Sangath has been awarded three international grants by Grand Challenges Canada

Sangath has been awarded three separate international grants by Grand Challenges Canada addressing the unmet needs of two diverse conditions – Autism and alcohol dependence.
Psychiatrist Dr Abhijit Nadkarni, has been awarded a ‘Stars in Global Health’ grant to develop a psychosocial treatment to support family members of people affected by alcohol problems through a programme called SAFE (Supporting Addiction-affected Families Effectively). He is also the recipient of a grant in global mental health which will aim to develop a home-based treatment package to support the needs of people who have severe alcohol problems at home including a psychosocial treatment to reduce their chances of developing alcohol problems again. This programme will be called Community Oriented Non-specialist Treatment for Alcohol Dependence (CONTAD).
Developmental paediatrician Dr Gauri Divan and occupational therapist Dr Vivek Vajaratkar have received support to expand the work that they have been conducting in Goa, to help address the needs of families of children with Autism. The Parent-mediated intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders in South Asia PLUS (PASS+) will aim to develop a community-based way to enable the early detection of children with Autism while at the same time expanding a communication intervention to help address the varied needs of families of children with Autism.
Grand Challenges Canada CEO Peter Singer has stated that, “By matching talent with opportunity, Grand Challenges Canada is contributing to saving and improving lives.??? Funded by the Canadian government, these grants are international competitive awards where proposals undergo a rigorous review process.
Dr Nadkarni said, “Alcohol problems are on the rise in India, and affect the drinkers and people around them, most notably their families. Stigma, lack of awareness and shortage of specialists to deliver professional treatments compound the problem. The SAFE and CONTAD projects aim to increase the access to such treatments by taking them out of hospitals and delivering them in the community with the help of non-specialist health workers supervised by experienced specialists.???
Dr Divan and Dr Vajaratkar have completed a successful pilot study of the PASS intervention in Goa; adapting a UK-based communication intervention and showing that non-specialists under clear training and supervisory guidance can deliver services at par with a specialist.
Dr Vajaratkar described how “families struggle with late detection, which we know impacts the benefits of early intervention???. There is also a lack of affordable accessible evidence-based interventions and families run from pillar to post and often try all sorts of expensive unproven treatments. We hope that the PASS+ package can be developed, tested and then scaled up so that every family with a child with Autism is not only detected early but then also has access to a treatment that is at par with the best in the world.???
Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada and supports “bold ideas with big impact in global health”.