The overall goal of this five-year project is to support collaboration, in training and research, between the School of Public Health of the Health University of Mongolia (MSPH) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). Our focus is to build strong capacity for research and the translation of research into public health interventions that can reduce the increasing burden of chronic disease in Mongolia. Mongolia is a strategically positioned democratic country in Central Asia, and it is confronting the opportunities and challenges of major changes in lifestyle along with very rapid development of its abundant mineral and fossil fuel resources. Because of these changes, there is considerable concern in the health community of researchers and practitioners, as well as in the public at large, that environmental/occupational exposures to toxic metals may be contributing to the increasing rates of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality. Our project is built on three integrated aims: (1) educational programs at JHSPH and MSPH including degree programs at JHSPH, curriculum development at MSPH, and short term research and course work opportunities at JHSPH and MSPH;(2) development a national exposure assessment and biomonitoring laboratory at MSPH to support both research and public health programs for the health sector;and (3) in country research projects on high priority issues that implement capacity building, through acquisition of research skills and critical knowledge. Together, these aims will support the sustainable development of a highly trained professional community in Mongolia that can direct national programs in chronic disease prevention and intervention science.
This project is specifically designed to respond to the major public health priorities of Mongolia by increasing the capacity of the research and practice community in the following high priority areas: prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD);monitoring environmental exposures (especially those associated with CVD);empowering programs for smoking cessation among youth;and improving occupational conditions in mining (especially for women).