The University of York (UK) and the Aga Khan University (Pakistan) in Karachi have jointly led the establishment of this new research centre to improve mental and physical health in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In this short video Director Dr Zainab Samad, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Aga Khan University shares her aspirations for the Centre.
The Centre, will focus on tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including depression and anxiety, heart conditions and diabetes. It is one of a number of NCD research centres globally funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), UK.
The NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Improving Mental and Physical Health Together will include collaboration with Rawalpindi Medical University, The Institute, Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology and Khyber Medical University in Pakistan, as well as international NGO HealthNet-TPO and Kabul University of Medical Sciences in Afghanistan, Universities of Edinburgh and Liverpool in the UK and Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research.
NCDs are rapidly increasing and are now responsible for 64% of deaths and disabilities globally. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, they account for almost a million deaths every year.
There is an urgent need for new interventions that are effective and can be delivered at scale in low-resource, conflict-affected settings. Researchers say the five-year £7.6m initiative provides new opportunities to develop, test and embed evidence-based treatments that address NCDs.
The new Centre, which will be led by Aga Khan University and the University of York, will engage with patients and families through Community Advisory Panels, which will help design, conduct, and disseminate research findings.
At least 60% of the new Centre’s research trainees will be women.