The Kinshasa Mahidol Oxford Research Unit (KIMORU) is a collaboration between the University of Oxford and the Kinshasa School of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Kinshasa, under the auspices of the Congolese Ministry of Health. The Centre, located in Kingasani, a suburban slum district of Kinshasa, has been operative since 2009 when it was included in a large multicentre trial on severe malaria led by the University of Oxford (the AQUAMAT trial). The research activities focus mainly on malaria and are closely integrated with the activities of the Oxford parent unit, the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) and the other units in Asia for optimising the treatment of malaria in children and pregnant women with uncomplicated and severe malaria and efforts to eliminate malaria.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the third largest country in Africa with an estimated population of 83 million people, the majority living below the international poverty line of US$ 1.90 per day PPP (World Bank, 2016). DRC and Nigeria together account for 40% of the global malaria burden (9 million confirmed cases in 2012). The under-five mortality rate in 2016 was 94.3 per 1,000 live births, with malaria being the main cause.
The centre has 15 beds (distributed in 3 wards), an A/C equipped laboratory (microscopy, haematology, biochemistry), an A/C controlled storage for drugs and materials, offices, a small refectory for patients and staff and a laundrette. We are located in the compound of the Kingasani Hospital, which has the largest maternity unit in Kinshasa, and gives us access to a central pharmacy, blood bank and selected emergency services.
The team is made up of 23 medical doctors, researchers, nurses, laboratory technicians and logistic staff, all fully trained in Good Clinical Practice and ethics of human research, with a longstanding experience in clinical trials conduct. KIMORU is led by Prof Dr Onyamboko, a medical doctor responsible for the clinical activities, and Prof Dr Caterina Fanello, an epidemiologist, who is also the Head of Unit and the liaison with MORU in Bangkok.