Kickstart of Malaria Project in Peruvian Amazone

Joint efforts for the Elimination of Malaria

Introduction: Launch of the 4 year VLIR TEAM project between two Peruvian universities and the Global Health Institute (UAntwerp).

Malaria is a national public health priority in Peru, which mainly affects the Amazon region. Today, the Government shows a sustained political and financial commitment to achieve malaria control and elimination. This new TEAM project therefore aims to promote and improve health amongst the Peruvian population, specifically in the less developed areas in the Amazon affected by malaria disease.

Via this TEAM project a triangular collaboration has been set up between UAntwerp,  Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH), the best university on Biomedical sciences of Peru, and Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana (UNAP), a public university that seeks to play a key role in the development of the Peruvian Amazon region. The project intends to perform capacity building at UNAP, through academic support, training and exchange of staff (professors and students) in courses and a clinical trial organised within this project.

On Monday 19 February 2018 a joint workshop named “Taller de actualización tratamiento de la malaria” (Update on antimalarial treatments) was organised by Ministry of Health of Peru (MINSA), UPCH and the Flemish coordinators of the UAntwerp Global Health Institute. This official kick start took place at the facilities of the MINSA and was directed towards both the members of the Plan Malaria Cero, a National plan to control and eliminate malaria in the Peruvian Amazon, and other professionals interested or participating on malaria research and/or control programs of the Ministry of Health.

The same workshop was also organised later that week, on Wednesday 21st of February, at the Colegio Médico del Perú, medical school in Iquitos. During this event, the speakers were welcomed warmheartedly with around 300 attendees.  

Prior to the workshops, Prof Van geertruyden and Christopher Delgado Ratto of the Global Health Institute visited the Peruvian universities UPCH in Lima, UNAP and the Laboratorio Satélite UPCH-UCSD in Iquitos, where the trial will be coordinated from. Different sites will need to be identified before the clinical trial can start. PhD student Carlos Alberto Fernandez Miñope of the UPCH, on short research stay at UAntwerp, will continue to work on the protocol in the coming months. The beginning of a promising collaboration indeed!