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Gates Foundation gives Notre Dame $20 million to study malaria


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the University of Notre Dame a $20 million grant Thursday to support research aimed at evaluating and improving malaria control programs.

Research for the five-year program will include partners in Indonesia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, as well as researchers from the Swiss Tropical Institute, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and Durham University.

The project will include test areas in both Africa and Indonesia. More than 1 million people die of malaria each year, the vast majority of them infants and very young children.

Frank Collins, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, will direct the program. The consortium will develop and standardize methods for effectively measuring the rates of malaria parasite transmission by mosquitoes.

A second research effort will focus on evaluating some of the more standard approaches to malaria control in different settings where the transmission rates are different. An example, he said, is comparing the use of bed nets containing insecticide and houses where indoor walls are sprayed with insecticide.

β€œOne of the biggest components of our project will be to evaluate such methods in a very rigorous and standardized way and make the information available to the larger malaria control community, so other people can use it,” he said.

The Gates Foundation is considered a leader in international public health, particularly in the fight against HIV, malaria and tuberculosis in the developing world.

– Associated Press

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