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IMPACT: Ifakara scientist at this year's Grand Challenges Meeting in Brussels

Oct. 24, 2022 From 8:00 hours
IMPACT: Ifakara scientist at this year's Grand Challenges Meeting in Brussels
Ifakara scientist, Dr. Omar Lweno (second-right), poses for a photo with some participants of this year's Grand Challenges Annual meeting in Brussels on October 24, 2022. PHOTO | COURTESY/Omar Lweno

Ifakara Health Institute scientist, Dr. Omar Lweno, attended this year’s Grand Challenges Annual Meeting in Brussels, Belgium on October 24, 2022. The Grand Challenges initiatives seek to engage innovators from around the world to solve global challenges on health and other sectors.

This year’s meeting focused on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the need for high-impact R&D platforms, partnerships, and policies that effectively bridge the gap between innovation and equitable access.

“I got the opportunity to present my work. The presentation went really well. I’m taking a KLM flight back home tonight (October 27, 2022). I’m already done here,” reported Dr. Lweno in his brief message to the Ifakara Communications team last week.

Dr. Lweno’s presentation titled, “Single-blinded, stratified, multiple ascending dose trial to assess pharmacokinetics and identify optimal dose of vitamin B12 in pregnancy in Tanzania,” focused on the use of vitamin B12 during pregnancy.  

Lweno, whose background is medicine, argued that the “current nutrient reference values for B12 in pregnancy are not informed by experimental evidence, and may be too low, even for women with adequate diets.”

The meeting brought together researchers from around the world to share work, learn about cutting-edge advances in the health care field, and collaborate with other investigators.

About Grand Challenges
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognizes that solving the most pressing challenges in global health and development requires more of the world’s brightest minds working on them. The Grand Challenges family of initiatives seeks to engage innovators from around the world to solve these challenges. Grand Challenges initiatives are united by their focus on fostering innovation, directing research to where it will have the most impact, and serving those most in need.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of Co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.