NIHR IMPACT in South Asia Celebration

Improving Mental and Physical Multimorbidity And Developing Research CapaciTy in South Asia

The IMPACT Journey 2018 – 2022

On Tuesday 1st November research partners joined together to celebrate the original NIHR IMPACT in South Asia Research Programme at Institute of Psychiatry, Rawalpindi Medical University. It was a wonderful evening of reflection. Presentations focused on the success of the first IMPACT Programme.

The dissemination event centered around sharing what has been learnt from the research on improving physical and mental health completed to date and how the Programme has built research capacity for applied health research on multi-morbidity. The event was also the launch of the Research Grant Management Office (RGMO) at Rawalpindi Medical University.

People could join the event live on Facebook to hear the collective wisdom of the impressive group of distinguished researchers involved in the Programme.

The research studies involved in the IMPACT in South Asia Programme included 6 multi-country studies, you can visit our Research Studies page for further information on these.

The IMPACT Group was a collaboration between partners in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the UK. The group included researchers, clinicians, policy makers and patient and public representatives.

Women Scholars

Training tomorrow’s research leaders

At least 60% of the new Centre’s research trainees will be women.

The new Centre for IMPACT will train researchers, particularly women scholars, to become tomorrow’s research leaders.

Centre trainees will include 8 Master’s, 16 Doctoral, 6 Post-doctoral scholars (at least 60% women) and 70 research and support staff (short-term courses). Participating institutions will create competitive faculty positions to retain these scholars beyond the funding period. We will raise standards of health research conducted in our institutions and promote an environment that demands, understands, and utilises research to inform policy and practice.

Kamran Siddiqi, Professor in Global Public Health at Hull York Medical School and the University of York and one of the centre’s lead researchers, said:

“We will train researchers, particularly women scholars, to become tomorrow’s research leaders. Over time, we will develop strong, diverse academic leadership and our research will grow and get adopted, bringing wider health, societal, and economic benefits to the region.”

Centre Launch in Islamabad

Centre for IMPACT Launch Meeting

Our new centre will officially launch at an event in Islamabad on 1 November 2022

The University of York and the Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi will jointly lead the establishment of this new research centre to improve mental and physical health in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Centre, which will focus on tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including depression and anxiety, heart conditions and diabetes, is one of a number of NCD research centres globally funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and Department of Health and Social Care, UK.

The NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Improving Mental and Physical Health Together will include collaboration with:

  • Rawalpindi Medical University, Pakistan
  • Khyber Medical University, Pakistan 
  • International NGO HealthNet-TPO in Afghanistan

Non-communicable diseases 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.


1 million Twitter impressions as a result of the Centre launch last week #C4IMPACT2022
✨Many thanks to all - great tweeting. Special thanks to our prolific, influential & highest impression tweeters! @faizaaslam_RMU @Kamsid66 @helenelsey @ZainabASamad @bilalgilani & @zfrmrza

▶️Find out more about our new @NIHRglobal #Centre4IMPACT - Focus on #NCDs and improving #MentalHealth & #PhysicalHealth together in #Afghanistan #Pakistan
Dr Zalmai Shinwari @HealthNet_TPO explains more
Watch the #C4IMPACT2022 launch video📽️at

Attending the 5th Webinar of the IMPACT @IMPACT_NIHR on "Interventions to control smokeless tobacco use among women in South Asia" by Dr. Radha Shukla @ShuklaRadha (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Alberta).

#Saynototobacco #controltobacco #C4IMPACT2022

A successful week launching our new
@NIHRglobal #Centre4IMPACT #C4IMPACT2022
📸Great photo at the end of yesterday's one day course on #HealthEconomics for Centre members hosted at the prestigious National Institutes of Health, Pakistan @NIH_Pakistan

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