Welcome on board ! The Sourires d'Indonésie journey is brought to you by Eva Michaud, Charotte Théroude, and Stéphanie Bosne.
This project is the result of three scientific students’ wish to support children with severe malaria in Indonesia through a clincial research approach and an alleviation of their daily life.
The project consists in the development of fast efficient diagnostic tests in children suspected with severe malaria added the clinical follow up in the pediatric hospital of Medan, Sumatra island. It will also be the opportunity for us to be trained to clinical reaserch, treatments and patient care of the disease directly on the ground, and to learn about the health and prevention of the disease practices directly in a concerned country, but also to forge lasting international relations.
We thus propose to follow paediatricians and infectious disease professionals, in order to add to their approaches a scientific know-how that we have acquired through our Masters and PhD work in France, the results of which are already very promising.
With this incentive we also wish to bring a little hope to these sick children and bring them school supplies, clothes and toys from somewhere else in the world : a journey for them as well as for us. For this purpose we have already engaged in administrative paperworks with the French embassy, and we will be leaving from July to August 2015.
The three of us met in september 2014 during a lab meeting - Malaria Research Unit, based in Lyon, France – and well … it was love at first sight. We share the same passion for science, the same urge to help children, and more importantly the same interest for this not so well-known infectious disease that is Malaria.
United by our research director, Pr. Stéphane Picot, we decided to build an international cooperation incentive in order to deepen our scientific training but mostly to transpose our laboratory skills directly on the ground, helping the very concerned people : children. They are indeed the most susceptible to this disease, as shown by the lastest WHO report on the matter. A disease caused by such a small parasite and transmitted by a single mosquito bite, that quickly escalates for them, an escalation that is awfully hard – if not impossible – to prevent soon enough. Several travels have been organised to Indonesia that have established contact with Dr. Ayodhia Pitaloka, pediatrician in Medan Hospital, Sumatra. From our side we have worked on new promosing therapeutic strategies, that we hope to launch a clinical trial on in the years to came. Before that, it is important to know why and for WHO we are working, it is primarly to enforce our working methods and improve the children’s daily life that we ought to go on this trip.
The parasite responsible for malaria is of the Plasmodium genus and is transmitted by a mosquito bite, in which it exists in its reproductive form. Afterwards the parasite infects the liver and matures in it than invades blood flow and parasitizes reb blood cells – yes the very same one that bring oxygen to your organs, and make your blood red – which this pathology so critical for children. As blood runs out of red blood cells, organs are not receiving their proper share of oxygen which generates multiple complications.
The first sign of the disease is a fever that will worsen as the patient’s health deteriorates, due to the important immune reaction generated against the parasite. Progressively, that patient’s state will worsen as the parasite multiplies. Severe malaria cases particularly impact children : fever is indeed combined with brain vessel colonization by the parasite, which can drive the child into coma if no early detection can be made. Sometimes even with an efficient medical care the recovery cannot be assured : irreversible damages to the brain can be caused leading to motor and cognitive dysfunctions, it is therefore vital to find the appropriate therapeutic approach against this disease.
The plan (if we accept it) and we do accept it is to be directly trained on the ground to design efficient rapid diagnostic tests against the disease. In the mean time, we wish to be trained to the clinical methods in order to validate our therapeutical laboratory approach (we wish we could explain to you exactly what our work is, but we can’t until the result are published). However please feel free to contact us by e-mailing le mail email@example.com for any question you would have on the matter, and we will do our best to answer you without breaking our confidentiality chart !
Moreover you can visit our website : Smiles From Indonesia !
… and our facebook page ! : https://www.facebook.com/souriresdindonesie.
And because we are connected people, we even have a twitter account ! : @Sourires2015
Enjoy the ride with the hashtag #FromSumatraWithLove and take a big step towards progress with us !
Here you go, now you know it all :) Of course all your help and comments will be valued and are welcome ! Thank you for your time !