Kennedy is working as a Pre-PhD trainee under the vector biology research group at MLW. His current research involves assessing the additive effect of attractive targeted sugar baits (ATSB) to control malaria in Chikwawa, Malawi. The overall objective of this study is to assess the impact of ATSBs in addition to insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) for sustainable control of malaria in Chikwawa, an area where residual malaria transmission and insecticide-resistant threatens malaria control and elimination.
Over the past 20 years, entomological studies in Malawi have shown that Anopheles arabiensis, a malaria mosquito that prefers to bite outdoors, is the predominant malaria vector in the region. Due to its crepuscular and plastic feeding behaviours, An. Arabiensis is hard to control when insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and (IRS) are the only control tools being used. This has resulted in year-round malaria transmission, even with the successful implementation of traditional control tools (IRS and ITNs). Novel mosquito control tools targeting outdoor biting vectors in addition to controlling indoor vectors are greatly needed to facilitate sustainable malaria control. Kennedy believes that novel tools such as the ATSBs could guide our national malaria control programs on additional tools that could revolutionize malaria control efforts to achieve elimination goals.
He intends to later secure a PhD training focusing on the implementation and effectiveness of novel vector control strategies in low-resource settings such as Malawi and gradually blossom into a more confident and independent academic research leader and policy advocate on malaria and other vector-borne disease control in Malawi and sub-Saharan Africa.
As part of his training, Kennedy applied for the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) travel award to attend the 2023 ASTMH annual research dissemination conference in Chicago, USA. The ASTMH annual meeting is a premier international forum for the exchange of scientific advances in tropical medicine, hygiene, and global health. The meeting, designed for researchers and other professionals working in tropical medicine and global health from around the world, draws together experts to four days of concurrent exhibitions, presentation sessions, posters, and more. This year’s ASTMH annual conference will be held from 18th to 22nd of October 2023.
I am excited to be awarded this year’s ASTMH award to attend this prestigious annual conference on tropical diseases and medicine. I always take such kind of meetings as opportunities to build long-lasting networks that could be very helpful for my personal career development. Additionally, the multidisciplinary nature of this meeting could offer me a great opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scientists and researchers and learn from what they are doing in their fields. This could create great potentials for future collaborations and possibly widen my research spectrum.
Keep Thriving Kennedy!!