Neglected Tropical Diseases
The European Foundations Initiative for Neglected Tropical Diseases aims to strengthen African research capacity in neglected tropical diseases and related public health research by supporting young African researchers in African research institutions.
Diseases such as bilharzia, elephantiasis, worms, diarrhoea and sleeping sickness affect over one billion people worldwide, about half of these living in remote rural areas, urban slums or conflict zones in Africa. They contribute to ill health, irreversible disability and the ongoing cycle of poverty that leaves people unable to work, go to school or participate in family and community life.
Whilst “the big three" infections - AIDS, TB and malaria - grab the headlines, these neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have received little attention despite the huge numbers afflicted. The five European Foundations - Cariplo, Gulbenkian, Merieux, Nuffield and Volkswagen - identified NTD control as an untapped development opportunity to alleviate poverty in the world’s poorest populations and make a direct impact on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Responding to proposals by international researchers, both African and European, they launched a scheme in 2008 that offers immediate and relevant support.
The Fellowships provide opportunities for young scientists to demonstrate their ability and commitment to this field and are highly competitive, with the final stage of the selection process taking place at an international conference. Research supported by the Fellowships must be appropriate for subsequent rapid implementation by policy-makers and practitioners.
The idea is to build up a cadre of African researchers, working within African research centres, who can design, carry out and disseminate effective research and attract the funding needed to carry on this work until these diseases are eliminated. This support of post doctoral Fellowships to research these diseases is also making a niche contribution to the future leadership of biomedical science in Africa”
In this first round, ten Fellowships totaling nearly one and a quarter million euros were awarded to postdoctoral scientists. Research assistants employed on the projects will work towards masters and doctoral qualifications, widening the research capacity building.
- Global grant-making: foundations' international development funding
- Mental health care in resource poor settings
- Postgraduate training for Ethiopian nurses
- Training cerebral palsy therapists in Uganda
- Fostering medical research in Malawi
- Training South African civil servants in social policy and analysis
- Services for people with communication disabilities in Uganda