Shaping Equitable Noncommunicable Disease and Injury Priorities

The PGNDSC hosts the Secretariat for the Lancet Commission on Reframing Noncommunicable Disease and Injuries for the Poorest Billion (NCDI Poverty Commission). The NCDI Poverty Commission was launched in September 2015 in order to focus investigation on the pattern of NCDIs among the world’s poorest billion people, and to analyze options for intervention in this population. The Commission is comprised of 23 members with a balance of geographical experience and expertise in policy, advocacy, ethics, delivery platforms, health system design, and a spectrum of disease specialties. Commissioners met in January 2016 in London to discuss objectives. In September 2016, the Commissioners met in Kigali, Rwanda with representatives from 11 countries organizing National NCDI Poverty Commissions/Groups. These national groups will carry out research on NCDIs in their poorest populations. The Commissioners will reconvene in March 2017 to review a first draft of Commission’s report. The Commission’s work will culminate in submission for peer review and publication in the Lancet in late 2017.

Gene Bukhman, the PGNDSC Director, is the co-Chair of the Commission. A team of Harvard administrators, Research Fellows, Associates, and Assistants supports the Commission’s research from Boston.

Developing a Science of Integration

The PGNDSC partners with implementers around the world to develop and evaluate innovative strategies for NCDI control. In 2011, the PGNDSC collaborated with Partners In Health (PIH) to publish The PIH Guide to Chronic Care Integration for Endemic NCDs, based on 5 years of initial experience with NCD program development in Rwanda. Since that time, investigators affiliated with PGNDSC have evaluated the outcomes of integrated service delivery models for complex chronic conditions such as rheumatic heart disease and type 1 diabetes in resource-poor setting in Rwanda, Haiti, and Malawi.

Supporting Global Knowledge Exchange and Taking Interventions to Scale

NCD Synergies is a program focused on enabling low-income countries to scale interventions to address noncommunicable diseases and injuries (NCDIs) among those living in extreme poverty. This multisite project is a collaborative effort between the PGNDSC at Harvard Medical School and Partners In Health. The program was launched in July 2013 together with the Rwanda Ministry of Health, and has since grown to support equity-oriented planning for NCDI control in Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania. NCD Synergies works by advocating for a greater focus on the NCDIs of the poorest population, providing governments with seconded technical advisors, and facilitating knowledge-sharing through a web-based platform.

Training the Next Generation of NCDI-focused Researchers and Clinicians

The PGNDSC supports a Research Fellowship and provides mentorship to Harvard students and postgraduates. The PGNDSC runs a monthly seminar series.