UK to help Bangladesh combat lifestyle diseases

Prothom Alo English Online | Update:

A number of UK-based agencies will provide Bangladesh support to tackle diseases relating to lifestyle and environment under a five-year initiative.

The support will be given under "Cambridge Programme to Assist Bangladesh in Lifestyle and Environmental Risk Reduction (CAPABLE)", reports BSS.

Mainly 'non-communicable diseases (NCDs)' will be tackled under the project.

An agreement to this effect would be signed on 23 January at Radisson Blu Water Garden in the city.

"Bangladesh will ink the five-year project funded by Medical Research Council, UK to focus on determining the social, behavioural and environmental challenges for non-communicable diseases (NDC) risks in Bangladesh," state minister of health and family welfare Zahid Maleque told the state news agency.

The state minister hope that the project will create new research platforms and use a multidisciplinary approach to address health-related 'Sustainable Development Goals'.

University of Cambridge, University College London, the University Court of the University of Aberdeen from UK and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (icddr,b) and National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute (NHFH&RI) from Bangladesh would work for the project.

"Our proposal would address the challenges by focusing on intertwined risk factors for NCDs related to social, environmental and behavioural factors not previously been considered in an integrated framework," said director general of Health Services Abul Kalam Azad.

"This project would develop and evaluate practicable and effective interventions that expose major environmental and lifestyle risk factors against NCDs and promote health in the country in an acceptable, sustainable and cost-effective manner," said ASM Alamgir, senior scientific officer of IEDCR.

According to scientific director of the CAPABLE programme Rajiv Chowdhury from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, the project aims to help develop simple, scalable and effective solutions to control major environmental and lifestyle risk factors in Bangladesh.

CAPABLE would recruit 100,000 people from rural areas to the slums of the city to collect data, from those, engineers, sociologists, health researchers and a host of other disciplines will try to understand the risk factors and build a model that can be used to test interventions before they are implemented.

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