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Research into Malaria in Children Begins in Upper East

2007-10-11 22:12:37
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study aimed at documenting how children develop protection against malaria as they develop through the first fives years of life has begun at the Navrongo Health Research Centre in the Upper East Region.

The Birth Cohort Study is looking at malaria in a cohort or group of 2,000 children enrolled into the study either at birth or within 28 days of birth. It is a collaborative study between the centre, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the United States Naval Medical Research Centre.

The study, which started last year, will run for six years but children recruited from the Kasena-Nankana District who are participating will be in the study for five years. Data at the end of the study would be disseminated to local and international peer review journals and it is expected that indicators from the study would enable the District to prepare itself as a possible site for the testing of successful malaria vaccines currently being tested. Dr Francis Anto, a Research Fellow at the Centre, told journalists from the Ghana chapter of the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN), who are on a tour of the centre that the most critical period in life in terms of malaria disease and death, was the first five years. "And so we will follow these children throughout the entire period during which they are at greatest risk of severe malaria disease and death."

He said malaria transmission was high in the district and children were known to have about four malaria attacks in one year. The Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance, an institution set up by a 17 million-dollar grant from the Bill Gates Foundation overseeing a research into a malaria vaccine in nine countries including Ghana, is sponsoring the trip by the journalists.


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