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Mary Hardin
IU School of Medicine

Last modified: Wednesday, February 6, 2008

NIH, Gates Foundation to Support Riley Hospital and Moi University program

February 6, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University-Kenya Partnership has been selected by the National Institutes of Health to join the Global Network for Women's and Infant's Health Research.

AMPATH staffers

Photo by: Tyagan Miller

AMPATH staffers harvest produce for HIV patients and their families in Kenya as part of the IU-Kenya Partnership.

Print-Quality Photo

This five-year, $5 million grant will allow Indiana University School of Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine faculty to conduct research to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of simple, community-based health-care interventions such as protein supplementation for infants and training of traditional birth attendants in the proper care of obstetrical and neonatal emergencies.

The Global Network, funded jointly by the NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, conducts clinical research projects throughout the developing world. The IU-Moi University site in Eldoret, Kenya, is one of two network sites in Africa. Other sites are in India, Pakistan and Central and South America.

Edward Liechty a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University and a Riley Hospital for Children neonatologist, is the principal investigator for this competitive grant. Co-principal investigator is Fabian Esamai, a pediatrician and dean of the Moi University School of Medicine. This proposal was one of only eight selected to participate in the Global Network.

"Much of the maternal and infant mortality in the developing world could be prevented by simple and effective intervention, yet these interventions have not been implemented," said Liechty. "This research will focus on demonstrating that these interventions can be implemented in a cost effective manner by existing health care systems with improvement in survival and quality of life. We will then focus on transitioning the interventions from research to acceptance as standard of care, with a goal of reducing infant mortality in developing countries by as much as 50 percent."

Liechty spent the 2003-2004 academic year at Moi University working closely with Esamai as a Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar. Other initiatives of the IU Department of Pediatrics in Kenya include research and training in infant vaccine delivery, funded by the Merck Foundation, and the construction of a new hospital, the Riley Mother and Baby Hospital of Kenya.