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Research partners

The project is executed by a multidisciplinary team of scientists and experts with different backgrounds in bio-medical research, health systems research, socio-economic and anthropological studies. All partners contributing to the project are experts in their fields. A short overview of each partnering institute and their role in the project can be found below.

The Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) is an international knowledge institute that actively contributes to international co-operation. The main areas of activity are rural development, tropical hygiene and disease control and transfer of knowledge.

The activities of the Parasitology Unit of KIT Biomedical Research concentrate on developing, evaluating and implementing methods for prevention and detection of malaria, monitoring treatment efficacy (including resistance issues) and research towards malaria in pregnancy has become a focal point of their research activities.
KIT is coordinating COSMIC and its research activities within this project are focussing on studying SP drug resistance markers, assessment of diagnostic procedures and current practices in community case management of malaria, and bridging the gap between project results and policy formulation.

The Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium (ITM) is one of the world's leading institutes for training, research and assistance in tropical medicine and health care in developing countries. The ITM works with many scientific institutions, governments and organisations all over the world for a long-lasting improvement of health care and disease control in developing countries.

The ITM will be responsible for the social science work of the project. This part focuses on human behavioral and social aspects such as local communities’ acceptability of Community Systematic Screening and Treatment (CSST) carried out by CHW, and its feasibility and adequacy in the local context. The research will further identify potential bottlenecks for the implementation of CSST (through the CCMm-system) and assess pregnant women’s adherence to malaria treatment provided through CSST at the end of pregnancy. The study consists of a mixed methods design based on the methodological triangulating of qualitative data from focused ethnography and a quantitative follow-up survey. The study will be carried out in all trial settings to allow comparative analysis.

The Centre Muraz is a national institute of medical research created in 1939 and located in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. There are 4 units: - the Technical Unit for Support to the Research activities; the Unit of Nutrition, Environment & Epidemic diseases; the Unit of Reproductive Health, HIV & Associated Diseases and the Unit of Malaria & Tropical Neglected Diseases, the latter involved in this proposal. The research team headed by Dr. Halidou Tinto (clinical trial) and Dr. Maxime Drabo (health system research) is part of the IRSS-DRO/Centre Muraz collaboration between 2 national institutes of medical research located in Bobo Dioulasso. This is a multi-disciplinary team working in collaboration for the past 20 years. Good expertise in clinical research is available through its Clinical Research Unit located in Nanoro. The scientific interest of the research team is mainly malaria research but we also conduct studies on others parasitic diseases.

The Centre de Recherche Entomologique de Cotonou (CREC) is a malaria research center where one of the trial sites for the study will be performed. It was created in 1983 and was formerly part of the Coordination and Cooperation Organization for the Control of Large Tropical Diseases (OCCGE). In 2000, CREC returned to the Ministry of Health of Benin as its homologous Research Centers in other West Africa French speaking countries are also working directly under the Ministry of Helath in their countries. Henceforth, CREC was assigned to assist the National malaria control program both in vector and disease control, to develop regional and international collaboration for the achievement of its goals. The parasitology unit, which will play an important role in participant recruitment, has participated in numerous multicenter international clinical trials.

The Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia is an established institute for research into tropical infectious diseases with key northern and southern linkages and a track record of achievements spanning 60 years. The unit has the mission of delivering innovative, relevant research aimed at reducing the burden of illness and transforming the outputs and outcomes of the Unit’s research, into changes in practice and policy. The unit is currently staffed with about 1,000 people, and has large field capability, including 3 well-established field stations, i.e. Keneba and Basse in The Gambia, and Caio in Guinea Bissau. The MRC unit has an extensive experience in coordinating large multicenter trials, both individual- or community-based. Research activities are divided into three research themes, i.e. disease control and elimination, vaccinology/immunology, and child survival.

Prof U. D’Alessandro, theme leader disease control & elimination, will coordinate the cluster randomized trial to be implemented in The Gambia, Benin and Burkina Faso.

Imperial College London delivers world-class research in science, engineering, medicine and business, with particular regard to their application in industry, commerce and healthcare.Lesong Conteh is a health economist in the Centre for Health Policy and Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology with experience conducting economic evaluations and investigating the demand for and supply of community health worker services in West Africa. She leads the Heath Economics Work package which broadly comprises four areas of investigation: (i) economic evaluation; (ii) affordability; (iii) equity implications; and (iv) understanding market characteristics.

TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, is a global programme of scientific collaboration that helps coordinate, support and influence global efforts to combat a portfolio of major diseases of the poor and disadvantaged. It is co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, which is also its executing agency. TDR's goal is to have the priority setting, research and development led and managed by scientific leaders in the countries where the diseases and problems occur. TDR has been a leading research institution in the area of implementation research, including community case management of childhood diseases. It supports harmonised research among donors and countries, and helps to provide information and evidence to policy-makers, implementers and funders.

TDR is participating in the design and implementation of the study, and developing and implementing the communication and dissemination plan. This includes developing IEC messages with the researchers and communities involved, and supporting communication components.