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Childhood Malnutrition Helped by Gates Foundation, UVA

On March 13, 2013 | At 8:19 am

In developing countries, one in three children suffers from malnutrition and diarrhea. The lack of nutrients has lifelong effects.

Children in Bangladesh, one of the countries UVA researchers visited

Children in Bangladesh, one of the countries UVA researchers visited

But these problems don’t exist in a bubble. Disease outbreaks, poor infrastructure and sanitation are just a few of the contributing factors.

Which is why the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave UVA researchers several grants in the past few months to tackle these issues. Researchers will:

  • Gauge the success of tetanus vaccination programs
  • Look at intestinal dysfunction caused by the environment, then develop interventions
  • Test a small group of biomarkers in children’s blood and stool

“It’s so unusual, I think, to have multiple grants awarded at the same time that involve multiple developing country sites and multiple professors from one institution,” says Bill Petri, MD, PhD, who is leading the tetanus vaccination research. “That one university would receive so many grants at once speaks to the importance of the work underway.”

Read more about the research on causes of malnutrition.

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