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London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Malaria Centre

Combining Scientific Excellence with Research Capacity Strengthening

 
Photograph courtesy of Dalia Iskander
 

Photograph courtesy of Dalia Iskander

22 October 2015
MCDC is hosting a symposium at the up-coming American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) meeting

Sympostium Title

Combining Scientific Excellence with Research Capacity Strengthening: The Malaria Capacity Development Consortium

Summary

Key to the advancement of the elimination and control of malaria in endemic countries is the need for highly proficient and competitive indigenous researchers to lead, conduct and disseminate quality research that informs policy and practice at a local, national and global level. This symposium will highlight the substantial progress that has been made over 14 years in strengthening malaria research capacity in Africa by a consortium of eight partner universities – five African and three European, all with extensive experience in malaria research. The Gates Malaria Partnership (GMP, 2001-2010) and the Malaria Capacity Development Consortium (MCDC, 2008-2015) have both invested heavily in developing and supporting young African researchers, providing them with the technical and non-technical skills required to enhance their international competitiveness and take on leadership roles. MCDC has also worked with partner institutions to develop support and training structures that will provide career pathways for researchers to allow them to maximize their potential. To achieve these aims, an innovative program of activities has been undertaken in six thematic areas: i) research and career development support for postdoctoral researchers, ii) strengthening institutional PhD program, iii) strengthening infrastructure in African partner institutions, iv) establishing malaria research program within institutions, v) strengthening the capacity of individual malaria researchers and of institutions to develop individuals, and vi) strengthening institutional capacity to support and manage malaria research program. The symposium will introduce the aims and objectives of the program, outline the challenges faced, some of the solutions developed and provide an opportunity for discussion on the lessons learned and how these have fed into new funding proposals that will sustain the progress made. A five-minute film, providing a country perspective of the multifaceted work being undertaken in each partner country, will be shown to put the program into perspective. This will be followed by a series of three scientific presentations by MCDC funded researchers: two early career post-doctoral fellows and a more senior, established researcher. The presentations selected demonstrate the breadth of studies being funded by the consortium and will also highlight the differing degree of support that individuals have received from the programme. The symposium will conclude with a short presentation on how the consortium has worked to embed sustainable career development structures within its partner institutions to complement the science.

Presentations
Experiences of, and lessons from, a long-term program of malaria research capacity strengthening in Africa
Brian M. Greenwood
Infectious & Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

MCDC Film: Malawi, A Partnership Approach
Kamija S. Phiri
School of Public Health & Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malaw

Safety of single low dose primaquine in addition to ACTs commonly used in Senegal
Roger Tine
Dept Parasitology, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal

Parasite populations: A genetic assessment of malaria transmission in Siaya County, Western Kenya
Harold Ochola
Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Univeristy of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Impact of providing rapid diagnostic malaria tests on fever management in the private retail sector in Ghana: a cluster randomized trial
Evelyn K. Ansah
Dangme West District Health Directorate, Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana

Supporting sustainable career development structures for African researchers
Hazel E. McCullough
Infectious Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

Symposium Organizer
Brian M. Greenwood
Infectious & Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

Co-Chair
Kamija S. Phiri
School of Public Health & Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi