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Canadian Centre gives C$30m grant to selected African countries to fight malaria

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Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has voted a 30-million-Canadian-dollar grant to assist some selected countries in Africa to address malaria development programmes.

Proposals from beneficiary countries to be selected through a keen competition are from West, Central and East Africa with high incidence of malaria.

Granted teams would develop research, build collaboration and alliances, create advocacy and leverage funds for a new generation of integration malaria research and control initiatives.

Speaking at the opening session of a five-day proposal development workshop on Integrated Research Partnership for Malaria Control in Africa (IPMA), Mr Martin Wiese, Programme Specialist, IDRC Ecosystems Approach to Human Health, said malaria had been a major and long standing health problem that needed to be eliminated.

The workshop, attended by 26 participants from Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, Togo, Uganda and Tanzania classified as the six multi-country, multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary teams of African specialists in malaria research and control policies would train the participants to develop a set of strong IPMA proposals before October 3, 2010.

Mr Wiese said IPMA fostered partnerships for integrated research across malaria-endemic regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and created synergies among environmental, health systems and community-based approaches to malaria control.

He said through a keen competition, IDRC would support the formation and consolidation of multi-national and multi-disciplinary African research teams.

Mr Wiese said the workshop would also assist the invited IPMA teams to address the thematic triangulations, which would foster research integrating environmental, livelihoods and health system interventions in malaria control with regard to advocacy and leverage building and networking.

Professor John Gyapong, Director of Research and Development Division of Ghana Health Service (GHS), said some research had been undertaken in Ghana in diverse areas on malaria and its related activities.

These are treatment choices, malaria vaccine development programme and singled adherence to treatment as a major challenge in Ghana.

He acknowledged the fact that malaria was a major problem that had claimed a lot of lives and affected development activities of the nation and stressed the need to find lasting ways of eliminating it.

Professor David Ofori-Adjei, Acting Director of College of Physicians and Surgeons, said it was unfortunate that people were still dying of malaria and reiterated the need to reduce or eliminate it adding, “Malaria should not be seen as a public health problem again”.

Source: GNA

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