Indonesia’s decision to prioritise COVID-19 vaccination to citizens aged 18-59 years old questionable
2 February 2021
The Indonesian government policy to exclude the elderly in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program could hinder the vaccine’s impact in lowering mortality rates. COVID-19 mortality rates in Indonesia, the highest in Southeast Asia, are dominated by those in the 60 years and above age bracket. In this article published in The Conversation, Kartika Saraswati and fellow DPhil students elaborate how, by prioritising vaccination for elderly, Indonesia may optimally reduce the hospital burden and COVID-19 deaths amidst a limited vaccine supply during the first vaccination phase.
13 January 2021
A study to explore the variations of how microscopy methods are reported in published malaria studies has recommended standardised procedures should be implemented for methodological consistency and comparability of clinical trial outcomes.
7 December 2020
Blog by Rima Shretta. Preliminary efficacy results from three vaccine candidates currently in Phase 3 trials have shown an efficacy of more than 90% against the development of symptomatic COVID-19. While these results are promising, all vaccines are in relatively early stages of testing. A comprehensive and transparent roadmap is urgently needed, to determine how limited doses of the first vaccines to be licensed will be distributed, together with which groups will initially be prioritized.
1 December 2020
A new study quantifying the high risk of Plasmodium vivax parasitaemia after treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria aims to identify populations in which a policy of universal radical cure, combining artemisinin-based combination therapy with a hypnozoitocidal antimalarial drug, would be most beneficial.
23 November 2020
Dr Clare Ling has been made an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath). Currently running Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) Microbiology department and supporting the unit’s molecular activities, Clare is a clinical scientist who has worked at SMRU on the Thai-Myanmar border since 2012.
18 November 2020
As the world anxiously awaits COVID-19 vaccines, people working in healthcare settings remain at risk of infection from COVID-19. The Pakistani arm of COPCOV, the global study to test if hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine can prevent COVID-19 in healthcare workers, has begun to enrol participants at Aga Khan University, joining sites in the UK and Thailand.
11 November 2020
In an effort to foster closer interactions and collaboration, CTMGH learned long ago to make the best of the plethora of communication tools available. In this era of video conferences, we are all familiar with the limitations of various 2D options. Could new technologies help us devise better communication to enhance collaboration and teaching opportunities? In an effort to find new solutions, a group of NDM staff visited London and interacted as a hologram with colleagues in Bangkok.
9 November 2020
Congratulations to everyone involved in contributing to FIEBRE’s success - the clinical and laboratory staff, hospital, participants and local communities. The team has continued working throughout the COVID-19 epidemic despite national restrictions which slowed down enrolment and limited field activities.
5 November 2020
In the next few months, the first Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials – the majority of them in upper-middle or high-income countries and in specific target populations like young adults – will report their results. How relevant will their study results be for low-resource settings?
30 October 2020
Ethox programme REACH (Resilience, Empowerment and Advocacy in Women's and Children's Health Research) posted a visual research gallery as a Public Engagement project. Six galleries of photos by SMRU's Suphak Nosten depict aspects of migrant workers' daily lives: the Thai-Myanmar border; work; cultural and spiritual values; the often-difficult journeys seeking healthcare; striving for better; and dedicated frontline health workers. Richly coloured, sometimes personal, Suphak’s photography is deeply empathetic and memorable.
30 October 2020
The University of Oxford has awarded CTMGH two new Professors. Elisabeth Ashley - UK-trained physician who specialises in infectious diseases and medical microbiology & virology, and Director of the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU) in Lao PDR since 2019, Liz is conferred the title of Professor of Tropical Medicine. Stuart Blacksell - Senior Research Scientist based at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Thailand, Stuart is conferred the title of Professor of Tropical Microbiology.
28 October 2020
We are pleased to announce that Prof Joel Tarning has been awarded the biennial Grahame-Smith Prize by the British Pharmacological Society for outstanding contributions to clinical pharmacology. Joel has headed MORU's Clinical Pharmacology Department since 2012. Since then, the Department has grown into large, productive group that conducts laboratory- and computer-based pharmacology research.
23 October 2020
Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. To showcase our global research, the University launched a Global Research Map, highlighting areas of research we are conducting overseas.
Parenting for lifelong health for young children, project led by MORU Bioethics & Engagement Amalee McCoy
14 October 2020
The University of Oxford, MORU, the University of Cape Town, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and UNICEF Thailand worked together to promote lifelong health and well-being, and prevent violence against children. Led by Amalee McCoy from MORU Department of Bioethics & Engagement, this project involved the cultural adaptation and testing of an evidence-based parenting intervention for low-income families with children aged 2-9 living in Udon Thani, Thailand.
14 October 2020
MORU’s Mo Yin and MOCRU’s Myo Maung Maung Swe were awarded a prize by the NDM’s Graduate Studies Committee. Very competitive awards, the prizes are given annually to current or recently graduated students of NDM supervisors on the basis of their publication record, the impact and novelty of their research, references, and research within their department.
15 September 2020
We are delighted to announce that Professor Paul Newton has won the Helen-Clark-JoPPP Award for Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice Research. This award is based on the scientific merit of his work, as well as its impact on patients, decisions makers, and on governments. It recognizes the talents of exceptional researchers who are making a significant contribution to the field of pharmaceutical policy and practice.
10 September 2020
Research Malaria Microscopy Standards (ReMMS) applicable to malaria clinical research studies have been published in Malaria Journal. The paper describes the rationale for proposed standards to prepare, stain and examine blood films for malaria parasites.
Hydroxychloroquine doses in COVID-19 prevention trials should be safe, study finds. Now let’s find out if they’re effective.
10 September 2020
As the world waits impatiently for a COVID-19 vaccine, an exhaustive review of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine pharmacology suggests that the doses used in COVID-19 prevention trials are safe, say University of Oxford affiliated researchers in a study published in PLoS Medicine.
6 August 2020
Hydroxychloroquine could still prevent COVID-19 and save tens of thousands of lives around the world, say leading scientific researchers. While it doesn’t work in treatment of hospitalised patients, it could still prevent infections. However, fraudulent data, unjustified extrapolation and exaggerated safety concerns together with intense politicisation and negative publicity may stop COPCOV, the only large, global clinical trial testing hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 prevention, from ever finding out.
5 August 2020
Blog by Professor Christiane Dolecek. Antimicrobial resistance is a critical problem in enteric fever. Drug-resistant infections can have severe consequences, and slowing their spread requires our urgent attention. The most important intervention is to reduce the number of infections; vaccines are a critical tool, alongside surveillance and diagnosis. To achieve this control, strong partnerships between WHO, governments, NGOs, academia, private sector and communities are needed.
UK regulator gives green light to clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid-19 in healthcare workers
29 June 2020
The UK regulator MHRA announced on 26 June that it would again permit recruitment to the COPCOV COVID-19 prevention clinical trial. The MHRA decision came 5 weeks after it reacted immediately to the now-discredited paper published in The Lancet suggesting harms with hydroxychloroquine, and paused recruitment of UK participants. But The Lancet paper was based on fabricated data and was swiftly retracted. After this interruption, recruitment around the globe to COPCOV can now resume.
9 June 2020
On 4 June 2020, after a week of increasing scientific concern and scrutiny, first The Lancet, then the New England Journal of Medicine, retracted studies that were based on inaccessible data. The studies have been extremely damaging to chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 clinical trials around the globe. MORU researchers played a key role in bringing this scandal to light, whose consequences continue to play out.
Clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine/ chloroquine in COVID-19. Statement in response to damaging recent events
5 June 2020
On 4 June 2020, after a week of increasing scientific concern and scrutiny, first The Lancet, then a little over an hour later the New England Journal of Medicine, retracted studies that were based on inaccessible data, provided by the Surgisphere corporation. The studies have been extremely damaging to chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 clinical trials around the globe. Here is MORU’s statement in response to these events.
Global clinical trial of 40,000+ healthcare workers begins to test in UK if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19
21 May 2020
A global study to test if either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19 in vital frontline healthcare workers will open to UK participants at hospital sites in Brighton and Oxford today.
1 May 2020
The SEBCOV study aims to produce evidence to inform public health measures such as communications, quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing and travel restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic. This study is run in four countries: UK, Thailand, Italy and Malaysia.
29 April 2020
The Epidemiology Department of MORU and National Malaria Control Programme, Cambodia (CNM) have begun to implement a study to assess the efficacy of prophylaxis with artemether-lumefantrine (PAL) against forest malaria in Siem Pang District, north-eastern Cambodia bordering Laos.
24 April 2020
The impact of COVID-19 is quite evident at present – entire countries and cities are under lockdown, offices and industries shut and academia at a standstill. However, many people in Bangladesh remain unaware or indifferent to the warnings and safety protocols that ought to be followed to stop COVID-19’s spread. Since enforcing social distancing in a densely populated country like Bangladesh is very challenging, making people aware and maintenance of hygiene are the main means to stop the spread of COVID-19.
23 April 2020
Less than a month after it was announced, the MORU-led COPCOV study has made quick progress and expects to begin enrolling participants by the end of April.
10 April 2020
Global health experts have united in a call for governments and international organisations around the world to plan strategically for the coordinated production, equitable distribution and surveillance of COVID-19 medical products to ensure access to quality-assured medications for everyone.
BBC World News interviews Nick White on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: “These drugs are not harmless, they’re dangerous in over-dose.”
6 April 2020
There are currently no proven vaccines or drugs to prevent COVID-19. In this BBC World News interview, MORU’s Prof Sir Nick White explains why the only way to find out if chloroquine and hydroxychloriquine work against COVID-19 is via randomised, clinical trials and how the hype over chloroquine negatively affects people with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
30 March 2020
Researchers at MORU and two institutions in the US (University of Washington and La Jolla Institute for Immunology) receive grants from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a large-scale initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to speed the development of and access to therapies for COVID-19.
30 March 2020
The problem of substandard and falsified (SF) medical products affects all countries but few regulatory authorities or pharmaceutical companies have policies of publicly releasing data. As a first step in tracking this global issue, IDDO’s Medicine Quality Research Group, with the MORU Tropical Health Network and supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust, has today launched a new, free-to-use, online tool, the Medicine Quality Monitoring Globe, (MQM Globe) which maps SF news reports worldwide in real time.
11 March 2020
Adding a third anti-malaria drug to current artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs) provides effective treatment against multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia, say Oxford researchers in a study in The Lancet. Using TACTs should extend current malaria drugs so drug-resistant malaria doesn't kill millions more and derail hopes of controlling and eliminating malaria.
10 January 2020
When we are ill, we expect our medicines to work as intended. But what if they do not contain the ingredients listed on the packaging? The Pharmacide Arts exhibition “What’s in your medicines?” showcases the original artwork of 11 South East Asian artists. The exhibition is open to the public from 26th-28th January 2020 at the Mandarin Hotel, Bangkok, from 10 am – 5 pm.
22 November 2019
Professor Joel Tarning received a Bailey K. Ashford Medal at the ASTMH 2019 Conference. The medal is awarded annually for distinguished work in tropical medicine by an early- to mid-career ASMTH member. Joel is Head of Clinical Pharmacology at MORU and his work focuses on applying pharmacokinetic-phamacodynamic modelling to optimise antimalarial drug therapies, in particular for at-risk groups such as malnourished children and pregnant women.
8 November 2019
Noting that substandard and falsified medical products (including medicines, vaccines, biologics, and diagnostics) represent a significant and growing threat to human health, The Lancet Global Health published 'The Global access to quality-assured medical products: the Oxford Statement and call to action'. The Oxford Statement has been signed by 159 attendees at the 2018 Oxford Conference on Medicine Quality and Public Health from governments, multilateral agencies, academia and civil society.
16 October 2019
When we are ill, we trust that the medicines that we take will make us feel and be better. But what if our pills do not contain the ingredients listed on the packaging? The art exhibition ‘What’s in your medicines?’ explores how substandard and falsified (‘fake’) medicines can affect our health, by showcasing the striking and original artwork of 12 South East Asian artists.
9 October 2019
Oxford Medical Sciences Divisional Panel has conferred the title of Professor on three members of our Centre. Ben Cooper - Professor of Epidemiology, Sassy Molyneux - Professor of Global Health and Piero Olliaro - Professor of Poverty Related Infectious Diseases were awarded these titles in recognition of their distinction in their respective fields and contributions to the research, teaching and administration of the Department and we congratulate them on their success!
New research supports co-administration of primaquine with artemisinin-based combination therapies for P. vivax malaria
8 October 2019
An individual patient data meta-analysis of 2,017 patients from 19 studies has found a high risk of recurrence following treatment of P. vivax malaria with artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) unless they are co-administered with primaquine. The research supports recommendations that these artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) should be combined with primaquine.
18 September 2019
MORU and SMRU were delighted and honoured to host the University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor Prof Louise Richardson and her party during her visit to Thailand on 1-4 September. Accompanying the Vice-Chancellor were Jeremy Woodall (Director of Development (Asia)), Frewyeni Kidane (Fundraiser for Southeast Asia), Cher Wu (Asia Development office) and Ed Gibbs (NDM Director of Finance and Operations).
18 September 2019
In partnership with the Wellcome Innovations Flagship Programme, MORU launched its Critical Care Asia Network project with its first investigators’ meeting on 19-20 Aug in Bangkok. The project will establish an Asian ICU network across 42 ICUs in nine countries and implement a setting-adapted electronic registry.
24 July 2019
MORU researchers have found that severe malnutrition is associated with lower exposure to the antimalarial drug lumefantrine in children treated with artemether-lumefantrine, the most common treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria. The study, which is the first to specifically address this, calls urgently for further research into optimised dosing regimens for undernourished children.
Rapidly spreading multidrug-resistant parasites render frontline malaria drug ineffective in southeast Asia
23 July 2019
The findings of two studies, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, reveal that by 2016–2018 malaria parasites resistant to both artemisinin and its widely used partner drug piperaquine represented more than 80% of the parasites circulating in northeast Thailand and Vietnam, despite having only emerged in western Cambodia in 2008.
19 July 2019
A large clinical trial in Africa and Asia has shown that a 7 day course of high dose primaquine, a drug used to treat P. vivax malaria, is well tolerated and just as effective as the current standard 14 day regimen, according to a study published this week in The Lancet. These findings have important implications for the treatment and elimination of vivax malaria in the Asia Pacific.
17 July 2019
Medical Action Myanmar and MOCRU health teams identified a number of children with rickets in remote areas of Myanmar. MOCRU director Frank Smithuis presented the findings of clinical screening to the Minister of Health, alongside treatment results and a plan for a large survey to investigate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its underlying causes.
10 July 2019
A project using drama that engages with village communities in Cambodia, led by Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah of the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit and Nuffield Department of Medicine, has won a Project award in this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards. The project also won the Vice-Chancellor’s Choice Award for Public Engagement with Research.
2 July 2019
New research by Makoto Saito and colleagues at SMRU found that a longer follow-up is required to assess antimalarial drug efficacy in pregnant women. This was found across all drugs assessed in low malaria transmission settings. The report’s authors have called for guidelines specifically for pregnant women and further investigation of optimal follow-up periods in high malaria transmission settings.
12 June 2019
A ground-breaking study in Bangladesh co-lead by MORU has found that using data from mobile phone networks to track the movement of people across the country can help predict where outbreaks of diseases such as malaria are likely to occur, enabling health authorities to take preventative measures.
4 June 2019
MORU, SMRU and FilmAid Foundation invite you to the Bangkok Premiere of Under the Mask on the 17th June. This drama film is based on real testimonies of TB patients. The story follows the lives of our characters as they journey from diagnosis to treatment and help from the SMRU TB team, and explores how each discovers their capacity to overcome the deadly disease and share their knowledge and experience with others. Made in the local language, this film provides an engaging and inspiring tool for raising TB awareness in the community.
10 May 2019
This year, the Pint of Science festival in Thailand is in not one but two cities! Join us in Bangkok at WeLearn on 21st-22nd May, and at Hungry Wolf's in Chiang Rai on 25th May.