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Professor Corbett elected Fellow at Academy of Medical Sciences

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Corbett smallTB research group lead Professor Liz Corbett has been elected as a Fellow for Academy of Medical Sciences. In her remarks, Professor Corbett said she is delighted and honoured to have been elected to the Academy, which is welcome for the inherent recognition of the dedication, drive and output of her research team at MLW, in Malawi, and with collaborators in UK, Zimbabwe and  in Southern Africa.

 

" I have been based in London School, funded by the Wellcome Trust to live and work in Africa since 1996, with just one year in UK. My focus for the last 15 years has been on the development and evaluation of novel diagnostic intervention strategies for improving HIV and TB health outcomes and control at community-level. My field has been transformed by the Global Health Initiatives, to which the UK Government is a generous donor, and it has been my great pleasure to have been able to contribute to regional policy and practice," said Corbett.

 

Professor Liz Corbett is a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow and a Clinical Epidemiologist with LSHTM, based full time in Blantyre, Malawi. Her main research interests concern control of TB in HIV prevalent populations from the public health perspective, with a focus on the epidemiology at primary care and community level, and intervention trials. She works closely with the HIV and Global TB Departments of WHO and she is a member of the TB Strategic and Technical Advisory Group and several Working/Guideline Groups. She has ongoing research in active case-finding for TB, and randomised clinical trials evaluating HIV self-testing, new TB diagnostics and treatment for adolescent long-term survivors of mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection. She holds the Research Directorship of an implementation-research consortium funded by UNITAID to scale-up HIV self-testing in Southern Africa and provide evidence for WHO guideline development.

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MLW research intern Dr Ndifanji Namacha presents at Malaria Summit in London

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Ndifanji MSL Apr201819 April 2018


Research intern Dr Ndifanji Namacha presented at the Malaria Summit in London on 18 April 2018 in front of Heads of Government and world leaders in malaria control efforts, representing the Commonwealth Youth Health Network to advocate for malaria control and elimination efforts. Ndifanji Namacha is an assistant lecturer in Public Health at COM, and as part of that role is undertaking a voluntary research internship with the malaria group.


Ndifanji during her key note speech shared her story of being born in Malawi a Malaria endemic country, her medical education and personal experience with malaria, her career as a Malaria researcher and also called upon the leaders for accountability and sustainability of the commitments which were made to eliminate malaria. The young researcher and health advocate further went on to call upon all different sectors to involve the youth in their efforts to eliminate Malaria; ‘the youth of this generation have never known a world without malaria and we can’t talk about malaria elimination whilst excluding the youth in these efforts.’


The Malaria Summit London 2018 inspired new and renewed leadership and energy in the fight to end malaria and featured significant political leadership and resourcing commitments from government, philanthropists, private sector companies and international organizations -worth over $4.1 Billion. The Summit was organized by Malaria No More UK.


During the event, Ndifanji shared the podium with prominent leaders involved in the #ReadyToBeat# #MalariaMustDie#, including Bill Gates, Prince of Wales, the UN Special Envoy on Youth (Jayathma Wickamanayake), Director-General WHO (Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus), Executive Director, Malaria No More UK (James Whiting), 12 Heads of State and Government, 2 Vice Presidents and Senior Ministers from 19 Commonwealth Countries.


Malawi was amongst the countries who made a government commitment to beat Malawi. The President of Malawi HE Prof Arthur Peter Muntharika committed to reduce malaria incidence and deaths by at least 50% by 2022 and to eliminate malaria entirely from the country by 2028.


Ndifanji called up the commonwealth to follow the example of Sri Lanka where malaria has been eliminated and to no longer consider malaria as a normal. She further said beating malaria will involve commitment not just from the political leaders but also from the grassroots. She was excited as a researcher to hear about all the innovations that are in the pipeline in the efforts to beat malaria such as second generation bed nets, new RDTs which are highly sensitive and can detect malaria in people who aren’t sick and don’t know are a reservoir for the parasite, new drugs in the pipelines to address resistance and also the innovations to address outdoor biting.


The event witnessed financial commitment Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Goodbye Malaria, GSK, M2030 and Novartis amongst many others.


Ndifanji said, ‘I am very grateful to Malaria No More UK for the opportunity to participate in a high-profile Malaria Summit as a youth delegate. It was a great platform to not only share our scientific stories but also remember than malaria is personal and hits close to each and every one of us and is a killer which shouldn’t be the norm. The Summit also offered a great opportunity for networking and pitching the MLW Malaria Epidemiology group to the various stakeholders.’

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Deus Thindwa presents in the House of the Lords at the UK parliament during Commonwealth Day event

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Deus ThindwaDeus Thindwa, an epidemiologist and malaria modeller at Imperial College London and member of the MLW Malaria Epidemiology group, recently presented in the House of the Lords at the UK parliament during Commonwealth day event on 12 March 2018 organized by Malaria No More UK (MNMUK), where he described how his passion in mathematics and computation and early exposure to epidemiology through a Commonwealth MSc scholarship in 2012 led him to his current research work on malaria in pregnancy and evolution of drug resistant malaria parasites.

 

During the event, Deus shared the stage with prominent leaders, involved in the #MalariaMustDie campaign, including the Rt Hon the Baroness Hayman GBE, Vice Chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and NTDs, the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, James Whiting, the Executive Director of Malaria No More UK, Luc Debruyne, the President of Global Vaccines at GSK, and Liz Warner, the Chief Executive Officer of Comic Relief.

 

The event was organized to advocate forthe political and financial support from global leaders needed to eradicate malaria. This was in response to the recent World Health Organisation Malaria report that revealed progress towards eliminating malaria has stalled for the first time in ten years. Cases of malaria are now rising and deaths are going down but at a slower rate. Funding has flat lined and there are growing threats including drug and insecticide resistance. In his speech, Deus described why antimalarial drug resistance is an obstacle to control/elimination efforts. Deus appealed to the UK business leaders and parliamentarians, and Commonwealth Heads of Government to use an upcoming April Malaria Summit Meeting in London to discuss challenges faced by malaria control/elimination programs in different settings, invest in new technologies to diagnose malaria, expand partnership realm to fight against malaria and develop new strategies to combat drug/multi-drug resistant malaria.


Deus said “I am grateful to Malaria No More UK and Imperial Malarial Modelling Group to have been given a platform to talk about one of the most important issues derailing malaria control/elimination efforts – drug resistance. It was a wonderful opportunity to share the stage with others who have a similar passion to fight against malaria. “