UNZA DON WINS PRESTIGIOUS ASTMH AWARD FOR ANTI-MALARIAL RESEARCH

The University of Zambia (UNZA) Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Luke Evuta Mumba, has congratulated Dr. Peter Mubanga Cheuka for showing commitment to the fight against the malaria pandemic which affects Zambia and most countries in the tropical region.

Prof. Mumba says that Dr. Cheuka’s research undertakings that would lead to new anti-malarials have potential to replace the once effective malaria treatment options that have been rendered ineffective by wide-spread resistance.

Prof. Mumba said this in his congratulatory message to Dr. Cheuka who is scheduled to travel for the annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) meeting in the USA where he will present his findings before hundreds of academics and other stakeholders working around the area of tropical medicine research.

“As you travel for this very important meeting, remember you are carrying the UNZA flag. Go there and represent our great Institution, UNZA and beautiful country, Zambia. Your research deserves all the kudos it can get,” Prof. Mumba has said.

And Dr. Cheuka, who specialises in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery in the School of Natural Sciences (NS), Department of Chemistry, says the award is a recognition of his research in tropical diseases, particularly his anti-malarial drug discovery research on novel chemical entities that could form the next generation of anti-malarial drugs.

He said that with about 219 million cases of malaria reported in 2017 alone, eradication efforts were hindered by rising resistance to current first line treatment options, the artemisinin-combination therapies, thus, new and cheaper anti-malarial drugs are urgently needed to address the malaria pandemic which has continued to affect millions of individuals especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The prestigious award, which is funded, in part, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will see Dr. Cheuka present his findings before stakeholders working around the area of tropical medicine research at the ASTMH 2019 annual meeting at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Centre, Maryland, USA.

About Dr. Peter Mubanga Cheuka (PhD)
Dr. Cheuka is a Lecturer and Researcher in the Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, at UNZA. He holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. His research interests revolve around medicinal chemistry and drug discovery against infectious tropical diseases. He has published several research papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has also presented his research findings at both local and international conferences as well as seminars.

This statement was availed to the Lusaka Star by UNZA Spokesperson Brenda Bukowa.

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Tapela Lungu

    Tapela Lungu is an award winning writer and Media and Communication studies student at the University of Zambia who has a strong passion to write, read and explore. He is currently the Managing Editor for the online magazine. As a writer he has a strong interest for human interest stories, community news and stories that impact human development and health.

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