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Short Course: Issues in Global Non-Communicable Diseases: from research to policy

London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineThe Course

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, are responsible for the greatest burden
of death and disability globally. No longer viewed as diseases of affluence, NCDs are of critical importance to all countries and are firmly on the global political agenda. Successfully addressing the complex causes of these diseases and reducing the global burden will involve interdisciplinary approaches and a systems viewpoint. Researchers and policy makers from around the world working in this field thus require a critical understanding of the commonalities and differences in perspectives across sectors, which will enable them to work effectively within a ‘global’ ecological perspective on NCDs.

The School’s Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases fosters collaboration between NCD researchers, across a range of settings and disciplines and is in a unique position to deliver this multi-disciplinary course. By focusing on common upstream determinants of those NCDs with the highest disease burden and impact, the course will address the current paradigms and controversies in epidemiology, health systems and policy, equipping participants with the language and skills to progress further in their fields.

Aims and Objectives

The primary aim is to train public health professionals in the interdisciplinary approaches to NCD prevention, treatment and care. Specifically, the course aims to expose participants to key theoretical and empirical knowledge in NCD research from a range of disciplines, including epidemiology, public health, economics and health systems highlighting the commonalities and differences in approaches.

Course Content

  • Scope, definition and burden of NCDs
  • Common upstream determinants and system approaches
  • Downstream risk factors and epidemiological approaches
  • Opportunities for prevention and treatment
  • Health systems and capacity for NCDs
  • Hot topics and future directions

At the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the measures of NCD burden and their application from monitoring to policy evaluation;
  • Understand how the broad evidence base can be synthesized into a common causal framework for the major NCDs;
  • Explain the importance of upstream determinants of NCDs and their implications for prevention;
  • Critically evaluate available prevention strategies from health promotion to clinical health services;
  • Evaluate health system requirements and capacity for combating global NCDs;
  • Analyse the policy process and the effectiveness of policy opportunities at different stages of the causal pathway from system-wide changes to disease management;
  • Explain how NCDs are linked with other major global issues (e.g. social inequalities, climate changes, economic growth and development)

Who Should Attend?

Healthcare and public health professionals to policy makers from a range of sectors who are interested in studying and combating NCDs from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course will have a Global focus, with experts and examples from a range of settings outside of the UK. Participants should have a basic understanding of statistics and epidemiological study designs and a good command of English.

Teaching Methods

The course will draw on the range of expertise available from the members of the Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases. Sessions will be run by researchers who specialise in NCDs and lectures will be given by experts in the field. The course will focus on NCDs as an international public health priority, as relevant to low- and middle-income countries as they are to high-income settings.

Sessions will run from 0900-1700 each day. The course will involve lectures and participatory practical sessions. A course manual will be given to participants at the beginning of the week.

Methods of Assessment

There will be no formal examination or assessment, but a certificate of attendance will be issued.

Course Fee

The fee for the course is £1,200. This fee covers participation in the course, materials, refreshments, lunch on day one and a drinks reception one evening but does not cover travel costs, accommodation or other meals. Fees are payable in full by 17 December 2013. Applicants must pay the full course fee, or provide a letter guaranteeing funding from their sponsor in order to secure their place on the course.


A list of hotels and other accommodation located in the vicinity of the School can be supplied on request by the Registry.

Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases

The Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases is the central hub for global NCD research within the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, creating a reference point for researchers and policy makers by bringing together the range of expertise which currently exists with a global focus on NCDs.

The Centre aims to strengthen and promote research, training and international networking in NCD research and health policy. The Centre fosters collaboration and communication between NCD researchers, across a range of settings and disciplines, both within and outside the School. In addition, the Centre functions as an international training centre for global NCD research through the provision of training courses and PhD programmes; members of the Centre play a key role in highlighting the importance of NCDs on the global policy agenda.

Professor Neil Pearce, Centre Director:

I am delighted that the Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases is launching this important short course in 2014. The Centre is in a unique position to bring together experts in many disciplines working in this field and the course is designed to capitalise on this interdisciplinary approach, which I think will bring great benefit to the attendees.

Shah Ebrahim, Professor of Non-Communicable Diseases:

This short course is a great addition to the portfolio of courses run by the School and I’m delighted to be contributing to the teaching during the week. I am a firm believer in the importance of tackling the global burden of NCDs through a systems viewpoint and feel that this course will be of great benefit to individuals working in this field.

How to Apply

Applicants should complete the online application form available on the relevant course webpage: www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/cpd/shortcourses.html

An alternative format can be requested by contacting:


London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UNITED KINGDOM

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7299 4648
Fax: +44 (0)20 7299 4656
Email: shortcourses@lshtm.ac.uk Website: www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/cpd

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