July 14, 2022

AIHA Announces 2021 Emerging Economy Microgrant Recipients

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (July 14, 2022)—AIHA announced today the 2021 AIHA Emerging Economy Microgrant Fund recipients. Based in 11 countries around the world, from Bangladesh to Uganda, the recipients reflect different backgrounds and experiences. Their projects comprise a range of real-world research studies and training efforts to advance occupational health and safety in developing economies.

Microgrants have been shown to be impactful tools for building occupational hygiene capacity through collaboration with grassroots groups and other nonprofit organizations. Distributing small allocations to large numbers of groups is an effective way to ensure that funds are distributed fairly and broadly and used efficiently.

AIHA’s International Affairs Committee (IAC) will award this year’s microgrant funds to the following projects and their representatives:

  • A Descriptive Exploration on the OHS Risks for Filipino Jeepney Drivers in the Time of COVID-19 for the Promotion of OHS Committee and Policy Building, represented by Anna Cyrl and Patricia Santos and based in the Philippines.
  • A Study on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Practices in Stone Crushing Sector of Bangladesh, represented by Muhammad Sekender Ali Mina, MS, MBA, and based in Bangladesh.
  • Air Monitoring of Safer Artisanal Mining Practices in Eastern Cameroon, represented by Gilbert Kuepouo, PhD, and based in Cameroon.
  • Ethiopia Initiative - OHS and IH Capacity Building Collaboration, WHWB-US Branch and Wolaita Sodo University, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia, represented by Albert Tien, PhD, and based in Ethiopia.
  • Evaluating Occupational Health for Malaysian Army Personnel Working in a World War II-Era Warehouse, represented by Dayana Hazwani, PhD, and based in Malaysia.
  • Mitigating Covid-19 Pandemic in the Apparel Sector and Empowering Women/Factory Workers to Face Day-to-Day Challengers Along with the Pandemic Under the Following Topics, represented by Manti Michael Nota, MS, AFOH, and based in Southern Tanzania.
  • OHS Initiative for Workers and Community, represented by Anton Marcus and based in Bangladesh.
  • Prevention of Hearing Damage from Exposure to High Noise, represented by Abdulqadir Suleiman, MS, MBA, and based in Kenya.
  • Risk Assessment and Occupational Hazards Prevention in Artisanal Mines in Kolwezi, DR Congo: A Training Program, represented by Dr. Paul Musa Obadia, MD, and based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Study on Impact of Mercury Use by Artisanal Gold Miners in Uganda, represented by Robert Tumwesigye Baganda and based in Uganda.
  • Study On the Hazardous Effects of Silicosis Among Mineworkers and Improving Their Quality of Life with Increasing their Lifespan, represented by Rana Sengupta, PhD, and based in India.
  • Welding Fume Exposure Assessment, represented by Altanzul Baatarjav and based in Mongolia.

Established in 2018 by the IAC, the Emerging Economy Microgrant Fund has awarded a combined total of almost $100,000 in microgrants to increase understanding and build capacity for occupational hygiene in developing economies around the world. The IAC promotes the advancement of the practice of occupational hygiene around the world by acting as a focal point for AIHA’s contact with international organizations on professional development, technical, and educational issues. Projects proposed for the microgrant program are reviewed by the IAC Microgrants Subcommittee, weighed against established criteria, and priority ranked. Final recommendations are prepared and presented to the AIHA Board of Directors for ultimate approval.

“It is especially rewarding to be part of the process of improving worker health and safety in so many different global regions,” said the current Microgrant Subcommittee chair, Thomas P. Fuller, ScD, CIH, CSP, MSPH, MBA, FAIHA.

In addition, AIHA CEO Lawrence D. Sloan, FASAE, CAE, notes that “empowering such projects would be impossible without the generous support of our partners, like Amazon.” The international technology company donated $25,000 for Emerging Economy Microgrant recipients in 2021.

An open call will be announced during late Summer 2022 for this year’s Emerging Economy Microgrant applications. All interested and qualified parties will be asked to complete an application form to be eligible for consideration.