A Ugandan doctor Anthony Mbonye has been awarded a $500,000 (about Shs1.3b) grant to undertake research and assess the effect of strengthening the referral system for children from the private health sector and its impact on child survival.
His project His proposal, and that of 15 other scientists was selected out of 76 applications under the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Health Programme. The research project sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will start in September 2013. It will evaluate appropriate case management for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea, analysing the effect of improved diagnosis, effective treatment of sick children as well as measuring the cost effectiveness of timely interventions and uptake of referral of sick children who seek care in the private sector.
Target group The project will study 500 children who seek treatment from health centre IIs in Mukono District. “I chose this area of focus because many children in Uganda die of fever and diarrhoea.
The common presentation for these diseases is fever. Many of the parents and caretakers seek health care from drug shops yet drug shops are not trained to diagnose diseases,” Dr Mbonye said in an interview with the Daily Monitor. The study, which is expected to contribute to the reduction in infant mortality in Uganda will also introduce rapid diagnostic tests for malaria and thermometers together with algorithms for identifying sick children and referring them to health facilities for proper treatment.
Previous grants In 2009, Dr Mbonye was awarded a research grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to assess the resistance of Fansidar among pregnant women. In October 2008, he was awarded another grant to study new ways of improving access to Prevention of Mother-to Child Transmission of HIV/Aids (PMTCT) in Uganda.