Stephen Spencer – Madagascar Medical Expeditions (MadEx)


Stephen Spencer is a doctor based in Bristol and he has a passion for finding diseases in remote populations. He is founder and director of Madagascar Medical Expeditions (MadEx), which is an award-winning medical aid and research project in the remote rainforest regions of Madagascar. Stephen was elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society as a medical student, founded the Manchester University Expedition Society and has been medical officer on expeditions throughout the Amazon, Bornean and Malagasy rainforests. In 2014, whilst preparing for his finals, Stephen set-up two expeditions: assessing and treating sea cucumber fishermen in Mexico and MADEX. In 2016 he won SES's Rivers Foundation Explorer Award for Health & Humanities and the University of Manchester Social Responsibility Awards and on top of this, he won the Turner-Warwick lecturer award by the Royal College of Physicians for his work in Madagascar.

MadEx is an organisation that works in the remote rainforest of Madagascar to tackle neglected tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis (more commonly known as bilharzia). The aim is to control schistosomiasis infection in populations living in Marolambo.


This will be achieved by doing the following:

  • Reseach the burden of schistosomiasis in Marolambo
  • Provision and development of health education to schools
  • Provide annual treatment for both schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis


In addition to annual morbidity assessments and prevention and treatment interventions, the MadEx team hope to enhance understanding of schistosomiasis in the region by adding a new focus for each year. For previous years, these are as follows:

  • 2016: Handheld ultrasound assessment of schistosomiasis-related morbidity
  • 2017: Implementation of a novel education programme
  • 2018: Investigation of the snails involved in the parasite's life-cycle


Follow this expedition's progress on Madagascar Medical Expeditions.