The Shahid Hussain Foundation (SHF), a non-profit organisation working to support the full spectrum of health and innovative medical research in Pakistan, has selected four outstanding projects to receive a grant of PKR 4 million under its Public Health Research Grant 2018 (PHRG). Two teams from SIHS have won PKR 1 million each in grant awards. These were led by Professor of Medicine, Dr. Bilal bin Younis in collaboration with Dr. Shaper Mirza from the Department of Biology, LUMS, and Prof. Tehseen H. Kazmi from the Department of Community Medicine, SMDC, SIHS.
The grant is designed to motivate and support local researchers in their outstanding initiatives to address policy relevant challenges within the realm of public health including social determinants of health, healthcare and promotion, urbanisation and NCDs, and curbing infection diseases. Through this programme, SHF reinforces its commitment to understand the complexities of Pakistan’s healthcare community and work towards shaping better health policy solutions.
Commenting on the importance of his project titled “Prevention of Coronary Artery Diseases in Urban Slums of Lahore through Advocacy and Behavioural Change”, Prof. Kazmi highlighted coronary heart disease as the most common type of heart disease. “The overarching aim of this study is to reduce the prevalence and control the risks of coronary heart diseases among the urban slums of Lahore through active advocacy and interventions against risk factors such as smoking, obesity, hypertension and diabetes”, he further noted.
“We know surprisingly very little about our own population and therefore, we can’t develop solutions for problems we don’t fully understand” says Dr. Bilal bin Younis, Professor of Medicine, Director of Sakina Institute of Diabetes and Endocrine Research (SiDER) and Director Programme Postgraduate Training. With this grant, our project “Investigation of hyperglycaemia mediated inflammation on risk of cardiovascular disease in type 2-diabetes” will assess the “correlation between diabetes and heart disease which may be peculiar to our part of the world so that we may account for these additional risk factors. This may prove helpful in preventing and developing therapies for cardiovascular diseases in people suffering from diabetes”, he adds.
Shalamar Institute of Health Sciences is grateful to SHF for providing the crucial seed funding enabling local researchers to pursue promising medical advances in disease prevention and treatment strategies. Our institution looks forward to this collaboration of developing an integrated health information system to improve local health scenarios and clinical care performances.