Malaria eradication is focus of leadership development course

More than 60 mid-career officials from a wide array of organizations attended a 12-day leadership development course on eradicating malaria that was organized by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) malaria expert Dyann Wirth, Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Infectious Diseases. Held at Harvard Business School in early June 2012, the course included topics such as the history of eradication efforts, the science of malaria, and the economics behind the disease.

Gunther Fink, assistant professor of international health economics, spoke about the economic impact of malaria.

Part of the problem in a failed malaria eradication effort 50 years ago was that, when resistance to drugs developed, there was no sustained follow-up research, Wirth said in a June 8, 2012 Harvard Gazette article. She said it’s important for universities to stay engaged for the decades it may take for eradication efforts to succeed.

“We have a responsibility to train the next generation and the next generation after that,” she said.

Also speaking at the event was HSPH assistant professor of international health economics Gunther Fink, who told participants that the average adult in malaria-plagued countries loses some 20 days of work each year to the disease.

Read the Harvard Gazette article

Learn more

Malaria resurgence concerns researchers (HSPH news)

When infection won’t quit: TB, AIDS, and malaria are finding new ways to resist treatment (Harvard Public Health Review)

photo: Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer