How a Modest Investment is Supporting Homegrown Science in Benin and Beyond

Spotlight on the USAID-funded African Researchers’ Small Grants Program

Pelagie Boko-Collins analyzes mosquitoes for the presence of the parasite that causes a neglected disease called lymphatic filariasis. / Courtesy of Pelagie Boko-Collins
Pelagie Boko-Collins presenting research findings at a scientific conference. / Liz Eddy, USAID

She began to wonder if studying mosquitoes could help the Ministry of Health determine disease hotspots so it could focus on reaching those most at risk. Without such a strategy, the ministry would have to test for lymphatic filariasis by using blood drop samples from people in endemic areas.

“The Small Grants Program has had a significant impact on the NTD program in our country,” says the researcher. / Courtesy of Pelagie Boko-Collins

The program has also furthered Pelagie’s career, helping her to secure her current role with Sightsavers as Neglected Tropical Disease Program Manager for Benin and Togo. Many of her colleagues have now been inspired to apply to the African Researchers’ Small Grants Program, as well.

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