Medicine without Frontiers: An Oxford physician-scientist working in Kenya.
Posted: 04 Jun 2010
On one of Kevin Marsh's regular visits to Oxford, the historian Conrad Keating caught up with the world-renowned malariologist and asked him what initially drew him to tropical medicine... Africa is the world's most malarious continent, and the east coast of Kenya has been particularly debilitated by the disease. In 1987 Kevin Marsh visited the area and recognised that the region offered great possibilities for an integrated programme of research on malaria that linked basic scientific, clinical and epidemiological approaches. In collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and Oxford University, and supported by the Wellcome Trust, a small, dedicated team began work in 1989. From modest beginnings in Kilifi, the Wellcome Research Programme has grown under Kevin Marsh's direction to become the most prestigious research programme in Africa. Its state-of-the-art laboratory houses 800 staff who produce over 100 peer review papers a year, working on major causes of ill health in Kenya and other countries in east Africa.