Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions

Four leading global research institutions - the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Emory University, the London School of Hygiene & tropical Medicine and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) - have joined forces to establish the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions, a new Centre headquartered at PHFI in India to increase collaboration in research into non-communicable diseases. Dr. K.M. Venkat Narayan, Director of the Emory Global Diabetes Research Center at Emory University, will lead the US team. CCCC acts as a research platform for clinicians, public health experts, geneticists, biochemists, and social scientists from these institutes. The goal is to generate evidence-based knowledge and solutions to address chronic conditions in India and beyond from a policy and clinical perspective.

Chronic conditions are the leading cause of death in India, accounting for more than 5 million deaths each year. They are also a leading cause of disability. It is not simply a matter of individual lifestyle choices or a health system issue, but relates to broader societal factors, economic development, and physical environments people live in. That is why health professionals need to work with experts from diverse fields to build evidence and find solutions.

India faces a serious shortage of specialists for individual chronic ailments. Additionally, individuals often have multiple chronic conditions that might affect several individuals in the same family. Prevention and community and primary care based interventions focused on meeting the health needs of families, rather than treating single diseases, are the approach used by CCCC researchers with the goal of benefitting the largest number of people, as opposed to an over-medicalised, single disease approach.

Although the partnership is primarily focused on India, leaders of participating institutions see benefits flowing across the world. Globalisation of science is a very important agenda of the centre. In addition to translating existing knowledge into policy and action, the centre has a huge opportunity to uncover new causes of diseases, which could lead to development of low cost technologies for diagnostics and therapeutics.