Blantyre's Big Five
Dr. Taha E. Taha, MD PhD
Dr. Taha E. Taha, MD PhD, project Principal Investigator based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Taha has been conducting research in Malawi for over 15 years. He obtained his medical degree in 1975 from the University of Khartoum in Sudan and his doctorate in epidemiology/demography from Johns Hopkins University in 1992. Besides his work in Malawi, Dr. Taha has collaborated on work done in Sudan.
Dr. Newton I. Kumwenda, PhD, MPH
Dr. Newton I. Kumwenda, PhD, MPH, is the Field Director of the project. He obtained his PhD in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 1995. He returned from the US to take his current role at the project where he has been Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on many of the project’s studies. He also has an active role in the Malawi National AIDS Counsel which has developed national guidelines for the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS and guidelines for the implementation of the Global Fund Initiative.
Dr. George Kafulafula, MBBS, FCOG, MMED
Dr. George Kafulafula, MBBS, FCOG, MMED, joined the project as the Medical Director in 2002 after completing his MMED at the University of Natal in Durban South Africa. Along with his role as Investigator of Record for HPTN 024 and 057 and Co-Investigator on HPTN 035, Dr. Kafulafula is the Head of Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the Malawi College of Medicine.
Dr. Johnstone Kumwenda, MBBS, MMED
Dr. Johnstone Kumwenda, MBBS, MMED, joined the project to take the lead with HPTN 052 and the collaboration with AACTG A5175. Dr. Kumwenda studied at the University of Nairobi and the University of London prior to taking his current position as Senior Lecturer in Internal Medicine at the Malawi College of Medicine.
Dr. Bonus Makanani, MBBS
Dr. Bonus Makanani, MBBS, completed his FCOG from the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of South Africa prior to joining the project in 2003 as co-investigator for HPTN 024. He is currently the Investigator of Record for HPTN 035 and the Deputy Head of Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the Malawi College of Medicine.
The HPTN 035 Team
This team has been together since HPTN 016A time, which most of the members worked on. There has been some turnover of coordinating staff but there is a good foundation for the HPTN 035 team to build on. Members of the team attended training at the 2004 Microbicide meeting in London and a regional training held in Durban South Africa in September 2004. While waiting for HPTN 035 to start, the team has been helping with other studies currently being conducted at the project.
The HPTN 052 Team
The team has been together for over two years preparing for the start of HPTN 052. During those years they have participated in international and regional trainings including the training held in Durban, SA in April of 2003 and an Operational Walk-through held in Blantyre in June of 2004. Currently the team is working on a normal values protocol which has allowed them to work out clinic flow and scheduling issues. Prior to joining the team, members have worked on different research projects including HPTN 024, worked in the civil service, and in other clinical settings. We are looking forward to the see HPTN 052 start…finally!!!
New additions to the team: Although HPTN 057 currently has only one team member, don’t underestimate her. Linda Mipando joined the team as an Assistant Coordinator and is ready to step into the challenges of Project Coordinator.
Stacey Hurst has joined the team as the Site QA/QC Coordinator. She will act as an internal monitor as well as help with study training.
The Community Team
The community team has welcomed its first male member as they gear up for HPTN 052 community outreach and retention. 052 is the first major study with a long follow-up period done at the project which will enroll male participants.
(L-R): Emmie Kharika, Daniel Gondwe, Jane Mpofu, Fatima Zulu, Mary Kapusa; Not present: Linly Seyama, Agnes Malemia, Jane Makunganya, Judith Nkhata
The Data Team
The data team is busy preparing for 035 & 052. To that end, we have added two new data faxes and data managers to handle the anticipated increase in workload.
(L-R): Kondwani Nkanaunena, Amos Msopera, Jean Likagwa, Vumasi Mtawali, MacArthur Madise, Dumisile Huwa, Pilira Katchik-Jere, Wilson Kanzandu, Patrick Kholongo
Not present: Alfred Malili and Isaac Singini
The Pharmacy Team
The team is slowly growing to fill the new building that the pharmacy moved into at the end of 2004. Compared to the one room pharmacy, the new space is enormous. Besides a storage area, office, and dispensing/waiting area, they also have a designated room for returned product and a sterile room for vaccine extraction.
(L-R): Ethel Kanyanda, Lumbani Makwakwa
The Lab Team
The lab too is experiencing a period of growth. The team has grown from the 4 technicians of years ago to 12 technicians (including two supervisors), 6 assistants, and one lab manager. It has also gone from basic hematology to advanced PCR and a full battery of chemistry and liver function tests. The growth is both challenging and exciting to all those involved.
Seated (L-R): Pauline Katundu, John Piysi, Mercy Harawa, Thoko Mzengereza, Marvin Mulinga; Standing (L-R): Patrick Mtawali, Chance Chipofya, Gilbert Nthuluzi, Connex Chapikana, Melvin Kamanga, Dean Soko, Adventure Chiwaya
Not present: Wainings Manda, Lonney Kainga, Charity Mapemba, Isaac Chakanika, Sifelani Moyo
The Support Team
No team is complete without the support staff of administration, office management, care takers, secretaries, and stores supply manager.
(L-R): Patrick Mumba, Nellie Manjandimo, Elizabeth Kambora, Martin Yapu, H.T. Gondwe, James Chisale
And don’t forget the men who keep the project moving, literally!!!
(L-R): Thomas Matemba, Reginold Tawakali, Paul Kazembe, Elphas Rutsenjira, Fred Kampesi, Alick Manyawa, Patrick Mwakhiwa, Rex Kampheta, Ronald Jumah
Not present: Nixon Chitimbe and Maxwel Munlo