Driven by a coherent joint research agenda, MORU and its powerful network of closely linked, geographically dispersed MORU Units, Departments, clinical study sites and laboratories seek 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.
Communicable diseases, maternal, neonatal and nutritional disorders account for 31% and 43% of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost in 2013 in South-East Asia and South Asia respectively, compared with 6.3% in the developed world (according to the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation).
This large disease burden, even higher in rural areas, is reflected in our research themes, which for 2015-2020 specifically include maternal and child health as well as our staple of the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathogen biology, pathophysiology, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
Our specific interests are driven by national health priorities, our own epidemiological studies in the areas we work and, in the case of malaria, our assessment of global risk and importance.
These criteria have informed our current research focuses on malaria, melioidosis, scrub and murine typhus, the causes and treatment of fever and sepsis, CNS infections, critical care medicine, maternal and neonatal health, childhood pneumonia, and TB. We have a longstanding interest in medicine quality and in antimicrobial drug resistance, a major threat to the region and, in the case of artemisinin resistant falciparum malaria, to the rest of the tropical world.