Our Criteria for Site Selection
The presence of Anopheles mosquitoes
Geographic and environmental features that limit mosquito dispersal
Restricted movement of genetic material between target and non-target mosquito populations
The geographic and genetic isolation criteria are best satisfied on oceanic island sites and our initial review of 15 islands across Africa identified two candidate sites where we are currently conducting baseline data collections and engagement.
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Field Research Team
- Engagement Team
The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) is located in the Gulf of Guinea about 300 kilometers off the western equatorial coast of central Africa. The archipelago consists of two main islands located ~174 km apart. The island of São Tomé is home to 95% of the entire population of ~211,000. STP was a former Portuguese colony and achieved independence in 1975. It is the second smallest island country in Africa, and the smallest Portuguese-speaking country.
Malaria is endemic to STP and risk is high throughout the year. The incidence rate of malaria has remained relatively low over the last decade because of national malaria control programs. However, incidence rates have been slowly increasing since 2014.
The Ministry of Health developed a partnership agreement in collaboration with UCMI. The partnership allows UCMI to study the biology and ecology of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria in Sao Tome and Principe. Our collaborative work Includes 3 Primary Things:
1. Mosquito Collections and Analysis – adult mosquitoes and larvae from many locations on both islands
2. Training & Capacity Building – science and research training for local students, scientists, and technicians.
3. Community Engagement – information sharing and communication activities with communities about the UCMI project and malaria.
UCMI has developed an important collaborative relationship with colleagues in Portugal at the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical (IHMT), Universidade Nova de Lisboa. IHMT will be working with UCIMI to provide research and training programs for our partners in STP.
Dr. João Pinto is Assistant Professor and Head of the Medical Entomology Unit of the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. His research interests focus on the bioecology and genetics of mosquito vectors of disease with emphasis on Afrotropical malaria vectors. He has over 20 years of experience conducting field work and training actions in Africa. Dr. Pinto will lead field operations on the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, participating in field collections and implementing training and capacity building activities.
Maria Júlia Maciel Corrêa
BIOLOGIST, MASTER IN ENTOMOLOGY
Maria is a biologist, entomologist and researcher, with extensive field and laboratory experience in research in the areas of ecotoxicology and animal ecophysiology of biological controllers and disease vectors. She resides in STP and is working as the Assistant Field Entomologist for the UCMI team .
Engagement Focal Point in São Tomé and Príncipe
Lodney Nazaré, is São Tomé and Príncipe citizen, with a degree in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of Para-Brazil. Lodney joins the UCMI/UNDP team from the NGO Oikos, where he worked as a co-management specialist in the creation of a network of marine protected areas in Sao Tomé and Principe facilitating the exchange of knowledge, and stakeholder engagement among diverse groups of people. In recent years, he coordinated the grievance mechanism for an oil and gas project, coordinated several Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for international energy companies, and managed social baseline data collection and stakeholder engagement for important projects in São Tomé and Príncipe, Nigeria and Brazil. Prior to that, he worked as a teacher at several Educational Institutions in São Tomé, including secondary school and Public and Private University. In his professional career, he also worked as a technician in STP State Institutions including: Pedagogical Supervisor for Secondary Education, Biologist in the Fisheries Department, and Sanitary Inspector for fishery products. Between 2012 and 2017 he worked at the Joint Development Authority between Nigeria and São Tomé and Príncipe as a marine biologist in the Department of Non-Hydrocarbon Resources.
The UCMI local engagement team consists of 7 Health Delegates, 7 Malaria Focal Points, and 45 Community Health Educators/Agents, and 5 Professors who conduct educational engagement in the schools.