An Innovative Collaboration: Canada's New Government Supports Research for Global Health Problems



    OTTAWA, March 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's New Government announced today
that 13 research teams, pairing Canadian health researchers with counterparts
in the developing world, will receive more than $20 million in funding through
the Teasdale-Corti Team Grants. The grants will be awarded through the Global
Health Research Initiative (GHRI), a partnership between the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA), Health Canada, and the International Development Research
Centre (IDRC).
    Each team will be allocated up to $1.6 million over four years to find
practical and sustainable solutions to global health problems. Researchers and
research users, such as policymakers and practitioners, will work together to
find solutions to the world's most pressing health issues. In doing so, they
will ensure that the results and knowledge gained through these projects will
benefit citizens of both the South and the North.
    "The Global Health Research Initiative provides an opportunity for
Canadian and international partners to work together, to improve people's
health in developing countries," noted the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister
of Health. "This is a unique approach that contributes to addressing several
urgent global public health challenges."
    Some of the projects include the creation of new programs by a team of
Canadian, Jamaican and Kenyan researchers to strengthen nurses' capacity to
deal with the HIV/AIDS pandemic; a Canadian-Mexican collaboration to look at
the emerging problem of childhood obesity; and a team from Canada, Malaysia
and Sri Lanka working on solutions to reduce human exposure to emerging
infectious diseases often carried by animals.
    The grants program is named in honour of Dr. Lucille Teasdale and her
husband, Dr. Piero Corti. Dr. Teasdale was a pioneering Canadian surgeon who
died in 1996 after contracting AIDS while operating on patients in Uganda.
Doctors Teasdale and Corti dedicated their lives to improving health care in
Africa, and to building the capacities of African health practitioners.
    "The Teasdale-Corti Team Grants will honour their legacy by making a real
difference in improving the lives of people in the poorest countries of the
world," said Maureen O'Neil, President of the International Development
Research Centre.
    The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of
the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, responsible for the IDRC, noted that
"the grants will ensure that researchers and practitioners from both Canada
and developing countries will produce concrete results to improve the health
of people around the world."
    "This initiative harnesses the strengths of researchers in Canada with
those in developing countries," said Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research. "Their collaboration will both
generate and apply the knowledge needed to address urgent global health and
health system challenges. It is a major opportunity for Canadians together
with their partners around the world to do this kind of research."
    "The Government of Canada is committed to improving people's health in
the world's poorest countries," said the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of
International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official
Languages. "This initiative will contribute to mobilizing the best of what the
world has to offer and the best of what Canada can offer in the area of global
health research, with the ultimate goal of saving lives."
    The 13 successful teams were chosen from more than 250 applications
following a stringent peer-review process.

    
    BACKGROUNDERS: Information on GHRI
                   Information on the 13 teams and their projects on
                   www.idrc.ca
    

    About GHRI

    The Global Health Research Initiative (GHRI) is a partnership between
Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA), and Health Canada (HC) to collaborate on global health research
in Canada. The partnership aims to strengthen and build capacity for global
health research in Canada and in developing countries, and to strengthen the
effectiveness of Canada's overseas development assistance.

    About the GHRI Partners:

    The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has as its mandate
to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable human development in
developing countries. Its Strategy for Health and its recently released Social
Development Priorities: A Framework for Action, the resulting HIV/AIDS Action
Plan and upcoming Health and Nutrition Action Plan, all recognize the
importance of evidence-based programming and the need for further research to
continuously improve the impact and cost-effectiveness of Canadian ODA to
improve the health of the world's poor. Canada's official development
assistance contributes to reaching the International Development Targets for
2015 and more specifically the health goals set during the international
conferences and summits of the 1990's.

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the major federal agency
responsible for funding health research in Canada. As set out by Parliament,
the objective of CIHR is to excel, according to internationally accepted
standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its
translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services
and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system. The Institutes of
CIHR bring together researchers who approach health challenges from different
disciplinary perspectives, drawing on the combined strengths of these
approaches. The four pillars of CIHR include biomedical, clinical science,
health systems and services, and the social, cultural and other factors that
affect the health of populations.

    Health Canada's mandate is to help the people of Canada maintain and
improve their health. Health Canada recognizes the importance of health issues
in a global environment and works actively to ensure that Canada and the
Canadian public are protected from external health threats, benefit from and
contribute to the advancement of health in the global context. Health Canada
represents Canada in the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health
Organization and other international health fora.

    The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) was created by an
Act of Parliament in 1970 with the mandate of supporting the creation and
utilization of research for development. IDRC's primary mission is to support
research by Southern researchers, addressing development priorities identified
by the South. The ultimate beneficiaries of the research supported by IDRC are
be communities in the countries of the South, particularly marginalized or
disadvantaged groups. IDRC feels that Canadians have much to offer in building
research capacity in the South, as well as in directly addressing critical
health issues affecting the populations of the developing world. IDRC,
therefore, strongly supports efforts to promote Canadian "global health
thinking" leading to global health research and action to close the 10-90 gap.




For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé, IDRC, (613)
236-6163, ext. 2343, ibourgeault-tasse@idrc.ca

Organization Profile

GLOBAL HEALTH RESEARCH INITIATIVE (GHRI)

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