KMU launched mental health research project - DiaDeM, worth 3 million GBP

Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar in joint collaboration with the University of York, UK, launched a mental health study project titled “ Developing and Evaluation an adapted Behavioral Activation intervention for people with Depression and Diabetes in South Asia” worth 3 million £ amounting to PKR.  636,461,028.90. this multi-country, multi-center research project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, UK. Other partner organizations include along University of Southampton UK, University College London UK, Hull York Medical School UK, Institute of Psychiatry Rawalpindi, Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, Hayatabad Medical Complex Hospital Peshawar, Tees, Esk & Wear Valley NHS Trust UK, University of Leeds, UK and Ark Foundation, Bangladesh.

Main theme of the project is “There is no health without mental health”. This collaboration aims to develop and test a culturally appropriate approach to the recognition and treatment of depression in people with diabetes in Bangladesh and Pakistan based on Behavioral Activation. Core team of the project consists of chief investigator Dr. Najma Siddiquee UK, principal investigator Prof. Dr. Zia ul Haq, co-principal investigators Prof. Dr. A.H Amir and Dr. Saima Afaq KMU-IPH & SS.                                        

Launching ceremony of the said project was held here at KMU multipurpose hall, Secretary Health KP Mr. Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah was the chief guest whereas founder Vice chancellor of KMU Prof. Dr. Muhammad Daud Khan was guest of honor. Besides others, VC KMU Prof. Dr. Zia ul Haq, Registrar KMU Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Gandapur, member Senate KMU Mr. Zia ul Haq Sarhadi, President Psychiatrics Association Prof. Dr. Mukhtar ul Haq and renowned Diabatologist Prof. Dr. A. H. Amir were also present at the occasion.

While talking to the ceremony, health experts told that health care systems in low and middle-income countries face the growth of mental and physical multi morbidity. Type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing, particularly in South Asia where depression in type 2 diabetes represents the largest combined mental and non-communicable disease burden.  People with long-term physical health conditions, such as diabetes, have a 2-3 fold increased risk of depression. Outcomes for depression and diabetes are significantly worse for both conditions when they occur together. 

They emphasized a joint approach to care is needed using a scalable intervention to recognize and treat depression, integrated with diabetes care. Behavioral Activation is a relatively simple, effective and culturally portable psychological therapy for depression, which can be delivered by non-specialists. DiaDeM has potential to improve mental and physical health, reduce inequalities and stigma for vulnerable groups and provide economic benefit. This program will enhance capacity in applied mental-physical multi-morbidity research and policymaking, they added.