OTTAWA, Nov 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The seven-year, CA$36 million Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) research program today announced the selection of two African organizations that will help put research into practice and bring the program's results to the attention of decision-makers.
The IMCHA program was launched in May 2014 by Canada's Minister of Health, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. It is a joint initiative of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
"Thanks to Canadian leadership and collective global action through the 2010 G8 Muskoka Initiative, we are seeing tangible results for the world's women and children: fewer mothers are dying, more children are celebrating their fifth birthday, and women and children around the world have better access to quality healthcare," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. "Canada is building on these results with a $3.5 billion commitment from 2015 to 2020. Supporting research initiatives like this one is key to finding the innovative solutions we need to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children and ensure that our programs reach those most in need."
IMCHA is investing in scientific breakthroughs in primary health care to improve the health of women, newborns, and children in sub-Saharan Africa. It will fund approximately 20 research teams.
- The selected organizations are: The West African Health Organization (WAHO), based in Burkina Faso
- A consortium, which includes Kenya's African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC); Tanzania's East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC); and Uganda's Partners in Population and Development (PPD)
These organizations will bridge the gap between the research teams and decision-makers in Africa, helping to ensure that research findings are taken up into policy and that health interventions are evidence-based and effective.
"This is an important step forward in turning research into action in sub-Saharan Africa," says Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. "By reaching out to decision-makers, these organizations will help innovations in health care be implemented so that the lives of women, children, and newborns can be saved."
Maternal, newborn, and child health is Canada's top development priority. Half of the world's maternal, newborn, and child deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these deaths can be prevented by strengthening health systems on the frontlines, where primary health care is provided.
Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa was announced in May 2014 and is funded through Canada's Global Health Research Initiative (GHRI), a partnership between Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
"This made-in-Canada collaboration brings leading Canadian researchers together with their colleagues in the developing world to improve the lives of women and children," said IDRC President Jean Lebel. "The program will make health systems stronger and more accessible in the area of frontline primary health care, where it is needed most."
Research on pressing health issues to improve the lives of mothers, newborns, and children will focus on nine sub-Saharan African countries targeted in the Muskoka Initiative: Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, and Tanzania.
Canada Selects African Health Organizations to Help Save the Lives of Women and Children
As part of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa research program, launched in May 2014, two African health organizations have been selected to bridge the gap between the research teams supported by the program and decision-makers in Africa. Those organizations are:
- The West African Health Organization (WAHO)
- Based in Burkina Faso, WAHO was established in 1987 when the Heads of State and Government from all 15 countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted the Protocol creating the organization.
- A consortium composed of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC); the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC); and Uganda's Partners in Population and Development (PPD)
- Kenya's APHRC, founded in 1995 and headquartered in Nairobi, actively engages policymakers and other key stakeholders to achieve measurable policy impacts and ensure that decision-making across the continent is informed by evidence-based research.
- The ECSA-HC, based in Tanzania and established in 1974, includes 10 member states and aims to foster and strengthen regional cooperation and the capacity to address the health needs of member states.
- PPD's Africa regional office opened in 2007 in Uganda. There are currently 14 member countries situated in Africa, while the wider PPD makes up a South-South alliance of 25 developing countries.
The Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa program is the flagship program of the Global Health Research Initiative (GHRI), a partnership of three Canadian government agencies. The made-in-Canada partnership includes:
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
- International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
The program was announced in May 2014 by Canada's Minister of Health, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.
Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa brings together leading Canadian researchers with counterparts and decision-makers in low- and middle-income countries to generate locally relevant, practical, and affordable innovations and solutions that can be replicated and expanded to other communities.
"Research must support decision-makers at all levels in the health care system to support sound decision making to improve population health," said D. Xavier Crespin, Director General of WAHO. "This WAHO project supported by GHRI will allow this objective to be met for mothers and children in West Africa."
"With APHRC's strong research capacity, PPD's long-standing experience in high-level policy engagement, and ECSA-HC's robust convening role in Eastern and Southern Africa, this South-South cooperation will significantly address the key maternal, newborn, and child health challenges facing the region," said Dr Alex Ezeh, Executive Director of APHRC.
"This made-in-Canada collaboration brings leading Canadian researchers together with their colleagues in the developing world to improve the lives of women and children," said IDRC President Jean Lebel. "The program will make health systems stronger and more accessible to these marginalized communities, particularly in the area of frontline, primary health care."
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
GHRI contributes to Canada's leadership in maternal and child health and delivers on the country's key innovation, international development, and foreign policy priorities. Focused on sub-Saharan Africa, it also strengthens Canada's scientific base by creating research opportunities for Canadian scientists, with the potential to produce results that will also benefit Canadians.
The program will generate new research on which health systems interventions work and under what conditions. It will focus on four maternal, newborn, and child health priorities by:
- implementing and evaluating technologies and services that directly affect maternal, newborn, and child health, by working through the communities they live in
- ensuring that high quality health care is delivered in clinics and hospitals
- working with policymakers and decision-makers to help make the best health policy decisions, and,
- identifying how nurses, doctors, and other health professionals can better deliver the care that is needed.
Image with caption: "Global Health Research Initiative. (CNW Group/International Development Research Centre)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141106_C5805_PHOTO_EN_7604.jpg
SOURCE: International Development Research Centre
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