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International Health

Fogarty International Center Grants – Building Global Health Research Capacity

The Department's partnership with Fogarty continues to expand with new grants in Afghanistan, Uganda and Vietnam

As the only arm of the National Institutes of Health dedicated exclusively to global health, the Fogarty International Center has played a crucial role in training leaders and advancing research projects in developing countries over the past 50 years. Since its inception, Fogarty has supported nearly 6,000 U.S. and foreign investigators working in developing countries, with a special emphasis on fostering institutional collaborations and local capacity building.  For decades, the Department of International Health has partnered with Fogarty to train students and build local capacity, primarily in the areas of infectious diseases and tropical medicine. In recent years, the Department and Fogarty have been working together to build capacity in new areas such as injury prevention and non-communicable diseases.  

Trauma and Injury

Pakistan and Afghanistan

Since 2005, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, (JH-IIRU) based in the Department, has led a collaborative training grant on trauma and injury research training in Pakistan. Through master’s training and workshops the grant supported capacity building at Aga Khan University and Khyber Medical University. A new grant expands that training to include Afghanistan. The Johns Hopkins-Afghanistan-Pakistan International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training Program is a partnership between Johns Hopkins, Aga Khan University, Afghan Public Health Institute, and Aga Khan University Programs in Afghanistan. The program will help strengthen Pakistani institutions for doctoral training, enhance injury research capacity in Afghanistan, and promote a sustainable research enterprise in western Asia. 

Vietnam

Assistant Professor Abdulgafoor Bachani and Professor Adnan Hyder recently received a 5-year grant to partner with Hanoi University of Public Health to strengthen research capacity on injury and trauma. The new training program, also based at JH-IIRU, will implement a capacity development model to address a major gap in injury and trauma research, a leading health burden in Vietnam. The new training program will establish mechanisms to ensure long-term sustainability through master’s level training for a strong injury research enterprise in Vietnam.

Uganda

Since 2012, The Johns Hopkins University-Makerere University Chronic Consequences of Trauma, Injuries and Disability in Uganda program has aimed to strengthen research capacity on the long-term health and economic consequences of trauma, injuries and disability across the lifespan in Uganda through an innovative model of sustainable capacity development. Coordinated by JH-IIRU, the program leverages expertise from across Johns Hopkins and Makerere University School of Public Health. A new MPH track at Makerere University has been established that focuses on the training curriculum developed by the program. Professor Hyder and Dr. Olive Kobusingye from Makerere build on over a decade of joint efforts in this grant for capacity development in Uganda.

Malaysia

Hopkins faculty are partnering with the Institute for Public Health, Malaysia, to develop an mHealth tool for home risk assessment and prevention of child injuries, a key national priority in Malaysia. The program will help build  a core group of researchers focused on the use and integration of  mobile health at the Institute for Public Health. The program is based in JH-IIRU and led by Professors Bachani and Hyder.

Non-Communicable Diseases

Uganda

In Uganda, a new grant will bring together faculty and staff from the Department, Makerere University School of Public Health and Iganga-Mayuge Health and Demographic Surveillance Site (DSS) to build local capacity to conduct research on the burden and risks of non-communicable diseases. According to the project lead, Assistant Scientist Dustin Gibson, NCDs are a growing problem: “In Uganda, NCDs are responsible for 4 of the leading 10 causes of death, yet data on NCD risk factors remains obscure." Co-led by Professor Hyder, this grant also includes Senior Scientist George Pariyo who hails from Uganda and originally helped establish the DSS site.

Infectious Diseases & Tropical Medicine

Bangladesh

Since 2007, the Department has led a training grant for scientists from Bangladesh to improve local capacity to carry out research in the area of childhood infectious diseases, with specific emphasis on maternal and neonatal infections. Professor Robert Black was awarded the first grant managed by Professor Joanne Katz; the current 5-year grant is managed by Professor Abdullah Baqui and Professor Black. Through master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral training, the program is helping to build a critical mass of researchers focused on prevention and management of infectious diseases in Bangladesh. Trainees have gone on to leading positions at several collaborating institutions around the world, including Save the Children, icddr,b, and the BRAC School of Public Health in Bangladesh.

Peru

Since the late 1980s, Fogarty training grants have allowed dozens of Hopkins students to study tropical medicine and infectious diseases in Peru under the mentorship of Professor Robert Gilman. Students have collaborated with his scientific and field teams at several sites throughout the country, and have conducted research on topics ranging from malaria in the Amazon, to respiratory illness in the Andes, to diarrheal diseases in the shantytowns outside of Lima.

Jessica Rothstein, Samantha Hauf and Melissa Reed contributed to this article.