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Speaking at PATH's Seattle headquarters, Dr. Raj Shah, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced Tuesday that the agency will invest in two PATH projects that aim to reduce costs and increase accessibility of health technologies in the developing world.

With a grant from USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), PATH will lead a project to develop the balloon tamponade, an affordable device that quickly and effectively stops the leading cause of death during childbirth, postpartum bleeding.

Shah also announced support for the Cooperative Agreement Health Tech V, which aims to identify, develop, and introduce new health tools for use in rural, low-resource settings.

A three-decade partnership

Shah addressed more than 100 PATH staff and leaders from the area’s global health institutions. He remarked on PATH’s longstanding position as a leader in developing and advancing innovative health technologies for developing countries, especially under the long-standing HealthTech program.

“For more than three decades, PATH and USAID have partnered to innovate, introduce, and integrate affordable and appropriate health technologies for the world’s poorest citizens,” said Dr. Christopher J. Elias, PATH’s President and CEO. “PATH has been able to achieve much in those years, thanks to the ongoing support of the US government, especially through the USAID-funded Health Tech program. It’s a great privilege to have had Administrator Shah with us in PATH’s headquarters, to offer his thoughts on USAID’s priorities and engage with our staff.”

“Lifesaving investment in innovation”

Congressional representatives from Washington State also joined in praising USAID's decision to provide funding to PATH.

“I applaud USAID for this lifesaving investment in innovation,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). “Investing in global health improves lives across the world and prevents millions of needless deaths. Washington State has long been a leader in the discovery, development, and delivery efforts and I'm proud to see PATH once again leading the charge in making a difference.”

“Washington State is a center for innovation, and PATH proves that the way forward in global health development is with innovative and cost-effective solutions,” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “I applaud USAID for investing in PATH’s innovative work improving maternal health worldwide and expanding access to lifesaving technologies in rural areas.”

“PATH’s creative designers understand global health from the developing world’s perspective, and have a track record of designing culturally sensitive, lifesaving products,” said Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA).

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Posted October 18, 2011.