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'Saving brains' in developing countries: $11.8 million for innovative ideas worldwide
Date:9/13/2012

As many as 200 million children fail to meet their full developmental potential because of the debilitating impact of poverty. Risk factors, such as malnutrition, infection, unhealthy pregnancy and birth complications, as well as an absence of stimulation and nurturing all contribute to the loss of cognitive potential in developing world children and condemn them to impoverished lives.

"The best way to keep a country poor is to rob its children of their full developmental potential," said Dr. Peter A. Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. "Consistent with Canada's commitment to women's and children's health, the Saving Brains initiative is a bold and transformational approach to addressing the significant challenges facing the developing world. We are investing in improving conditions in the first 1,000 days of children's lives so they can flourish and pull themselves -- and consequently their countries -- out of poverty."

Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the Government of Canada, today announced $11.8 million CAD in funding over two years for 11 bold ideas from innovators in the developing world, to address health conditions causing diminished cognitive potential and stunting. These are breakthrough innovations that, in some cases, can improve women's and children's health in wealthy countries too. Among the 11 innovations are:

  • Maternal Depression Interventions. Maternal depression before birth is a proven risk factor for child development. This is a significant barrier to cognitive development in poor countries, where as many as 30% of all perinatal pregnant women suffer from depression. A study in Pakistan indicates that a program to alleviate maternal depression has been extremely successful in addressing symptoms, which resulted in more play with infants up to one year old. The interaction between mother and baby may lead to significant improvements in child development. Now the study will assess th
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health

Lyn Whitham
lyn.whitham@grandchallenges.ca
647-281-7182


Source:Eurekalert  

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