Emory announced that it will receive its largest-ever grant, according to a June 6 University press release. The $180 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will help fund research on global child mortality rates in underdeveloped communities.
The money was awarded to the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network (CHAMPS), a global health network established in 2015 whose lead collaborator is the Emory Global Health Institute. The Gates Foundation’s donation to CHAMPS brings its overall pledged investment to $271 million, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The investment will enable CHAMPS to expand its partnerships with governments and public health institutes, communicate its research findings, and better understand nonspecific and inaccurate causes of global child mortality.
The mortality rate is at least 50 per 1,000 deaths for children under 5 years old in each of the seven countries CHAMPS operates. In the United States, the mortality rate is about seven per 1,000 children, according to the World Bank.
CHAMPS, which analyzes data on global child mortality rates and recommends policy solutions, operates in seven countries in South Asia and Africa. The organization, which also partners with the International Association of National Public Health Institutes and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plans to add a site in India and one other location, according to the AJC.
The cause of death for children below 5 years of age in these communities have been non-specific and inaccurate, according to the press release.
CHAMPS aids in developing non-invasive, post-mortem tests that determine a child’s cause of death. The Barcelona Institute of Global Health, a partner of CHAMPS, developed a highly accurate method called minimally invasive tissue sampling that leaves few bodily marks and is far less invasive than a complete autopsy.
Information extracted from a post-mortem test can sometimes determine antibiotics for future use or aid in developing vaccines against infectious diseases.