Rebounding Malaria: Risks, Realities, Replications, and Historical Lessons
This presentation will discuss the topic of rebound malaria (also known as resurgent) malaria). The first half will present historical evidence of the known risks of rebound dating back to the 1940s, examples of rebound epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 80 years, and the ethical questions linked with rebound—particularly the loss of acquired immunity in endemic communities. The second half will focus on what this historical information has to say to the contemporary malaria situation in Africa.
Particular time will be spent discussing the risks of rebound epidemics today (and what kinds of data we might use to assess that risk), the potential for unintended consequences, the ethical questions around community knowledge and involvement, and the realities of under-reporting rebound epidemics due to publication norms and funding pressures.
About the speaker
Melissa Graboyes is an Associate Professor of Medical History and African History in the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon, and also serves as the university's Director of the African Studies Program. She’s the author of The Experiment Must Continue: Medical Research and Ethics in East Africa, 1940-2014 (Ohio University Press, 2015) which is being used by global health and development workers and taught with at multiple universities. She is a co-editor of Africa Every Day: Fun, Leisure, and Expressive Culture on the Continent (Ohio University Press, 2019). Graboyes’ current book project is a history of malaria elimination attempts in Africa over the last century, which is funded by a 5-year US National Science Foundation grant, and involves a half dozen undergraduate students in various parts of the research.
Her research has an East African regional emphasis and employs a variety of historical and anthropological methods. She is particularly interested in making research findings accessible to the larger public, and serving as a bridge to translate academic findings to practitioners working in the field. Graboyes received her Ph.D. in History and a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis on medical ethics from Boston University. She has worked as a global health practitioner in the United States and East Africa. Graboyes was living with her family in northern Italy during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and has begun writing about the evolving science, international differences and practical challenges of the novel coronavirus at https://www.coronaviruschronicles.com/.