Since its founding in Thailand in 1979, MORU has extended its reach and capability by establishing research units in SE Asia and Africa.
MORU’s Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) was set up on the Thai-Myanmar border in 1986, followed by the Lao PDR Unit (LOMWRU) in 2000, and other collaborations across SE Asia and in Africa. COMRU, opened in Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2009, and was followed in 2010 by KIMORU in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and by MOCRU in 2013 in Yangon, Myanmar.
Following a coherent joint research agenda, MORU Units, together with closely linked, geographically dispersed departments, clinical study sites and laboratories, form a powerful network to address health problems afflicting relatively poor populations, both urban and rural, across the tropics. Often faced with little or no access to medical care, these populations live in areas characterised by poor infrastructure, limited penetration by central government services and, often, conflict.
Driven by national health priorities, our own epidemiological studies in our work areas and our assessment of risk and importance, MORU Units combine research and in some cases humanitarian services to provide quality health care to these marginalized populations.