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

Prudhomme O’Meara, Wendy, Diana Menya, Jeremiah Laktabai, Alyssa Platt, Indrani Saran, Elisa Maffioli, Joseph Kipkoech, Manoj Mohanan, and Elizabeth L. Turner. “Improving rational use of ACTs through diagnosis-dependent subsidies: Evidence from a cluster-randomized controlled trial in western Kenya..” Plos Med 15, no. 7 (July 2018). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002607.

PMID
30016316
Full Text

Platt, Alyssa, Andrew A. Obala, Charlie MacIntyre, Barasa Otsyula, and Wendy Prudhomme O’ Meara. “Dynamic malaria hotspots in an open cohort in western Kenya..” Sci Rep 8, no. 1 (January 12, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-13801-6.

PMID
29330454
Full Text

Sumner, Kelsey, Steve Taylor, Elizabeth Freedman, Andrew Obala, and Wendy O’Meara. “PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM HAPLOTYPE INFERENCE FROM AMPLICON DEEP SEQUENCING TO IDENTIFY MICRO- SCALE PARASITE POPULATION MIXING.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 99:551–551. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Saran, Indrani, Laura Winn, Joseph Kirui, Diana Menya, and Wendy O’Meara. “THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCIAL AND NON-FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS: EVIDENCE FROM A DISCRETE CHOICE EXPERIMENT IN WESTERN KENYA.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 99:664–65. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Korwa, Sarah, Joseph Kirui, Casey Silver, Sheila Clapp, Wendy O’Meara, Festus Njuguna, and Steve Taylor. “A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY OF HEMATOLOGIC AND INFECTIOUS MORBIDITY IN KENYAN CHILDREN WITH SICKLE CELL ANEMIA.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 99:601–601. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Laktabai, Jeremiah, Alyssa Platt, Diana Menya, Elizabeth L. Turner, Daniel Aswa, Stephen Kinoti, and Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara. “A mobile health technology platform for quality assurance and quality improvement of malaria diagnosis by community health workers..” Plos One 13, no. 2 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191968.

PMID
29389958
Full Text

Kirui, Joseph, Diana Menya, Jeremiah Laktabai, Betty Lelei, Adriane Lesser, and Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara. “QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES TO MONITOR CHVS MRDT PERFORMANCE: A CASE OF MALARIA TESTING IN WESTERN KENYA.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 95:575–575. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

Rop, Mercy, Betty Lelei, Jeremiah Laktabai, Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara, and Diana Menya. “IDENTIFYING AVENUES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF FEBRILE ILLNESS BY EXAMINING COMMUNITY HEALTH SEEKING PATTERNS.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 95:454–454. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

Aswa, Daniel, Jeremiah Laktabai, Max Schiff, Olympia Cheruiyot, Eric Nalianya, Diana Menya, Stephen Kinoti, et al. “THE ROLE OF MOBILE DEVICES IN RAPID DIAGNOSTIC TESTING QUALITY CONTROL ON COMMUNITY HEALTH VOLUNTEERS IN WESTERN KENYA.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 95:474–474. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

Lesser, Adriane, Diana Menya, Laura Winn, Jeremiah Laktabai, Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara, and Joy Noel Baumgartner. “COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS' PERCEPTIONS OF AND SATISFACTION WITH THEIR ROLE IN IMPLEMENTING A COMMUNITY CASE MANAGEMENT FOR MALARIA PROGRAM: IMPLICATIONS FOR FEASIBILITY AND SCALE-UP.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 95:405–405. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

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