Bold Innovation to Improve Tuberculosis (TB) Care in Armenia and Globally Receives Grand Challenges Canada Funding

Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, awarded seed grants of 100,000 Canadian dollars each to 83 inventive new ideas that address health problems in resource-poor countries. The Honourable Christian Paradis, Canadian Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophoniehighlighted: “Grand Challenges Canada’s portfolio of projects shows how innovators with bold ideas have the potential to make a big impact on global health. By connecting game-changing ideas with some of the most pressing global health challenges, these projects will lead to sustainable and affordable health solutions in low- and middle-income countries.”
image0011-300x100The American University of Armenia (AUA) School of Public Health (AUA SPH) received the only seed grantawarded in Europe and will implement itsproject, “Innovative Approach in TB Care in Armenia,” in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s National TB Control Program (NTP).The NTP Director Dr. Armen Hayrapetyan emphasized:

TB Control Office has been open to innovative ideas. I am sure the collaboration between the National TB Control Office and AUA School of Public Health can lead to changes in the National TB Control Program to improve TB treatment outcomes and to reduce the spread of TB in Armenia and other low/middle income countries.” The project will enable self-administered drug intake by empowered TB patients – supervised by a trained family member and supported by medical counseling and reminders – to improve treatment adherence and treatment success rates, and thereby forestall TB and multi-drug resistant TB epidemics. The innovative treatment approach integrates several educational,technological, and social evidence-based components.

The reviewers of this project noted: “The strength of this proposal resides in its focus on social innovation with elements of technology that are not particularly innovative but are based on common sense and common tools.” TB is a global public health issue and improvements in TB care could have a significant impact in resource-poor countries.

The AUA School of Public Health prepared a video as part of the application. The reviewers continued, “The video was so refreshing and inspiring! and it demonstrated an incredible enthusiasm and team work, which will be key for the project success and will be a strong plus for public engagement.”To view the video, please click here .

The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve the health of the populace and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals and others to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.