Meet Dr. S. Patrick Kachur, who oversees CDC’s Malaria Branch. Not only is the Malaria Branch the oldest program at CDC but with more than 60 staff, it’s the largest group of malaria scientists in North America. We recently talked to Dr. Kachur about his work.
What personal experience in your work are you proudest of?
I was fortunate to work with Kenyan and Tanzanian scientists on studies that proved how treated bednets and new combination medicines save lives–even in the remote communities hardest hit by malaria.
How does your work save lives and protect people?
Scientists in CDC’s Malaria Branch help set global and national policies to scale up malaria prevention and treatment. As a result of CDC’s work, and the efforts of many of our partners, the number of deaths from malaria has fallen from more than 1.5 million to 655,000 in less than ten years.
What is the biggest barrier you face in doing your work?
Even though we have seen tremendous progress in combating malaria in recent years, this could unravel if political will and financial support fall off. Malaria parasites and the mosquitoes that carry them are constantly adapting and we need to continue our current interventions as well as advance the science that will lead to new tools like the RTS,S vaccine.
What is the most important thing for the public to know about what you do?
CDC started the fight against malaria. Now let’s finish it together.
You can read more about Dr. Kachur and CDC’s malaria team in the CDC Works For You 24/7 article, Malaria Vaccine Trial: Behind the Scenes in Kenya, which describes CDC/Kenya Medical Research Institute’s participation in the RTS,S malaria vaccine Phase III clinical trial.