Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health

Late breakfast in Lilongwe, Milawi

Late breakfast in Lilongwe, Milawi

Non-communicable diseases, including mental health disorders, are responsible for an increasing burden of disease in Africa and other low-resource settings. Our work focuses largely on defining the burden of these conditions and evaluating programmatic interventions such as task-shifting, to improve diagnosis and treatment.


Current studies that TEG are involved in include i) a programme of health systems research on the control of non-communicable diseases in Tanzania and Uganda, ii) collaboration with the Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit (MEIRU) to examine the prevalence of, and risk factors for, hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia in rural and urban Malawi; and iii) a series of randomised controlled trials evaluating psychological interventions delivered by lay health workers in India and Pakistan.

Key Publications

Nyirenda MJ, Amberbir A, Jaffar S. Understanding local Determinants of non-communicable diseases in sub-Sahara Africa. BMC Medicine (2014) in press.

Chatterjee S, Naik S, John S, Dabholkar H, Balaji M, Koschorke M, Varghese M, Thara R, Weiss HA, Williams P, Patel V, Thornicroft G. Effectiveness of a community-based intervention for people with schizophrenia and their caregivers in India: the COPSI randomized controlled trial. Lancet (2014) in press.

Jaffar S, Amberbir A, Kayuni N, Musicha C, Nyirenda M. Scaling up testing services for non-communicable diseases in Africa: priorities for implementation research. Trop Med Int Health. (2013) Sep 4. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12180 (viewpoint).

Atun R, Jaffar S, Nishtar S, Knaul FM, Barreto ML, Nyirenda M, Banatvala N, Piot P. Improving responsiveness of health systems to non-communicable diseases. Lancet. (2013);381:690-7.

Ebrahim S, Pearce N, Smeeth L, Casas JP, Jaffar S, Piot P. Tackling non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries: is the evidence from high-income countries all we need? PLoS Med. (2013);10(1):e1001377. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001377.

Staff working on Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health:


Theme Leader
Professor Shabbar Jaffar





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