Wendy P O'Meara, PhD

Associate Professor in Medicine
Associate Research Professor of Global Health
Campus mail Eldoret Kenya, Box 90519, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 681-7711
Email address wendy.omeara@duke.edu

Dr. O'Meara has been working in the field of malaria diagnosis, treatment, and drug resistance since 2004. She is an Associate Professor at Duke University Medical School in the Division of Infectious Diseases, visiting professor at Moi University, and the Co-Field Director of Research for AMPATH.  She has been based full-time in Kenya since 2007.

Dr. O’Meara’s team is interested in improving rational drug use for suspected malaria fevers through expanding the use of diagnostic tools in the community and in health facilities.  As many as 90% of fevers that seek treatment in the formal sector receive antimalarials, and it is estimated that only 20% of those buying antimalarials over-the-counter in the retail sector actually have malaria.  Such overuse poses a significant threat to the continued efficacy of first-line antimalarials. Dr. O’Meara has conducted several randomized controlled trials in western Kenya to test interventions designed to improve the use of information from malaria diagnostic testing in order to target antimalarials to those with confirmed infection. In 2005, she helped to establish the Malaria Diagnostic Centre of Excellence in Kisumu, Kenya.

Recently, she concluded a case-controlled study with colleagues at Moi University that identified the major determinants of insecticide treated bednet failure in western Kenya. Among other results, the study showed that asymptomatically infected household members may be a risk factor for children living in the same household. Current work is extending this observation by leveraging variability in key parasite genes to describe the spatial mixing of malaria infections and track generations of infections from humans to mosquitoes (collaboration with Steve Taylor’s lab).

Dr. O’Meara has experience in marrying innovative spatial techniques with epidemiologic outcomes.  Recent work includes an analysis of health systems factors that contribute to early childhood mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003

Publications

Saran, I, Maffioli, EM, Menya, D, and O'Meara, WP. "Household beliefs about malaria testing and treatment in Western Kenya: the role of health worker adherence to malaria test results." Malaria journal 16, no. 1 (August 22, 2017): 349-.

PMID
28830439
Full Text

Simmons, RA, Mboera, L, Stresman, A, Turner, E, Kramer, R, Drakeley, C, and O'Meara, WP. "A Longitudinal Cohort Study of Malaria Exposure and Changing Serostatus in a Malaria Endemic Area of Rural Tanzania." Malaria Journal 16, no. 309 (August 2, 2017).

PMID
28764717
Scholars@Duke

Boyce, MR, and O'Meara, WP. "Use of malaria RDTs in various health contexts across sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review." BMC public health 17, no. 1 (May 18, 2017): 470-.

PMID
28521798
Full Text

Laktabai, J, Lesser, A, Platt, A, Maffioli, E, Mohanan, M, Menya, D, Prudhomme O'Meara, W, and Turner, EL. "Innovative public-private partnership to target subsidised antimalarials: a study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate a community intervention in Western Kenya." BMJ open 7, no. 3 (March 20, 2017): e013972-.

PMID
28320794
Full Text

Anthopolos, R, Simmons, R, and O'Meara, WP. "A retrospective cohort study to quantify the contribution of health systems to child survival in Kenya: 1996-2014." Scientific reports 7 (March 14, 2017): 44309-.

PMID
28290505
Full Text

Laktabai, J, Lesser, A, Platt, A, Maffioli, E, Mohanan, M, Menya, D, O'Meara, WP, and Turner, EL. "Innovative public-private partnership to target subsidised antimalarials: a study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate a community intervention in Western Kenya." BMJ OPEN 7, no. 3 (March 2017).

Full Text

Maffioli, E, O'Meara, WP, Turner, EL, and Mohanan, M. "Can Individuals’ Beliefs Help Us Understand Nonadherence to Malaria Test Results? Evidence from Rural Kenya." Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper, no. 243 (February 3, 2017).

Scholars@Duke

Nkumama, IN, O'Meara, WP, and Osier, FHA. "Changes in Malaria Epidemiology in Africa and New Challenges for Elimination." Trends in parasitology 33, no. 2 (February 2017): 128-140. (Review)

PMID
27939610
Full Text

Levitt, B, Obala, A, Langdon, S, Corcoran, D, O'Meara, WP, and Taylor, SM. "Overlap Extension Barcoding for the Next Generation Sequencing and Genotyping of Plasmodium falciparum in Individual Patients in Western Kenya." Scientific Reports 7 (January 24, 2017): 41108-.

PMID
28117350
Full Text

Oyibo, WA, Ezeigwe, N, Ntadom, G, Oladosu, OO, Rainwater-Loveth, K, O'Meara, W, Okpokoro, E, and Brieger, W. "Multicenter Pivotal Clinical Trial of Urine Malaria Test for Rapid Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria." Journal of clinical microbiology 55, no. 1 (January 2017): 253-263.

PMID
27847373
Full Text

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