|TThe Malaria Research Program of the Research Institute for Tropical
Medicine has provided research activities on disease epidemiology and immunology,
molecular biology of the parasite, vector behavior, social health research on treatment
patterns and disease perceptions, clinical trials for antimalarial drugs and malaria
diagnostic kits, antimalarial drug resistance and pharmacokinetic studies and
community-based strategies to improve disease control. These studies were invariably
carried out in the following areas in the Philippines: Kalinga, Apayao; Morong, Bataan;
Tayabas, Quezon; Palawan; Davao del Norte; Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur and Tawi
Tawi. The excellent work in Morong, Bataan was recognized through the 1997 NAST-DOST Basic
and Applied Outstanding Research Development Awards and the 1998 PCHRD Outstanding Health
Currently, research and project efforts have broadened to include field-based therapeutic efficacy studies of antimalarial drug combinations; genotyping for P. falciparum chloroquine and sulfa-drug resistance, R&D for rapid diagnostic test kits, characterization by DNA markers of the Philippine malaria vectors and establishment of networks for the determination of their susceptibilty/resistance to insecticides.
Though the research program activities, significant contributions were made to the local malaria control which include the training of trainers in malaria microscopy and clinical management of the disease, and the development of training manuals and health education materials. Translating research and project findings into malaria control strategies and health policies is a high priority.
On-going researches are as follows: (1) Implementation and Evaluation of A Self-Sustaining Community-based Malaria Control Program in Hyperendemic Areas of Agusan del Sur (AusAID); (2) A Community-based Malaria Control Program in El Nido, Palawan (El Nido Foundation and Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement); (3) Characterization of Philippine Malaria Vectors Using DNA Markers (Wellcome Trust); (4) Community-based studies of CQ + SP versus Artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem ®) and CQ + SP versus SP for uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Mindanao Island, the Philippines (RBM/WHO/WPRO); (5) Devolution and Health Sector Reform Agenda: Implications for Community-based Malaria Control Program in the Philippines [UNDP/WORLD BANK/WHO Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR)]; (6) Drug Resistance Patterns of P. falciparum and P. vivax in Selected Areas in the Philippines (Essential National Health Research Dept. of Health, Philippines); (7) Establishment of Nationwide Network for the Determination and Mapping out of Insecticide Susceptibility/ Resistance of Malaria Vectors in the Philippines (Roll Back Malaria/ WHOWPRO); and (8) Evaluation of Serological Test Kits for Malaria, SD Malaria Kit ® (Standard Diagnostics Korea) and (9) Phase II Dose-Ranging Study of Azithromycin-Fansidar Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Uncomplicated Falciparum Malaria in the Philippines (US-NIH, Pfizer, US)
Institutional capacity building projects are also on-going which include: (1) Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control Project (USAID); and (2) Malaria Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment Capacity Building: A Humanitarian Assistance of the Commander-in-Chief of the US forces in The Pacific. US Naval Medical Research Unit (US-NAMRU #2)