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Non Communicable Diseases

4 min read

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are often called ‘diseases of affluence’. They include cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes and lung disease – all frequently linked in popular perception to a wealthier ‘Western’ lifestyle. But are NCDs restricted to the rich? The global trend of non-communicable diseases and current data from varied sources suggests that developing countries are bearing the brunt of rapid increase in prevalence of syndromes over and above infectious diseases.

Department of non-communicable diseases

The department of non-communicable diseases (NCD) mandate is to conduct regular meta-analysis in order to keep abreast on global and national research focused on non-communicable diseases. The department also undertakes studies on critical and prevalent health conditions afflicting Kenyans. Prospective studies include stress-induced physiological derangement and pathology, diabetes, hypertension, alzheimer’s. Testing of novel therapies for NCD is also a priority. In our quest to understand NCD manifestation and pathogenesis and to evaluate new therapies, we in co-operate the use of rodents, rabbits, baboons and vervet monkey or African green monkey (AGM) as models for human diseases. The nonhuman primates are physiologically and genetically closer to humans and therefore are able to give more precise insightful data on the human diseases and evaluation of new treatments.

Broad objectives

  • To utilize animal models for research on non-communicable diseases; diabetes, heart diseases including stroke and hypertension, Alzheimer’s and cancers of prostate and cervical
  • Research and development of natural products for prevention and therapy of critical non-communicable diseases of economic and public health importance in Kenya and the East African region
  • Testing of conventional and herbal drugs for treatment of NCDs

New fields of research interest
NCD as a department is always looking forward to forge new collaborations in:-

  • Cancer
  • Heart (cardiovascular) disease and stroke
  • Drug addiction
  • Anti-diabetic molecules mining and testing
  • Efficacy of natural products on diabetes and hypertension
  • Schizophrenia and Epilepsy- Neurological disorders
  • Neurovirology-Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and leprosy
  • Other Neglected conditions- Infectious and non-infectious
  • Phage therapy in neglected conditions of the nervous system-Leprosy
Name   Position  Research Focus
1.    Dr. Ngalla Jillani HOD/Snr Res. Scientist Neurosciences/Neurobiology/Natural products and pain
2.    Dr. Michael Ndungu Research Scientist Alzheimer’s
5.    Ms. Clare Njoki Research Scientist Pharmacology

To contact us:
Dr Ngalla Jillani, PhD; Department of Non Communicable Diseases & Neglected conditions
E-mail: jillani@primateresearch.org; Ngalla.jillani@gmail.com

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