Program in Global Noncommunicable Disease and Social Change

Gene Bukhman, MD, PhD, Program Director

Program Background

The Program in Global Noncommunicable Disease and Social Change (PGNDSC), housed in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, brings together scholars, researchers, educators, and health care practitioners to address the endemic noncommunicable disease and injury (NCDI) burden of the world’s poorest people.

A third of the disease burden in the poorest populations is the result of a handful of major infectious conditions such as diarrhea, pneumonia, HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. The NCDIs that account for another third of the burden include such disparate entities as type 1 and malnutrition-associated diabetes, rheumatic and congenital heart disease, Burkitt’s lymphoma and cervical cancer, hemoglobinopathies and glomerulonephritis, epilepsy and schizophrenia, appendicitis and trauma in its various manifestations. These endemic, noninfectious conditions are more likely to be the result of infections and harmful environments than unhealthy behaviors. The challenge for policy and practice is to develop and evaluate integrated policies and service delivery strategies in the absence of single large diseases or risk factors.

The PGNDSC supports research, and aims to train a generation of researchers and practitioners focused on NCDIs in the poorest populations.