Strengthening research capacity

College of Medicine, University of Malawi (CoM)

The College of Medicine, the University of Malawi was established in 1991. It is situated in Blantyre adjacent to the large and busy Queen Elizabeth Centre Hospital, which is its main teaching hospital.

The College has a dynamic postgraduate training programme. The Malaria Alert Centre (MAC), established by the Gates Malaria Partnership and the Wellcome Trust Laboratories, are situated on the hospital site. The Wellcome Trust laboratories provide laboratory support for malaria research programmes as well as access to field sites where intervention studies can be conducted. The Wellcome Trust Laboratories have a formal link to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Malaria research activities

The epidemiological research activities currently being undertaken include:

  • IPTpd trial:
    This is a randomized placebo-control clinical trial assessing the benefit of intermittent preventive therapy (IPT) using Coartem in children after a severe malaria anaemia episode. Children aged between 4 months and 5 years are followed up for severe anaemia or death during the post-discharge period in four sites.
  • Efficacy & Safety of Artemisinin Combined therapy (ACT)
    Assessing safety and effectiveness of repeated ACT treatments in children. Assessing population pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy of ACTs in people taking anti-retroviral drugs & children <5kgs or <6 months
  • Efficacy of Intermittent Preventive Treatment for malaria in Malawian children (IPTc)
    Investigating the efficacy of IPTc in reducing the incidence of clinical malaria and prevalence of anaemia in children under the age of five years
  • Novel strategies in treating and preventing malaria in pregnancy
    Investigating the efficacy of various ACT regimes in treating malaria in pregnancy and identifying the optimum dose for SP Intermittent Preventive Treatment in pregnancy

The basic malaria research activities currently being undertaken include:

  • Cerebral and severe malarial anaemia
    Basic biology and clinical manifestations of cerebral malaria and severe malarial anaemia
  • Coagulant factors
    Endothelial biology and coagulopathy of severe malaria
  • Parasite diversity
    Parasite diversity and tissue tropism using tissue bank and prospective samples

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