USAMRU-K Kisumu Field Station ,Malaria Diagnostics Center (MDC)
Overview. MDC is a department of the KEMRI/USAMRU-K located at the Kisumu Field Station. MDCoE was established in 2004. MDCoE’s missions are to:
1) Support KEMRI/USAMRU-K clinical trials;
2) Improve malaria diagnostic capacity and quality at laboratories in Kenya and across Africa;
3) support as requested U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), other U.S. military organizations (U.S. Army Africa, CJTF-HOA, etc.), and multiple U.S. Government agencies in Africa.
MDC’s activities include basic and advanced malaria microscopy training, the preparation of standardized malaria blood films for training and testing laboratory technicians, and developing and managing quality assurance programs. MDC is funded by President’s Malaria Initiative, DoD GEIS, and the Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance. MDCoE works with many other organizations, including the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research/U.S. Military HIV Research Program, World Health Organization, and the Kenya Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Division of Malaria Control. MDC is an implementing partner of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative in Kenya. In 2008 MDC trained 77 laboratorians and in 2009-2010, MDCoE will help the Government of Kenya revise their national malaria diagnostic guidelines and partner with six hospitals to provide laboratory supervision support. MDC’s annual budget is approximately $400,000.
MDC has a staff of 15: a Director, Training Coordinator, Technical Coordinator, seven laboratory technologists, a clinical officer, and four administrative/support staff. A clinical research coordinator, a nurse, two field workers, and a driver support the MDC.
MDC is located in a 650 square meter training facility equipped with 23 binocular microscopes, 13-head training microscopes with digital camera, classroom with computer presentation capability, high-speed internet connection, and a backup electrical power generator.
Over the past six years, MDC has trained over 580 laboratory technologists and technicians from 17 African countries, plus the U.S., Ireland, and Thailand, on high quality malaria microscopy. Students show significant improvement in performance as measured by pre- and post-course tests. Through train-the-trainer encounters, MDCoE is working to establish additional centers of excellence across Africa, including Ghana (established in December 2008), Tanzania (established January 2010), and Nigeria (established in March 2010).
The work in Tanzania is being performed in partnership with the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative in Tanzania. The work in Nigeria is supported by the U.S. Military HIV Research Program.
MDC prepares sets of standardized, validated malaria blood film slides for training and testing of microscopists, quality assurance, and malaria diagnostics research. These slides are being assembled for WHO-recommended sets for malaria microscopist certification.
MDC implements a quarterly external quality assurance program, now in its second year, for the Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance. MDC also provides malaria microscopy services to non-governmental, governmental, and international organizations and pharmaceutical companies on a cost reimbursable basis.