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Experts from the Public Health Foundation of India and University of Leicester have been awarded a prestigious grant of nearly £10 million by the National Institute for Health and Care Research, UK to help improve the health outcomes and re-orient health systems to effectively address multiple long-term conditions (MLTCs) or multimorbidity in India and Nepal.

The researchers will collaborate with the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Jodhpur, Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth (HRIDAY), Delhi, and Kathmandu Medical College (KMC), Kathmandu, thanks to the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Centre for grant.

During the first stage of the research implementation, the researchers will review existing evidence, generate new data as required and talk to people living with these conditions to identify the best care approach for people with multimorbidity in both countries.

In addition, using the concepts of ‘co-design and community engagement, they will conduct studies to assess what type of integrated, technology-enabled, patient-centred, high impact, equitable health system intervention designs could most benefit individuals with two or more long-term conditions, which are increasingly impacting population health in both countries.

As part of the project, 17 places on master’s degrees, 19 PhDs as well as 14 post-doctoral placements will be available in Leicester, Birmingham or Brunel, covering applied health research, implementation science, medical statistics, quality and safety in healthcare, health data science and diabetes.

In addition, Public Health Foundation of India and University of Leicester with other co-applicant institutions will deliver short courses to approximately 400 participants. These will be across a range of topics, including epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioural sciences, implementation science, health economics, qualitative methods, health systems research, community and patient engagement, leadership and management as well as other areas depending on identified needs.

On launch of the Centre, Prof. Sanjay Zodpey, President, PHFI “PHFI has worked to establish a robust evidence for research for India in key areas of public health. With the growing burden of non-communicable diseases in our country, through the NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Multiple Long-Term Conditions, we aim to build capacity and evidence for the need for comprehensive management of multiple conditions which can enable our health systems to be agile to meet the needs of our population at various levels."

Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, “Founder (Past) President and Distinguished Professor of Public Health, PHFI said, “Co-existence of multiple chronic health ailments is becoming increasingly common as life expectancy increases. This is a problem not only for older age groups but also evident in younger age groups where changes in living habits and environmental conditions are increasing susceptibility for multiple diseases. Health systems which employ disease specific programmes are ill equipped to deal with co-existent conditions which require chronic, continuous care. Such care is best provided through integrated delivery teams at the level of primary healthcare. Capacity for providing such care through efficient, equitable and empathetic health systems is an urgent requirement. This project will aim to build needs based capacity for addressing the challenges of multimorbidity."

The Centre, through research, capacity building and community engagement and involvement will build evidence base on what works, how and why in the Indian and Nepal contexts while simultaneously addressing the current gaps in care for patients with MLTCs.

The NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Multiple Long-Term Conditions scheme funds high-quality applied health research and training in areas of unmet need. The grant is for the direct and primary benefit of people in low and middle income countries but also will have lessons for the UK and other high income countries.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Priyanka Sharma

Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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