The training program's main aim will be to strengthen current malaria prevention and control efforts in Mali by providing training in Mali in relevant research and evaluation skills. A secondary aim will be to support public health graduate training in Mali at both the masters and doctoral levels. Each year during the first three years of the training program, two trainers will spend two months at the JHSPH, take two or three courses, and develop the detailed training curriculum for a course they will offer upon their return to Mali. One 5 to 10 day course on malaria prevention and control will be organized each year for approximately 25 participants. Participants will be drawn from Ministry of Health personnel and personnel working in control projects implemented by UNICEF, NGOs or other organizations. The Department of Public Health of the University of Bamako is initiating a 2-year Masters in Public Health Program during the 2009-2010 academic year. This training grant will support a first cohort of 5 students then 3 subsequent cohorts of 3 students per year. On-going collaboration with the Malaria Research and Training Center provides opportunities for students to be exposed to malaria research, and to carry out their field placements at MRTC field sites and laboratories. Two students will be supported to carry out doctoral studies at DPH during Years 3 to 5 of the training grants. Students will be recruited from among the first 5 students to complete the MPH, and students with MPH from other universities. During the fourth and fifth years of the training grant, the students will spend one term each year at JHSPH taking additional courses not offered at DPH and getting input from JHSPH faculty on their dissertation research.
(See Instructions): Lack of sound operational research to accompany past efforts to implement large-scale malaria control programs has been cited as one reason for their ultimate failure. Mali is particularly in need of such a training program because it is a challenging environment for implementation of malaria interventions (low population densities, low literacy), and there are few researchers trained in operational research in Mali.