A group of researchers from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine hopes to support the Government of Karnataka in India, in partnership with the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, to improve maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes after the University received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
At the official opening of the Centre for Global Public Health (CGPH) today at the University of Manitoba Bannatyne Campus., President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. David Barnard announced $8.4 million USD in funding from the foundation to promote maternal, neonatal and child health interventions in underserved populations in rural India where high mortality and morbidity rates are prevalent. The project will provide support to the Government of India’s National Rural Health Mission in Karnataka state, South India and will run through to September 2014.
“The University of Manitoba is internationally recognized as a leader in global public health and we greatly appreciate the support for this important project. It positions the Centre for Global Public Health as a major force in tackling public health issues on a global scale,” said Dr. Barnard.
While a new entity at the University, the leaders of the project have been involved in international health and development projects and research for over a decade. The work of the Director of the Centre for Global Public Health Dr. Jamie Blanchard, and Associate Director Dr. Stephen Moses has drawn international recognition and awards, including more than $50M in funding from the Gates Foundation to date.
“Over the past two decades, we have seen rapid globalization of public health challenges, and many academic public health institutions, like us, have expanded their focus beyond domestic concerns to meet these new realities,” said Dr. J. Dean Sandham, Dean of Medicine, University of Manitoba. “The Centre for Global Public Health will have an impact on a wide range of public health issues and contribute significantly to research, knowledge sharing, and positive outcomes at the international level.”
In addition to ongoing work on HIV/AIDS prevention, the Centre will focus on important public health issues such as other infectious diseases, maternal and child health, and emerging, non-communicable disease epidemics.
“This new project should have great impact in helping to reduce mortality among vulnerable mothers and newborns in India,” said Dr. Blanchard. “It will extend our work on HIV/AIDS in India into the broader health arena.”
The Centre’s research focus is primarily on assisting in designing and delivering public health programs and services. A range of research disciplines will support this effort, including epidemiology, microbiology, clinical outcomes research and medical anthropology.
A cornerstone of CGPH is the design and implementation of international health and development projects in several countries including India, China, Kenya and Pakistan, primarily in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention. Current partners include the West China School of Public Health at Sichuan University in Sichuan, China, the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust in Bangalore, India, and the University of Nairobi in Nairobi, Kenya.
Established in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Community Health Sciences in collaboration with the Department of Medical Microbiology, the CGPH has six core full-time faculty members, including three recently recruited faculty members. In addition, the CGPH has three research associates and several faculty associates from various other university departments.