Malaria Research at Macha Research Trust
The Macha Research Trust, formerly the Malaria Institute at Macha (MIAM), also known as the JHMRI malaria research field station and training center established in 2003 with the signing of a collaborative Memorandum of Understanding between four partners—the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and its Malaria Research Institute, the Zambian government, the Macha Mission Hospital and the Macha Malaria Research Institute. With major sponsorship from the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute (JHMRI), MIAM greatly expanded the existing infrastructure available to host visiting scientists and students at Macha. MIAM opened officially in January 2005. While priority is given to malaria research, MIAM will host investigations in other diseases if space and resources are available. In 2013 the Macha Research Trust was formed and continues to do business as Malaria Institute at Macha.
Macha Hospital was established in 1957 as a mission hospital under the Brethren in Christ Church of North America, and has functioned within the program of the Ministry of Health of the Zambian government since that time. Since 1990 the hospital has been administered by the Zambian Brethren in Christ Church. Now a 208-bed facility, it is considered a district-level hospital by the Zambian government.
Malaria research has been conducted at the hospital since 1989. In 1994, a malaria research institute was formally registered as an independent institute with the Zambian government under the name of Macha Hospital Malaria Research Institute (MHMRI). The Institute was registered for the purpose of continuing research on various aspects of malaria, including drug trials, as well as efforts to control and prevent malaria. In 1997, a legally separate organization, the Macha Malaria Research Institute (MMRI), was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, and under this organization further grants were obtained and projects carried out at Macha Hospital.
Over 20 privately and publicly funded studies have been carried out at Macha by MHMRI and MMRI investigators, including those on malaria transmission, diagnosis, drug evaluation and treatment, resulting in 21 publications by 2004 in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
The activities of the MHMRI and the MMRI are now incorporated into the Malaria Institute at Macha.
Philip Thuma, MD - Senior Scientific Advisor
Dr. Thuma was the founding director of both the MHMRI and the MMRI. He is a Johns Hopkins Hospital-trained, American board-certified pediatrician with more than twenty years experience working in Zambia on the treatment and study of malaria. On-site nine months of the year.