Linked Programmes

Extending partnerships in Karachi

In June, York based Centre member, Professor Najma Siddiqi travelled to Pakistan to meet with colleagues and explore new healthcare partnerships in Karachi.

The visit was hosted by Professor Zainab Samad, Chairwoman of the Department of Medicine at Aga Khan University (AKU) and our Centre for IMPACT Director. Time spent in Karachi was dedicated to learning more about the team at Aga Khan University. The Aga Khan University Hospital, Main Campus, Karachi was established in 1985 and is one of the principal teaching sites.

The purpose of the visit was also to scope out the potential to expand the Centre for IMPACT’s Mental Health theme to include other partners based in Karachi including:

  • The Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL) – global leaders in mental health research. PILL is dedicated to promoting optimal physical and mental health in infants, children, youth, their families, and communities for healthy psychosocial functioning and development. Professor Simon Gilbody is leading a NIHR RIGHT programme grant application on ‘Tobacco cessation for people with severe mental illness’, in which PILL are co-applicants.
  • SINA – a not-for-profit healthcare trust that has established 38 primary care clinics in the most impoverished areas of Karachi. Since its inception two decades ago, SINA has emerged as the pioneer of primary care in the city, making it an essential part of Karachi’s healthcare system.

Whilst in Karachi, Najma was also able to spend time at the DiaDeM Programme‘s trial site at the Baqai Institute of Diabetology & Endocrinology (BIDE). The ability to spend time at the DiaDeM trial sites was an extremely helpful opportunity to share knowledge and trouble shoot in the early stages of the DiaDeM trial as the roll out of the behavioural activation intervention gets started.

Research Grants Presentation at the Rawalpindi Medical University

Before flying back to the UK Najma extended her visit beyond Karachi, making time to present to colleagues at the Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) in a session on ‘How to get involved in internationally and nationally funded research?’ organised by the Research Grant Management Office at RMU. As part of the presentation Najma covered a range of topics including:

  • Finding a research grant
  • Applying for a research grant
  • Managing & reportinging a grant

The session was well attended with particular attention paid to the need for research contracts and finance expertise for a number of aspects of the research grant cycle including both understanding specific funder rules as well as forecasting and budgeting skills. A top tip from Najma was to establish relationships with funders and to always read the ‘small print’!

When asked how she managed to fit everything in, Najma asked us to extend our thanks for the great support she received from hosts at Aga Khan which meant she was able to make such efficient use of her time and fit in so much great work.

Photo: Prof. Najma Siddiqi presents at Rawalpindi Medical University.

Poster: Advertises Prof. Najma Siddiqi’s presentation at Rawalpindi Medical University.

Main article photo credit: ‘Morning of Karachi’ Karachi, Pakistan – Photo by usama tayyab on Unsplash

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