NIH News Release
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
Fogarty International Center
For Advanced Study in the Health Sciences

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 7, 2001

Contact: Jennifer Cabe
(301) 496-2075

Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) and
World Health Organization (WHO) Announce Call for
New Malaria Research and Training Projects

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, BETHESDA, MD — To support the strengthening of African research groups and international research collaborations that will lead to new and sustainable methods of controlling malaria, the MIM/TDR Task Force on Malaria Research Capability Strengthening in Africa announces a new call for applications for grants to fund malaria research and training. The MIM/TDR Task Force administers funds on behalf of international partners, including the NIH, the World Health Organization Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO/TDR), Roll Back Malaria, The World Bank, The Rockefeller Foundation, the African Regional Office of the WHO, and the Government of Japan. The deadline for letters of intent is July 15, 2001. A limited number of letters will be selected for development into full proposals. Information about the application process is available on the MIM website at http://mim.nih.gov.

The MIM/TDR Task Force grants will be awarded to African scientists working in partnership with other laboratories in malaria-endemic countries in Africa, Asia, and South America, as well as with laboratories in the United States and Europe. Grants will be awarded on the basis of scientific merit, relevance to malaria control, and the likelihood that training efforts will lead to enhanced research infrastructure in African institutions. Training of young scientists should be incorporated into the overall projects, and linkages to malaria-control efforts are particularly encouraged. The Task Force currently supports 23 collaborative malaria research projects addressing critical issues related to chemotherapy; pathogenesis; vector control; and epidemiology of malaria transmission, morbidity, and mortality in Africa. Information about the projects is available on the TDR website at http://www.who.int/tdr/diseases/malaria/mimprojects.htm.

In initiating the new cycle of projects, the MIM/TDR Task Force is expanding its scope of priorities to include the development of new interventions, strategies, and policies, and the evaluation of large-scale malaria-control interventions, as well as studies on functional genomics of vectors and parasites.

Malaria is estimated to kill 2.7 million people each year and is responsible for enormous economic burdens in malaria-endemic regions. African children under the age of 5 are particularly at risk of death from malaria. Unfortunately, this number is on the rise due to insecticide resistance, antimalarial drug resistance, and environmental changes. Unless new strategies are developed, death and illness due to malaria will increase, and the disease will continue to be a substantial barrier to the economic and social development of malaria-endemic regions and a threat to the millions of people who travel to those regions each year.

Launched in 1997 by an international alliance of research and public health agencies and African scientists, the MIM stimulates collaborative research to answer the needs of public health programs in malaria-endemic countries, to modernize communication systems used by the African research community, and to strengthen research capacity and human resources where malaria takes its greatest toll — sub-Saharan Africa. Detailed information about MIM, its partners, and activities is available on the MIM website at http://mim.nih.gov. The MIM/TDR Task Force was established in 1997 to strengthen research capacity by supporting malaria research in endemic countries. The aim of the Task Force is to develop products and approaches to improve the understanding and control of malaria in Africa.

TDR is a global program for scientific collaboration co-sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank, and WHO. Detailed information about TDR, its mission, strategy, governance, resources, and outcomes is available at http://www.who.int/tdr/about/default.htm.

The Fogarty International Center (FIC) promotes and supports scientific research internationally to reduce disparities in global health, and it currently serves as the MIM Secretariat. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fact sheets, press releases, and other FIC-related materials are available on the FIC website at http://www.nih.gov/fic.