The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has announced an investment of £34 million into global health research projects to tackle epilepsy, infection-related cancers and severe stigmatising skin diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

£21 million of the allocated money will go to reducing the public health burden of severe stigmatising skin diseases, a neglected area in terms of funding.

A further two of the projects will investigate reducing the public health burden of epilepsy, under which colleagues at Imperial College London will investigate an intrapartum care bundle to reduce perinatal brain injury and prevent epilepsy in India.

The organsisation says that another project will focus on the the evaluation and transfer of mobile whole slide tissue scanners and liquid biopsies to deliver fast and precise diagnosis for improved outcomes of children and young adults with EBV-driven lymphoma.

The “significant” investment covers a “diverse” spectrum of projects in under-funded and under-researched areas, and “highlights NIHR’s emerging aim to fund applied global health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in LMICs, where the heath needs are often greatest,” explained Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer and NIHR lead.

The projects are part of the organisation’s NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme, which chose the three topic areas for its first funding call because they are key areas of unmet need where a relatively small investment can result in a transformative impact.