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Non-communicable diseases

We assess the burden of chronic diseases in Bangladesh, document current care practices and health-seeking behaviours and evaluate new interventions relevant to low-income countries, with a focus on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Programme lead

Dr Aliya Naheed

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As non-communicable diseases become an issue of ever-greater importance in Bangladesh and other low-income countries, icddr,b has initiated a developmental research programme dedicated to research on their prevention and control.

Our initial research priority areas are to identify the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, to support the development of targeted interventions. In addition, we have interest in formative, epidemiological, health systems and implementation research on chronic respiratory diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma), cancer, and brain, mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders (depression, autism).

We also explore healthcare-seeking behaviour to identify patients’ preferences for particular providers and obstacles to timely care-seeking. Based on rigorous research findings, we aim to develop and test interventions suitable for low-resource settings to prevent or treat hypertension or diabetes in high-risk populations. We also actively disseminate research results to various stakeholders and the Government of Bangladesh, and try to translate research results into action. 

We have used Matlab surveillance data to explore the shift from communicable to non-communicable diseases. Over the years, we have developed research competency in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, obesity, diabetes, indoor air pollution, smoking, and other chronic diseases and risk factors. Future work will focus on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. We plan to build our research capability in this area and support national and regional policy-making.