PRESS RELEASE

Overall Goal of the GCC and BMGF Project
Grand Challenges Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have committed $32M USD towards inventing and delivering low-cost medical devices to rapidly diagnose diseases in developing countries. Makerere University will get approximately USD 500,000 for three years.

Our Role in the Project
Makerere University (in partnership with India School of Business, the University of Chicago and Northwestern University) is one of 22 groups receiving funding for this effort.

Our project has a couple of goals:

  1. We want to make sure the scientists and engineers working to develop these medical devices understand the needs of East Africa.Ôö¼├í Our project will help answer questions such as├ö├ç┬¬
    1. What medical devices could be made to have the most dramatic impact on the health of East Africans?
    2. What type of health care facility would these medical devices be used in? A central hospital, a rural clinic, or both?Ôö¼├í Do these facilities have electricity, running water, etc.
    3. The answers to these questions have a dramatic impact on how a scientist or engineer might design the medical device.
    4. Because the process for designing medical products takes several years, our goal is to make sure the East African perspective is considered as early as possible.
  2. Help create a tool that helps public health leaders in East Africa decide where new medical devices can be placed to have the most impact on health in the region.
    1. There are so many new medical devices that are now available (Gene Xpert for TB diagnosis, PIMA for HIV treatment and monitoring, etc).
    2. It can be quite overwhelming to decide where to place these devices, especially in regions where there are limited financial resources.
    3. With the limited funds available, these devices should be placed in the areas where they can provide the most benefit. Our aim is to create a web based (or computer based) tool that can guide health care providers in optimally using new diagnostic technologies as they become available.

 

Conclusion:
Through this project, we have the opportunity to work with some of the most innovative scientists and engineers in the world to make medical devices that could have a dramatic impact on the lives of East Africans. While this will not be an easy task, we look forward to the hard work ahead of us. The results will be very rewarding, not only to the East African population, but also t developing countries elsewhere with similar challenges.Ôö¼├í

For more information please contact:
Ms. Milly Nattimba, Communication Officer College of Health Sciences, Tel: +256-782-549387, Email: pr@chs.mak.ac.ug, Web: http://chs.mak.ac.ug
Dr. Achilles Katamba, Project Lead Researcher, College of Health Sciences, Tel: +256-753-040922, Email: akatamba@chs.mak.ac.ug, akatamba@yahoo.comÔö¼├í