Fogarty has awarded six grants totaling $5.4 million to address the increasing toll of trauma in the developing world. Five-year grants from Fogarty's International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training Program will support projects focused on treating violence and injury in developing countries. A new award to the University of Pennsylvania will support groundbreaking research in Guatemala, while five other ongoing programs successfully competed for renewal funding.
Trauma currently accounts for 16 percent of the global disease burden, with 5.8 million injury-related deaths per year and thousands permanently disfigured or disabled every day, according to the World Health Organization. Fogarty's program is designed to help build research capacity in low- and middle-income countries, where the majority of casualties occur.
Through the grant to Penn, a research training program focused on building interdisciplinary research teams of qualified graduates will be established in Guatemala in collaboration with Francisco Marroquin University and the University of San Carlos. The program is intended to develop academic research and policy expertise in trauma and injury through courses in injury epidemiology, outcomes research, protocol design, research ethics and health economics.
"Despite the significant threat to public health posed by violence and injury in developing countries, there is a serious shortage of scientists and clinicians who are able to conduct trauma research," said Fogarty Director Dr. Roger I. Glass. "These new awards will increase the number of researchers and health workers capable of meeting this challenge in low-resource settings where they are needed most."
The renewal awards will support a diverse range of existing research efforts in several countries. University of Iowa will use the renewal funding to build a critical mass of scientists, nurses and health professionals in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania. The grant awarded to University of California, Los Angeles, will support ongoing studies focused on issues related to South Africa's high levels of interpersonal and community violence, including rape, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and depression.
Johns Hopkins University's award will strengthen trauma research in northwest Pakistan, one of the country's most injury-prone and impoverished regions. Training future leaders in Ghana and increasing collaborations in neighboring West African countries is the goal of University of Washington's program. Finally, University of Maryland, Baltimore, will use its funding to expand the pool of traumatologists and emergency physicians in Egypt.
Fogarty Trauma program awards