Understanding non-communicable diseases (NCD) and the role of infection in Africa: building a partnership to generate big data – ANDLA project

Project Period

February 2018 - January 2019

Project Partners

  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
  • NDEPTH Network
  • Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Unit (MRC-UVRI)
  • National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Tanzania

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are overtaking infectious disease as the leading cause of adult mortality in Africa. NCD data from low and middle income countries are predominantly from small studies using differing methods. To better understand the severity and extent of these diseases requires detailed information from population-based research, particularly in Africa as relatively few people use formal health services.

The African Non-communicable Disease Longitudinal data Alliance (ANDLA) brings together population-based research data from multiple partners working in existing study sites across Africa to create large, harmonized datasets that are robust and powerful enough to address important research questions that individual study sites would struggle to answer on their own.

In the short term, ANDLA will provide data that describes and compares the burden and distribution of NCDs across various countries in Africa and identify key high risk populations most at need of early health care interventions. These early, descriptive findings will inform and guide policy makers and international donors to ensure equitable allocation of health resources. The nature of these longitudinal data, collected by using unique identifiers in each study population, will allow for follow-up of participants to capture NCD health outcomes, including mortality, over an extended period of time to inform future intervention studies. In the longer run, the research findings will benefit the hundreds of millions of African adults who are projected to die prematurely from non-communicable

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