More than 200 scientists on six continents cooperated in a $32 million project to decipher the DNA of the three parasites that cause sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis that threaten half a billion of the world's poorest people and kill more than 150,000 a year. The achievement, reported in a series of papers in the journal Science 15 July 2005, could lead to new treatments for these diseases.
The Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative offered 43 grants totalling $436.6 million in June 2005 to a broad range of the most promising and innovative research projects involving scientists in 33 countries. Supported by the Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust and the Canadian Institutes of Health, the initiative is a major effort to achieve scientific breakthroughs against diseases that kill millions of people each year in the world's poorest countries.www.grandchallengesgh.org
G8 agrees to double aid to Africa by 2010 to $50 billion and to cancel the debt of 18 of the worlds poorest countries amounting to $40 billion. The eight richest nations have committed to providing "as close as possible" universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment and to tackle killer malaria and TB and other neglected diseases. Read Gleneagles 2005: Chairmans Summary at www.m2.com/m2