Congratulations to Ms Kerryn Moore from the University of Melbourne, Burnet Institute and the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, who has been recognised for her research into the impact of malaria in pregnancy on birth outcomes in Asia.
Ms Moore took out the Excellence Award and Public Health Award at the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research, which were presented on 26 March, 2018 at Deakin Edge in Melbourne.
Each year, 125 million women are at risk of malaria in pregnancy, which increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. The most effective antimalarials available are not recommended in the first trimester.
Ms Moore analysed data collected from antenatal clinics in refugee camps and migrant communities on the Thai-Myanmar border.
Her research found no evidence that first-trimester antimalarial treatment increased the risk of miscarriage or congenital malformations compared with the treatment currently recommended by the World Health Organization. However, it found that malaria in pregnancy causes harm to the foetus, regardless of if and at what stage during pregnancy it is treated.
This research is making a real difference across the globe, having influenced World Health Organisation guidelines on the treatment of malaria during the first trimester, and on context-appropriate strategies for the control and prevention of malaria in pregnancy in Asia.
The Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research, launched in 1995, are a joint initiative of the Victorian Government and the Australian Society for Medical Research. To find out more about this year’s Awards, go to health.vic.gov.au