In Thailand, as in many other low and middle income countries (LMIC), the burden of disease has gradually shifted from infectious to non-communicable disease. With non- communicable chronic diseases (NCD) projected to become leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Thailand, there is a compelling need to enhance research capacity. Not only is there a requirement for additional data on burden and trends of chronic NCD and associated risk factors in different settings and different population groups, there is also a need for nursing and health systems research aimed at improving both prevention and primary care. With additional research capacity, Thailand's government can develop a data driven programmatic framework to develop and monitor interventions aimed at preventing NCD and improve chronic care management. This planning grant will be used to set up and apply for a full research training program grant on chronic non-communicable diseases research for early- and mid-career nursing scientists and public health faculty in the MoPH's Praboromarajchanok Institute of Health Workforce Development (PIHWD). This grant will achieve the goal of submitting a full training program grant through the following activities: 1) develop and solidify collaboration between Thailand Ministry of Public Health's (MoPH) (PIHWD) and the University of Michigan School of Nursing (UMSON) to facilitate development of a future research training program in NCD research;2) Map and evaluate strengths and gaps in research expertise in nursing science and public health research capacities within the PIHWD and the Thai Nursing workforce;and 3) Develop and write a Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders across the Lifespan: Fogarty International Research Training Grant (NCD-LIFESPAN-D43) to support a 5-year chronic noncommunicable disease research training program in Thailand. The Praboromarajchanok Institute is the division of the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand with responsibility for producing health workforce professionals and conducting related research activities. The PIHWD operates 38 public health colleges located across Thailand, 29 of which are nursing colleges, and has 157 nursing faculty members with PhDs. The PIHWD colleges produce 70% of all nurses in Thailand. Through this program the nursing structure will be strengthened to integrate screening and prevention within health delivery;validating the use of standard diagnostic protocols for NCD case-finding among patients presenting to the local health facilities;improving the procurement and provision of standardized medical and nursing care, and developing and implementing a data collection systems for standardized monitoring and evaluation of patient outcomes. Developing the research capacity to carry out this work will be critical in delivering relevant, effective and affordable care for people at risk for, and under treatment for, NCDs in Thailand. This program is built on the deep experiences of UM faculty conducting similar training programs in Thailand and in the region, including Dr Potempa's 12 years experience working with the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand on nursing training and nursing systems development.
In Thailand, chronic non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes are now the largest cause of mortality [1, 2]. The goals of the proposed program are closely aligned with the priorities of the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, which places a high priority on developing the capacity for disease surveillance, epidemiological research, and implementation studies that will address chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) . The Thai government is focusing on public health and primary care approaches (rather than secondary and tertiary treatment) to addressing the burden of NCD, requiring effective multi-sectoral collaboration and increased emphasis on improved surveillance and research into the causes and prevention of NCD. Nurses form the backbone of health delivery in Thailand, and are particularly important within Thailand's chronic non- communicable disease response framework. This program will strengthen Thailand's identified research priorities which are to identify major behavioral risk factors amenable to intervention, improve the collection and analysis of NCD mortality and morbidity data to monitor trends, and evaluate the success of NCD control programs.