Malaria Research and Capacity building for field trials in Tanzania (MaReCa)



The venture towards development of efficacious malaria vaccines as complementary tools for the life-threatening Plasmodium falciparum severe malaria in children and pregnant women requires capacity building in the malaria endemic communities in several disciplines including clinical, epidemiology, immunology, molecular biology and bio-informatics. Henceforth, the Senior Fellowship Project entitled “Malaria Research and Capacity building for field trials in Tanzania (MaReCa)” has been sponsored by EDCTP2 and is being implemented by NIMR in Tanzania. The objectives of MaReCa Project are: (1) To document the burden of malaria in the study area over years, (2) To develop and characterize efficacious malaria vaccine for children and pregnant women, (3) To build malaria research capacity at Masters and PhD levels, (4)To establish and maintain mentorship programme, (5) To sustain clinical research and clinical trials in Korogwe Research Station, Tanga Centre, Tanzania.

Project is based on the continuation of (1) Passive case detection (PCD) of febrile episodes by community owned resource persons (CORPs) which started in January 2003, (2) Paediatric study with the intention to treat for malaria since January 2005, (3) Cross-sectional community malaria surveys during peak transmission season which started in 2003. Henceforth, the trend of the burden of malaria at community and health facility levels has been documented. Samples and data analyses are going on. Staff are undergoing Masters and PhD training as well as mentorship programmes. The ethical approval of the protocol has been extended and a refresher training of the team has been conducted. Appropriate management of malaria cases at community and health facility levels that has relieved participants and relatives from the undesired effects and let them be involved in socio-economic income generating activities. The local Tanzanian team is working very closely with their counterparts from Denmark, and Belgium as part of capacity building and strengthening for the site.

As part of the MaReCa study, our first PhD student who is supported by the grant has already published two papers as indicated above. The first MSc student has completed his MSc training and has an advanced manuscript under development that has been submitted for publication consideration. It is our expectation that through the ongoing analyses several other manuscripts will be developed and published in peer reviewed journals. It is also worth mentioning about other publications that were made through the ENRECA study as mentioned above.

This project is part of the EDCTP2 Programme supported by the European Union