Global Health Research Center (GHRC) builds up strong partnerships with different institutions in China and elsewhere through a number of ongoing projects. This rich network of local knowledge, combined with a regional perspective, is what makes GHRC so unique, relevant and influential.

Research Hub of Asia Pacific Observatory (APO)

Duke Kunshan University (DKU) has been selected by the Asia Pacific Observatory (APO) on Health Systems and Policies as a Research Hub for health policy and system research. The APO is hosted in WHO’S Western Pacific Regional Office.

The research hub is led by Prof. Shenglan Tang, associate director for DKU and China initiatives at the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) and founding director of the Global Health Research Center at DKU. The DKU research hub is one of the three (Duke Kunshan University, Peoples People's Republic of China, The University of Tokyo, Japan and International Health Policy Program, Nossal Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia ) selected by the APO, putting it in very exclusive company.

The DKU Research Hub will combine the strengths of ten research institutions with complementary expertise in the Asia Pacific region, including:

  • Global Health Research Center at Duke Kunshan University
  • Duke-National University of Singapore (Duke-NUS)
  • Monash University Malaysia
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Fudan University School of Public Health
  • Hanoi School of Public Health
  • Vietnamese Ministry of Health, Health Policy and Strategy Institute
  • Fiji National University

The APO—a conglomerate of governments, development agencies, and the research community—oversees the research hub network, which plays a critical role in its research output. Network members work with the APO to conduct comparative country studies, organize policy dialogues, produce its flagship knowledge products and host its fellows. This rich network of local knowledge, combined with a regional perspective, is what makes the APO’s research hubs so unique, relevant and influential.

Since 2014, there are six research projects sponsored by the Research Hub of Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (APO) at Duke Kunshan University.

Three New Research Projects

Integrating hospital care with primary care and post-acute care for people with chronic diseases: A comparative study in Singapore, China, the Philippines, India, Vietnam and Fiji, led by Prof. Chang Liu, Prof. Shenglan Tang and Prof. EK Yew, aims to analyze regional experiences of care integration for people with chronic diseases. It will focus on the models that integrating hospital care with primary care and post-acute care in the six countries mentioned above.

The project involved the following collaborators:

  • ACCESS Health International
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Hanoi School of Public Health

Strengthening urban primary healthcare service delivery through the use of eHealth programs in China, Nepal, and Vietnam [The SUPER Study], led by Prof. Lijing Yan, will use hypertension and diabetes – two most common chronic conditions requiring long-term management at the PHC level as tracer conditions to anchor the study on eHealth.

The collaborators includes:

  • School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai;
  • Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal;
  • Hanoi University of Public Health, Vietnam

Health system cultural competency for migrant service utilization in Thailand and Malaysia: a comparative study led by Dr. Nicola Pocock, aims to conduct policy-relevant research on culturally competent health systems for migrant service utilization in Thailand and Malaysia.

The project involved the following collaborators:

  • Monash University, Malaysia
  • Naresuan University, Thailand
  • International Health Policy Program, Thailand
  • United Nations University International Institute of Global Health, Malaysia

Three Ongoing Research Projects

Engaging community health workers (CHWs) in combating non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Asia: Strategies, approaches and practice, led by Prof. Abu Abdullah, aims to assess the services offered in CHW-led programs addressing NCDs, analyze the enablers and barriers for CHWs to deliver services, and provide policy recommendations on these programs within existing health systems in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The project involved the following collaborators:

  • National Heart Foundation Hospital & Research Institute, Bangladesh
  • Fudan University
  • HERD International, Nepal
  • Hanoi University of Public Health, Vietnam

Feasibility Assessment of Invigorating grassroots primary healthcare (PHC) for cardiovascular prevention and management in low-resource settings, led by Prof. Lijing Yan, aims to assess the capability of PHC services in delivering essential healthcare services for the prevention and control of CVDs in resource-limited settings in China, Bangladesh and Nepal. Evidence-based recommendations will also be proposed to strengthen the PHC strategies and interventions for the prevention and control of CVDs.

The project involved the following collaborators:

  • Tribhuvan University Institution of Medicine, Nepal
  • Transcultural Psychosocial Organization, Nepal
  • Hanoi University of Public Health, Vietnam
  • Nanhe county CDC, China
  • Kunshan Health Promotion Center, China

Attraction and retention of rural primary health care workers in Asian Pacific countries, led by Prof. Xiaoyun Liu and Prof. Shenglan Tang, aims to synthesize evidence on implementation process and effectiveness of the interventions to attract and retain rural PHC in China, Vietnam and Cambodia. The contextual factors affecting the effectiveness of these interventions will also be identified in terms of evolving health systems and financing policies.

The project involved the following collaborators:

  • Peking University, China
  • National Institute of Public Health, Cambodia
  • Hanoi University of Public Health, Vietnam

 

SDG

This two-year project aims to develop evidence-based policy options for actions to support China in achieving the health sustainable development goals (SDGs) established by the UN and the “Healthy China 2030” Planning Outline proposed by President Xi. The research team will assess the current situation, analyze gaps, and propose evidence-based policy recommendations and action plans to achieve such goals across key health topics at the national level as well as the provincial level in Jiangsu, Hubei and Yunnan.

The project has established a wide partnership among collaborators in China and aboard. The key collaborative institutions include:

  • Development Research Center of the State Council, China
  • China National Health Development Research Center of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC)
  • Wuhan University, China
  • Fudan University, China
  • Kunming Medical University, China
  • Duke University, US

The team also received consultations from Chinese Center for Diseases Control and Prevention and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK.

Gates TB

This evaluation study, sponsored by the Gates Foundation, aims to assess the implementation and the effectiveness of scaling up a new comprehensive TB treatment model in three provinces in China, develop strategies for program implementation and financing nationwide, and provide new knowledge to improve global TB control. The research team will conduct Performance Based Monitoring (PBM) using data from multiple sources (medical records, health insurance and TB register data) to track changes and identify trends in key performance indicators of TB care all project counties. In-depth evaluation will also be conducted in 6 sample prefectures to understand the implementation process and explore the underlying reasons  behind changes in KPI after intervention.

The project involved the following collaborators:

  • China CDC
  • Center of Health and Statistics Information, National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC)
  • Peking University
  • Beijing Chest Hospital, Capital Medical University, China

The team also received consultations from experts Institute of Development Studies, UK and other experts invited by the Gates Foundation.

SINEMA

The SINEMA study aims to improve essential evidence-based care to stroke survivors in rural China through strengthening the capacity of village doctors on delivering services, promoting medication adherence and physical activity among stroke patients. This study received funding of £505,839 from Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Economic and Social Research Council, and Department for International Development. The main collaborators of this study include:

  • China Mobile Research Institute
  • Hebei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Beijing Tiantan hospital

This study started in April 2016 and is expected to end in March 2019.

BABIES

An international team led by Prof. Jim Zhang has received a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study air pollution’s impacts on fetal development and birth weight. By monitoring 660 expectant mothers in Beijing from early pregnancy through delivery, Prof. Zhang and his colleagues hope to pinpoint how exposure to air pollution triggers biological mechanisms that lead to lower birth weights and higher risks of hypertension, coronary heart disease and other chronic conditions later in life. 

The 5-year project has established a wide partnership among collaborators in China and aboard. The key collaborative institutions include:

  • University of Rochester Medical Center, US
  • Duke University, US
  • Beijing Obstetrics Gynecology Hospital, China
  • Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, China