Scott Filler is a Senior Disease Coordinator in the Strategy, Investment and Impact Division at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Scott focuses on malaria funding and has worked in ensuring proper investment in interventions with strong impacts for prevention and treatment for malaria worldwide. Since 2011, Scott has worked in Geneva, Switzerland, the diplomacy capital of the world, comprising investment strategies for The Global Fund.
Scott Filler was born in New York and moved to California when he was very young. He grew up in San Francisco until he graduated high school and went on to attend Brown University and graduate with honors in a combined degree of biology and applied mathematics. In his junior year at Brown, Scott Filler went to Kenya and after some time there he got malaria and became very ill. It was this life changing moment that set Scott on the path to making a difference in fighting malaria. Scott Filler then attended the University of California and studied medicine while simultaneously learning more about malaria research and treatment.
Malaria is a serious disease that can result in extreme pain, fever, and headaches to possible coma and death. There is no vaccine for malaria but there is a variety of treatment and preventative medication for malaria. For travelers from non-endemic areas to areas at risk, in order to combat the dangers you will need to take appropriate medication depending on:
- Which country or location you will be traveling to
- The amount of resistance parasites for malaria have in the area
- Your current health condition (pregnant, young, elderly, or already sick)
There are different species of the parasites and it is important to identify the difference to avoid serious complications if infected.
- P. falciparum is a life-threatening type of parasite and symptoms can develop rapidly that could develop in death if not quickly acted upon. The other four types of parasites are not necessarily life-threatening.
- If the parasite invades 5% or more of the person’s red blood cells than medication is more likely to be injected into the blood system with an IV instead of taken by mouth.
- Different medications can be prescribed if you are elderly, pregnant, young or already sick as these people are more at risk.
Most of the malaria medications are taken by mouth but in more serious instances an IV may be needed. There are also medications taken to prevent malaria.