Medical research on malaria: a French-Ghanaian cooperation [fr]
The French government and the Noguchi Institute of Ghana have decided to co-finance the PhD student in parasitology, Bernard TORNYIGAH, whose thesis focuses on the prevention of malaria by pregnant women. He thus becomes the first Ghanaian student to obtain the title of Doctor at the French University of Paris Descartes; good news for research and French-Ghanaian medical cooperation.
Bernard TORNYIGAH is student at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of UG University and at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Paris Descartes University. He brilliantly defended his PhD thesis, co-financed by the French government and the Noguchi Institute, on December 13, 2019 in Paris. He obtained the title of Doctor of the University of Paris Descartes and is actually the first Ghanaian student to win a PhD fellowship on a collaborative proposal between the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Paris Descartes.
He did his research within the Laboratories of the French Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. Co-founded by the French Government and the Noguchi, his PhD, under the supervision of Prof. Nicaise NDAM, is addressing the Challenges of Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) and Future Perspectives on Malaria Prevention Strategy.
This study aimed to assess the coverage and impact of the revised IPTp-SP (Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine) policy on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, identify some of the challenges facing the IPTp-SP policy and determine antibody functionality targeting the new Vaccine candidate for Placental malaria currently under development at IRD.
The work carried out during this thesis highlighted the fact that although IPTp-SP is well utilized across many African countries, it still faces significant difficulties, particularly on the lack of coverage of the first trimester of pregnancy, where the prevalence of infections is very high. Besides, the development of parasite mutations associated with more resistance calls into question the effectiveness of the use of IPTp-SP in the long run. In addition, current efforts to develop a vaccine against placental malaria will likely require a combination of alleles to obtain an effective vaccine on field isolates.