Kumasi, Ghana (May 19, 2017)
Today, the first-ever grantees of the African Researchers’ Small Grants program were announced by the African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARNTD), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD). The winners, selected from a pool of nearly 100 applicants, will receive support to conduct operational research to address issues facing efforts to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in their home countries of Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Togo.
“The Small Grants Program provides USAID with the opportunity to invest in young researchers and the next generation of leaders in Africa,” said Emily Wainwright, Chief, Neglected Tropical Diseases Division, USAID.
John Amuasi, Executive Director for the ARNTD, said, “We are glad to partner with USAID and COR-NTD to promote research made in Africa. This is one of our core mandates as a network, and we invite others to come on board.”
Through this collaboration, the selected projects focus on all five of the NTDs treated via mass drug administration: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, and trachoma. Together, those infections affect more than one billion people worldwide, and are of particular concern on the African continent. The African Researchers’ Small Grants Program underlines the growing cadre of African expertise in health, and the grantees’ contributions will bring unique value to the fight against NTDs in their home countries as well as the African continent.
Collectively, the inaugural winners are well-positioned to strengthen the fight against NTDs, drawing upon their wealth of expertise in research, health, and science. The awardees’ projects represent a range of important disease issues and the group is comprised of a diverse group of individuals who will bring unique perspectives. The African Researchers’ Small Grants Program targets both junior- and senior-level researchers based at research institutions or universities in Africa.