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Deus Thindwa, Malawi

Deus Thindwa, Imperial College London

Malaria was a constant threat to Deus and his family, growing up in the Karonga district of Malawi he regularly suffered from the disease as a child, being admitted to the local health clinic regularly throughout his childhood. In contrast, his mother didn't suffer from malaria very often. It only took one serious bout of cerebral malaria for her. She died. And Deus acquired a fire within him that would change the course of his life.

Growing up, Deus’ mother had always inspired him, and her early and tragic death fuelled him to want to understand more about malaria, to know how it can spread through populations and what people in high-burden countries like Malawi can do to limit and control the spread of the disease. After completing high-school, Deus went on to complete his BSc in computational sciences from the University of Malawi and obtaining his MSc in epidemiology from the LSHTM under the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme. Deus then went on to spend more than 6 years working with the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust and Management Sciences for Health, focusing on typhoid fever transmission dynamics, HIV/TB trials as well as researching the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in Malawi.

Deus is currently working in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, and is also a PhD candidate at the LSHTM. In his role at Imperial, he is researching the potential impacts of preventative antimalarial drugs during pregnancy as well as the spread of resistance. Since joining Imperial, Deus’ research has focused predominantly on understanding the serious threats of anti-malarial resistance in vulnerable communities which is making the fight against the disease harder than ever before.

Dedicating his career to the fight against drug resistance, Deus’ current work also details the importance of selecting drug policies which will slow down antimalarial drug resistance and give researchers the vital time needed to develop new treatments. Deus has presented his research at the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria conference in Dakar, Senegal in April 2018, the Malaria Summit Commonwealth Day Reception in London, the House of Lords, UK Parliament in March 2018 and the Malawi- Liverpool Wellcome Trust Annual Scientific Meeting in Mangochi, Malawi in October 2017.