Pfizer's charity backs infectious disease projects

The Pfizer Foundation has awarded 20 grants to organizations involved in tackling infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries.

Pfizer set up the foundation to promote access to healthcare and nurture innovation. As part of that focus, the nonprofit has selected 20 organizations in 12 countries to receive one-year grants worth $100,000, resulting in a total outlay of $2 million.

The recipients of the grants are involved in tackling infectious diseases, including initiatives to stem the rise of organisms resistant to antimicrobials. That focus reflects the nonprofit’s assessment of the biggest healthcare priorities in low and middle-income countries and beyond

“Mounting infectious disease outbreaks and the threat of large-scale antimicrobial resistance are increasingly becoming some of the most challenging global health needs of our time,” Caroline Roan, president of the Pfizer Foundation, said in a statement. “We are dedicated to working with individuals and organizations in local communities as they rethink and scale innovative solutions to fight infectious diseases from the ground up.”

In disclosing the news, the Pfizer Foundation picked out a clinical staff training program in Mali, introduction of a colonoscope in India and development of a Nepalese antimicrobial resistance education program as examples of the grant recipients.

With the financial commitments, the Pfizer Foundation brought total funding provided through its global health innovation grants up to $7.5 million. The foundation introduced the grants in 2016 and claims the program has resulted in care for 370,000 new patients and the training of 2,000 health workers. 

In providing the funding and technical support that drove those outcomes, the Pfizer Foundation has worked with Innovations in Healthcare (IiH), a nonprofit hosted by Duke University. IiH and the foundation manage the health innovation grant program together and jointly analyze the results generated by each of the supported programs.