Global Health

Global Health

A chronic threat

Chronic diseases are rapidly increasing globally, and especially in low- and medium-income countries, and have reached similar influence on health as infectious diseases and sometimes greater.

The Global Centre of Excellence in Primary Prevention of Chronic Diseases in Middle- and Low-Income Countries was established to strengthen Danish research in international health. The research activities aim to contribute significantly to understanding chronic diseases. In the near future, 300 million people in low- and medium-income countries are expected to have chronic diseases, placing enormous burdens on the countries’ health budgets.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded a grant of DKK 15 million to Ib Bygbjerg, Professor at the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology of the University of Copenhagen to establish and operate the Global Centre of Excellence in Primary Prevention of Chronic Diseases in Middle- and Low-Income Countries, including creating a professorship. In 2010, Maximillian de Courten was appointed as a professor and the research unit was established. The Centre is an active research unit within the Copenhagen School of Global Health.

The Centre focuses on identifying, testing and disseminating knowledge about evidence-based interventions to prevent the burden of noncommunicable diseases in both low- and middle-income countries and populations in emerging economies. The emphasis and approach thereby focus on solutions that are effective, applicable and sustainable in low-resource settings. Strengthening the capacity of partners and mutual learning of approaches in the aim to reduce noncommunicable diseases are a hallmark approach of the Centre.

The research undertaken in various countries is innovative, since it is driven by translational public health approaches, signifying that complex problems such as noncommunicable diseases require complex solutions with input from a range of scientific fields such as pathophysiology, epidemiology, sociology, anthropology and health promotion and grounding in first-hand in-country experience. Several PhD fellows and master students undertaking their dissertation or thesis are attached to the Centre and posted outside Denmark for data collection.