University of Liverpool scientists have been awarded a grant to study influenza-linked Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) amongst adults and children in Malawi.

The research, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) influenza division, will support the surveillance of patients admitted to urban and rural hospitals, as well as a vaccine trial in children aged six to 59 months. 

The results of the study will contribute to a broader understanding of influenza and its impact on the most vulnerable populations, as well as provide data to help policy makers decide on the best way to protect those most at risk. 

Influenza in Malawi is responsible for 10-20% of all SARI hospital admissions. It has had a considerable impact on the health systems in many parts of Africa. In Malawi, weakened immunity is common due to malaria, malnutrition or HIV and this may increase the severity of influenza. In the event of another influenza pandemic, Malawi’s already stretched health systems could potentially be overwhelmed. 

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