© Shannon Jensen
22 Sep 16 20 Aug 20

About The Manson Unit

The Manson Unit is a UK-based team of MSF medical specialists who work to improve the quality of MSF’s medical work. They strive to achieve change on major medical issues in humanitarian settings.

Established in 2003, the Manson Unit was named after the father of modern tropical medicine, Sir Patrick Manson.

We're made up of:

  • medical doctors
  • epidemiologists
  • social scientists
  • laboratory specialists
  • e-health and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) specialists
  • medical editors and researchers.

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We focus on making developments in the management of medical issues such as:

We help MSF field projects to develop these in practice, monitor how these are implemented, review and take learnings forward.

Current projects

Our current projects include:

  • Initiating and developing MSF medical programmes to treat drug-resistant TB
  • Managing a medical data surveillance system
  • Using GIS to strengthen response to outbreaks of disease and management of MSF medical programmes, including the Missing Maps project
  • Initiatives to support MSF field teams’ innovations, such as the Sapling Nursery
  • Providing epidemiological support and research into implementing treatment for an outbreak of lead poisoning in Nigeria
  • Supporting improvements in the quality of MSF medical programmes through operational research, mathematical modelling and evidence-based decision-making.

UK health expertise

We're based in the UK to utilise:

  • the diversity of expertise in international health
  • other humanitarian organisations
  • academic research.


Our academic and medical collaborations help us find solutions to medical and research problems in our projects. We work with institutions like the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Royal Free Hospital.


The UK is also home to many important medical, media and political players who are influential in shaping international health policy. Our location allows us to advocate for funding, research and political attention for neglected medical issues, faced by the patients and populations we assist.

Staying in touch

For the latest updates on research issues in and around MSF, follow us on @MSFsci.

We also compile a weekly global health review. Sign up and receive updates directly to your inbox!