The term “Mal-Brain” is derived from the term malaria and brain. The project looks at the impact of RTS,S/AS01 vaccine and Insecticide Treated Bednet (ITN) on the neurobehavioural impairments and school participation in children and young adults from rural Kenya. This is a multisite study based in Kilifi, Kombewa and Siaya. It involves follow up of children who received malaria vaccine 14 years ago, and those who slept under ITN 28 years ago. Malaria remains an important cause of mortality and morbidity in Africa. Children who survive malaria often experience neurobehavioural impairments such as epilepsy, language problems, behaviour and emotional problems. The Mal-Brain study aims to assess whether children who received these two malaria interventions (malaria vaccine and ITN) at present show fewer thought, emotional problems, learning problems, seizure disorders, school participation compared to their peers who did not receive these malaria prevention measures. The study employs an observational retrospective cohort design with a cross-sectional assessment using different psychometric tools to assess neurobehavioral outcomes.
Dr Symon Kariuki