Researchers in Indonesia, where dengue fever is the most common cause of acute illness requiring hospitalization, will test a new low-cost DNA-based test potentially capable of diagnosis in 5 to 15 minutes, which would significantly reduce fatalities and care costs.
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease spread by snails that damages internal organs and, in children, impairs growth and cognitive development.
Of the 200 million cases recorded annually, 184 million are in Africa. Another 790 million people are at risk in Africa, Asia and South America.
In Senegal, researchers will try to restore populations of native freshwater prawns, which thrive on the troublesome snails.
Village cooperatives will sell the prawns, raised in controlled, low-density aquaculture operations, thereby improving nutrition while attacking the schistosomiasis problem.
In Uganda's capital Kampala, youth will be paid to collect and sort discarded organic waste and deliver it to a plant for conversion to fertiliser and biogas, to be packaged in bags and canisters. Youths will then help market the products to households and institutions, the biogas canisters offering an affordable alternative to liquified petroleum gas, charcoal and fuel wood.
|Contact: Terry Collins
Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health