IANPHI awards seven new grants to five member institutes

(APRIL 23, 2010) IANPHI has approved more than $276,000 (USD) in funding for new research seed grants and short-term projects designed to strengthen public health research, public health systems, and evidence-based decision-making in five member institutes. Grants announced at the April Executive Board meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, include four short-term grants of $25,000 each to the following:

  • Portugal’s National Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to help Guinea-Bissau National Public Health Institute (INASA) build financial management capacity. Establishing a strong financial department at INASA is crucial as the new institute becomes responsible for implementing and monitoring national public health programs financed by both national and international partners. Through this one-year grant the Portugal institute will provide financial management training for INASA health professionals.
  • Guinea-Bissau INASA for an intensive course on monitoring and controlling malaria. This grant will contribute significantly to establishing a nationwide mosquito surveillance system to assess the impact of large-scale malaria vector control interventions currently being implemented throughout Guinea Bissau. Public health authorities in Guinea Bissau will be trained by Portugal’s National Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • Thailand National Institute of Health (Thai NIH) for External Quality Assurance (EQA) training. The Thai NIH will implement an EQA program for molecular testing of human pathogens in order to minimize false or erroneous test results. After the training provided by Australia’s National Reference Laboratory, NIH wants to develop sustainable EQA programs for laboratories in Thailand and in neighboring countries.
  • Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for capacity-strengthening. An NPHI team from the region will provide grant management and accounting software training for key administrative staff in order to develop a Research Support Office and increase UVRI’s capacity to manage new and large projects in coordination with UVRI’s worldwide partners.
Also approved were research seed grants of approximately $60,000 over two years: 
  • Ghana Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research for early detection and treatment of Buruli ulcers (BU). Funding will help Ghana reduce BU morbidity in the Asante-Akim district. The project aims to implement strategies to promote active community participation in early case detection and to support health centers confirm and treat BU.
  • Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) for noncommunicable disease research and prevention methods in Lagos. With a $56,000 (USD) IANPHI grant, NIMR will lead a multidisciplinary research team in a study of lifestyle factors that contribute to noncommunicable diseases, a rapidly emerging public health challenge in the Nigerian urban slum population. Results of the study of three Lagos slums will give policy makers a reliable knowledge base on which to make informed health policy decisions.
  • Thailand National Institute of Health for scaling up cholera research in Thailand and Laos. This two-year project will strengthen laboratory capacity to assess the prevalence of cholera in patients with severe diarrhea. Research to determine the virulence-associated genes of cholera also will help shape and support cholera prevention programs and control policies.
For more information about these grants, please visit the IANPHI website or contact Project Manager Katja Heikkiläinen at IANPHI’s Finnish Secretariat.
New grants address pressing health concerns—from Buruli ulcers in Ghana, cholera in Thailand, and malaria in Guinea-Bissau to noncommunicable diseases in Nigeria.