Press Articles

4 June 2016
Kalazar is a neglected Tropical disease rampant in Baringo, Wajir and West Pokot

4 June 2016
Citizen TV
Ugonjwa wa Kala azar

15 June 2016
Standard Newspaper
Kala-azar: Killer disease that torments the poor

20 June 2016
Kalaazar disease torments residents of Kacheliba, West Pokot

21 June 2016
Pokot Silent Killer: Kalaazar, 2nd largest parasitic killer after Malaria

7 July 2016
KTN (live interview with Robert Kimutai, DNDi Clinical Trial Manager)
Kurunzi ya Leo Afya Yako

27 July 2016
The East African
A 50 Year Battle with kala azar in the North Rift

18 October 2016
Daily Nation
How West Pokot is striving to tame kala-azar

Scientific Articles

Innovative approaches to clinical data management in resource limited settings using open-source technologies by Omollo R, Ochieng M, Mutinda B, Omollo T, Owiti R, Okeyo S, Wasunna M, Edwards T. PLOS NTDs 2014, doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003134.

Summary: The article describes the development of an off-line tool for managing clinical trial collected in areas with limited internet, based on an open-source tool, which is being used at the Data Centre in Nairobi.
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Use of pentamidine as secondary prophylaxis to prevent visceral leishmaniasis relapse in HIV-infected patients, the first twelve months of a prospective cohort study by Diro E, Ritmeijer K, Boelaert M, Alves F, Mohammed R, Abongomera C, Ravinetto R, De Crop M, Fikre H, Adera C, Colebunders R, van Loen H, Menten J, Lynen L, Hailu A, van Griensven J. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2015, doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004087.

Summary: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has become an important opportunistic infection in persons with HIV-infection in VL-endemic areas. The co-infection leads to profound immunosuppression and high rate of annual VL recurrence. This study, carried out in Ethiopia, assessed the effectiveness, safety and feasibility of monthly pentamidine infusions to prevent recurrence of VL in co-infected patients. Pentamidine secondary prophylaxis led to a 29% failure rate within one year, much lower than reported in historical controls (50%-100%). Patients with low CD4+cell counts are at increased risk of relapse despite effective initial VL treatment, ART and secondary prophylaxis. VL should be detected and treated early enough in patients with HIV infection before profound immune deficiency installs.
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The Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP): strengthening clinical trial capacity in resource-limited countries to deliver new treatments for visceral leishmaniasis by Wasunna M, Musa, A, Hailu A, Khalil EAG, Olobo J, Juma R, Wells S, Alvar J, Balasegaram M. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2016, doi:10.1093/trstmh/trw031.

Summary: Visceral leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease endemic in East Africa where improved patient-adapted treatments are needed. The Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP) was created in 2003 to strengthen clinical research capacity, serve as a base for training, and evaluate and facilitate implementation of new treatments. Major infrastructure upgrades and personnel training have been carried out. A short course of Sodium Stibogluconate and Paramomycin (SSG&PM) was evaluated and is now first-line treatment in the region; alternative treatments have also been assessed. LEAP can serve as a successful model of collaboration between different partners and countries when conducting clinical research in endemic countries to international standards.
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Efficacy and safety of AmBisome in combination with sodium stibogluconate or miltefosine and miltefosine monotherapy for African visceral leishmaniasis: Phase II randomized trial by Wasunna M, Njenga S, Balasegaram M, Alexander N, Omollo R, Edwards T, Dorlo TPC, Musa B, Sharaf Ali MH, Elamin MY, Kirigi G, Juma R, Anke E. Kip, Schoone GJ, Hailu A, Olobo J, Ellis S, Kimutai R, Wells S, Khalil EAG, Strub Wourgaft N, Alves F, Musa A. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2016, doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004880.

Summary:The recommended treatment for VL in eastern Africa (17-day treatment of sodium stibogluconate with paromomycin) is painful, causes adverse events, and requires hospitalization. An affordable, safe and effective oral treatment is needed. Combination regimens based on AmBisome and miltefosine have been shown to be safe and effective in treating Indian patients, but there are no published data on their use in Africa, where efficacy of treatments can be different. Three regimens using AmBisome in combination with sodium stibogluconate or miltefosine, or miltefosine alone were investigated in eastern Africa. Despite efficacy in India, none of the regimes showed sufficiently high definitive cure rates in Africa to evaluate in Phase III trials. The results also suggested that miltefosine was under-dosed in children.
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