Kenya, Nigeria awarded grants to boost infectious-disease research, preparedness

Dr. Robert Gallo
Dr. Robert Gallo | Contributed photo
Kenya and Nigeria recently was awarded grants from the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine to improve infectious-disease research, detection and response efforts.

Kenya will receive $13 million to improve its infectious-disease research infrastructure, and Nigeria will get $10 million to enhance its detection and response abilities against new and emerging infectious diseases.

“IHV continues to serve as a true global leader who can effectively partner with varying foreign governments and public-private sector entities to combat infectious disease,” Dr. Robert Gallo, the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor of Medicine and director of the Institute of Human Virology, said. “IHV’s Clinical Division, under the leadership of my colleague and fellow IHV co-founder, Dr. Robert Redfield, works to advance global public health for the betterment of mankind and to save countless lives.”

The Kenya grant will be distributed over five years, and the work funded by it will be led by Sylvia Ojoo, assistant professor of medicine at IHV.

“Dr. Ojoo continues to excel in building effective partnerships with the Kenyan Ministry of Health in order to improve the health of Kenya,” Redfield, professor of medicine and head of the Clinical Care and Research Division at IHV.

The Nigeria grant also is spread over five years and will fund a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Nigerian unit and the Nigerian Ministry of Health.

“This is a great opportunity for the IHV to build on our longer-term CDC partnership established by the U.S. president’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and to extend our expertise to help operationalize programs targeting viruses of biosecurity importance,” Redfield said. “Kenya and Nigeria each have a high burden of HIV, and remain at significant risk for additional epidemics, which are dependent on successful biosecurity infrastructures that these awards will help provide.”

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