Researchers at KEMRI probe if malaria is a risk factor for severe COVID-19

Researchers at KEMRI probe if malaria is a risk factor for severe COVID-19

Scientists at the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Kisumu are racing against time to find out whether Malaria is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection.

This comes in the wake of increased COVID-19 cases reported in the lakeside counties.

The 18 month study will be critical in how COVID-19 cases are managed in Malaria endemic regions.

The lake-side counties of Kisumu and Siaya have in the past week recorded a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Scientists at the KEMRI centre for global health research in Kisumu are keen to find out whether Mlaria is a risk factor for severe COVID-19.

When covid started last year, it highlighted risk groups. what we seek to find out is whether covid-19 would be severe in malaria endemic area,” Dr. Hellen Barsosio – Clinical Research Scientist, Malcov Study told Citizen TV

The 18-month study dubbed ‘Malcov Study’ began in January this year; the first patient with both Malaria and COVID-19 was recruited in February.

We’ve been recruiting during the COVID waves… we need to know the direction of severity and COVID-19 prevention strategy, how does it behave on someone who has both Malaria and Covid.,” Dr. Barsosio adds.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 infections in the lakeside counties of Kisumu and Siaya, also malaria endemic, were on a steady rise last week.

between Tuesday and Saturday, Kisumu had 330 cases out of the national tally of 1942 positive cases while Siaya accounted for 245.

The numbers recorded Sunday and Monday however show a drastic decline.

The results of the Malcov Study expected mid next year will give medics in those regions direction on how to better manage COVID-19 where Malaria is prevalent.

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