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November 28, 2009

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Dear TCA Blog,

Your recent entry about our role in the ATSA project has come to our attention and in the interests of transparency, we wish to correct a significant error, and make a couple of relevant comments.

1) The grant awarded to Marquette University was for approximately $118,300 (USD). We cannot say for certain what the $478,500 amount that you reported is, but we assume that is the total for synthesis and related activities in the larger ATSA budget and program. Our team is executing one part of the synthesis. Also, while Jeffrey Drope is indeed the principal investigator, more importantly, he and his team of graduate researchers have been and are working closely with the ATSA country team leaders and members, and the rich materials they are providing, in order to produce drafts of the syntheses.

2) The IDRC announced the grant to Marquette University publicly and officially to all of the ATSA teams in June, 2009.

3) Because the synthesis process proposed and then executed by Marquette University has been to bring the ATSA teams together, and gather and disseminate (currently internally within ATSA, but it will be public once all of the teams are pleased with the product) the important tobacco control information that they have identified, roughly half the grant was earmarked for bringing the teams together for discussion and sharing (primarily at the African Heart Network conference in Abuja, and the AORTIC meeting in Dar es Salaam); the other half of the grant helps to subsidize researchers' salaries and other necessary research support.

Thank you.

The Marquette University ATSA Research Team

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