Pregnant women and children are the groups most susceptible to malaria, which directly kills 1 million children each year. Pregnancy malaria accounts for a large proportion of low birth weight deliveries in endemic areas, and therefore indirectly contributes to an untold number of additional deaths during infancy. Our broad objective is to establish a center of excellence in Tanzania to focus on malaria of pregnant women and children, with an emphasis on research and intervention. This proposal is submitted in conjunction with an application for a Global Network Research Unit Award that will support studies of malaria at the mother-child interface.
Our specific aims i n this proposal will be: 1) establish the technical base within Tanzania to support maternal and early childhood biomedical research;2) provide training at the medical technologist, MSc, PhD, and postdoctoral levels in tropical health and maternal/child health;3) institute a yearly workshop for students, scientists and clinicians from the East African region that will focus on malaria in pregnant women and children, with an emphasis on drug treatment, research ethics, and recent scientific advances. We intend to develop facilities and scientific expertise within the Tanzanian center that will allow future collaborative research on maternal and child health issues, both regional and international. We anticipate that this center will become an important regional asset for scientific networking, formulation of public health policy regarding prophylaxis and treatment of women and children, and a site for interventional studies, including research into behavioral measures (eg, breastfeeding) and vaccines that may reduce malaria morbidity and mortality in these vulnerable populations.
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