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November 4, 2003

$37 Million Grant Awarded for Global Health Research

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to Lead Research Consortium

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was awarded $37 million by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to lead the aid organization’s global research activities. Research will focus on USAID’s goals of developing initiatives and programs to improve the health and nutrition of mothers and children worldwide within the next five years. The School of Public Health will lead a consortium of institutions in the global research activities, which includes the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, International Clinical Epidemiology Network, Boston University Center for International Health, Save the Children USA, and Helen Keller Worldwide.

“Nearly two-thirds of 10 million children that die each year worldwide could be saved with existing knowledge and treatments. Over half of child deaths are attributable to under-nutrition, including deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals. Our global research partnership will focus on developing and improving the utilization of effective and feasible health and nutrition interventions,” said Robert Black, MD, director of the global research activity partnership and chair of the Department of International Health at the School of Public Health. “All research will be focused on improving human health as directly and immediately as possible, ideally within five years.”

Research will be conducted in more than a dozen developing countries and will relate to each country’s individual needs, as well as have global importance. The range of studies will vary from the development and efficacy of new interventions and technologies to the evaluation and health benefits of large-scale programs. Many of the interventions studied will target pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, which are major causes of child mortality, as well as the underlying nutritional causes and infectious diseases.

“This partnership will provide leadership in advancing the health status of infants, children, mothers, and families. We will clearly define, through research, the programs and practices that work best to improve nutritional deficiencies and then move to turn the evidence into policies and programs to help people as quickly as possible,” explained Keith West, DrPH, deputy director of the USAID global research activity and professor in the School’s Center for Human Nutrition and Department of International Health.

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health:Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham at 410-955-6878 or Photographs of Robert Black are available upon request.