Malaria has been an important focus of our work since the programme began in 1989. Our work has been characterized by a multi-disciplinary approach including laboratory science, epidemiology, entomology, social science to randomized control trials, pragmatic trials and operational research that influences national and regional health policy.
Our earliest work examined the clinical phenotypes of severe malaria in African children, the impact of insecticide treated bed nets on severe malaria and child survival and immunological, genetic, social and entomological factors that contributed to the risks of life-threatening disease.
Building on linked field-laboratory-hospital surveillance we have been able to conduct empirical studies and trials on the long-term residual sequelae of severe malaria, the impact of malaria in pregnancy, the efficacy of adjunct therapies for the management of severe malaria and new candidate drugs for treatment and vaccines for the prevention of malaria. At other sites across Kenya, the programme has undertaken trials and operational research into the impact of mobile phone SMS technology on quality of care, drug supply and patient adherence and the impact on the delivery of free bed nets.
Since 1996 the programme has been involved in building regional networks for the mapping of malaria risks establishing the MARA and subsequently the MAP projects. This work is now managed as a regional initiative under the INFORM project to support national malaria control programmes. We also study the characteristics of malaria hotspots at fine scales within Kilifi County.
A large component of the programme’s current work is devoted to understanding the basis of clinical immunity in young children, the protection provided by haemoglobin variants, and the genetic and behavioural diversity of a local mosquito vector populations. We also examine the molecular biology of antigenic variation, the products secreted by malaria parasites, the acquisition of immunity to malaria (including cellular and serological studies), how the parasite evolves to overcome host defence and the genetics of host resistance.
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Investigators : Bob Snow, Abdisalan Noor, Philip Bejon, Pete Bull, Kevin Marsh, Margaret Mackinnon, Faith Osier, Vandana Thathy, Dejan Zurovac, Francis Ndung’u, Ambrose Talisuna, Abdirahman Abdi, Jay Berkley, Kathryn Maitland, Amina Abubakar, Patricia Njuguna, Ally Olotu, Norbert Peshu, Martin Rono, Britta Urban, Sophie Uyoga, Tom Williams, Charles Mbogo, Janet Midega, Joseph Mwangangi, Melissa Kapulu, Charles Newton