The Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome-Trust (MLW) says it will undertake a further research study called Pneumococcal Carriage in Vulnerable Populations in Africa (PCVPA) which aims to improve pneumonia vaccines for Malawi and elsewhere in Africa.
MLW Clinical Research Programme, an affiliate of the University of Malawi College of Medicine, will undertake further research study after research done by MLW and Ministry of Health shown that the vaccine is reducing the amount of severe illness caused by the pneumonia germ (pneumococcus).
And the new study aims to further find out how well the PCV13 vaccine is protecting children who have received the vaccine and also preventing spread among vulnerable children and adults who have not received the vaccine.
The pneumonia vaccine, called PCV13, has been given to newborns in Malawi since November 2011. The vaccine prevents disease caused by a germ called the pneumococcus which is found in the nose of many healthy people without causing any problem but in a small number of people this germ can cause pneumonia and meningitis.
Over the next four years, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, the PCVPA study team will be collecting samples from the nose to detect the pneumonia germ from
healthy school children 5-10 years of age who have not had the PCV13 vaccine, children 3-4 years of age in urban Blantyre who have received the vaccine and adults with HIV.
Chief investigator of the study, Professor Rob Heyderman, said the research study has real potential to improve the impact of pneumonia vaccines in children and adults in Malawi and across Africa.
Dr Thandie Mwalukomo, Principal Investigator of the study collaborative project added that the study will address a disease that continues to kill thousands of children and adults in Malawi despite the availability of antibiotics.
”The results from this stud will inform both national and international vaccine policy,” explained Mwalukomo.
The research study is taking place in schools and communities in urban Blantyre and the ART Clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH).
Participation in the study is completely voluntary. The participant or in the case of children, parent/guardian, makes an informed decision to participate or not to participate in the study after a thorough explanation of the study.
The study has been approved by the College of Medicine Research Ethics Committee (COMREC).
“MLW is committed to conducting high quality laboratory, clinical and epidemiological research relevant to the health of Malawians in particular and sub-Saharan Africa in general. It is important that such research is carried out by Malawians for Malawians as we are training future leaders in research,” said MLW Director, Professor Stephen Gordon Director.
Established in 1995, MLW is collaboration between the University Of Malawi College Of Medicine, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Liverpool and the Wellcome Trust, UK.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :