To be a center for world class training and research on malaria and other infectious tropical diseases
To contribute to reduction in morbidity and mortality on malaria and other infectious tropical diseases through capacity building and evidence generation on management in sub-Sahara Africa.
The center is a unit within the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and designed as twin unit for training and research. It is to serve as a base station from where there will be deployments for field studies. The Facility will provide services to both the University of Ilorin and the Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria. These institutions have contributed immensely to malaria training and research in Nigeria. The institutions play host to seasoned experts on malaria case management and grant management on malaria research. It has also produced a number of postgraduate fellows who have conducted studies on malaria.
We have already put up a building using personal resources at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. This building at the moment has the following facilities:
Reception and triage point
Twin Laboratory space for Microbiology and Heamatology/Chemistry sample processing
Records and data management room
Observatory with capacity for 8 beds
Conveniences for the patients and the staff
Malaria remains a major public health problem in Africa and particularly in Nigeria. Focused research for development of new tools and providing evidence for appropriate interventions remain critical to its control. Malaria research in Nigeria had over the years been conducted mostly in Southern part of the country with the main capacities limited to just 2-3 Institutions. The current scaling up malaria interventions requires that more centres would have to be established to facilitate rapid acquisition of the knowledge of malaria situation across the country’s geo-political zones and provide a platform for national and international collaborative studies.
In addition, there is a major need for rapid scale-up of capacity building efforts on malaria case management. In order to ensure that the right persons get exposed to highly skilled training there is a need to institutionalize the training programmes. If such an institution is linked to a University, it will facilitate the introduction of certificated courses and increase personal demands for training. Further it will provide the relevant linkage between academic institutions and national programmes for malaria control.
The Malaria Research Centre was established in order to conduct cutting edge research cutting across epidemiological, molecular and therapeutic strata. This is with a view to providing deeper insight into the various factors – genetic and environmental that contribute to the burden of malaria. It is also meant to provide real time surveillance on malaria trends. The malaria group in Ilorin has already demonstrated great capacity for collaborative studies. Some of the previous studies participated in include, African Quinine versus Artemisinin in Severe malaria trial (AQUAMAT), Epidemiology of Congenital Malaria, Use of SP-IPT in pregnancy. The study group is also currently participating in the tracking of Artemisining resistance studies.
Owing to the often inter-related and cross cutting nature of other infectious diseases found in the tropics, it often difficult to focus on malaria in isolation. It is imperative that a Centre of this nature should have the requisite capacity to respond to other tropical infectious diseases whether existing or emerging. It is against this backdrop that what was conceived initially as the Malaria Research Centre will now have an expanded scope and it is to be known as Centre for Malaria and Other Tropical Diseases.