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International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research

Dhaka, Bangladesh


Background: Chronic disease is a common precursor to poverty. The impact of chronic disease can push the near-poor into poverty and push those already poor from a meager but sustainable existence into irreversible destitution.

Very little is known about how poor people manage some of the most common serious chronic conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD), and the types of health services and providers that they use. Even less is known about how local providers respond to these conditions. In Bangladesh, the primary resources typically include drug vendors and a range of informal providers from traditional healers to semi- or un-trained village doctors.

Objectives: *Conduct new research into the epidemiologic, medical geography, social and health systems correlates of chronic cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. *Build capacity of researchers and provide educational opportunities to the next generation of chronic cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases researchers. *Translate and communicate new information into workable, culturally appropriate policy recommendations.

Research Activities: *Examine the impact on household functioning and risk of impoverishment of having a household member with COPD or CVD; the health seeking choices poor households make when faced with COPD and CVD and the factors which influence them; and the responses of providers when presented with these conditions. *Measure burden of disease data and prevalence of risk factors for COPD. Develop burden of disease data and prevalence of disease and risk factors as well as changes over time for hypertension in both rural and urban settings. *Determine the distribution of chronic diseases and chronic disease risk factors among different socioeconomic groups in rural Bangladesh and determine how chronic disease affects the economic status of a household.

Training: *Masters: New Master of Science in Public Health degree at the James T. Grant School for Public Health, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. *Doctorate: Doctor of Public Health degree, for students committed to the study of chronic cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Enrollment of students scheduled to start September 2010. *Postdoctoral: Mentoring program for postdoctoral graduates.

About Centers of Excellence: To help combat chronic diseases in developing countries, the UnitedHealth Chronic Disease Initiative and the NHLBI support a global network of collaborating Centers of Excellence. Each center includes a research institution in a developing country paired with at least one partner academic institution in a developed country. These Centers of Excellence are developing infrastructures for research and training to enhance their capacity to conduct population-based or clinical research to monitor, prevent, or control chronic diseases, with a focus on cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

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