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The Malawi NCD BRITE Consortium: Building Research Capacity, Implementation, and Translation Expertise for Noncommunicable Diseases

Authors:

Joep J. van Oosterhout ,

Department of Medicine, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre; Dignitas International, Zomba, MW
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Mina Hosseinipour,

University of North Carolina-Project Malawi, Lilongwe, MW
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Adamson S. Muula,

Department of Public Health, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, MW
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Alemayehu Amberbir,

Dignitas International, Zomba, MW
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Emily Wroe,

Department of Public Health, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, MW
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Josh Berman,

Dignitas International, Zomba, MW
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Cecilia Maliwichi-Nyirenda,

Research Support Center, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Blantyre, MW
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Victor Mwapasa,

Department of Public Health, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, MW
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Amelia Crampin,

Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit, Lilongwe, MW
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Martha Makwero,

Department of Family Medicine, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, MW
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Emmanuel Singogo,

Dignitas International, Zomba, MW
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Satish Gopal,

University of North Carolina-Project Malawi, Lilongwe, MW
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Ulrika Baker,

Department of Family Medicine, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, MW
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Samuel Phiri,

Research Support Center, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Blantyre, MW
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Stephen B. Gordon,

Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre, MW
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Sheldon Tobe,

Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, CA
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Jonathan Chiwanda,

Department of Non-communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, MW
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Jones Masiye,

Department of Non-communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, MW
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John Parks,

Department of Family Medicine, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, MW
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Collins Mitambo,

Department of HIV-AIDS, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, MW
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Austrida Gondwe,

Department of Medicine, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, MW
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Luckson Dullie,

Research Support Center, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Blantyre, MW
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Brad Newsome,

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, US
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Moffat Nyirenda

Research Support Center, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Blantyre, MW
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Abstract

Africa is experiencing an increasing prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCD). However, few reliable data are available on their true burden, main risk factors, and economic impact that are needed to inform implementation of evidence-based interventions in the local context. In Malawi, a number of initiatives have begun addressing the NCD challenge, which have often utilized existing infectious disease infrastructure. It will be crucial to carefully leverage these synergies to maximize their impact. NCD-BRITE (Building Research Capacity, Implementation, and Translation Expertise) is a transdisciplinary consortium that brings together key research institutions, the Ministry of Health, and other stakeholders to build longterm, sustainable, NCD-focused implementation research capacity. Led by University of Malawi—College of Medicine, University of North Carolina, and Dignitas International, NCD-BRITE’s specific aims are to conduct detailed assessments of the burden and risk factors of common NCD; assess the research infrastructure needed to inform, implement, and evaluate NCD interventions; create a national implementation research agenda for priority NCD; and develop NCD-focused implementation research capacity through short courses, mentored research awards, and an internship placement program. The capacity-building activities are purposely designed around the University of Malawi—College of Medicine and Ministry of Health to ensure sustainability. The NCD BRITE Consortium was launched in February 2018. In year 1, we have developed NCD-focused implementation research capacity. Needs assessments will follow in years 2 and 3. Finally, in year 4, the generated research capacity, together with findings from the needs assessments, will be used to create a national, actionable, implementation research agenda for NCD prioritized in this consortium, namely cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Highlights

  • NCD-BRITE is a transdisciplinary consortium that brings together key research institutions, the MOH, and other stakeholders to build long-term, sustainable, NCD-focused implementation research capacity.
  • NCD-BRITE’s specific aims are to conduct detailed assessments of the burden and risk factors of common NCD (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, COPD and asthma); assess the research infrastructure needed to inform, implement, and evaluate NCD interventions; create a national implementation research agenda for priority NCD; and develop NCD-focused implementation research capacity through short courses, mentored research awards, and an internship placement program.
  • The capacity-building activities are purposely designed around the College of Medicine and the Government of Malawi MOH to ensure sustainability.
  • It was initiated in 2017 and has successfully completed 2 years of operation.
How to Cite: van Oosterhout JJ, Hosseinipour M, Muula AS, Amberbir A, Wroe E, Berman J, et al.. The Malawi NCD BRITE Consortium: Building Research Capacity, Implementation, and Translation Expertise for Noncommunicable Diseases. Global Heart. 2019;14(2):149–54. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2019.05.004
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Published on 01 Jun 2019.
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