WWARN: Collaborating to combat malaria drug resistance
WWARN provides the malaria community with a reliable data collection platform to facilitate data sharing, pooled data analyses, and application of these findings to provide evidence for policy makers and drug developers to optimise the use of antimalarials.
WWARN also develops free to use tools and training to support researchers in malaria endemic countries in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of high quality evidence on antimalarial drug efficacy.
This video was published in October 2014.
Professor Richard Price: The burden of malaria is massive. Nearly forty percent of the world's population live at risk of malaria. There are 207 million cases estimated to occur each year and the parasite kills six hundred thousand people a year. Predominantly, young children in Africa.
Professor Francois Nosten: The main concern about Malaria is the emergence of resistance to the artemisinin derivative. Then this resistance is going to spread elsewhere in the world and we know what will happen because it has happened in the past, with other drugs that when it reaches Africa, then you know millions of children will die.
Dr Judy Omumbo: We have seen over the years with malaria research and actually in control, that it has to be addressed in a multi-dimensional way and the model that WWARN works with is a very good example of having people with different disciplines, different skills, and really coming from different institutions to work on a problem together.
Professor Phillippe Guerin: So the WWARN network is to date a group of 230 research institutions around the world - working collectively and putting their data to try to optimize the medicine that we are using against malaria.
Professor Nicholas White: To make an improvement in health that is applicable to everybody, then you have to take a holistic view to the problem. You have to identify all the bits and pieces that contribute to that problem.
Dr Christian Nsanzabana: WWARN has collected more than two-thirds of all the ACT published data in the world. That represents more than 90,000 individual patient data not only on clinical efficacy but also on molecular markers, pharmacology, in vitro and draw quality.
Dr. Sarah Volkman: So working with WWARN has supported my individual research mainly, through our collaborations with partners particularly, in Africa who are looking at mechanisms of drug resistance and surveillance of drug resistance markers and I think that the WWARN network has provided an opportunity for training and engagement of this community and also to allow this group of endemic scientists to bring their data into the WWARN network and share that with a broader community.
Professor Oumar Gaye: WWARN has developed several different tools for multiple research disciplines that are being used now in our malaria research programmes. We have directly benefited from being able to use WWARN’s tools in Africa.
Dr Judy Omumbo: The role that WWARN has played in setting SOPs (standard operating procedures), in setting standards for data control, having the experts in the field really there to set the gold standards for data collection, data storage and managing and then also setting standards for gatekeeping data. I think it’s been really important.
Professor Karen Barnes: This should form the foundation for the evidence that people like the World Health Organization would need to create policies to advise on how to treat patients.
Phillippe Guerin: One of our focus now is to work with vulnerable groups as well the most affected and in danger by malaria infection and for instance small infants, malnourished children, co-infected patient with HIV, pregnant woman.
Dr Christian Nsanzabana: We can help actually in the development of new drugs. For example, by collecting all the data from the new clinical trials and try to assess if the new dosing regimen that are being developed, are optimal.
Professor Phillippe Guerin: We believe that the innovative and collaborative approach that we have developed with malaria can be beneficial for our research communities and we are trying to look at how we can facilitate access to the tools that we have developed to over tropical neglected diseases.
Professor Nicholas White: So there is a hope that we could even eliminate malaria but it's a formidable challenge.
Professor Phillippe Guerin: We are looking at a long-term strategy year and we believe strongly that there's only a collaborative approach that can achieve that. It's not going to be one game and one player it has to be a group of individuals going in the same direction for the same objective.