Regional malaria research and control efforts have gone online.
The European Commission’s Regional Malaria Control Program in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam is upgrading its Website. When finished, the site will boast databases and up-to-the-minute statistics.
The Website, http://www.ec-malaria.org, first appeared on the World Wide Web in late December. It provides information on the regional malaria program, ranging from research findings to training projects.
A newly launched quarterly magazine “Mekong Malaria Forum” is available on the Web. In addition to its 160 pages on the site, it links Internet surfers to malaria-related Websites.
Dr Frederick Gay, Vietnam-based regional coordinator of the EC’s malaria control program, said last week that the Website would provide a new way for health professionals and the public to exchange knowledge of the mosquito-borne disease.
“It is important to open channels for people involved in malaria control in the region,” he said. “There are many studies on malaria conducted, lots of internal and international reports done and various strategies developed in the region. But we have had difficulty in accessibility. We want our Website to facilitate communication among them.”
The Website will be updated whenever the program office receives new materials or information, he said.
The office is now developing interactive documents, databases and a “malaria watch” site that will record the number of malaria cases, Gay said.
The database would include intellectual studies on malaria control and research in the region. The Website overhaul is due to be finished in April.
The site is expected to provide a forum for discussions with malaria experts around the world, Gay said. “We encourage every reader to contribute their knowledge and experiences in the field to the Web.”
The internet project is part of a $32 million project funded by the European Commission to combat malaria in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Since September 1997, the regional program has facilitated several meetings on malaria in the three countries.