What exactly happens in the NAKO Health study? And which scientific and practical experiences from surveys and cohort studies can the BIPS share with its international partners? These questions were central to a visit of Zimbabwean researcher Dr. Fadzai Mudseyekwa, Mandla Tirivavi and Dr. Justice Mudavanhu to the BIPS who stayed in Bremen from 2.-13.Juli. In close cooperation with the BIPS, Fadzai Mudseyekwa and Mandla Tirivavi from Africa University in the Zimbabwean Easter Highlands are currently planning to set up a prospective cohort study on non-communicable diseases and their risk factors whereas Dr. Mudavanhu from the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health is responsible for a countrywide survey following the WHO-STEPS methodology.
During their stay at the BIPS the visitors held intense discussions with almost all BIPS department, and even the administration contributed to the success of the research visit with insights into budget and cost of large prospective studies. The delegation, together with BIPS scientists Hajo Zeeb and Kathrin Günther, also visited the Robert Koch-Institut in Berlin as well as the NAKO study center at the Charité. All in all, the visitors obtained an in-depth overview of epidemiologic research on non-communicable diseases (NCD) which increasingly affect the health of populations in Southern Africa. However, NCDs remain clearly underresearched in the region.