Much of LSTM’s malaria research is directed towards the development of innovative approaches that foster malaria elimination. MalTREC is a cross-departmental centre that facilitates collaboration between researchers with malaria interests within LSTM and with external partners.
Current anti-malaria strategies are focusing more on the elimination of the disease rather than previous intervention efforts that were aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality. This ambition is based on the big drop of around 45% in malaria mortality between 2000 and 2012 with some African countries now on track to reduce malaria hospital admission rates by 50% or more. These successes are in part due to the widespread availability of improved diagnostics; effective chemotherapeutics and anti-mosquito interventions.
MalTREC’s objectives are:
- To improve deployment of existing interventions by maximising coverage; target hard-to-reach sections of the community and develop the innovative implementation and monitoring approaches that scale-up demands
- To study the changing epidemiology of malaria to understand how we can progress from successful control to elimination of transmission
- To repurpose existing technologies and develop novel diagnostic, surveillance and vector control tools that elimination will require
The breadth of our approach ensures that we will continue to guide control programs in malaria endemic countries and inform WHO guidelines in the next decades.
At the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) in Blantyre, Malawi, Dr Anja Terlouw, a clinical lecturer in the Department of Clinical Sciences, leads the MLW malaria research programme.
The research strategy focuses around four key areas: severe malaria (& severe illnesses), optimization of antimalarial case-management and chemoprevention, burden assessment & transmission reduction, and a newly developing programme on vector biology.
With the wide range of malaria transmission settings found in the South of Malawi, excellent laboratory facilities, close collaborations with the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and the growing College of Medicine, proximity to established MLW managed field sites MLW forms one of the key research centres of LSTM malaria research activities.