Lab Canada

Innovative health projects get grants

Toronto, ON – 51 innovators in 18 low and middle income countries worldwide have received a total of $7 million in grants to pursue bold, creative ideas to tackle health problems in resource-poor countries.

Distributed by Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the Government of Canada, announced the 68 $100,000 grants under its Stars in Global Health program, which fosters affordable, breakthrough ideas to improve health in developing countries. Successful projects may apply for $1 million scale-up grants.

Among the projects: researchers will mimic rocket technology to propel coagulant nanoparticles into the bloodstream and stop maternal bleeding, a major cause of death in the developing world; test a high-tech Burn Survival Kit that includes a low-cost silver nanotubule dressing making treatment affordable; and develop an HIV infection detector that works in fewer than 5 minutes.

Others include a new trading system in Kenya: seeds and fertilizers for proof of child vaccinations; a $100 kitchen reno to reduce indoor pollution and problem pregnancies in Bangladesh; cultivating disease-fighting prawns in Senegal; creating wealth from human waste in cholera-troubled Haiti; and anti-diarrhea kits for infants hitching a ride on Coca-Cola’s distribution chain to get essential medicine to “the ends of the Earth.”

38 in projects are in Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana (4), Kenya (10), Nigeria, Rwanda (2), Senegal (2), Tanzania (2), Uganda (8), Zambia (4), Zimbabwe and South Africa); 23 in Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh (3), China, India (9), Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan (4), Vietnam; five in Latin America / Caribbean: Haiti (3), Guatemala, Nicaragua; and two in the Middle East (Jordan, Tunisia).