Partnership in Pakistan

In Pakistan, the Aga Khan University (AKU) and IHME have been collaborating since 2019 to generate scientific evidence that can inform policymaking and priority setting.

Photo by Aga Khan University.

65.9 years was the average life expectancy in Pakistan in 2019, a nearly 5-year increase from 1990.
A 54% increase between the highest and lowest SDI provinces in Pakistan occurred from 1990 to 2019, demonstrating persistent inequities within the country.
21% of all health loss in Pakistan in 2019 was due to low birth weight and short gestation, representing the leading contributor to health burden in the country.

About the partnership

The formal partnership between the Aga Khan University (AKU) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) endeavors to deepen knowledge sharing; build capacity for data analysis, modeling, and visualization; and strengthen the impact, relevance, and co-production of health metrics aimed at improving health and well-being in Pakistan. 

This partnership leverages the CITRIC Health Data Science Center at Pakistan’s premier health sciences university to engage key stakeholders and collaborate with other prominent domestic institutions. Collaborations with Research & Development Solutions (RADS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Islamabad serve to integrate data from across Pakistan’s health data landscape, identify priority analytic areas, and empower the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations & Coordination (MoNHSR&C) with timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to inform policy setting, planning, and decision-making. 

What are the major findings?

Differences in disease burden between provinces suggest serious equity issues. Islamabad’s rate of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) was 22,226 per 100,000, but Balochistan’s rate was more than double at 49,620 per 100,000, and higher than the country’s rate of 42,059 per 100,000. 

The top 5 leading causes of premature death in 2019 were:

  1. Neonatal disorders
  2. Ischemic heart disease
  3. Stroke
  4. Diarrheal diseases
  5. Lower respiratory infections 

Over the last 30 years, the leading causes of disease burden have shifted from communicable to non-communicable diseases. Cardiovascular disease, cancers, and diabetes are becoming major causes of death and disability, and researchers forecast that these diseases will be the three leading causes of death in the next 30 years.

Read the research 

Featured events

Aga Khan University, IHME, and other stakeholders have collaborated extensively to improve understanding of health in Pakistan.

participants gather around laptops to look at data visuals

Participants engage with data visualizations using GBD Compare at the Pakistan Global Burden of Disease Workshop hosted by AKU in Karachi, January 8-10, 2024.

Participants gather at the Pakistan Global Burden of Disease Workshop hosted by AKU in Karachi, January 8-10, 2024. Photo by Aga Khan University.

Attendees seated in a lecture hall with Dr. Mokdad at the front

Participants listen to Dr. Ali Mokdad at the Pakistan Global Burden of Disease Workshop hosted at the National Institutes of Health in Islamabad, January 11-12, 2024.

The group poses in a hallway of the NIH building

Dr. Ali Mokdad and Dr. Mohsen Naghavi with our colleagues at the National Institutes of Health in Islamabad, led by Dr. Muhammad Salman, CEO.

5 people standing together

Dr. Ali Mokdad and Kimberly Cooperrider gathered with Dr. Adnan Khan (RADS), Dr. Sameen Siddiqi (AKU/IHME), and the Honorable Minister of Health Dr. Nadeem Jan (MoNHSR&C) to discuss collaboration with IHME in Pakistan.

Featured projects

Interactive data visual

GBD Compare in Urdu

We collaborated with the Aga Khan University to translate our most popular data visualization, which compares health trends across over 200 countries and sub-national locations. 


​Health Data for Pakistan Conference​​​

IHME professor Dr. Ali Mokdad presented on Pakistan's disease burden, alongside dozens of other distinguished speakers at the 3-day conference hosted in Karachi in 2023.


Collaboration with Prof. Zulfiqar Bhutta

Aga Khan's Prof. Zulfiqar Bhutta was awarded the 2021 Roux Prize for turning evidence into health impact. 

Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta

Reports and scientific articles

Aga Khan University and IHME have collaborated on numerous scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, policy reports, and blog posts.

map of Pakistan

Pakistan country profile

Country profiles provide an overview of findings from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD), including forecasts for population size, life expectancy, causes of death, and more. They are generated using over 80,000 data sources to produce the most scientifically rigorous estimates possible.

View country profile