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Led by Prof Frank Smithuis, formerly of Médécins sans Frontières (MSF) and later of Medical Action Myanmar (MAM), the Myanmar Oxford Clinical Research Unit (MOCRU) was established in 2013.

© 2019 MORU. Photographer: Gerhard Jørén

MOCRU has a strong link with Medical Action Myanmar (MAM), a non-governmental organisation with a well-established infrastructure of 10 clinics and 2,000 village health workers spread across the poorest rural areas, which are a valuable resource for future research. The MOCRU admin staff and academic leadership share an office and logistical base in Yangon with MAM.

MOCRU’s current, ongoing research projects are:

  • Determining predictors of mortality and loss to- follow-up in HIV clinics in Myanmar
  • A multi-centre observational study to describe the prevalence of scrub typhus defined as a positive rapid diagnostic test among selected patients presenting with fever to clinics in Myanmar
  • Environmental sampling and mapping of the geographic distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the cause of melioidosis, in Myanmar
  • Cross-sectional study investigating the causes of pneumonia in two community clinics in two Yangon townships, Myanmar
  • Public engagement activities: Form theatre as a tool for public engagement on Fever and Antibiotic use in Myanmar
  • Studies of malaria treatment combinations (just finished TRAC II, preparing for DeTACT)
  • Determining the factors associated with severe rickets in Nagaland, Northern Myanmar.
  • Determining the aetiology of fever and improved ways to manage fever in resource poor settings and in remote communities.
  • Malaria elimination strategies in hard to reach areas investigating a variety of community based strategies

Our team

MOCRU Research Highlights

Community engagement, social context and coverage of mass anti-malarial administration

Posted 16/04/2019. Lorenz Von Seidlein and colleagues in Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos explored what happens to malaria transmission when all people residing in a village are treated with antimalarials at the same time, whether they are sick or not. They demonstrated that providing the necessary information is important, but building trust between residents and the team providing the antimalarials is most critical for success.

The impact of targeted malaria elimination with mass drug administrations on falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia

Posted 26/03/19. Lorenz Von Seidlein and colleagues wanted to know whether well-resourced mass drug administrations (MDA) can accelerate malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion. They randomised 16 villages in Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos to receive MDAs with antimalarial drugs. The intervention had a substantial impact on the prevalence of P. falciparum infections by month 3 after the start of the MDAs. Over the subsequent 9 months, P. falciparum infections returned but stayed below baseline levels.

Effect of point-of-care C-reactive protein testing on antibiotic prescription in febrile patients attending primary care in Thailand and Myanmar

Posted 15/01/2019. Dr Thomal Althaus and colleagues managed to reduce antibiotic prescription using the C-reactive protein (CRP) test among 2,410 children and adults presented with a fever in primary care centres in Thailand & Myanmar. The perspective of a rapid and affordable test for CRP, identifying febrile patients who really need an antibiotic, is now possible!


Posted 17/04/2018. This new Lancet malaria seminar, by Elizabeth Ashley and Charlie Woodrow, is one of a series of clinically focused, structured, up-to-date reviews which are grouped together in The Lancet Clinic with other relevant content. The aim of the seminars is to give a comprehensive overview of diseases to practising clinicians, emphasising recent advances, controversies and uncertainties.