The director of ISGlobal’s Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health Initiative has been named an Honorary International Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) in recognition of her work towards a better understanding and control of tropical diseases.
The work of Clara Menéndez has largely focused on sub-Saharan Africa, especially Gambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. She has devoted most of her career to describing the key determinants of maternal, reproductive and neonatal health problems and to designing new interventions targeting vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and newborns. Menéndez has made major contributions to understanding the pathophysiology and parasite biology of malaria during pregnancy and its clinical consequences for both mothers and newborns, as well as evaluating new intervention strategies for malaria prevention. She has also made significant contributions to the understanding of anaemia, the role of iron deficiency and the effect of iron supplementation on infection. She currently works as a consultant for the World Health Organisation on malaria control in children and pregnant women.
An award ceremony took place on 20 November at the 68th Annual Meeting of the ASTMH in Maryland (USA). In addition to Menéndez, four other researchers were named Honorary International Fellows this year. Only non-US citizens are eligible to receive this honour.
ISGlobal’s participation in the Annual Meeting of the ASTMH
Various researchers from ISGlobal and the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM)—one of the Institute’s strategic partners—will be taking part in the Annual Meeting of the ASTMH, which is considered the largest international gathering of experts on tropical infections and global health. The event will include a meeting of the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA), whose secretariat is hosted by ISGlobal, as well as various meetings of researchers studying the use of ivermectin in malaria, including the BOHEMIA project, which is coordinated by ISGlobal and funded by Unitaid. Regina Rabinovich, head of ISGlobal’s Malaria Elimination Initiative, will chair a session entitled “Learning from Experience to Optimise Chemoprevention Strategies for Malaria”, where Menéndez will speak about the delivery of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) through health systems and communities. Finally, ISGlobal researcher Mercy Opiyo will chair a session entitled “Malaria: Vectors and Vector Control”.