NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CHILDREN!®, the Child Health Initiative to Lessen Disease through Research and Education Now!, is being launched today by the Jeffrey Modell Foundation. Focused on innovative ways to better educate the medical community and better the lives of those affected by Primary Immunodeficiency, the Foundation is concentrating on the next generation of expert immunologists.
The new program awards grants to investigators focused on Primary Immunodeficiency, a genetic disorder of the immune system that causes increased susceptibility to infections that are often chronic, debilitating and sometimes fatal. The disorder is estimated to affect at least 10 million people worldwide, and most go undiagnosed. The CHILDREN!® Program seeks to eliminate healthcare disparities especially in developing countries through education, testing, diagnosis, treatment, and where possible, cures.
As knowledge of causative genes and genomics technology is becoming more readily available and cost effective, the understanding of the immune system represents one of the single greatest disease fighting strategies that biomedical science has to offer, globally benefiting children with the disorder and the millions that remain unidentified.
The first grant is being awarded to Dr. Juan Carlos Aldave at the National Hospital in Lima, Peru. The project, entitled "Funny Immunology to Save Lives", provides for workshops in 24 Peruvian medical schools, attended by hundreds of medical students. The conference will include a discussion of the importance of the immune system, a dramatization of how the immune system works, and a discussion about the 10 Warning Signs of Primary Immunodeficiency. The project also calls for distribution of 16,000 educational books to all 24 medical schools, describing immune function, dysfunction, and living with Primary Immunodeficiency.
Vicki Modell, Co-Founder of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation stated "Our hopes are to alleviate disease, decrease infant mortality and ultimately improve the quality of life for children affected by Primary Immunodeficiency. This is a real 'grass roots' approach, and we are so proud to launch the CHILDREN!® program in Peru."
Dr. Aldave added, "We will increase knowledge of medical students about Primary Immunodeficiency, increase the number of clinical immunologists in Peru, and increase the number of diagnosed and treated patients. I am thrilled! I am shocked! I have no words to describe my happiness! I am honored to receive the first CHILDREN!® grant and I am deeply grateful for all of the work of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation."
About Jeffrey Modell Foundation Vicki and Fred Modell established the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in 1987, in memory of their son Jeffrey, who died at the age of fifteen from complications of Primary Immunodeficiency -- a genetic condition that is chronic, serious, and often fatal.
JMF is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to early diagnosis, meaningful treatments and, ultimately, cures through research, physician education, public awareness, advocacy, patient support, and newborn screening. The Jeffrey Modell Centers Network (JMCN) includes 600 physicians at 248 academic institutions, in 206 cities, 78 countries, spanning 6 continents and growing.