Theme H: Community engagement and involvement

The Community Engagement and Involvement Working Group, including researchers, patients and the public will oversee development and monitor delivery of a tailored Community Engagement and Involvement strategy for the Centre for IMPACT that:

  1. Identifies and addresses training needs of the range of stakeholders.
  2. Pays attention to and tackles inherent power imbalances between different groups.
  3. Values the expertise and unique perspectives of those living with the health problem being researched.

This includes, for example, ensuring appropriate reimbursement, creating an environment in which everyone is empowered to share their views, and equitable involvement in decision-making.

Theme G: Knowledge exchange

The Centre will establish a sustainable partnership between national experts in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, mental health and health systems, world leaders in health economics and trial-based evaluations, national and regional policymakers, and communities.

We will use a variety of dissemination channels to make our findings accessible to relevant audiences. By co-producing high-quality competitive and scalable research, creating a diverse group of world class academic leaders in non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and helping institutions in transforming to regional NCD knowledge hubs, our Centre will bring significant health, societal and economic benefits to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Theme D: Reducing cardiovascular disease risk

A steep rise in CVD burden in LMICs calls for an urgent need for strengthening health systems and multi-sectoral collaborations.

Building on our previous work on hypertension, and medications access, community-based CVD cohorts, and school- based approaches for childhood obesity, in Pakistan, we aim to:

  1. Study the implementation of an evidence-based community-based hypertension control intervention
  2. Co-create and evaluate the (cost-)effectiveness of a workplace-based programme for reducing CVD risk
  3. Assess the feasibility of school-based interventions for addressing childhood obesity

Theme C: Preventing diabetes

Pakistan ranks 4th in the world for the number of people with type-2 diabetes (diabetes) in 2019 (19m), 2030 (26m) and 2045 (36m).

The Centre will deliver a set of studies involving patients, families and communities in diabetes prevention.

In Pakistan:

  1.  Assess (cost-)effectiveness of a community mobilisation intervention in preventing diabetes
  2.  Assess feasibility of a family-based intervention to prevent and manage diabetes

In Afghanistan, we will assess the feasibility of the above approaches

Theme B: Addressing the mental health treatment gap

In Afghanistan and Pakistan, common mental disorders (depression and anxiety) are responsible for 0.7m and 3.1m disability-adjusted life years lost, respectively.

Yet >90% of cases go untreated. To address this, we focus on post-conflict settings and chronic physical disease populations, in which common mental disorders (CMDs) are particularly prevalent, and where implementation of effective interventions, delivered by non-specialist workers, has huge potential to alleviate distress, improve health and save costs.

Theme A: Population-level interventions

NCD-related behavioural risk factors pose substantial challenges in Pakistan, acknowledged in a recent Government brief “Intersectoral policies for Pakistan to Reduce Health Risk”, and in the Country Cooperation Strategy for WHO and Pakistan 2020–2025.

The brief listed 29 “highest priority” intersectoral policies that serve as a reference for this theme, in addition to the conclusions of a Government-commissioned Technical Working group that included Centre’s team representatives.
Afghanistan is at an earlier stage of the demographic transition than Pakistan, but is increasingly adding NCD risk factors to the ongoing burden of communicable diseases. The ongoing humanitarian crisis situation calls for more rather than less action for health, including for NCDs, which typically do not receive the attention they deserve in such circumstances, particularly for preventive NCD policies.

We aim to support the governments and relevant international agencies/donors by producing evidence to inform the prioritisation of population-level policies from among tight (and uncertain) resource envelopes.

Resources for Academic Writing

The ‘Writing a scientific article’ mentoring-initiative was run by IMPACT over a 6 month period between June – November 2019. It consisted of two-hour interactive sessions once a month and was aimed at researchers who were non-native speakers of English and planning to write research papers for publication in an English-language journal or contribute to submitting research proposals.

The sessions combined theory and practice of scientific writing with a focus on the participants’ research papers.

Click on the links below to download session slides.

Supporting Documents