IFAIN is committed to improving the quality of life of children in Nigeria, and the rest of the world, by reducing the burden of infectious and related diseases.
Dr. Stephen Obaro is a professor of pediatric infectious disease at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Over the past five years Dr. Obaro has been working in Nigeria conducting research to improve the health of children. His research is novel in that it is the first of its scale in Nigeria.
Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and has one of the highest under-five mortality rates in the world. Recent studies have established that invasive bacteria are the leading cause of childhood mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa and that most of these infections are preventable from routine vaccination or proper primary care. Unfortunately, a poor understanding of the magnitude of these bacterial infections and their associated illnesses has not lead to significant advancements in their prevention or treatment.
The International Foundation Against Infectious Disease in Nigeria (IFAIN) was established to facilitate the generation of a credible surveillance system for the determination of the etiologic agents of bacterium syndromes and opportunistic infections in the general population of Nigerian children. Data from these systems are being, and will be, used to development new tests and vaccines as well as to monitor the impact of medical interventions. Of particular interest is the etiology of disease in vulnerable populations, such as children who suffer from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), sickle-cell disease (SCD) and malnutrition.