Pakistani doctor wins $1M to fight child deaths

December 11, 2013 by Rebecca Santana
Pakistani doctor Anita Zaidi, center, who heads the pediatrics department at the Aga Khan University, shows a project plan to her colleagues at a university in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. She has won a $1 million grant to fight early child mortality in a small fishing village in southern Pakistan in a contest financed by an American entrepreneur to find innovative ways to save lives, the Caplow Children's Prize announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

A Pakistani doctor won a $1 million grant on Tuesday to fight early child mortality in a small fishing village in southern Pakistan in a contest financed by an American entrepreneur to find innovative ways to save lives, The Caplow Children's Prize said.

A proposal by Anita Zaidi, who heads the pediatrics department at the Aga Khan University in the port city of Karachi, beat out more than 550 other applications from more than 70 countries. The was founded and funded by entrepreneur Ted Caplow to find impactful and cost-effective ways to save children's lives, according to a press release announcing the results.

Zaidi said in a telephone interview that her project will focus on reducing in Rehri Goth, on the outskirts of Karachi. According to Zaidi, 106 out of 1,000 children born in the town die before the age of five. That is almost double the worldwide under-five rate of 51 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011, according to UNICEF.

Few of the women in the area of roughly 40,000 people have access to during pregnancy or money to pay for things like multivitamins, said Zaidi. There is no nearby hospital, and women usually give birth accompanied by a birthing attendant with little or no formal training.

When women do run into complications giving birth, the babies often die while the women seek medical care, the doctor said.

The money will be used in Rehri Goth to eliminate malnutrition among expectant and new mothers and their babies, ensure that children have access to and immunizations and train a group of local at Aga Khan University to become midwives.

In this file photo taken Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, a Pakistani child suffering from the mosquito-borne disease, dengue fever, lies in a bed, next to his mother, covered with a net at an isolation ward of a hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Anita Zaidi, a Pakistani doctor, won a $1 million grant Tuesday, Dec. 10, to fight early child mortality in a small fishing village in southern Pakistan in a contest financed by an American entrepreneur to find innovative ways to save lives, The Caplow Children's Prize said. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, File)

Women taking part in the program would get two medical checkups to monitor their pregnancy, multivitamins to promote a healthy fetus and food if they are malnourished, she said.

Zaidi has been working in the area for the last ten years on various health-related research projects carried out by the university so she was familiar with its needs.

"I know this community. I know what its problems are," Zaidi said. "It's a really good match between what the community needed and what this prize was offering."

Pakistani doctor Anita Zaidi, who heads the pediatrics department at the Aga Khan University, arrives at a university in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. She has won a $1 million grant to fight early child mortality in a small fishing village in southern Pakistan in a contest financed by an American entrepreneur to find innovative ways to save lives, the Caplow Children's Prize announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

Caplow said Zaidi "really gave reassurance that she would be able to do exactly what she said she would do and it would have the impact that she said it would have."

He added that he and his wife conceived of the prize after they gave birth to triplets who spent a month in an . The prize, which Caplow said would continue next year, was a way to address the disparities in medical technology available around the world.

Explore further: Risky pregnancy for first-time mothers age 30-34

Related Stories

Risky pregnancy for first-time mothers age 30-34

December 10, 2013
New research from Karolinska Institutet shows that the risk of giving birth to your first child in advanced years increase as early as in the 30-34 age group. Previously, first-time mothers were categorised as being in advanced ...

Developing and delivering interventions for pregnancy to reduce mother and child deaths

September 3, 2013
A global group of experts has established research priorities addressing care for women prior to pregnancy, in a consensus statement published in PLOS Medicine this week. Sohni Dean and Zulfiqar Bhutta from the Aga Khan University, ...

Polio cases down worldwide, trouble spots remain

November 14, 2012
The number of polio cases worldwide reached a record low in 2012, giving experts confidence that the disease can finally be eradicated, according to presentations made Tuesday at a major US conference.

Action needed with Burma maternal, child health

December 2, 2013
As a regional neighbour to Myanmar, the Commonwealth Government has recognised Australia has a responsibility – and the capacity – to help alleviate poverty in the developing nation. Australia is also able to support ...

Delivering the goods: Sweden's midwives stand test of time

October 2, 2013
Only one ultrasound in nine months and no need to see the doctor or obstetrician: at first glance, Sweden's pregnancy care appears rather simplistic.

Depression during pregnancy and early motherhood

December 4, 2013
University of York researchers and their clinical NHS colleagues are expanding a project to investigate the health and wellbeing of newborn babies and their parents to include a study of depression during pregnancy and early ...

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.