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Ethics & Engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes

Featured Project - Phoum Peet: Promoting Village Health in Cambodia through Community Engagement

Dr Lisa Jane White is a 2012 Global Health Bioethics Network Fellow.

Biosketch:

I am a mathematical modeller working on tropical infectious diseases. I am currently the Head of the mathematical modelling group at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit. I collaborate with the National Center of Malaria Control (CNM) in Cambodia and members of the WHO concerned with the containment of artemisinin resistance in its focus in Western Cambodia. During a previous post based in rural Kenya I became a founding member of the charity KESHO which aims to pair individual sponsors with nursery, primary and secondary school students who require additional funds to complete their education. 

Project Title:

With 36% of the population living below the poverty line, Cambodia has some of the lowest human development indicators in South East Asia. However, this has not deterred the nation from making huge advances in controlling malaria - a major killer of children and adults in rural communities. Village malaria workers (VMWs) are volunteers that have made a huge contribution to the health of their fellow villagers. They give their time free of charge to train in modern methods of detection and treatment of malaria and then provide an onsite testing and treatment service to the people of their village. The VMW scheme in Cambodia currently covers about 30% of the villages currently at risk of malaria. In villages not yet covered, people are still dying of malaria and other preventable diseases. In this project we aim to set up a sponsorship scheme to recruit individual international sponsors to fund individual VMWs and extend the national scheme. We will develop novel smartphone technology and a dedicated website to enhance communication and reporting. We will design and carry out a study to explore the ethical issues arising from the role of the new VMWs.

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