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Aga Khan University, Pakistan

Fellowship Site Directors: Prof. Sameen Siddiqi, Prof. Zafar Fatmi, Prof. Sarah Saleem, Prof. Shehla Zaidi, Dr. Romaina Iqbal and Dr. Bilal Usmani

Site Contact: Dr. Romaina Iqbal (

Research site’s websiteDepartment of Community Health Sciences |MC, Pakistan | The Aga Khan University (

Site Specialties: Health Policy and Management, Population and Reproductive Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Site Description:

The CHS department is the premier site of public and population health sciences in Pakistan. Rising global inequities, climate change and demographic transition are shifting the way we experience well-being and illness. The disease management model is giving way to a multisectoral approach for improving population health. The COVID-19 pandemic has further reinforced and changed the ways of doing public health. The Department of Community Health Sciences at the Aga Khan University has been playing a key role in responding to these new challenges in a holistic manner. It has always been the backbone of the University and the Medical College as it enables us to reach out and amplify our impact across the communities we serve in, which is central to AKU’s core value. The nomination of the CHS department as the regional hub for sexual and reproductive health research for the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, and its advice to the Government of Pakistan in developing an essential package of health services are some of the achievements that have helped enhance its credibility at the international as well as the national level.

The department has five main research interests. A brief overview of specific research interests of each is as follows (more details can be found on the website: Research and Development - Community Health Sciences | MC, Pakistan | The Aga Khan University (

1. Health Policy and Management: Application of policy and systems research to Universal Health Coverage, Governance and accountability in health systems,  Quality of care & patient safety in health services, health workforce including frontline health workers, monitoring information systems including digitized monitoring, community engagement, multi-sector governance and resilience. HSPR includes policy analysis/ PEA, case studies, implementation research, digital assessments, economic research and community resilience & engagement studies.

2. Population and Reproductive Health: Excellent Opportunities to work in rural communities, participate in hospital and community based research studies for prevention of premature birth, neonatal mortality, stillbirths, maternal health issues, sexual and reproductive health; interact and participate in discussions with international experts and participants on topics related to sexual and reproductive health, to teach in short courses under supervision; learn to write manuscripts and publish your work.  We are flexible according to your learning interests.

3. Epidemiology and Biostatistics: Effective immunization, Vector control and behavioral approaches for tackling NTDs, Addressing Antimicrobial resistance at a community level, Role of viral infections (HIV, HPV, HCV and HBV) in onco-genesis​, tuberculosis treatment and control.

4. Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health: Our interest is understanding the burden and risk factors of NCDs, such as Diet, Tobacco use, Physical Activity and Air Pollution in rural and urban settings of Pakistan. Mental health of children and adolescent​. Conceptualizing, co-creating and leading population, community and Individual level interventions for prevention and control of NCDs specially in low resource settings. Life course approach for prevention and management of NCDs.

5. Environment and Occupational health: Indoor and ambient air pollution, Occupational health and safety, Health of textile workers, Cardiorespiratory health and environment, Health effects of climate change, heat and health and pregnancy outcomes, Prevention of roa​d traffic injuries, Water Sanitation and Hygiene​.​​



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