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Founded in 1986 to work in camps for refugees from Myanmar, the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) provides quality health care to the marginalized populations living on both sides of the Thai-Myanmar border in the Mae Sot area, Tak Province. It does this by combining research and humanitarian services, with an emphasis on maternal-child health and infectious diseases.

Smru building

This combination of health care and research makes SMRU unique. Its research agenda is driven by the questions faced in clinical practice and whether clinical or laboratory based, SMRU studies seek to identify community needs and strengths to help populations effectively fight infectious diseases. The resulting research has global applicability and has made a global impact, generating for example much of the evidence underpinning the treatment of malaria in pregnancy and the worldwide move in 2006 to the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) for first line therapy for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria.

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SMRU’s ongoing clinical and laboratory work includes studies of P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria, studies in pregnant women and infants, and tuberculosis studies – particularly multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB. SMRU’s activities include malaria elimination deep inside Myanmar; maternal health; laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases and inherited blood disorders; and bioethics and community engagement.

SMRU has been led by François Nosten since its since its inception, and currently has 378 staff. It is headquartered in an administrative, logistical and laboratory base in Mae Sot, and has a number of clinics along the border operating outpatient, inpatient and maternity services. It also operates two TB residential clinics, and conducts extensive malaria elimination programme throughout much of Karen State (the Malaria Elimination Task Force (METF).

For up to date information please visit the SMRU website

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Latest news

Pint of science thailand 2019 in bangkok and chiang rai

Pint of Science Thailand 2019 in Bangkok and Chiang Rai

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.

Join smru for hand hygiene day

Join SMRU for Hand Hygiene Day

The 5th May is World Hand Hygiene Day. To raise awareness among staff and the Thai-Myanmar border populations of the importance of hand washing, a simple, proven effective way of infection prevention, the SMRU infection control committee worked with the SMRU clinics and Mae Sot lab staff to create this fantastic video.

Fever and antibiotic use a theatre initiative in myanmar by mocru

Fever and Antibiotic use, a theatre initiative in Myanmar by MOCRU

How to change urban Myanmar communities' antibiotics usage habits? Check out 'Fever and Antibiotic Use', a Wellcome-funded community theatre initiative by MOCRU Research Coordinator Dr Myo Maung Maung Swe. Myo uses forum theatre to engage Yangon residents in a lively manner so they can learn when to use antibiotics – or not.