The Fight to Eliminate Malaria With Dr Joseph Okebe

Dr Joseph Okebe recently defended his PhD at University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Belgium

Dr Joseph Okebe is a Clinical Epidemiologist with a strong interest in infectious diseases in childhood and a professional background in paediatrics. He recently completed his PhD from the University of Antwerp, Belgium and his thesis focused on the impact of interventions to reduce residual malaria transmission in The Gambia in the context of malaria elimination.

Dr Okebe joined the Malaria Programme of the MRC Unit The Gambia as a Research Clinician in 2005 and has grown to become a central member of the group. As a member of the Disease Control and Elimination Theme, Joseph has been involved in over eight projects, in a leading role across the country and actively contributes to scientific and grant writing.

During his PhD, Joseph Okebe gained important skills and in-depth knowledge of clinical research that are key elements for malaria elimination. Part of his research work included a randomized control trial evaluating the efficacy of Primaquine; recommended for use in low-transmission settings to reduce transmission of malaria. His supervisors were Professors Umberto D’Alessandro and Jean-Pierre Van Geertruyden.

Presently, he coordinates a cluster-randomized trial on a community-based approach to reactive treatment of asymptomatic malaria contacts to reduce parasite carriage.

He is involved with the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group as an author and editor; producing systematic reviews that are essential for policies on health.

Dr Joseph Okebe has several peer-reviewed publications and has presented his research findings at major international conferences.

When asked about the principles of being a strong researcher, Joseph said, “I believe that a good understanding of research principles is important to asking the right questions and the approach needed to answer them. The MRCG is the place for this”.