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TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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MCTA FOOTPRINTS

By Isaiah Esipisu - Kenya

The Matron Salome Chiphatsi Memorial building is a landmark at the Kilifi District Hospital in Kenya, where clinical trial experts work assiduously with a view to ensuring a future free of diseases such as malaria.

      Matron Salome Chiphatsi Memorial building, in Kilifi, Kenya

The building clearly stands out from other blocks. From the outside view, it has been refurbished, painted, and has a beautiful parking lot to go along.

Inside the building is a cool and peaceful atmosphere which blocks out the scorching tropical temperatures outside.

Experts working here are researchers from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) – Welcome Trust.

“The beauty of this building from the outside reflects exactly what is inside. Within the premises is the state-of-the-art clinical trial equipment procured through the help of institutions like the Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance (MCTA), which fully refurbished this Clinical Trial Facility,” said Dr Roma Chilengi, the Head of Clinical Trials.

  Dr Roma Chilengi, Head of clinical trials, KEMRI, Kilifi, Kenya

Kilifi, 60 Kilometres north of Mombasa city, is one of the districts within the Coast Province that fall under malaria endemic areas in Kenya.

This unfortunate status provides a good reason for the location of the KEMRI Welcome Trust in the area researching into a malaria vaccine, at the phase III trial stage.

Dr Patricia Njuguna, Pediatrician and Clinical Trialist at the centre said “We have enrolled 860 children in the trial program, 260 of this number are infants. Results of the trials will be a milestone in the fight against malaria not only in Kenya, but all over the world, especially if the results are positive.”

The Kilifi trial site is one of the sixteen research centres in 10 African malaria-endemic countries selected for support under an MCTA program. 

Two other sites within the district have been refurbished thanks to the MCTA program. They are the Madamani Dispensary, 55 kilometres out of Kilifi town, and Dida, 40 Kilometres away.

The sites benefited from facilities such as a block constructed for malaria vaccine and clinical trials and other medical needs, rain water harvesting gadgets, a huge storage tank at the Madamani dispensary and a maternity room at the Dida dispensary.

At the Kilifi District hospital, MCTA has supported with the refurbishment of the building that houses the clinical trial staff, equipped the laboratories with state-of-the-art trial equipment and digital X-Ray machines, and offered training to the researchers.

MCTA has, similarly, supported the selected sites within the 10 countries with refurbishment of laboratory and facility; offered workshops on good clinical practice (GCP), malaria diagnosis equipment, strategic management and media training.

It has also offered training to support staff to undertake accreditation examinations of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and supported short attachments to other network centres to facilitate sharing practices.

According to Dr Chilengi the MCTA support was something beyond material or monetary support.

“I felt morally supported. I have realised that African researchers can still excel and deliver on performance to meet international standards without support from the developed world,” he said.

He feels that instead of MCTA folding up, it should change its name to the Clinical Trial Alliance (CTA) – to enable it extend support for other clinical trials instead of focusing on malaria alone.

 “The support we got from MCTA was beyond what we had imagined. And if this is to be replicated to other fields, then very soon Africans will have the capacity to tackle their own problems,” said the head of Clinical Trials.

Before the MCTA offered to support the Kilifi Clinical Trial Facility, the researchers depended on support from the pharmaceutical sector, which usually supported what was in their interest. In most cases, these researchers had to hire equipments for particular tests.

According to a recent study, which appeared in the Malaria Journal, MCTA activities have demonstrated that centres can be brought up to good clinical practice compliance. Though it did state that the costs are substantial and there is need for further support to meet the growing demand for clinical trial capacity.

“The MCTA experience also indicates that capacity development in clinical trials is best carried out in the context of preparation for specific trials. In this regard MCTA centres involved in the phase III malaria vaccine trial were, on average, more successful at consolidating the training and infrastructure support than those centres focusing only on drugs,” the report added.

If proven effective, the malaria vaccine will complement existing interventions, such as insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, and effective drug therapies, to help prevent deaths from malaria.

Editions: 
Sixth Edition