Rob Stephenson

Expansion of NCD Research Capacity in Thailand with Outreach to Indonesia

Research Project Description
Kathleen Marie Potempa, Rob Stephenson, Erin Michele Kahle

Thailand's demographic transition is occurring faster than in any other Eastern or Southern Asian nation. The simultaneous demographic phenomena of low fertility and rapid aging have caused a significant shift in the old-age dependency ratio, increasing it from 12 people over age 65 per person of working age in 1997 to 16 in 2012. This demographic shift is associated with notable increases in the incidence and prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, and hypertension. Additionally, Alzheimer's/dementia now ranks tenth in leading causes of morbidity in Thailand and depression/suicide ranks 13th. This is reflected in increased government spending on health, from 12% of total spending in 2000 to 16% in 2016, representing the epidemiological shift from the treatment of infectious diseases to the more expensive and protracted management of non-communicable diseases in older adults.

To meet the challenges of the continuously evolving demographic shift and associated escalation in NCDs, the Praboromarajchanok Institute for Health Workforce Development (PIHWD) in Thailand and the University of Michigan School of Nursing (UMSN) are poised to capitalize on the strengths of the research infrastructure and training accomplishments of the prior D43. We will do this by significantly expanding training within Thailand and extending that training to the PIHWD D43 training affiliate in Indonesia - the Padjadjaran University of Indonesia - thereby responding to the shifting research and training needs stimulated by the evolving demographic transitions in both countries. Thus, our overall goal is to rapidly increase the number of NCD research projects and capacity for long term NCD research expansion with an emphasis on understanding the age-related factors associated with the rise in NCDs and to determine ways to offset this rise through early intervention. Specific aims for this five-year program are as follows:

Aim 1. Implement an Early - Mid Career Post-Doctoral Traineeship in NCD Research

Aim 2. Strengthen institutional capacity for NCD research with focus on the scientific 'hubs' established in prior D43.

Aim 3. Expand capacity building activities to PIHWD D43 training affiliate in Indonesia

Aim 4. Provide consultation for infrastructure building to advance eLearning

Fogarty International Center

Funding Period: 9/13/2019 to 5/31/2024

International Focus: Indonesia

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