Bill and Melinda Foundation to Fight Health Threats in Haiti

Haiti never had a comprehensive health system that could eliminate its multiple health threats. Its health care system always attempts to address immediate public health needs. Since the beginning of the epidemic in 2010, cholera remains a major threat in Haiti, very little has been done to improve the conditions that could enable the continued spread of the disease.


In Haiti, 'Malarial areas' are mainly rural and below 500 meters of altitude, the risk is lower in coastal areas. There are many reported cases of diseases transmitted by food, water or through the environment and transmitted by contact with infected people. It is one of the poorest countries in the Americas, where around 3/4th of the population live on less than $2.00 a day who cannot even pay their transportation cost to reach their nearest health center.

Recently, some researchers from the 'University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute' are preparing to launch pilot studies with fundings from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation so that a strong health system can be implemented in Haiti. Glenn Morris Bardosh, M.D., Ph.D, from University of Florida has received a grant of $100,000 from the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations program which is awarded to help researchers develop innovative, early stage projects that target challenging global health issues.

The Grand Challenges program fund prefers to support research programs with high risk-high reward ideas at the initial stages where the researchers have the potentials to find something innovative. To determine their needs and goal, the UF researchers have decided to work closely with the Haitian community members in two villages and in one Haitian city and build suitable sustainable plans accordingly. They will produce four model plans within a target period of twelve to eighteen months and place them before the researchers and the funding agency for approval who would determine their adaptability on a larger scale.

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