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Friday 28th October 2016

Netizens to fund malaria research

28th April 2008

A new website plans to tap into micro-funding from private individuals for research projects in developing countries in a bid to boost the global fight against malaria.


The site, MalariaEngage.org, wants to enlist members of the public to help by encouraging them to donate directly to research projects.

Launched on World Malaria Day on April 25, the site is hoping to build an online presence, given the massive success of online social networking sites like My Space and Facebook.

It plans to build a global community of people who each contribute as little as £5 to a choice of research projects.

British entrepreneur and co-founder Tom Hadfield, who is currently studying at Harvard University in the United States, said he hoped that eventually tens of thousands of people would use MalariaEngage to build a movement that would see through the challenges of eradicating malaria to the very end.

Hadfield visited Sub-Saharan Africa last summer, witnessing at first hand the devastation caused by malaria.

Malaria kills 3,000 children a day in the region, and while there is no shortage of researchers working to find solutions, there is a distinct lack of funding, and many say their work goes unnoticed.

He found that researchers in developing countries have difficulty getting attention and obtaining funding.

Peter Singer, another co-founder of MalariaEngage and professor at Canada's McLaughlin–Rotman Centre for Global Health, said the whole point of MalariaEngage was to put people in direct contact with African researchers.

The site makes use of social networking tools, including a discussion forum for funding contributors to contact researchers for progress reports. Singer said it was the first of its kind in the world.

A third co-founder, Abdullah Daar, also a professor at the McLaughlin–Rotman Centre, said the new approach could attract people who had never contributed to this sort of cause before.

The site has been launched with a couple of pilot projects from the National Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania, which are using the site to request support.

More institutions and projects would later be added, based on demand from the internet public, Singer said.


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Saturday 24th October 2009 @ 19:11

Many thanks to all founders. I am a clinical researcher, have discovered marvellous drug for MDR malaria 26 years back, more than 40,000 falciparum malaria patients treated with this drug so far. Nobody has taken my work seriously.
Dr Prakash Tahiliani

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