University of North Carolina consortium receives $180 million federal health grant

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CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina — A group led by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has received a $180 million federal grant to continue a study to improve the collection of public health data.

Chancellor Carol Folt announced the grant Tuesday to continue a program that has run nearly 20 years.

The five-year grant comes from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The program has helped 80 countries better monitor epidemics. It uses public health data to help the countries make spending decisions about disease control. The program has helped in a number of health problems, including HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Folt says the project has created about 100 jobs in the Chapel Hill area.

Tulane University and four consulting and international development companies are part of the consortium that manages the program.

The university's vice chancellor for research, Barbara Entwisle, said the program has helped make the school a leader in health research around the world.

She said one example was the creation of ways to identify likely locations of HIV transmission networks, places where large numbers of people meet new sexual partners. The effort also assessed what prevention programs would likely work and made policy recommendations to the affected government.

She said that method is being used in more than a dozen countries.

The program started in 1997.

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