USAID funding boosts the fight against the spread of Zika
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced it is investing more than $15 million in 21 awards to worldwide nominees offering solutions to ‘mitigate the spread and impact of the Zika virus’.
The Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge was launched by USAID in April 2016. A total of up to $30 million is to be invested in innovative tools from all over the world to fight the current Zika outbreak and also to ensure that prevention, detection, and response to any future infectious disease outbreak is improved.
The nominees, who completed a rigorous selection process, are proposing innovative solutions that range from vector-control methods – including the deployment of Wolbachia-infected mosquitos; personal and household protection – such as low-cost, insecticide-treated sandals; vector surveillance – including a cell phone app to distinguish different types of mosquito based on their wing-beat frequency and potentially identify if they are carriers of the Zika virus. Other areas covered include community engagement, disease surveillance and diagnostics.
Further award nominees will be announced shortly.