Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

The MacKillop tackles rising disease in Mozambique


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research Director Professor Simon Stewart and his research team have started a vital health surveillance project in Mozambique aimed at arresting an alarming spike in non-communicable diseases such as strokes and heart attacks.

Professor Stewart, recently returned from Mozambique, said non-communicable diseases killed more than 38 million people a year around the world – and the poorest nations like Mozambique are the ones most struggling due to the impacts of urbanisation transitioning and life-style factors. “Indeed, non-communicable diseases are beginning to rival the traditional killers of malnutrition and endemic communicable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV AIDS,” Professor Stewart said.

The MacKillop team collaborated with Professor Ana Mocumbi and her clinical researchers at the Instituto Nacional de Saúde and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. Professor Mocumbi, a qualified paediatrician and cardiologist, is a world leader in the area of childhood and infectious diseases in severely disadvantaged communities. She invited Professor Stewart given his experience in establishing the world-renowned Heart of Soweto Study in neighbouring South Africa and other projects linked to the wider Heart of Africa collaboration. Professor Stewart’s book The Heart of Africa: Clinical profile of an evolving burden of heart disease in Africa, which has been officially endorsed by the Pan-African Society of Africa, details the most important research findings from Africa as it struggles with the dual threat of communicable and non-communicable forms of heart disease. The book will be published by Wiley Blackwell later this year.

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