Research centre launched to improve health in Pakistan, Afghanistan

MN Report 05:56 PM, 11 Oct, 2022
Research centre launched to improve health in Pakistan, Afghanistan

KARACHI: The Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi and the University of York will develop a new research institute to promote mental and physical health in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The centre will focus on combating non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as depression and anxiety, heart conditions, and diabetes. It is one of several NCD research centres globally funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Department of Health and Social Care, United Kingdom.

NCDs are responsible for 64 per cent of all deaths and disabilities worldwide, and their prevalence is increasing. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, they are responsible for about one million fatalities annually.

In low-resource, conflict-affected environments, there is an urgent need for novel treatments that are both effective and scalable. According to researchers, the five-year, £7.6 million effort gives new chances to develop, test, and implement evidence-based therapies for non-communicable diseases.

The new centre, housed at AKU and the University of York, will involve patients and families via Community Advisory Panels, which will aid in designing, executing, and disseminating research results. At least sixty per cent of the research trainees at the new centre will be female.

Professor of Public Health at the University of York and Co-Director of the Centre for Impact Kamran Siddiqi stated, "We will teach academics, especially women scholars, to become future research leaders. 

Over time, we will establish a strong, diverse academic leadership, and our research will expand and be implemented, providing more health, social, and economic advantages to the area.

On 1 November 2022, a ceremony in Islamabad will formally inaugurate the new centre.



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