Kath Maitland is a paediatrician and infectious disease researcher who has dedicated her career to clinical research in critically ill children, including studying the impacts of malaria, bacterial sepsis and severe malnutrition with aim of improving mortality from these conditions
Based in East Africa for over 22 years, Professor Maitland’s work has largely focused on assessing and improving techniques used in the emergency care of children in resource-limited hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa.
Working across a network of sites in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda, her team has led clinical trials of a range of emergency interventions, which are helping to inform clinical decision making for treatments of patients. These include: whether transfusions with whole blood or red blood cell packs are most effective for children with anaemia; highlighting the risks of delivering intravenous fluids for children with severe febrile illness; and assessing the best way to administer oxygen to hospitalised children with pneumonia.
Her work with collaborators has led to improvement in patient outcomes, contributing to national and international guidelines for treating critically ill children, and ultimately helping to reduce child mortality.