Building on 15 years of support to trauma and injury research, Aga Khan University’s Department of Emergency Medicine in collaboration with Center of Excellence for Trauma and Emergencies (CETE) has been awarded with the U.S. National Institute of Health’s Fogarty Global Trauma and Injury Research Training Programme. One of the longest running NIH grants at AKU, the Fogarty Global Trauma and Injury Research Training Programme is now based out of Karachi, and worth 1.35 million USD.
This is a prestigious international research training grant to build capacity of institutions within low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). The goal of this grant is to strengthen trauma and injury research capacity across AKU institutions in six countries; Pakistan and Afghanistan from South Asia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan from Central Asia and Tanzania and Kenya from East Africa. A strong cross-regional model of collaboration will be built as a result of this initiative. The programme will train several PhD researchers and a large number of trainees through a series of workshops and online courses in addition to supporting them with contextually relevant research focused on emergencies, disasters and conflict.
“Regions where AKU and AKDN work are especially prone to disasters and emergencies. Preparing those regions requires locally relevant, contextual solutions developed through local research. We are hopeful that the next five years of our D43 grant will allow fostering of local research leadership in these areas. As an institution, the short and long-term training programmes would allow AKU's Center of Excellence for Trauma and Emergencies to create critical mass across its various campuses, " said Dr Junaid Razzak, professor of Emergency Medicine, director of CETE and a principal investigator (PI) on this grant.
The model will focus on expanding doctoral training to East Africa and Pakistan, while building a large cadre of individuals with basic training in trauma and injury research at all sites. Generation of relevant research will be a key feature of the training programme and will also be used to inform policymakers in the included countries around four themes: conflicts/wars; disasters (natural/man-made); emergency care; mass casualties – all national priorities at AKU sites.
“Through this training grant we aim to advance field injury and trauma research with a special focus on disaster, conflict and emergencies. We are building on our 15 years of successful collaborative work in this field and have the honor of having one of the longest running grants at AKU,” said Dr Nadeem Ullah Khan, associate professor, Department of Emergency Medicine at AKU and a PI on this grant.
Previous programmes under this grant supported trauma and injury research through long-term training of 32 trainees at the Masters level (28 Pakistani and 4 Afghani nationals) and 3 Pakistanis at the PhD level. The programme also supported short term training of over 6500 individuals.
The grant team comprises of Dr Nadeem Ullah Khan, Dr Junaid Razzak, Dr Adnan Hyder, Dr Adil Haider, Dr Uzma Rahim Khan, and Dr Nino Paichadze.
CETE is a university-wide centre of excellence which serves as a platform for the generation and dissemination of relevant knowledge, research and high-quality capacity building programmes that directly addresses the needs of LMICs. It specifically targets clinical services, educational programmes and research by optimally utilising shared resources to teach innovative courses in areas of high relevance to maternal and child survival an d wellbeing in developing countries.