Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) led Malaria Elimination Task Force has undertaken mass drug administration campaigns in Eastern Karen State, Myanmar in areas with a high sub microscopic Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence.

Mass drug administration (MDA) is used in villages where a high percentage of people are confirmed positive for P. falciparum by ultra-sensitive qPCR. It works by eliminating this sub-microscopic reservoir of parasites and therefore probably reduces the risk of malaria transmission. In this region most of the P.falciparum isolates are resistant to artemisinins.

SMRU qPCR surveys detected 29 high prevalence hotspots in Myanmar’s Eastern Karen State, many of them hard to access. So far, 19 of these villages have undergone or are receiving mass drug administration. Only one village initially refused to participate. But thanks to community engagement efforts and the dedication and patience of our Community Engagement Team led by Ladda (Micho) Kajeechiwa, the villagers finally agreed to participate in the MDA. Overall, more than 80% of all villagers in hotspots have participated in these MDA campaigns – a very good result, as 80% is the target for effective mass drug administration.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, The Global Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Malaria Elimination Task Force began in July 2014. This is a collaboration between SMRU and local Karen community-based organisations. The main activities include GIS mapping, community engagement, qPCR surveys to find malaria hotspots and verify that a village qualifies for mass drug administration, mosquito catching, and running malaria posts operated by villagers and using RDTs and ACTs and reporting data on a weekly basis.

Based in Mae Sot, Thailand since 1986, SMRU is a Unit of the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), which was established in 1979 as a research collaboration between Mahidol University (Thailand), University of Oxford (UK) and the Wellcome Trust.

For more information, kindly contact John Bleho.

Similar stories

Check-list recommended to improve reporting of microscopy methods and results in malaria studies

MORU Bangkok Publication Research

A study to explore the variations of how microscopy methods are reported in published malaria studies has recommended standardised procedures should be implemented for methodological consistency and comparability of clinical trial outcomes.

The COVID-19 vaccine: do we know enough to end the pandemic?

MORU Bangkok Research

Blog by Rima Shretta. Preliminary efficacy results from three vaccine candidates currently in Phase 3 trials have shown an efficacy of more than 90% against the development of symptomatic COVID-19. While these results are promising, all vaccines are in relatively early stages of testing. A comprehensive and transparent roadmap is urgently needed, to determine how limited doses of the first vaccines to be licensed will be distributed, together with which groups will initially be prioritized.

New study on the risk of Plasmodium vivax parasitaemia after Plasmodium falciparum malaria

MORU Bangkok Publication Research

A new study quantifying the high risk of Plasmodium vivax parasitaemia after treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria aims to identify populations in which a policy of universal radical cure, combining artemisinin-based combination therapy with a hypnozoitocidal antimalarial drug, would be most beneficial.

Clare Ling awarded honorary FRCPath

Awards & Appointments SMRU

Dr Clare Ling has been made an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath). Currently running Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) Microbiology department and supporting the unit’s molecular activities, Clare is a clinical scientist who has worked at SMRU on the Thai-Myanmar border since 2012.

Life at the Thai-Myanmar border through the eyes of a frontline researcher

Public Engagement SMRU

Ethox programme REACH (Resilience, Empowerment and Advocacy in Women's and Children's Health Research) posted a visual research gallery as a Public Engagement project. Six galleries of photos by SMRU's Suphak Nosten depict aspects of migrant workers' daily lives: the Thai-Myanmar border; work; cultural and spiritual values; the often-difficult journeys seeking healthcare; striving for better; and dedicated frontline health workers. Richly coloured, sometimes personal, Suphak’s photography is deeply empathetic and memorable.

Oxford Global Research

COMRU MOCRU MORU Bangkok Research SMRU

Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. To showcase our global research, the University launched a Global Research Map, highlighting areas of research we are conducting overseas.