Message from the Founding Director


It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Institute for Global Health and Development (AKU-IGHD). This is a major new initiative of the University, which though virtual, aims to connect all campuses, entities and faculty of the Aga Khan University and also link it to corresponding activities within the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

Following its close engagement with many aspects of the Millennium Development Goals, especially those related to maternal and child survival, the establishment of the ​​IGHD marks a commitment by one of the world's most accomplished research and development institutions to deliver results on health and health-related Sustainable Development Goals. With extensive reach within South Asia and Africa, the IGHD comprises a network of leading scholars delivering research findings from state-of-the-art laboratories and extensive field sites, among representative populations. Through partners in the AKDN, and in collaboration with funders, governments, other universities and research centres, the potential for interconnected strategies and coordinated project implementation is boundless.

The focus areas for the ​IGHD, highlighted in these pages, also reflect issues of enormous importance globally and priorities. These include the important area of climate change, environment and health as well as the linkages between agriculture, food security and human nutrition across the life course. I​GHD will continue to work on areas that link social and structural determinants of health with health outcomes including gender equality, women's empowerment, education and healthcare-seeking behaviors.

With partners in the AKU Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, the Institute for Educational Development, the Institute for Human Development and the new AKU-wide Brain and Mind Institute, we hope to create partnerships and synergies for multi-disciplinary work on issues of relevance to the SDGs. We invite faculty members and students across AKU campuses globally to join the growing body of collaborators and partners with the IGHD, and embark upon an exciting journey of scholarship spanning discovery, development and delivery. We look forward to keeping you informed as we negotiate these waters in the years to come.​

Zulfiqar A Bhutta, FRS
Distinguished University Professor & Founding Director