Vaccine Review Practicum Opportunity: WWARN-IDDO Medicine Quality Scientific Group / Lao-Oxford—Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit

in Practicums/Internships
January 12th, 2017

For more information contact Associate Professor Veronika Wirtz


WWARN-IDDO Medicine Quality Scientific Group / Lao-Oxford—Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit

Address/Contact Info/Website:

Mahosot Hospital
Tel: (856-21) 242158

Agency Description/Mission Statement:

We are a clinical infectious disease research unit based in a teaching hospital in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The WWARN-IDDO Medicine Quality Scientific Group is based within the unit and is staffed by a Coordinator, three Lao pharmacists/doctors and a Group head.

It has become clear that there are severe but heterogeneous, through both space and time, problems with the global medicine supply, both in terms of access and quality. WWARN-IDDO aims at sharing global expertise, sharing information, strengthening knowledge of the scale of the problem of poor quality medicines, and raises awareness among key stakeholders.

We have tabulated and mapped all the accessible reports of antimalarial medicine quality (see: and we are working on similar projects for the quality of maternal/sexual health medicines, diabetes medicines, TB medicines and antibiotics. We are reviewing all the evidence we can find and hope to be able to map these reports, as we have done for antimalarial medicines, to facilitate access to this information. These data will be presented and mapped on the Oxford based IDDO platform ( We are also working on linked reviews of the quality of each of these classes of medicine for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

The student would work within this group and be supervised by the Coordinator and Group head.

Practicum description/Scope of Work: (Describe the project(s) you would like the student to undertake.)

The student would have to perform a review of the literature on the quality of vaccines.

The project would involve searching of the formal and lay literature for all the accessible reports on the quality of vaccines. The team in Vientiane has expertise in such review work. We would expect this work to be publishable as a peer-reviewed paper. As a part of the project it will also be necessary to review the current situation for regulation of vaccines, to facilitate understanding of the impact of poor quality vaccines. The project would also include discussion of the potential interventions to ensure that vaccines are good quality. We intend that these data will be summarized on an IDDO online mapping system such as the AQ surveyor described above, but this is unlikely to be achievable during the actual project.

In addition to that main project, the student could be involved in an ongoing project aiming to evaluate and compare various medicine quality portable/handheld devices such as the TruScan, the CD3 and the Minilab.

If the student wished s/he could also occasionally participate in the infectious disease board and ward rounds in the laboratory and hospital, respectively, to gain understanding of the diseases and problems in diagnosis and management in Laos. S/he would also be able to participate in the journal club and talks that the unit runs.

The student would be provided with a desk, an internet connection with supervisory and administrative support.

Minimum skills required/desired: (List preferred or required skills, e.g., language, research, knowledge, familiarity with particular population, etc.)

Basic computer skills and comprehension of scientific papers and pharmaceutical science are required. The student should have teamwork skills and should be proactive and make initiatives to solve everyday problems when needed.

Time / Dates of Availability: [Minimum or Maximum; needed lead time, if any]

At least 6 weeks (full-time) are required, between March and December 2017.

To apply: (Student can apply by submitting:   CV, letter of interest, dates desired.)

CV + letter of interest

Application deadline:

February 15th 2017 

Number of students requested:


Logistics & Support: (Students are always appreciative for any support offered, such as: stipend, airport pickup, housing assistance (living with a family). An estimate of living expenses is helpful.)

Logistics and support (accommodation, airport pickup…) will be provided by Ms Sengmany Symanivong and Mrs Athirat Black 

Contact Information of Field Supervisor and/or Hiring Coordinator:

Hiring Coordinator: Paul Newton –

Field Supervisor: Celine Caillet –