Grand Challenges Canada extends $7.7 million to 22 projects
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TORONTO, Jan. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Grand Challenges Canada today offers funding of up to $270,000 to 21 global mental health projects worldwide and up to $2 million to an innovative program in India designed to improve the quality of mental health patient treatment and end reported abuses.
Together, the funds extend a CDN $7.7 million (U.S. $7.2 million) helping hand to sufferers of brain-related disorders in developing countries — the most neglected of neglected global health problems.
Funded by the Government of Canada, Grand Challenges Canada grantees will creatively explore how to augment and amplify relatively meagre existing help available to mental health and brain disorder patients.
Thirteen of the 22 projects include novel deployments of mobile phone technologies — in several cases connecting specialists with mental health patients directly or with lay health workers identifying sufferers in some of the world's most remote corners.
And six of the projects offer help to the most vulnerable victims of all: children and youth, often shunned and brutally ostracized because of their problems.
Selected through independent peer review from 125 applications, the 22 successful projects break down as follows, by grantee institution:
Canada: 8 (Toronto (4 grants), Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver)
Africa: 5 (Nigeria, Uganda, Union of Comoros, Ghana, Ethiopia)
Asia: 5 (India (3 grants) Laos, Pakistan)
Latin America/Caribbean: 4 (Guatemala, Colombia, Jamaica, Peru).
Project implementation will also involve activities in Kenya, Rwanda, Vietnam, Bhutan, Nicaragua, and Haiti.
Says Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada: "Nowhere is the suffering of mental illness — the most neglected of neglected diseases — more neglected than in developing countries. Tackling the grand challenge of global mental health improves not only the lives of individuals but also their productivity. Improving mental health stimulates sustained economic growth of nations by investing in people."
Says the Honourable Christian Paradis, Canadian Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie: "As a founding investor in Grand Challenges Canada, our government is supporting new and innovative approaches to resolving the most persistent global health challenges. Mental health is one of the most neglected illnesses in the world and these inventive projects and ideas will eliminate barriers for treatment and improve critical mental health services in developing countries."
Says Dr. Shekhar Saxena, Director, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO: "The World Health Organization is pleased to see this round of grants by Grand Challenges Canada to facilitate much-needed services to some of the most underserved populations in the world. Use of advanced technology to scale up delivery of interventions is an especially welcome innovation. Knowledge generated by these grants will be useful to implement the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan of WHO."
For more information about the 22 projects, read the full press release here: http://www.grandchallenges.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/NewsRelease-GMH-2014Jan10-EN.pdf
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The Grand Challenges Canada "Global Mental Health" program seeks breakthrough and affordable innovations that could transform the way mental health diseases are treated in the developing world — innovations that may benefit the health of developed world citizens as well.
Since it began in 2011 and including today's grants, Grand Challenges Canada has invested almost $28 million in 48 projects designed to improve mental healthcare in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and South and Latin America/Caribbean.
Depression and anxiety disorders are a major focus across the portfolio. Almost all projects support training non-specialists to augment local human resources, and many exploit newly-opened opportunities to deploy information technologies in critical telemedicine support roles, including patient records, clinical decision-making, adherence, referrals, caregiver support and community engagement.
Grantees are encouraged to use an Integrated Innovation® approach that combines business, social and science/technology-based innovations to address barriers to mental health service delivery.
Scientific/Technological Innovation: The development and application of new (and/or modifying existing) scientific or technological products, services, practices or processes.
Social Innovation: This includes elements necessary to bring solutions to scale in specific local and regional contexts to influence health outcomes, such as health systems, determinants of health, ethical/social/cultural/legal frameworks, public policies and human resources, among others.
Business Innovation: Development, distribution and delivery of appropriate solutions, including high-quality goods and services, affordably and sustainably where and when they are needed most. A part of business innovation is to determine the value proposition or incentives that are able to bring the right players to the table. It acknowledges that there will always be an investor who needs to be convinced that this is a worthwhile investment.
Grand Challenges Canada also supports the Mental Health Innovations Network (mhinnovation.net/about), an online repository of innovations in global mental health. Providing an overview of each innovation and its impact, the repository links users directly to tools, publications, and other materials. The Mental Health Innovation Network is hosted and maintained by researchers and policy makers from the Centre for Global Mental Health of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the WHO's Department for Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
Please visit grandchallenges.ca and look for us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
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About Grand Challenges Canada
Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact™ in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada through the Development Innovation Fund announced in the 2008 Federal Budget. We fund innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. Grand Challenges Canada works with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and other global health foundations and organizations to find sustainable, long-term solutions through Integrated Innovation® − bold ideas that integrate science, technology, social and business innovation. Grand Challenges Canada is hosted at the Sandra Rotman Centre.
About Canada's International Development Research Centre
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. IDRC also encourages sharing this knowledge with policymakers, other researchers and communities around the world. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most. As the Government of Canada's lead on the Development Innovation Fund, IDRC draws on decades of experience managing publicly funded research projects to administer the Development Innovation Fund. IDRC also ensures that developing country researchers and concerns are front and centre in this exciting new initiative.
About the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada. CIHR is responsible for the administration of international peer review, according to international standards of excellence. The results of CIHR-led peer reviews guides the awarding of grants by Grand Challenges Canada from the Development Innovation Fund.
About the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The mandate of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) is to support the achievement of Canada's international goals, as well as provide improved outcomes for Canadians through more efficient, effective and targeted programming.
About Sandra Rotman Centre
The Sandra Rotman Centre is based at University Health Network and the University of Toronto. We develop innovative global health solutions and help bring them to scale where they are most urgently needed. The Sandra Rotman Centre hosts Grand Challenges Canada.
SOURCE: Grand Challenges Canada
For further information:
Contacts: Terry Collins, +1-416-538-8712, +1-416-878-8712; [email protected]
Lode Roels, +1-416-673-6570; +1-647-328-2021; [email protected]
Local project contact information spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/ICPtWA