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

Wesolowski, Amy, Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara, Nathan Eagle, Andrew J. Tatem, and Caroline O. Buckee. “Evaluating Spatial Interaction Models for Regional Mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa..” Plos Comput Biol 11, no. 7 (July 2015). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004267.

PMID
26158274
Full Text

O’Meara, Wendy P., Joshua A. Mott, Jeremiah Laktabai, Kabura Wamburu, Barry Fields, Janice Armstrong, Steve M. Taylor, et al. “Etiology of pediatric fever in western Kenya: a case-control study of falciparum malaria, respiratory viruses, and streptococcal pharyngitis..” Am J Trop Med Hyg 92, no. 5 (May 2015): 1030–37. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.14-0560.

PMID
25758648
Full Text

Wesolowski, Amy, Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara, Andrew J. Tatem, Samson Ndege, Nathan Eagle, and Caroline O. Buckee. “Quantifying the impact of accessibility on preventive healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa using mobile phone data..” Epidemiology 26, no. 2 (March 2015): 223–28. https://doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000000239.

PMID
25643101
Full Text

Obala, Andrew A., Judith Nekesa Mangeni, Alyssa Platt, Daniel Aswa, Lucy Abel, Jane Namae, and Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara. “What Is Threatening the Effectiveness of Insecticide-Treated Bednets? A Case-Control Study of Environmental, Behavioral, and Physical Factors Associated with Prevention Failure..” Plos One 10, no. 7 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0132778.

PMID
26171962
Full Text

O’Meara, W. P., S. Karuru, L. E. Fazen, J. Koech, B. Kizito, C. Tarus, and D. Menya. “Heterogeneity in health seeking behaviour for treatment, prevention and urgent care in four districts in western Kenya..” Public Health 128, no. 11 (November 2014): 993–1008. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2014.08.010.

PMID
25443099
Full Text

Wafula, Rebeccah, Edna Sang, Olympia Cheruiyot, Angeline Aboto, Diana Menya, and Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara. “High sensitivity and specificity of clinical microscopy in rural health facilities in western Kenya under an external quality assurance program..” Am J Trop Med Hyg 91, no. 3 (September 2014): 481–85. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.14-0133.

PMID
24935953
Full Text

Mwaliko, Emily, Raymond Downing, Wendy O’Meara, Dinah Chelagat, Andrew Obala, Timothy Downing, Chrispinus Simiyu, et al. “"Not too far to walk": the influence of distance on place of delivery in a western Kenya health demographic surveillance system..” Bmc Health Serv Res 14 (May 10, 2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-14-212.

PMID
24884489
Full Text

Prudhomme O’Meara, Wendy, Alyssa Platt, Violet Naanyu, Donald Cole, and Samson Ndege. “Spatial autocorrelation in uptake of antenatal care and relationship to individual, household and village-level factors: results from a community-based survey of pregnant women in six districts in western Kenya..” Int J Health Geogr 12 (December 7, 2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-072X-12-55.

PMID
24314170
Full Text

O’Meara, Wendy Prudhomme, Andrew Obala, Harsha Thirumurthy, and Barasa Khwa-Otsyula. “The association between price, competition, and demand factors on private sector anti-malarial stocking and sales in western Kenya: considerations for the AMFm subsidy..” Malar J 12 (June 5, 2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-12-186.

PMID
23738604
Full Text

Menya, Diana, John Logedi, Imran Manji, Janice Armstrong, Brian Neelon, and Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara. “An innovative pay-for-performance (P4P) strategy for improving malaria management in rural Kenya: protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial..” Implement Sci 8 (May 8, 2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-8-48.

PMID
23656836
Full Text

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