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Africa major beneficiary in UK global health partnerships

A project to establish African expert hubs for snake venom is one of several Africa-linked projects that will receive funding under a new UK global health programme.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will lead the snake venom project, which is one of more than two dozen winners announced by the UK’s £122 million (US$160m) Global Health Research Units and Groups programme on 13 July.

The funding programme, launched in December last year, targets partnerships between the UK and developing country researchers. It is backed by the UK’s international aid budget, issuing large grants to establish research units and smaller grants to create research groups.

The majority of the projects funded under the first call include scientists based in Africa. Nine of the 13 unit grants, worth between £3.5m and £7m each, feature African partners. They will tackle challenges ranging from lung health to diabetes. Of the 20 research groups, worth £2m each, 13 have African partners. The snake venom grant is one of them.

Several grants feature partners from more than two continents. For example, Richard Lilford at the University of Warwick will lead a research unit focusing on health in slums in partnership with colleagues in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The National Institute for Health Research, which manages the programme, has announced a second call for proposals for global health research groups. The deadline for applications is 20 October, and grants are worth £2m over three years. See link to the right of this article for more information.