The African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARNTD) together with the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Disease (COR-NTD) are delighted to present the nine recipients of the 2023 African Researchers’ Small Grants Program (SPG VI).
Over the first five years of the SGP, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Neglected Tropical Diseases Program and UK Aid from the UK Government have provided close to $1.5 million to about 65 researchers in over 15 African countries. With this funding, the SGP contributes to attaining the targets in the World Health Organization’s Roadmap: “Ending the neglect to attain the Sustainable Development Goals: A road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021–2030.” This year, with financial support again from USAID and from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, young and mid-career scientists will be able to join the fight against NTDs through impactful research.
At the fifth anniversary celebration of the African Researchers’ Small Grants program, John Amuasi, Executive Director, ARNTD, indicated, “It is profound how this investment in SGP has resulted in larger grants for these researchers as well as skill and knowledge transfer.”
“It is essential that young scientists in Africa have the opportunity to contribute their in-depth knowledge from their proximity to the field to the decision-making process. Research equity does not just happen; it’s a deliberate effort and the SGP definitely promotes this,” he noted.
“USAID is pleased to be supporting entry and mid-level career public health researchers through the African Researchers’ Small Grants program for the sixth year,” said Joseph Shott, Health Scientist in the Division of Neglected Tropical Diseases, Global Health Bureau, USAID.
He continued, “It’s a remarkable achievement for these scientists, and we hope that this opportunity opens more doors for them in the future. Concurrently, it will build the evidence base for new implementation and innovation strategies for national NTD programs.”
Patrick Lammie, Program Director, COR-NTD, noted “I am impressed by the way that SGP has provided these young scientists with career defining moments, launching them into new opportunities and career trajectories. SGP is creating the next generation of young scientists who will eliminate NTDs.”
With Africa bearing about half the global burden of NTDs, the African Researchers’ Small Grants Program represents one of the innovative ways Africa is working towards reducing this disease burden through creating a critical mass of next-generation of NTD focused-scientists.
Congratulations to the nine researchers listed below who have been selected for funding to enable them pilot context-driven initiatives to combat NTDs in their communities.