Researchers receive £9.8m funding to tackle the rising challenge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in West Africa.

Ashesi University, Ghana, is one of the research partners in the project

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) are teaming up with the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons to tackle the rising challenge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in West Africa.

Thanks to the financial support from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), researchers will address this challenge with the creation of the NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Non-communicable Disease Control in West Africa.

The Research Centre will be co-led by the GCPS and LSHTM, working in partnership with other institutions in the region, namely Ashesi University, Ghana, Catholic University of West Africa (UCAO-UUB), Burkina Faso; and Laboratoire d'Etudes et de Recherche sur les Dynamiques Sociales et le Développement Local (LASDEL), Niger.

Tolib Mirzoev, Professor of Global Health Policy at the LSHTM and Co-Director of the Centre, noted that the Stop-NCD program will provide researchers with a useful platform to leverage, and extend the collaborating institutions’ genuinely equitable partnership developed over many years of working together.

“Through excellent science, comprehensive capacity strengthening and equitable partnerships involving research teams and key stakeholders, we will ensure the longer-term legacy of African-led research for improved policy and practice in NCD control,” he added.

The move follows a report by WHO in April 2022 highlighted the alarming rate of deaths from NCDs in Africa – which include conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer – pointing it out that NCDs were increasingly becoming the main cause of mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, where the diseases were responsible for 37% of deaths in 2019, rising from 24% in 2000.

WHO emphasized that there is an urgent need for capacity to conduct high-quality research to inform effective, evidence-based and people-centered approaches to NCD control, adapted to West African settings.

Photo courtesy /  Ashesi univ

Article by RB correspondent