Haitian institution gets grant to support elimination of communicable … – caribbeannationalweekly.com

An institution in Haiti is among six that will receive research grants for topics related to tuberculosis and other opportunistic infections in advanced HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and Human T cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1) that may cause a type of cancer.
The US$30,000 grants are provided as part of the “Operational research to support the elimination of communicable diseases in the Latin American and Caribbean region” initiative, of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and TDR (the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases of UNICEF, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO)).
The institution in Haiti, Zanmi Lasante, is assessing the feasibility of using community health workers (CHWs) to conduct contact tracing through home testing for STIs. The other grants were given to institutions in Argentina, Brazil, México and Perú.
“Operations research is key to generate evidence and information that allows progress towards the elimination of diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Dr. Massimo Ghidinelli, interim director of Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health at PAHO. “Grants for these investigations will expand our knowledge and strengthen public health response.”
Manager of Partnerships and Governance at TDR Dr. Garry Aslanyan said TDR is confident that working with PAHO and the grantees, “we will have results from this work to support the elimination initiative in the Latin America and Caribbean region”.
Around 2.5 million people live with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is estimated that, in the region, 291,000 people contracted tuberculosis in 2020, ten percent of whom were living with HIV. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which are easily curable, affect approximately 38 million people between the ages of 15 and 49 in the region, according to the latest WHO estimates. Meanwhile, it is estimated that between five and ten million people are infected with HTLV-1 worldwide.
The teams responsible for the projects selected will develop, in coordination with PAHO and TDR, a protocol to carry out operational research, which will undergo evaluations by ethics committees at the national and regional levels. Data collection activities will then begin. Technical assistance will be provided throughout activities to ensure the production of valid and relevant research results, and to assist in the integration of the results into the program, policy and/or the health system.
It is expected that every recipient will published a peer-reviewed article as well as a policy brief to demonstrate how interventions have improved, as part of the disease elimination strategy.
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