During his talk in the final sessions of the MIM2013 6th Pan African Malaria Conference Dr. Olumide Ogundahunsi of WHO/TDR Geneva, highlighted four people who have demonstrated the multiplier effects of MIM research grants. Below are Dr. Ogundahunsi’s remarks.
In 1999, Lizette Koekemoer obtained her PhD from Witts. Her first independent research grant was in 2003 and between 2004 and 2007 she was supported by MIM to study insecticide resistance in Anopheles arabiensis in southern Africa. She subsequently receieved funding from the national and international agencies to support her work on insecticide resistance mechanisms and novel control interventions. She now heads the Vector Control Reference Laboratory (VERL), National Institute For Communicable Diseases (NIED) of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), Johannesburg, South Africa
Sam Awolola obtained his PhD from the University of Ibadan in 1997 and received a grant to support his research on insecticide resistance of the malaria vector mosquitoes in Nigeria from MIM/TDR in 2003 after his post doc in South Africa. He subsequently received research grants from the welcome trust, European Commission and several other agencies. He is currently the Deputy Director (research), Coordinator Malaria Research Program at the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research and chairs the indoor residual spraying subcommittee of the National Malaria Elimination Program In Nigeria.
Eric Achidi obtained his PhD in 1994 at Ibadan, Nigeria. He was supported by MIM & TDR from 1998 to 2009 and over time has successfully competed for and received grants from WT, EU, FNIH. He is presently the Vice Dean Faculty of Science at the University of Buea Cameroon … an institution that did not feature in the 3 publications per year list of the 1999 WT report.
Jane Chuma is one of the more recent recipients of capacity building support from MIM. She obtained her PhD in 2006 from the University of Cape Town and received MIM support about the same time to study access to effective malaria treatment and prevention among the poorest groups in Kenya. She is now a researcher at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme where she is working on health financing for universal health coverage with funding from the Wellcome Trust and DfID. She supports the health financing task group in her country, helped initiate the establishment of a masters in health economics and policy at University of Nairobi and supports researchers in various countries in their work on health systems and health financing.
These are among the 90 plus MIM alumni, the vast majority of whom have remained in Africa and resisted the pressures of brain drain. Our congratulations go to MIM-TDR with hopes that other agencies can step up and match this track record.