GRANTS ANNOUNCEMENT Department of Paediatrics and Child Health Aga Khan University Title: Evaluation of the impact of zinc and/or multiple micronutrient supplementations on growth, intestinal function and flora and morbidity in a representative urban and rural cohort of young children in Pakistan Principal Investigator: Dr Zulfiqar A Bhutta Co-investigators: Dr Mohammad Imran, Dr Sajid Soofi, Dr Anita Zaidi, Dr Qamaruddin Nizami, Dr Zahid Larik (Nutrition Cell, Ministry of Health) Funding Agency: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Amount: US$ 4.25 million Collaborating Institutions: Department of Microbiology, Tufts University Boston, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Nutrition Cell, Ministry of Health, Islamabad Project Duration: 3 years Project Description: This is the first direct grant from the Gates Foundation to Aga Khan University (AKU) and also the single largest research grant ever awarded to AKU. This grant will allow the establishment of an urban and rural birth cohort in Karachi and Hala/Matiari to evaluate the effects of nutritional supplementation for two years. The project has substantial opportunities for in-depth studies and establishment of laboratory methods for evaluation of nutrition outcomes, morbidity and growth in community settings. There will be the possibility for establishing improved laboratory and research infrastructure in Hala, an established community research site of the Department. Title: Impact of Introduction of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) Vaccine in Pakistan’s National Immunization Programme. Principal Investigator: Dr Anita Zaidi Co-investigators: Dr Asad Ali, Dr Sajid Soofi, Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, Dr Rehan Hafiz (EPI program) Funding Agency: Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) and the Hib Consortium Amount: US$ 1.24 million Collaborating Institutions: Pakistan Expanded Programme for Immunizations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Project Duration: 3 years Project Description: The grant will allow the establishment of surveillance for Hib disease in three districts of Pakistan and conduct epidemiological analyses to measure the impact of introduction of new vaccines in children in Pakistan. Title: Burden and Etiology of Diarrhoeal Diseases among Children in urban and peri- urban Karachi. Principal Investigator: Dr Anita Zaidi Co-investigators: Departments of Pathology/Microbiology (Dr Rumina Hasan), and Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Dr Sohail Qureshi) Funding Agency: Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Amount: US$ 958,000 Collaborating Institutions: Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA (Myron Levine) Project Duration: 3 years Project Description: This project will measure the pathogen-specific population burden of diarrhoeal diseases and conduct related epidemiological studies in order to inform vaccine priorities for enteric diseases in children in developing countries. The project also allows AKU to build laboratory and field infrastructure for undertaking enteric vaccine trials. Title: Implementation and impact assessment of a novel urban school vaccination strategy for reducing the burden of Typhoid fever in Karachi. Principal Investigator: Dr Zulfiqar A. Bhutta Co-investigators: Dr Sajid Soofi, Dr Hafeez Bhutto, Dr Shakil Ahmad Collaborating Institutions: Departments of Pathology/Microbiology, Department of Public Health, Government of Sindh Funding Agency: International Vaccine Institute (Seoul) through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Amount: US$ 750,000 Collaborating Institutions: International Vaccine Institute (Seoul) through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Project Duration: 3 years Project Description: Following the hugely successful epidemiological studies and demonstration projects on typhoid fever in the slum populations of Karachi (2002-2007), this project aims to implement and evaluate the impact of a novel strategy for vaccinating young school children with a single dose Vi vaccine and to objectively evaluate the reduction, if any, in the overall burden of disease. The project will also allow AKU to build and further strengthen off-campus laboratory and field infrastructure for undertaking enteric vaccine trials. Title: Impact of management of childhood pneumonia by community health workers in rural Sindh. Principal Investigator: Dr Zulfiqar A. Bhutta Co-investigators: Dr Sajid Soofi, Dr Qamaruddin Nizami, Dr Sheraz Ahmad, Dr Khalil Ahmad Funding Agency: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Amount: US$ 1.24 million Collaborating Institutions: Division of International Health, Boston University School of Public Health, National Program for Primary Care, Government of Pakistan, Save the Children USA (Pakistan), the World Health Organization (Geneva) Project Duration: 2 years Project Description: This project builds on several pilot studies and the recent Hala perinatal project. Given the persistent high burden of childhood pneumonia deaths in Pakistan, this project aims to reduce the morbidity due to childhood pneumonia and delay in the institution of appropriate therapy through trained community health workers. If successful, the results will have huge policy implications for the national programme for the prevention and treatment of acute respiratory infections in developing countries in general and Pakistan in particular.
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