Corinne Stancescu Development Health International Relations Society, Culture, and Security

Canada’s New International Development and Global Health Initiative

On May 12, the Hon. Christian Paradis, the Minister of International Development, made an announcement in Toronto on the Government of Canada’s national efforts in global health and development. Minister Paradis announced that the Government of Canada would contribute $161 million towards Grand Challenges Canada’s innovation platform, in line with the Every Woman Every Child initiative, past support comes under the G8 Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

Grand Challenges Canada is a non-profit organization that is “dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact in global health.” They are funded by the Government of Canada and they fund innovators in low and middle income countries as well as Canada. They bring innovations with simple and efficient designs to operational scale in order to get these innovations to the frontlines of developing countries. Grand Challenges Canada has several programs to achieve these goals, which include the following:

Saving Lives at Birth:

This program addresses the challenge of overcoming maternal and newborn deaths in developing countries.

Saving Brains:

This program “promotes the fulfillment of human capital potential by focusing on interventions that nurture healthy child and brain development in the first 1 000 days at scale with lasting impact on human capital in low-resource settings.”

Stars in Global Health:

“A platform that offers opportunities for social enterprises and impact investors to generate measurable and sustainable social impact.”

Grand Challenges Canada is a key partner to the Government of Canada as it encourages new ideas and innovations. Minister Paradis describes it as one of the best organizations for Canada’s international leadership to improve the health of mothers, newborns, and children.

The innovations presented with this announcement include the following:

  • Wind-up powered fetal heart monitor
  • smart-phone EEG app that diagnoses seizure disorders
  • Listen with your eyes, helping deaf children ‘hear’ through a personal eyepiece
  • A newly designed “Flocked Swab” that improves diagnosis and treatment of deadly childhood diarrheal diseases in Africa
  • Lucky Iron Fish, added to cooking pots to tackle anemia
  • The All-Terrain AT-Knee, a sturdy, versatile, affordable prosthetic for leg amputees
  • Helping people with hearing loss in developing world
  • safe, affordable and re-usable women’s personal hygiene kit
  • maternal device for preventing stillbirth, low birth weight babies
  • Clean Birth Kit for newborns


Due to initiatives like this and Canada’s engagement, more women are surviving childbirth and more children are celebrating fifth birthdays.

Corinne Stancescu
Corinne Stancescu is a Research Analyst at the NATO Association of Canada. Previously, she was the Program Editor for Society, Culture, and International Relations from May to December 2015, and a Junior Research Fellow for Women and Security from May 2014 to April 2015. She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours B.A. in History and English. You can contact her at