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Emory University awarded $180 million for child mortality research

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Emory University awarded $180 million for child mortality research

Main Quad on Emory University's primary Druid Hills Campus, including the Michael C. Carlos Museum on the right. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons
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Emory University’s Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance network (CHAMPS) has received the university’s largest-ever single grant, according to a university news release.

Headquartered in the Emory Global Health Institute since 2015, CHAMPS collects and analyzes data to help identify the causes of child mortality in the places where it’s highest.

The $180 million grant came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated $271 million to the program to date.

“Emory’s leadership of the CHAMPS program illustrates the commitment we have to leveraging our world-class scholarship, research and health care capabilities to have a global impact,” Claire E. Sterk, university president, said. “The Gates Foundation’s historic investment will not only change children’s lives around the world, it also promises to provide unique opportunities for our faculty, researchers and students to make further advancements towards helping reduce global child mortality rates.”

According to Emory, CHAMPS collaborates with a number of international organizations, including the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the Public Health Informatics Institute.

In the seven countries where it currently operates, CHAMPS depends on partnerships with a diverse group of research institutes, universities and ministries of health, the university said.

“5.4 million children die every year from mostly preventable causes, the overwhelming majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia,” Robert Breiman, director of the Emory Global Health Institute and principal investigator for CHAMPS, said. “The innovative surveillance and analysis being done by CHAMPS and its partners will catalyze evidence-driven interventions at the local, national and global levels that we believe can save the lives of millions of children.”

CHAMPS has established sites in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and South Africa, and it will add two more in the program’s next phase.

Additionally, it shares data with international governments and other health organizations so they can collaborate on solutions.

“From its inception, CHAMPS has set new standards for sharing data,” Jeffrey P. Koplan, the university’s vice president for global health, said. “CHAMPS aims to bring the world the knowledge it needs to catalyze action that dramatically reduces early childhood death and disability.”

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