By Nanjinia Wamuswa
Nairobi, Kenya: A post-doctoral researcher at Kemri-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTP), Kilifi has won ‘Stars in Global Health’ grant award.
Dr Evelyn Gitau, 38, received a seed grant worth $ 100,000 (Sh8.5 million) from the competitive Grand Challenges Canada, sponsored by Canadian government that seeks a breakthrough and affordable innovations that could transform the way diseases are treated in developing worlds.
Dr Gitau’s successful proposal seeks to use molecular approaches to develop a diagnostic tool that can quickly and accurately identify children with severe malnutrition, who are likely to die from preventable infections.
“Efforts have to be made to effectively reduce mortality in severely malnourished children who die despite successful nutritional rehabilitation and treatment in hospital. A diagnostic method that can quickly identify these children as well as identify mechanisms that could inform alternative clinical management is urgently needed,” she said in the document.
She has already started the project using a recent clinical trial that investigated the benefits of Septrin use to prevent infection of severely malnourished children.
KWTRP director Kevin Marsh congratulated Gitau. “A key aim of the programme is to encourage young researchers to take leadership in developing new and exciting approaches to major health problems and we are extremely proud of your success in gaining this prestigious award,” he said.