The Walter Reed AFRIMS Research Unit Nepal was established under the aegis of U.S. Embassy in Nepal as a field site of the AFRIMS Bacterial and Parasitic Diseases Department. WARUN maintains a large laboratory facility in Kathmandu, Nepal, with extensive microbiology, immunology, parasitology and molecular capabilities as well as satellite units in Nepali government hospitals in Bharatpur and Pokhara to support diarrheal disease and multidrug-resistant organism surveillance programs. These studies allow for important insights into the spread and development of enteric diseases, a major threat to deployed Service Members. Current major studies include:
- Epidemiology of acute gastrointestinal illness and clinical outcomes in travelers to Nepal
- Epidemiology of acute febrile illnesses of unknown origin in foreign travelers and expatriates in Nepal
- Surveillance and characterization of multidrug-resistant organisms at CIWEC Hospital and Travel Medicine Center, Nepal
- Participating site in the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance-Global Travelers’ Diarrhea (GEIS-GTD) study.
- Surveillance as part of the government of Nepal's National Influenza Surveillance Network and other Asian surveillance efforts tracking influenza and SARS-CoV-2
- Participation in disease outbreak investigations with the government of Nepal
These studies build on a long history of studying diarrheal diseases, antimicrobial susceptibility, nutrition, cognitive development and more. Notably, between 2010 and 2017, WARUN worked closely with the Institute of Medicine in Nepal as part of a global effort from Foundation for the National Institutes of Health to look at the etiology, risk factors and interaction of enteric infections and malnutrition as well as their consequences for child health and development in Nepal. Including Nepal, there were eight countries involved in this multicenter cohort study.