Lancaster University student wins prize for malaria research

Winner: Emanuele in Malawi
Winner: Emanuele in Malawi
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A university student has won a $3,000 prize for his research into malaria in Africa.

Lancaster University PhD student Emanuele Giorgi is the European winner of the Young Statistician’s Showcase prize for his work on mapping where malaria is a risk in sub-Saharan Africa.

Emanuele, studying for a PhD in Statistics and Epidemiology in Lancaster’s Faculty of Health and Medicine, said: “If in the long term we really want to eradicate malaria from sub-Sahara Africa we first need to intervene in these areas of high risk.

“For example by making use of our developed methodology we can produce continuous maps of malaria prevalence and identify hot spots of malaria, ie areas where the malaria burden is exceptionally high.

“The way that my research can help these people is by informing policy makers where urgent intervention is needed.”

As part of his research, Emanuele spent time in Malawi where he worked at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme in Blantyre.

He said: “Some of my Malawian friends told me that Malawian people consider malaria in the same way as we consider flu in Europe.

“It’s almost impossible for a Malawian not to contract malaria once in a life.

“Those who bear the greatest sufferings from malaria are children under five years and pregnant women because it’s in these groups that malaria can have the most violent expressions.”

He said he was humbled by the poverty he encountered and the friendliness of the people.