Despite the rising risk factor exposure and non-communicable disease (NCD) mortality across the Middle East and the North African (MENA) region, public health policy responses have been slow and appear discordant with the social, economic and political circumstances in each country. Good health policy and outcomes are intimately linked to a research-active culture, particularly in NCD. In this context, researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut along with others from King’s College London, University of Cambridge, King Hussein Cancer Center, Birzeit University, Hacettepe University, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, International Prevention Research Institute, and University of Otago published a new study entitled "The Profile of Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) research in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Analyzing the NCD burden, research outputs and international research collaboration."
The study presents the results of a comprehensive analysis of NCD research with particular a focus on cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in 10 key countries that represent a spectrum across MENA between 1991 and 2018.
Researchers have found that the increase in research activity in NCDs across the MENA region countries during the time period of analysis may signal both an increasing focus on NCDs which reflects general global trends, and greater investment in research in some countries. However, there are several risks to the sustainability of these improvements that have been identified in particular countries within the region.