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.

MORU’s Lao PDR targeted malaria elimination (TME) team recently installed 8 hand pumps to provide safe drinking water in 4 villages in Nong District, Savannakhet Province after villagers requested the pumps in return for participating in a TME project.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the TME project seeks to accelerate malaria elimination by providing mass drug administrations to communities with a relatively high P. falciparum prevalence that are covered by village health malaria workers and which have access to long lasting insecticide treated bed nets.

Gates funded TME project operates in four Greater Mekong Subregion countries: Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam. LOMWRU’s Dr Mayfong Mayxay is the principal investigator (PI) for the Lao PDR study, while Dr Koukeo Phommasone is the field site PI.

Savannakhet has the third highest malaria incidence of Laos’ 18 provinces. A survey conducted in 18 rural Savannakhet villages in 2015 using uPCR detected Plasmodium infections in 175 of 888 samples (20%). Most villages in Savannakhet are relatively accessible and malaria elimination is a high priority for the local government.

A pilot project to eliminate malaria was initiated in four villages in April 2016. The project showed that mass drug administration (MDA) in Savannakhet is feasible and well accepted, with more than 80% of the targeted villagers participating in three rounds of drug administrations.

The drug regimen consists of three monthly rounds (M0, M1 and M2) of three daily treatment doses of DHA/piperaquine (7 mg/kg dihydroartemisinin and 55 mg/kg piperaquine phosphate) combined with a single low dose primaquine (15mg or 0.25mg/kg). Frequency and timing of the MDA rounds relates to the modeled maximum effects on transmission reduction and the post-treatment prophylactic effect of piperaquine, which is around 30 days in sensitive strains.

All residents in the study villages are encouraged to take part in three rounds except for women in the first trimester of pregnancy and children under 6 months of age. A single low dose primaquine is sufficient to clear rapidly gametocytes which are not susceptible to schizontocidal drugs but does not clear hypnozoites and therefore does not prevent P. vivax relapses. During the MDAs, all drugs were administered under direct observation of study staff.

Similar stories

Pint of Science Thailand is back

Live and on-line from Bangkok! Be ready for Thursday 13th May, when Pint of Science Thailand will stream live from Bangkok. Join us via Facebook, YouTube or right here from the Pint of Science Thailand website as we journey from bacterial infections to viruses, discover how clinical trials work, and how scientific development is seen in the eyes of the law!

Innovative strategies for engaging communities with malaria research

For World Malaria Day 2021, F1000 Research Blog spoke to Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah about her research focussed on drama and arts-based community engagement for malaria research, published with Wellcome Open Research.

FIEBRE Laos concludes recruitment

Congratulations to everyone involved in contributing to FIEBRE’s success - the clinical and laboratory staff, hospital, participants and local communities. The team has continued working throughout the COVID-19 epidemic despite national restrictions which slowed down enrolment and limited field activities.

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

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.

Congratulations new NDM professors

The University of Oxford has awarded CTMGH two new Professors. Elisabeth Ashley - UK-trained physician who specialises in infectious diseases and medical microbiology & virology, and Director of the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU) in Lao PDR since 2019, Liz is conferred the title of Professor of Tropical Medicine. Stuart Blacksell - Senior Research Scientist based at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Thailand, Stuart is conferred the title of Professor of Tropical Microbiology.

Parenting for lifelong health for young children, project led by MORU Bioethics & Engagement Amalee McCoy

The University of Oxford, MORU, the University of Cape Town, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and UNICEF Thailand worked together to promote lifelong health and well-being, and prevent violence against children. Led by Amalee McCoy from MORU Department of Bioethics & Engagement, this project involved the cultural adaptation and testing of an evidence-based parenting intervention for low-income families with children aged 2-9 living in Udon Thani, Thailand.