography about Carson and her work.
5 minutes | Nov 4, 2018
Five Minutes with Annemarie Quinn and Code Sangala | Music Against Malaria
Annemarie Quinn and Code Sangala speak to me about their charity, Music Against Malaria. They’re currently touring Malawi to raise money for the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. This is Five Minutes.
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