NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Non-Communicable Diseases and Environmental Change

Hosted by The George Institute India, in partnership with Imperial College London, the NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Non-Communicable Diseases and Environmental Change aims to be a recognised centre of excellence on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and global environmental change in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), offering world-leading research, training and policy advice for health equity. LMICs face dual, intertwined challenges of a rapidly growing burden of NCDs and the existential threat of global environmental change. In addition, health systems in LMICs face specific challenges in delivering high-quality, equitable services for NCDs prevention and care, especially for marginalised populations most impacted by environmental change.

Despite an increasingly recognised imperative for action, there is a paucity of evidence on cost-effective interventions to address major challenges emerging at the nexus of NCDs and environmental change.

Our Centre will focus on Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia, LMICs highly impacted by the dual challenges of NCDs and environmental change. We will address crucial knowledge gaps through three integrated research themes:   

  1. Strengthening primary health care and essential public health services for NCD prevention and management in communities affected by rapid environmental change;  
  2. Developing and evaluating multi-sectoral interventions that have dual benefits in reducing the burden of NCDs and hazardous environmental exposures at the population level;  
  3. Strengthening engagement of communities in the generation and use of evidence and advocacy for health and environment policy change.    
  4. All interventions will focus on reducing inequities in addition to cost-effectively improving health outcomes.   


  • Global environmental change is the biggest threat to human health in the 21st century.
  • Populations in Bangladesh, Indonesia and India are amongst the most vulnerable to this threat.
  • Salinity in drinking water across coastal belts has been associated with increased blood pressure and urinary protein excretion, progressive kidney disease, and (pre)eclampsia and gestational hypertension in pregnant women.
  • Unregulated burning of plastic waste releases harmful chemicals such as Dioxin, which dangerously pollute the environment and lead to negative health outcomes such as chronic lung disease, heart diseases and cancers.
  • An increasing intake of carbohydrates, a rich diet and a lack of dietary diversity are risk factors for multiple cardiometabolic diseases.


  • To be a Centre of Excellence for high-quality, world-leading inter-disciplinary implementation research, research capacity strengthening and community engagement on the intersection of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and global environmental change in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
  • Collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders and local communities to strengthen impact on advocacy, policy, and health equity outcomes.


  • Enhanced health equity, wellbeing and environmental sustainability across Asia.
  • Strengthened research infrastructure for generating high-quality evidence on NCDs in populations most vulnerable to environmental change.
  • Mobilised CEI capability to ensure evidence, advocacy and policy action is community-centric and benefits the most vulnerable.
  • The Centre will contribute towards to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: 3. Good Health & Well-Being, 5. Gender Equity, 10. Reduced Inequalities, 13. Climate Action & 17. Partnerships for the Goals.

For further information please download the project fact sheet on this page and to learn more, visit the website.