Funded through the HI² research seed grant, this project aims to improve the care of patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in humanitarian settings, through the provision of data on the prevalence and treatment coverage of diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HTN) among the Afghan refugee population in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The researchers will conduct a cross sectional survey in one of the four registered Afghan refugee camps. Data will be collected by qualified local research assistants who are recruited from the refugee hosting community and trained on case identification, data collection tools, interview techniques, and research ethics.
The expected outcomes are the prevalence and treatment coverage of HTN and DM, which are expected to help stakeholders understand the scale and pattern of NCDs in humanitarian settings. Identifying the exact prevalence of these diseases will also help public health authorities and international agencies understand the needs of the Afghan refugees and enable them to clearly plan and better address those needs. Further, given that lifestyle and dietary habits, including regular rice consumption, are both major predictors of DM and HTN among Afghan nationals, determining their prevalence in our study population who have not experienced a major lifestyle shift, will help direct emphasis of health education in humanitarian settings.