Aga Khan University on Friday received grants amounting to USD144,000 to boost innovative research to assist women living with Metastatic breast cancer.
The grant worth USD 25000 from Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC) Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge was received by the Head of Medical Oncology Division at Agakhan University, Dr. Asim Shaikh.
The grant was given as a result of a partnership between the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Pfizer Oncology.
“I applied for this grant as I saw an opportunity to address issues of an ignored breast cancer population for whom a lot can be done at the grassroots level, especially in resource-constrained countries like Kenya,” Dr Asim said.
Asim said that the grant will enable Agakhan University to develop an online interactive forum and a mobile app meant for Kenyan women living with Metastatic breast cancer.
Dr. Asim said that patients will have access to psycho-social support, address stigmas, seek relevant clinical information, find links to the nearest healthcare facilities, download helpful information and participate in support group activities in a culturally appropriate and sensitive way.
A consultant pathologist and senior faculty in the department of pathology Dr. Shahin Sayed was also awarded a USD 19,000 research grant by the AKU University Research Council (URC) towards the purchase of Bio-repository equipment in the furtherance of research.
Dr. Angela Koech Etyang, alumni working at AKU’s Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health in East Africa also won a USD 100,000 grant.
According to the Director of the Center, Professor Marleen Temmerman “the grant will support a PhD project led by young Kenyan women scientists on reducing the consequences of unsafe sex such as HIV in young girls”.
The grant was courtesy of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).
AESA is an Africa-led, Africa-centered, and Africa-specific platform for developing strategies, mobilizing resources, implementing science, technology and innovation (STI) programmes in Africa and evaluating the impact of these investments.
It was launched in 2015.
Aga Khan University was chartered in 1983 as a private, autonomous university that promotes human welfare through research, teaching and community service initiatives.