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Family Health International Receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Innovative Global Health Research Project Led by David Sokal, M.D.
Date:5/28/2009

l University College of Medicine and Renaissance Scientific, LLC, and Stephen Gerrard, a graduate student in chemical engineering at Cambridge University, UK. Additional background information is at the team's web site, www.justmilk.org.

In leading the Just Milk team, Dr. Sokal, a scientist in Family Health International's Health and Development Sciences group, is building on past successes in developing new reproductive health technologies. Dr. Sokal has invented a device for delivery of vaginal microbicides using low-cost non-woven materials, and has obtained two patents for this novel vaginal device. He also has a patent for a new method of nonsurgical fallopian tube occlusion, and a patent pending on an innovative vasectomy device. He is also currently working on several research projects within Family Health International and with teams at the University of North Carolina on various forms of male contraception.

Al Siemens, Chief Executive Officer, Family Health International, stated, "Every year, approximately 50,000 babies are infected with HIV AIDS while trying to obtain from their mothers the natural nutrition they to need to live and thrive. With the Just Milk project, Dr. David Sokal and his team are beginning development of a device that could potentially prevent thousands of these cases of mother-to-child transmission with a simple device that is low-cost, accessible and easy to use. This research is yet another example of how Family Health International is extending its scientific leadership to offer hope for vulnerable people around the world."

"The winners of these grants are doing truly exciting and innovative work," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "I'm optimistic that some of these exploratory projects will lead to life-saving breakthroughs for people in the world'
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SOURCE Family Health International
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