2nd African Diaspora Conference on Malaria to be held in London

The African Diaspora for Action Against Malaria (ADAAM) will hold the second Conference on malaria in London on 21st October 2013.

The theme of the Conference is “Exploring community engagement, social capital and behaviour change in malaria reduction.”

African Diaspora Conference on MalariaIt will be held at the headquarters of PwC in More London.

South East London has been chosen as the venue for the Conference because it’s a region with the highest incidence of malaria in London.

The Conference on Malaria has been in organised in collaboration with Diaspora health professionals from Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is an enactment of concrete action begun by members of the African Diaspora in 2012 to increase community health awareness and contribute to a reduction of malaria infection.

Medical researches and practitioners from the Public Health England (PHE), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University College London (UCL), and AMREF will speak at the Conference.

Experts of travel medicine and community pharmacy will also address the Conference where case studies from Tanzania and Cameroon will be presented.

The Conference is a timely response to the PHE report released on 3rd October 2013, which revealed that 13 Africans had died in London from malaria between 2008 and 2012.  

The report, which also contained a clear warning about the dangers of malaria, revealed that 88% of malaria cases imported to Britain since 2000 were acquired in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria accounted for almost half of the cases, followed by Ghana and Sierra Leone.

At the Conference researchers, health specialists and policymakers will explore knowledge, attitudes and practices in the community and the health system with respect to prevention of malaria.

The event will include a plenary session with Q&As and workgroup discussions to facilitate the learning of best practice in malaria disease management (prevention, treatment, prescribing policy) to increase uptake of anti-malarials and decrease infection through health awareness action which can leverage social capital and co-production.

Dr. Yvonne Doyle, the Director of PHE noted in this year’s report that while malaria is a preventable disease, 80 per cent of people who contracted it reported not having taken anti-malarials during travel to areas where the disease is endemic.

She said that one of the causes of the high malaria incidence among the African Diaspora is a misconception that people born in endemic countries in West Africa retained immunity and did not need to take preventative medication when travelling back home to visit family and friends.

Dr. Doyle made it clear that people born in malaria-endemic countries are likely to have developed some immunity, but this wanes rapidly when they leave.

Some of the issues to be discussed at the Conference will include: overcoming barriers to malaria prevention; what the Diaspora community can do to help the NHS improve services to the Africa community; review and evaluation of current health promotion campaigns and information dissemination strategies; and intensification and sustainability of malaria awareness outreach campaigns beyond official reporting of data.

“ADAAM believes that malaria is a serious barrier to Africa’s development and that every death in the UK or Africa is one too many,” said Ralph Tanyi, Coordinator of ADAAM.

The African Diaspora Conference on malaria is supported by PwC, Africa UK (a DfID/Comic Relief programme), Public Health England and UCL.

Those who would like to attend this free Conference can register online at adaamuk.eventbrite.co.uk or send an email to adaam.eu@gmail.com or malaria@cameroon-forum.org.