In Kenya, one in five children do not live to see their 5th birthday and the most common cause of death among these children is malaria. Malaria not only accounts for 36,000 deaths per year but is a huge drain on the economic growth in the country.
For affected communities in Kenya and around the world it is critical to scale up the available malaria control tools as well as continue to develop new strategies to reduce the malaria burden.
For more than 30 years, the Malaria Research Branch of KEMRI/CDC has been addressing the problem of malaria at its source, directly working with vulnerable families in their homes and communities as well as with local hospitals, clinics, and laboratories. Studies contribute to cutting-edge solutions improving malaria prevention, treatment and health care guidelines that protect health in challenging, resource-poor communities.
Researchers from the Malaria Branch serve on the Division of Malaria Control (DOMC) technical working groups, assist with development of the MOH malaria prevention and control guidelines, assist WHO to evaluate new long lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLITNs), monitor efficacy of vaccines and effectiveness of Intermittent PreventiveTreatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) for malaria in pregnancy, and assists the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
• Research confirmed the reliability of Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDTs) in diagnosing malaria in rural health facilities
• Confirmed the high dose of folic acid prescribed for pregnant women in Kenya interferes with the ability of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) to effectively combat malaria infections
• Showed that the combination of indoor residual spraying (IRS) and insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) can further reduce the burden of malaria in areas of recurrent transmission
• Participated in a multicenter trial, which showed RTS,S vaccine reduces malaria over the first year of follow-up by 50% in children aged 5-17 months