Dr Abdullahi Ahmad presents on how malaria transmission intensity could be very uneven over a small geographical area in a part of the upper river region of The Gambia

Dr Abdullahi Ahmad is a Research Clinician and currently, a PhD student working within the Disease Control and Elimination Theme on ICEMR (International Centres of Excellence for Malaria Research) a project that conducts malaria surveillance to determine time trends in malaria epidemiology in relation to the implementation of control interventions.

Dr Abdullahi Ahmad, Research Clinician, Disease Control and Elimination Theme

Dr Abdullahi Ahmad, Research Clinician, Disease Control and Elimination Theme

Dr Abdullahi Ahmad, Research Clinician, Disease Control and Elimination ThemeDuring the MRCG Festival, Dr Ahmad will demonstrate how malaria transmission intensity could be very uneven over a small geographical area (i.e how communities within the same ecologic and climatic setting and located over an area as small as 30sq km could have markedly different levels of malaria transmission intensity). The communities with higher malaria levels are termed malaria “hot spots” and are considered very challenging for the National goal of malaria elimination in the coming years. His research is important because it can be used to identify and target communities with higher intensity of transmission that needs specific interventions.

The study has found that environmental factors such as the presence of mosquito breeding sites and poor housing conditions were the likely risk factors for high malaria burden in the communities; showing the importance environmental factors (i.e. improved housing and avoidance of stagnant water) when trying to achieve malaria control.

Abdullahi’s previous experience in the clinical development of the RTS,S malaria vaccine, which is world’s first ever malaria vaccine approved for use in human population, during a World Health Organisation Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO/TDR) career development fellowship with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals had a positive impact on how he effectively lead the epidemiology aspect of this five-year project. The critical role Dr Ahmad plays within the project facilitates the analysis and interpretation of the project’s data.

Dr Abdullahi Ahmad, two students from Antwerp and some study participants.

Dr Abdullahi Ahmad, two students from Antwerp and some study participants.

When asked to comment about his expectations for the event, Abdullahi said “I am hopeful that the second MRCG Festival will educate the target audience, stimulate more interest about MRCG’s research activities and bring about stronger cooperation from our host communities”

Abdullahi’s broad research interest is on infectious diseases of public health importance prevalent in the West African sub-region. His current focus is on understanding the dynamics of malaria transmission and the development of novel interventions for the control and elimination of malaria.

Dr Ahmad holds a medical degree from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria, a diploma in tropical medicine and public health from Charite Institute of Tropical Medicine, Berlin, Germany and an MSc in tropical medicine and disease control from Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Germany. He is currently a PhD student focusing on asymptomatic malaria infections and gametocyte carriage. Beyond research, Abdullahi is passionate about travelling and experiencing new cultures.