Diabetes and CVD Biomarkers in Malawi 

A collaboration has been set up between gHealth Research at UCD and colleagues from the Health Information Systems Research Centre at UCC, to carry out a clinical study to profile the degree of cardiovascular risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes patients in Malawi, Africa. The team from Ireland will be working closely with Mzuzu Central Hospital and Mzuzu University in northern Malawi and the study will include “knowledge exchange and training” on “point of care diagnostic devices”. Eight point of care machines will be used in the study which will allow for the quantification of biomarkers such as the cardiac stress hormone NTproBNP and HbA1c which is a vital indicator of diabetes control. Both of these tests are performed as required and with ease in high income countries however, in Malawi a country of almost 16 million people, there is only one hospital that can test HbA1c and there are no facilities for NTproBNP testing country wide. In fact UCD researchers carried out the first ever NTproBNP point of care cardiac blood test for heart disease in Malawi in March 2014.