We are delighted to announce that the Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC) will host a Newton Fund Institutional Links Grant project. Professor Ken Shadlen (Professor and Head of the LSE Department of International Development) is the principal investigator (PI), alongside co-investigators (Co-Is) Professor Francisco Inácio Bastos (Senior Researcher, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz/Fiocruz) and Professor Elize Massard da Fonseca (Assistant Professor of Public Administration, Fundação Getúlio Vargas/FGV).
The project, titled ‘Brazil's Fight Against Hepatitis C: Surveillance, Control, and Care’, will start in March 2020. The project has multidimensional objectives, combining inputs from epidemiology, political science, and public health. It falls under the 'Institutional Links on Impact and Evidence-based Policies (Health and Neglected Diseases)' call.
Despite progress in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and the boost provided by World Health Organization (WHO) initiatives to eliminate hepatitis B and C by 2030, both continue to pose vexing global health challenges. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, and existing treatments, although curative, are notoriously expensive.
Approximately 700,000 people worldwide die annually from complications of HCV infection. This study uses a multidisciplinary approach to investigate Brazil's response to the HCV epidemic. A country that was a pioneer in the fight against HIV/AIDS, is now at the forefront to curb and manage HCV infection.
The study will estimate the prevalence of HCV in different populations and the risk factors associated with HCV infection, using data from different public databases and input provided by the dynamics of HCV infection and clinical cases in Brazil.
Moreover, it will conduct political analyses to explore the dynamics of Brazil's controversial strategy for responding to the HCV epidemic, which combines evidence-based treatment protocols and innovative initiatives for local production of generic versions of direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAAs) in the context of conflicts over pharmaceutical patent protection.
For the first time, this collaborative project will systematically investigate surveillance, control, and care for HCV in Brazil; which can provide sound evidence, generated by empirical findings, mathematical modelling and political analysis to guide governmental and non-governmental initiatives.
This work is supported by the Institutional Links grant, ID 527664225, under the Newton Fund. The grant is funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz/Fiocruz and Fundação Getúlio Vargas/FGV and delivered by the British Council. For further information, please visit www.newtonfund.ac.uk.
ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL LINKS
Institutional Links provides grants for the development of research and innovation collaborations between the UK and partner countries. The British Council runs Institutional Links in partnership with research and higher education institutions globally. Institutional Links is delivered under the Newton Fund to facilitate research that tackles local development challenges.
ABOUT THE NEWTON FUND
The Newton Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with 17 active partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK Government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries.
The Newton Fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through seven UK delivery partners, which includes UK Research and Innovation (comprising the seven research councils and Innovate UK), the UK Academies, the British Council and the Met Office. For further information visit the Newton Fund website (www.newtonfund.ac.uk) and follow via Twitter: @NewtonFund.
Cover photo: WorldSkills, 2019, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.