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Dhaka and Matlab, Bangladesh


Site Institution: iccddr,b (formerly International Centre of Diarrhoeal Diseases, Bangladesh)
U.S. Institution: Stanford University
Research Areas: Planetary Health, Child Health, Poverty and Health

Site Description:
icddr,b is an international health research organization based in Dhaka that will serve as a training site for a wide array of global health issues. icddr, employs a mix of national and international staff, including public health scientists, laboratory scientists, clinicians, nutritionists, epidemiologists, demographers, social and behavioral scientists, IT professionals, and experts in emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, and vaccine sciences. The Centre has a cross-cultural environment, with 95% local staff including researchers, medical officers, administrators, and health workers, and 5% international staff primarily from academic and research institutions engaged in global health research. icddr,b maintains a number of field sites to conduct research among low income communities in Bangladesh. The largest and oldest of these is Matlab, located 55 km southeast of Dhaka. With >50 years of continuous demographic information a population of over 200,000 people, Matlab is a major rural field site and a
major public health resource for the world. The Health and Demographic
Surveillance System (HDSS) at Matlab covers a population of ~225,000 providing data necessary to plan, conduct, and evaluate various types of public health intervention research.

Stanford collaborative projects:
  1. Lead (Pb) is among the most toxic widespread exposures in low and middle income countries. It causes permanent brain damage that undermines intelligence and healthy child development. It also leads to adult deaths mediated through its impact hypertension, cardiovascular disease and renal disease. We have a series of projects identifying the primary pathways of lead moving from the environment into people in Bangladesh and developing strategies to reduce this exposure.
  2. The air pollution from brick kilns across South Asia generate an estimated 50,000 excess deaths per year and has the equivalent impact on global warming as the entire US passenger car fleet. We have a series of projects developing and evaluating interventions to improve combustion efficiency and so simultaneously reduce both coal consumption and air pollution. We are working to generate rigorous evidence to advance strategies to reduce air pollution from brick kilns and to use this evidence to scale up successful interventions.
  3. Research themes addressed at icddr,b include:
    • Maternal and childhood malnutrition
    • maternal and neonatal health
    • Enteric and respiratory infections
    • Universal health coverage
    • Emerging and reemerging infections
    • Noncommunicable diseases
    • Health consequences of climate change


  • U.S. Mentor

    Senior Fellow - Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Sr. Fellow, Freeman Spogli Inst. for International Studies; Research Deputy Director for the Stanford University Center for Innovation in Global Health; Prof. of Medicine, Infectious Diseases