Four countries partner for research to improve conditions for the most vulnerable


Four countries partner for research to improve conditions for the most vulnerable: researchers from Switzerland, Mozambique, Nepal and Peru join forces to combat the double burden of disease that represent Non communicable diseases and Neglected tropical diseases.

“Addressing the double burden of disease: improving health systems for Non communicable and Neglected Tropical Diseases” is the name of the recently funded project led by Dr. David Beran of the Geneva University Hospitals and the University of Geneva in collaboration with partners in Mozambique, Nepal and Peru as well as the Graduate Institute in Geneva and the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano. Supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Development Cooperation under the Swiss Program for Research on Global Issues for Development (, the project will address health challenges faced in low and middle-income countries related to neglected and tropical diseases (NTDs) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In Peru, the project also called “COHESION” (Community Health System Innovation) will be implemented by researchers from CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia.

Low and middle-income countries are confronting a change in the diseases they face with decreasing burden due to viruses and bacteria but more with diseases linked to changes in lifestyle. This epidemiological transition means that health systems now need to manage a diverse range of diseases with most of the burden of treatment needing to focus on poor and vulnerable populations. The chronic nature of NCDs and NTDs is a burden on individuals and families in terms of lost productivity, cost of care, disability, death, and stigma. Women are particularly vulnerable given the social, gender and economic inequalities.

“As we start the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, two health areas neglected by the Millennium Development Goals need to be addressed, namely NTDs and NCDs. These conditions impact the poorest of the poor and require a complete understanding of health systems and local contexts in order to develop effective interventions. I believe that we have assembled a unique multi-disciplinary team across the four partner countries to be able to truly impact the health and well-being of the communities where we will be working” says the Principal Investigator, Dr. David Beran.

Prof. Dr. Chappuis, from Geneva University Hospital claims that “There are a lot of synergies to develop at policy, health system and healthcare facility level to optimize preventive and curative care for both NCDs and NTDs, as well as perhaps other conditions. Let’s break the silos! ”

Dr. Jaime Miranda from Peru says, “For any given individual, when you approach the healthcare system, you expect a service of quality. Whether you have an NTD or an NCD, as a user, you expect a great service. Both conditions can allow us to learn from their chronicity. Instead of rediscovering the wheel, COHESION will allow us to learn between and across fields, NCDs and NTDs”.

Funded for an initial period of three years but extensible up to six years, the “COHESION project” will use multiple research methods to assess: global and national policies; national, urban/peri-urban and rural health systems; and community barriers and enablers to care for different diseases. This will allow developing and testing appropriate interventions in partnership with local stakeholders taking into account issues of culture and gender.

The research project includes the following institutions:
Switzerland: Geneva University Hospitals and University of Geneva; Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies; Università della Svizzera italiana.
Mozambique: Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.
Nepal: B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal.
Peru: CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.

Contacts in Peru:
J. Jaime Miranda, Co-principal investigator,
Maria Amalia Pesantes, Research coordinator,
María Kathia Cárdenas, Research coordinator,
CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Learn more here.

Web page of the Project:

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