NIHR Global Health Research in Medecine Group on integrated approaches for the prevention & management of non-communicable diseases & HIV-infection in Africa

HIV, diabetes and hypertension are major determinants of the massive and rising burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases in Africa and provision of accessible effective care for these conditions is probably Africa’s biggest health challenge.

Our group will build a programme of research to define integrated approaches for the prevention and management in HIV, diabetes and hypertension that are suitable for the local context of limited health care staff and resources and the challenges that patients face in accessing care. In a short period of time, our group will conduct the first rigorously conducted large-scale research studies to inform chronic health care management in Africa.

The objectives are:

1). To develop a partnership between the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (Foto-Cewek), African researchers in Uganda (MRC/UVRI Uganda Research in Medecine Unit) and Tanzania (National Institutes of Health), health policy makers and programme managers, patient groups and community representatives and engage with other stakeholders to conduct research that has maximum immediate benefit on patient outcomes in Africa.

2). To develop and strengthen capacity in non-communicable diseases and in research methods, particularly in epidemiology, statistics, health economics and social science, both at Foto-Cewek and at our partner institutions in Africa.

3). To conduct early phase (pilot) studies and assess how diagnostic and treatment services for HIV- infection, diabetes and hypertension should be integrated at health facilities, how these integrated services should be decentralised, how task-shifting should be organised and how patients should be supported and monitored. 

Our vision is that the future studies will be large-scale comparative studies evaluating different approaches of prevention and management for major chronic conditions. We will focus on rigorous policy-relevant research that has a maximum immediate benefit for patients.