KMU launches Cognitive Therapy for Depression in Tuberculosis Treatment program

Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar in collaboration with Keele University, UK have jointly launched The CONTROL (Cognitive Therapy for Depression in Tuberculosis Treatment) program of research to improve outcomes for depression and TB in Pakistanis and Afghan refugees. 
The project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research UK. The project team consists of researchers from University of Toronto, University of Leeds, Health Net TPO Netherlands, University of Peshawar, Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar, Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, and Mayo Hospital Lahore. The research team will work in close collaboration with the KP TB Control Program and the Commissioner for Afghan Refugees office, Peshawar. 
Speaking at the Kickoff meeting of the project the Co-leads of the project Prof. Dr. Saeed Farooq (Keele University) and Dr. Zohaib Khan Director ORIC-KMU told the attendees that social stigma and stress contributes to a high prevalence of mental health issues in Tuberculosis patients and the research team will focus on cognitive behavioral therapy given by TB DOTS facilitator, as an intervention to tackle depression in TB patients. 
The representatives from the TB control program and the Commissionerate for Afghan refugees reflected that the project will be of utmost importance to improve TB outcomes, and committed to provide support to the efficient conduct of the project. The chief guest Prof. Dr. Zia Ul Haq, Vice Chancellor of KMU extended his full support to the project and remarked that along with improving TB and mental health outcomes, the project will also focus on capacity development of early career researchers from Pakistan and Afghanistan. He also vowed to provide relief to Afghan students in the form of scholarships and bursaries in an effort to support Afghanistan’s health system.