Health care innovation in Hamilton
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.