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Umberto D'Alessandro

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Medical Research Council (MRC)
The Disease Control & Elimination theme aims to conduct cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research to develop approaches to curb the burden of diseases of public health importance. The inclusion of the word “elimination” in the theme definition encompasses the research portfolio that includes trachoma, a disease that has almost been eliminated in The Gambia, and malaria, for which pre-elimination level should be achieved by 2018. The research on hepatitis B within the theme provides a link between the control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, i.e. hepatitis B infection and hepatocellular carcinoma. The Disease Control & Elimination theme will exploit the availability of excellent laboratory facilities and the scope to carry out population studies to elucidate complex and heterogeneous host-pathogen/parasite-vector interactions. Understanding such interactions in areas under intensified disease control is critical for the development of scientifically-based control/elimination plans for the whole African continent. In-depth analysis of the human behavioural factors including migration that affect disease risk is an essential component of the theme’s methodological approach. Joint research projects with Institutions located in other West African countries allows a wider view of specific public health problems and provides the opportunity to compare the impact of new interventions in settings with different disease endemicities.

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