Health care in­no­va­tion in Hamil­ton

The Hamilton Spectator - - LO­CAL - JOANNA FR­KETICH jfr­ketich@thes­ 905-526-3349 | @Jfr­ketich

Trans­form­ing treat­ment for child­hood di­ar­rhea

McMaster Univer­sity re­searchers are look­ing to trans­form the way child­hood di­ar­rhea is tested and treated in low-re­source coun­tries. Their work has shown that more than one-third of 671 ba­bies hos­pi­tal­ized in Botswana with se­vere di­ar­rhea, in­clud­ing 17 who died, had in­fec­tions that were un­rec­og­nized and un­treated.

“What a lot of peo­ple in North Amer­ica don’t re­al­ize is that acute di­ar­rhea is dev­as­tat­ing,” said Dr. Jef­frey Per­nica, head of the divi­sion of in­fec­tious dis­eases at McMaster. “We saw so many more deaths from di­ar­rhea than we’d ever been used to work­ing as doc­tors in Canada. ”

Their project is one of six shar­ing $10 mil­lion in re­search grants given to im­prove global health Thurs­day by Grand Chal­lenges Canada, an agency funded by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. It will al­low a wider study of a rapid-di­ag­no­sis-and-treat­ment method they have cre­ated. Im­prov­ing kid­ney care St. Joseph’s Health­care will use a $2.7-mil­lion grant to test new treat­ments and dial­y­sis for pa­tients with end-stage kid­ney dis­ease.

It’s part of $9.9 mil­lion in fund­ing given this year to re­searchers at St. Joseph’s by the Cana­dian In­sti­tutes of Health Re­search, a big jump from last year’s $3.7 mil­lion. Nearly half of the money is go­ing to kid­ney re­search, in­clud­ing a study look­ing at the role of high-salt di­ets in caus­ing kid­ney dis­ease and stroke.

Another third is go­ing to stud­ies fo­cus­ing on men­tal health and ad­dic­tions, while asthma and al­lergy re­search will get nearly $1.5 mil­lion.

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