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Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS)

Mission: The CHAMPS Network uses innovative approaches to generate and share knowledge that improves understanding and prevention of child mortality

CHAMPS is a global health surveillance program created to gather better data, faster, about how, where, and why children in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia are getting sick and dying. The goal of the project is to reduce mortality by building knowledge through accurate, timely, and reliable data on the causes of death and sickness in children under five. CHAMPS is a collaborative, multicneter effort led by The Emory Global Health Institute (EGHI) with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The scale, duration, and complexity of CHAMPS are unprecedented.

Karen Kotloff, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Head of the Division of Infectious Disease and Tropical Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) and Samba Sow, MD, MS, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at UM SOM and Director General of CVD-Mali co-lead the Mali site. “CHAMPS is a transformative program for Mali and other countries joining the network. Our work in Bamako will produce results to inform and improve health outcomes all the way from the household level to national policy, and contribute to research and innovation around the world,” said Dr. Sow.

“By performing detailed, state-of-the-art molecular, microbiological, and histopathological studies of the causes of death in a well-defined population of children, our hope is that CHAMPS will enhance our understanding of the cause-specific burden of child mortality in developing countries. These data can be used to prioritize the development and implementation of interventions that will reduce or eliminate the conditions and diseases that contribute to child mortality, and allow each child living in the poorest countries of the world to celebrate his or her 5th birthday in good health," said Dr. Kotloff.

By identifying the most common causes of death for children in high-risk areas, leaders hope to improve health and quality of life, help local health officials address the root problems earlier, and prevent unnecessary deaths. This critical research will help determine why so many children under five are dying in the world’s poorest countries.

The project uses an innovative alternative to traditional autopsy known as minimally invasive tissue sampling. The technique, which involves the collection of tissue samples with fine needles, allows researchers to quickly identify the cause of death, and help illuminate ways to save lives and improve the health of children in these vulnerable areas.

Why consistent and reliable data can help to save young lives in Mali

CHAMPS website

CHAMPS sites

UMB press release