Connecting Citizens to Science

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Effective health research is built upon equitable partnerships between researchers and communities. Join Dr. Kim Ozano and PhD student Bea Egid, from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, as they interview expert researchers from across the globe who engage with communities in their research. If you are interested in how different research methods and disciplinary approaches can be used to co-produce knowledge and solutions to complex challenges in global health, this is the podcast for you. Each series in this podcast has a disciplinary, topical or contextual theme and a guest-host from a partnering institution. If you have a theme that you would like to be explored on the podcast, please let us know below in the comments below or contact kim.ozano@lstmed.ac.uk or 194711@lstmed.ac.uk. Intro music: Mike Donnelly Logo: André Jahnoi Dallas

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S8E1- Supporting the Mental Wellbeing of People Affected by Chronic Health Conditions - Acting for Change
5d ago
S8E1- Supporting the Mental Wellbeing of People Affected by Chronic Health Conditions - Acting for Change
In this episode, we hear from Dr Rugema Lawrence from the University of Rwanda and Dr Julian Eaton from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and CBM Global Disability and Inclusion. Together they discuss the links between stigma, discrimination, mental wellbeing and chronic health conditions including Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), how these issues are currently being addressed with communities and the importance of ensuring mental health is part of an essential care package.  Guest host for this series Dr. Oluwatosin Adekeye Assistant Director of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry Ahmadu Bello University Hospital Zaria Kaduna A social scientist with varied experience in both clinical and research aspects of health among communities in Northern Nigeria. As a Clinical Psychologist, his work has been both on mental and behavioral disorders and the effects of chronic disease on the well-being of patients and caregivers. As a Social Scientist, he just concluded a study that documented the well-being of people with stigmatizing skin diseases and established a care and support group within the community. More recently he is working on developing a well-being tool for parents and children with disability.     Twitter Links: @TosinOluw @Sightsavers Dr Julian Eaton  Mental Health Director at CBM Global and Assistant Professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Julian Eaton is the Mental Health Director for CBM Global Disability and Inclusion. He works with a team focused on improving access to care and support, and promoting the voice of people with psychosocial disabilities in low and middle income countries. He is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Global Mental Health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is currently leading a number of research projects looking at strengthening community-based mental health care, reform of public mental health systems in Africa, and Neglected Tropical Diseases. He leads the (Mental Health Innovations Network) at LSHTM, and is Chair of the Bond International NGO Mental Health Group. Julian trained as a psychiatrist in London where he now works, after living and working in West Africa between 2003 and 2017.  CBM Community Mental Health homepage:    Blog on community participation:    SUCCEED homepage:      Twitter: @julian_eaton  @CBM_global  @MHInnovation.net  @GMentalHealth  @LSHTM  @SUCCEEDAfrika Dr. Lawrence Rugema   Lecturer, researcher and Consultant University of Rwanda – School of Public Health   Dr Rugema Lawrence is a public health professional at the University of Rwanda. Most of his research work has focused on mental health and reducing stigma related to mental illness.  Currently he co-leads implementation research on Podoconiosis in Rwanda under NIHR funded Global Research Unit on Neglected Tropical Diseases in collaborator with the Brighton Sussex Medical School. In this particular research, community health workers are critical to in reducing podoconiosis related stigma. Coordinate rapid community health needs assessment through outreach program to inform policy.
S8E1- Supporting the Mental Wellbeing of People Affected by Chronic Health Conditions - Acting for Change
5d ago
S8E1- Supporting the Mental Wellbeing of People Affected by Chronic Health Conditions - Acting for Change
In this episode, we hear from Dr Rugema Lawrence from the University of Rwanda and Dr Julian Eaton from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and CBM Global Disability and Inclusion. Together they discuss the links between stigma, discrimination, mental wellbeing and chronic health conditions including Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), how these issues are currently being addressed with communities and the importance of ensuring mental health is part of an essential care package.  Guest host for this series Dr. Oluwatosin Adekeye Assistant Director of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry Ahmadu Bello University Hospital Zaria Kaduna A social scientist with varied experience in both clinical and research aspects of health among communities in Northern Nigeria. As a Clinical Psychologist, his work has been both on mental and behavioral disorders and the effects of chronic disease on the well-being of patients and caregivers. As a Social Scientist, he just concluded a study that documented the well-being of people with stigmatizing skin diseases and established a care and support group within the community. More recently he is working on developing a well-being tool for parents and children with disability.     Twitter Links: @TosinOluw @Sightsavers Dr Julian Eaton  Mental Health Director at CBM Global and Assistant Professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Julian Eaton is the Mental Health Director for CBM Global Disability and Inclusion. He works with a team focused on improving access to care and support, and promoting the voice of people with psychosocial disabilities in low and middle income countries. He is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Global Mental Health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is currently leading a number of research projects looking at strengthening community-based mental health care, reform of public mental health systems in Africa, and Neglected Tropical Diseases. He leads the (Mental Health Innovations Network) at LSHTM, and is Chair of the Bond International NGO Mental Health Group. Julian trained as a psychiatrist in London where he now works, after living and working in West Africa between 2003 and 2017.  CBM Community Mental Health homepage:    Blog on community participation:    SUCCEED homepage:      Twitter: @julian_eaton  @CBM_global  @MHInnovation.net  @GMentalHealth  @LSHTM  @SUCCEEDAfrika Dr. Lawrence Rugema   Lecturer, researcher and Consultant University of Rwanda – School of Public Health   Dr Rugema Lawrence is a public health professional at the University of Rwanda. Most of his research work has focused on mental health and reducing stigma related to mental illness.  Currently he co-leads implementation research on Podoconiosis in Rwanda under NIHR funded Global Research Unit on Neglected Tropical Diseases in collaborator with the Brighton Sussex Medical School. In this particular research, community health workers are critical to in reducing podoconiosis related stigma. Coordinate rapid community health needs assessment through outreach program to inform policy.
S7E4 - The East African citizens' perspective on NCDs
27-07-2022
S7E4 - The East African citizens' perspective on NCDs
In this week's episode we hear from Detricia Pamba, a patient advocate for people living with diabetes and Prof Kaushik Ramaiya from Shree Hindu Mandal Hospital, Tanzania. Together they paint a vivid picture of what life is like for people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in East Africa and what is needed to improve long-term, ‘humanised’ care for patients living with NCDs. Detricia Pamba Multi-Media Journalist, Editor and Content Creation Executive, Mwananchi Communications Ltd  Detricia Pamba is the Content Creation Executive at Mwananchi Communications Ltd, Editor for Mwananchi Scoop and Features writer for The Citizen. Her journalism experience extends on health, business and money management, women and youth, with a mix of arts and entertainment. She is a Type 1 Diabetes patient since 2011 who advocates for the awareness of diabetes in Tanzania through her writings.  (www.linkedin.com/detriciapamba)  (www.instagram.com/detriciapamba)  (  (  @detriciapamba Prof Kaushik Ramaiya CEO, Shree Hindu Mandal Hospital, Tanzania  Professor Ramaiya has been actively involved in research on diabetes for many years and specialised, among other topics, on glucose tolerance and cardiovascular disease risk factors and mainly focused on Indian communities living in Africa. At present, Professor Ramaiya is working with children who have Type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular complications of antiretroviral drugs in HIV/AIDS and Diabetes/TB interaction. As part of the Respond Africa Partnership,, he is working on CD NCD Integration models (MOCCA Study) and will be overseeing  metformin intervention in HIV patients with IGT (META Trial).   (  (
S7E3 - Engaging with East African governments to address NCD care
20-07-2022
S7E3 - Engaging with East African governments to address NCD care
In this weeks episode we have a conversation with Professor Sayoki Mfinanga, Director and Chief Research Scientist for NIMR Muhimbili Cenre, Honorary Professor of Global Health at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, and Adjunct Professor at Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha. Professor Sayoki shares key learning about:   engaging with East African governments to address NCD care  expert patients who have suggested new ways of working that have challenged professionals to rethink their knowledge base  the importance of strengthening primary health care.    Professor Sayoki Mfinanga Director and Chief Research Scientist, National Institute of Medical Research, Muhimbili Cenre Tanzania  Professor Mfinanga is the Director and Chief Research Scientist for NIMR Muhimbili Cenre, Honorary Professor of Global Health at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Honorary Lecturer at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, and Adjunct Professor at Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania. He is leading several scientific research networks in Africa. He is Deputy Director-of Respond Africa, as well as Deputy Director for Afrique one ASPIRE consortium, and Coordinator of TB node of excellence in East Africa under East Africa Consortium for Clinical Research (EACCR2).     (
S7E2 - The economic impact of NCDs on East African communities
14-07-2022
S7E2 - The economic impact of NCDs on East African communities
In this week's episode, we will be talking about the economic impact of non-communicable diseases or NCDs on east African communities. Guests include Dr. Steven Waititi, a Patient representative on Respond-Africa Partnership and author of “Conquering HIV and AIDS: My personal experience of living with HIV” and Josephine Birungi, a Senior Research Scientist based at Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute (MRC/UVRI) in Entebbe. They discuss:  Financial/economic barriers for patients and communities affected by NCDs  What having an NCD means for patient finances  How integrated care addresses these problems  Dr Josephine Birungi Senior Research Scientist, MRC +UVRI& LSHTM Uganda Research Unit  Dr Josephine Birungi is a Senior Research Scientist based at Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute (MRC/UVRI) in Entebbe. She is currently working on a number of research project within the Respond Africa Partnership, as study lead in Uganda. Projects include  INTEAFRICA which is evaluating a novel approach of integrated clinical management of HIV-infection, diabetes, and hypertension in Tanzania and Uganda and INTECOMM which is evaluating community based integrated care for people living with HIV, Diabetes and Hypertension.  (  @josephinebirun1  Dr Steven Watiti Patient representative on Respond-Africa Partnership After studying Medicine at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, Dr. Watiti, was a medical officer, Rubaga Hospital, Kampala from 1985-1988. He practiced medicine privately from 1988-2004 at Entebbe Road clinic and JOY Medical Centre Ndeeba, Kampala. From 2004, he has been working at Mildmay Uganda, a leading HIV and AIDS service organisation. An HIV activist and ardent advocate for improved and sustainable health for all, Dr. Watiti believes with hindsight that he acquired HIV between 1985 and 1986 while working as a junior medical officer. In 2000, he began ARVs after contracting tuberculosis, cancer (Kaposi’s sarcoma), and meningitis. In 2006, he started his weekly column on HIV in New Vision, Uganda’s leading daily newspaper. His column appears Mondays under the heading: “Towards zero: with Doctor Watiti”. He has published two books on HIV: “HIV and AIDS: 100 Commonly Asked Questions” and “Conquering HIV and AIDS: My personal experience of living with HIV”. Dr Waititi works with the Respond Africa partnership as an expert patient ensuring that patient needs, views and voices are heard and considered and addressed when designing and implementing research projects.  (  @WatitiStephen
S7E1-Embracing the challenge of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the East African communities
06-07-2022
S7E1-Embracing the challenge of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the East African communities
In this series we are talking about responding to the challenge of non-communicable disease in East Africa together  In recent decades, rates of non-communicable diseases (NCD), such as diabetes and high blood pressure have risen sharply in sub-Saharan Africa and are now linked to approximately 2 million deaths per year. Countries across the continent are rapidly looking to address this new epidemic, but this is difficult with much of the healthcare system still focused on the treatment of communicable disease, such as HIV. This podcast series will explore many aspects of the problems related to NCDs across sub-Saharan Africa, including how African & European researchers from the RESPOND-Africa group, and healthcare providers and governments in East Africa are working with local communities to better understand the issues related to NCDs and how we can best address their care. In particular, we’re interested in how integrating the care of NCDs with other, currently well treated conditions, like HIV can benefit the patients and local healthcare systems by improving care whilst saving them both time and money.  In this week’s episode we hear from Dr Flazia Zalwango from the Medical Research Council/ Uganda Virus Research Institute and LSHTM and from Dr Anu Garrib, a consultant in public health medicine working at LSTM in the RESPOND Africa/NIHR Group for the prevention and management of HIV-infection and non-communicable diseases. Our guests discuss:  Barriers to engaging community groups across the life cycle, including children, adolescents, and older people to inform prevention, treatment and management of disease conditions like NCDs.   How to best engage policy makers in research uptake   The problem of NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa and how they are being addressed currently  How communities can be involved in addressing the problem of NCDs going forward  Why and how can integrated NCD & HIV benefit these communities Our guest host for this series is Dr Joseph Okebe Senior Research Associate, LSTM  My research looks at how primary healthcare services for people living with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, HIV-infection and hypertension can be improved. We recently completed a study in Tanzania and Uganda where we looked at the impact of having all these services together in the same clinic affect patient’s retention in care and control of their health conditions.   (   twitter@ jo_okebe  Linkedin: (   Dr Anu Garrib Principal research associate, RESPOND-Africa partnership, LSTM I am a consultant in public health medicine and have been working at LSTM in the RESPOND Africa/NIHR Group for the prevention and management of HIV-infection and non-communicable diseases in Africa since 2017.   My current research focusses on evaluating strategies for the integrated delivery of HIV and non-communicable disease care, as well as clinical studies on the prevention of diabetes. The study on integration of HIV and NCD services was a feasibility study aimed at determining if an integrated delivery of care for these conditions was acceptable to patients and healthcare workers, and involved extensive engagement with these groups to determine how best to structure the service. Although the clinical trial is a very different kind of study, the continued engagement of patients is critical as we try to determine how best to support patients so that they are able to continue the trial treatment for an extended period. Wider communication within the community and engagement with community leaders about aims of the trial is really important to pre-emptively address concerns that patients and their families may have...
S6E3 - Gendered dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic
16-06-2022
S6E3 - Gendered dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic
On this episode we are delighted to be joined by Dr Brunah Schall, post-doctoral researcher at Fiocruz Minas in Brazil, and Dr Julia Smith, assistant professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada. We hear from our speakers about the gendered dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on research which has been conducted in Brazil and Canada as part of the multi-country Gender and Covid-19 project.   We cover topics including:   The economic impact of the pandemic on women, who took on a disproportionate amount of unpaid care work and took longer to re-enter the workforce   Female health workers’ experiences of racism, misogyny, stigma and violence on the frontline  How research from the Gender and Covid-19 project is influencing policy across countries Dr Brunah Schall Postdoc, Fiocruz Minas Brunah is a biologist with a PhD in Sociology from Brazil. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Fiocruz Minas, working on projects on gender and health, especially the international project Gender and Covid-19, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her research focuses on women from vulnerable settings in urban and rural communities in Brazil, highlighting the effects of the pandemic in their livelihoods, food security and overall health with the purpose of connecting them with policy makers.     (  (  (  (  (  Dr Julia Smith Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University Dr Julia Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She has a PhD in Social and International Studies from the University of Bradford, where she also completed her Masters of Arts as a Rotary World Peace Fellow. Her research interests centre on gender-based policy analysis of health crises, commercial and political determinants of health, feminist theory and community-based research. She is currently a Principal Investigator on the  (Gender and COVID-19 Research Project), which is conducting gender-based analysis of the response to COVID-19 in multiple countries and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Canadian Institutes for Health Research. She has also led research on the intersections of health and development, funded by SSHRC, and contributed to the Global Tobacco Control Project at SFU, funded by CIHR and the US National Institutes of Health Research. Dr. Smith has taught classes in both the Faculty of Health Sciences and Department of Political Science at SFU. She is a board member of Women Transforming Cities, volunteers with Mosaic, and has worked with community-based...
S6E2 - Participatory research with vulnerable populations: a spotlight  on research with women who have survived trafficking
09-06-2022
S6E2 - Participatory research with vulnerable populations: a spotlight on research with women who have survived trafficking
Featuring guest speakers Dr Bintu Mansaray, Lead Research Consultant at the Institute of Gender and Children’s Health Research in Sierra Leone, and Dr Tara Tancred, a senior research associate at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, in today’s episode we hear about doing participatory research with highly vulnerable populations, focusing on women who have survived trafficking and the importance of centering their voices in research processes.  Listen to find out about:  How a sense of community and solidarity between survivors can emerge from the participatory research process  Engaging with participants to understand safeguarding concerns from their perspective and to collaboratively decide what can be done to make them feel safe  The power of participatory methods such as PhotoVoice and community drama for enabling survivors to communicate and share their experiences of trafficking and reintegration  Dr Bintu Mansaray Lead Research Consultant, Institute of Gender and Children’s Health Research Bintu Mansaray is a medical doctor, and a paediatrics public health specialist. She currently works as a social scientist for the Institute of Gender and Children’s Health Research in Sierra Leone whilst completing her PhD at the University of Bristol on the Multisectoral responses to sexual abuse in Africa. Bintu’s research is focused on children’s health and well-being and sex trafficking in Africa. She has published three children’s public health books on COVID-19, Malaria and Type 1 Diabetes to help Africa’s children learn about these illnesses affecting them. Bintu is particularly interested in building bilateral and mutually beneficial relationships with organisations and research institutions to end child slavery and sex trafficking.   Dr Tara Tancred  Senior Research Associate, LSTM Tara Tancred is a social scientist working for the Centre for Capacity Research at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Much of her research centres on improving the quality and patient-centredness of sexual and reproductive healthcare in low-resource settings. To this end, she has extensive experience supporting different participatory research approaches, driving co-researcher-led and contextually appropriate changes to support implementation of evidence-based practice. She has a particular interest in supporting capacity strengthening for implementation research, especially amongst co-researchers.    (
S5E4 - Climate change and vector-borne disease: A call for greater cross disciplinary research
31-05-2022
S5E4 - Climate change and vector-borne disease: A call for greater cross disciplinary research
In this week’s episode we focus on climate change and its impacts on malaria specifically. Our guests Remy Hoek Spaans from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Clinton Nkolokhosa from the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) will be discussing the effect of floods in Malawi created by extreme weather events and their impact on malaria. Our guests talk about:   partnerships with local sugar producers who help to ensure accurate and timely data for factors such as soil permeability, rainfall, temperatures  how climate knowledge combined with local knowledge can help predict patterns of disease transmission and keep track of flooding and its impacts  the use of open access tools and humanitarian data to inform decision making and stimulate positive change for vulnerable communities and those affected by climate change  plans to develop online intuitive tools to share knowledge and co-develop mitigation strategies to disease risk from climate change  Remy Hoek Spaans  PhD candidate, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine  I am currently working on malaria epidemiology in Malawi, with a focus on environmental and climatological drivers. My most recent project, for which field work has just been completed, will look at the impact of flooding on malaria epidemiology.  One of the first noticeable effects of climate change will be an increase in extreme weather events. In March 2019, Cyclone Idai had a devastating impact on the population of southern Malawi. I would like to understand how the spatial distribution of malaria cases has changed in response to the floods in an agricultural landscape. I have access to routinely collected daily health records and satellite imagery to investigate this at a fine scale. With an increase in extreme weather events in the future, it is crucial to learn how this will affect malaria transmission, to build resilient health systems.  (  (  (  (  Mr Clinton Nkolokosa  Masters fellow, Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) Clinton Nkolokosa is a MSc Fellow within the Vector Biology group at Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome, Blantyre Malawi.  Clinton’s current project which is being funded by the Wellcome Trust, is titled Measuring the impact of past, present and future environmental changes on schistosomiasis transmission in southern Malawi. Overall, his work is focuses on advanced spatial analysis in environmental and health, and in the intersection of these research areas. This includes the application of remote sensing in crisis mapping and predictive environmental modelling to uncover snail-schistosome distribution and dry season malaria transmission in a changing climate. His particular focus is using cutting-edge geospatial statistical tools to help improve capacity for prevention, preparedness and response to public health, climate and environmental risks.  - (   - Environmental drivers of malaria transmission in Kasungu ( (    - Impacts of climate-related disasters such as floods in lower Shire ( (
S6E1 - Menstrual exclusion in Nepal: challenging stigma and driving change
27-05-2022
S6E1 - Menstrual exclusion in Nepal: challenging stigma and driving change
In this episode we are joined by Dr Sara Parker, Reader in Development Studies at Liverpool John Moores University and Professor Madhusudan Subedi from the Patan Academy of Health Sciences and the Tribhuvan University in Nepal, who will be talking to us about their work on women’s reproductive health and dignity in Nepal, with a focus on understanding menstrual stigmas and engaging with communities to challenge practices of menstrual exclusion.  We talk about:  How menstrual exclusion impacts the health and wellbeing of women and girls   Why it is important to work with men, families and the wider community – as well as women and girls - to change norms and beliefs around menstruation  The value of interdisciplinary and creative research approaches for understanding realities at the local level and how this can feed into social transformation  Dr Sara Parker  Reader in Development Studies, Liverpool John Moores University Sociology Sara Parker is Reader in Development Studies in the Sociology Department at Liverpool John Moores University. She has over 30 years of action research experience in Nepal following on from her PhD on non-formal education and women’s participation. She has led a number of research initiatives in Nepal including Higher Education links between the UK, Nepal and Bangladesh with a focus on gender and education.  She is committed to collaborative action research and is currently leading the BA/GCRF funded ‘Dignity Without Danger’ research project exploring menstrual stigma and taboos. This project connects researchers in the UK and Nepal to NGOs and activists in Nepal to deepen understating of the complexities of menstrual discrimination.  The research project also has a strong emphasis on working with local communities and utilises creative means to produce policy recommendations and creative visual outputs that can be used as advocacy tools.  She is an active member of the Menstrual Health and Hygiene Partnership Alliance in Nepal and is co-editing a book on Menstruation in Nepal to be published by Routledge India.   She has recently been elected as the Chair of the British Nepal Academic Council BNAC and is a committee member of the Britain and Nepal NGO network BRANNGO. She also advises on a number of NGO boards including Elevate Nepal. Sara has co-authored papers and articles as well as written a children’s book focusing on fair trade and Nepal.   Staff profile LJMU (Sara Parker | Liverpool John Moores University (ljmu.ac.uk))   DWD Social media @DWDNEpal   Instagram (DwD Nepal (@dignitywithoutdanger) • Instagram photos and videos)  Twitter (Dignity Without Danger (@DWDNepal) / Twitter)  Facebook ((13) Dignity Without Danger: Menstruation in Nepal | Facebook)  @LJMUSociology  (Qualitative Analysis in Action | Liverpool John Moores University (ljmu.ac.uk))  Blogs on Menstruation in Nepal   (  (
S5E3 - Climate change solutions in The Gambia: Coproduction approaches with pregnant women, schoolchildren and farmers
19-05-2022
S5E3 - Climate change solutions in The Gambia: Coproduction approaches with pregnant women, schoolchildren and farmers
In this week’s episode we hear from Dr Ana Bonell and Dr. Aliyu Nuhu Ahmed from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine about environmental degradations from climate change that impact health in The Gambia. The expected increase in heat and reduced rainfall in The Gambia is one of the most significant health threats caused by climate change. However, little is known about the gendered dynamics of exposure and response to heat stress; changes in land use and transmission of zoonotic diseases and children’s ideas for the future. Our guests discuss how they are engaging communities in identifying solutions to climate change impacts on health and hear about:  changes in agricultural land use due to climate change and how these impact health outcomes in rural communities, including transmission of zoonotic diseases   a project with pregnant farmers in The Gambia to understand how they perceive and act upon occupational heat stress   a “Climate Change Solutions Festival” with children in 50 schools who gave a unique insight into perceived climate change problems and scalable, affordable and creative solutions that could be implemented in their local area   co-production approaches and how they are situated within the wider decolonising health agenda  Dr Ana Bonell, Clinical Research Fellow  Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Dr. Ana Bonell is a Wellcome funded Clinical Research Fellow working on maternal health and climate change. She has training in epidemiology, tropical medicine and advanced physiology. She is particularly interested in the nexus between climate change, maternal health, occupational heat stress and agriculture. Her research focuses on pregnant subsistence farmers in West Africa and the impact of maternal exposure to high ambient temperature, the physiological response to that stress and the impact that has on fetal health and wellbeing. Additionally she is interested in connecting with, learning with and from the youth on climate problems and solutions to the current crisis.    (        Dr. Aliyu Nuhu Ahmed, PhD Student  Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Rapid changes are occurring in agricultural systems in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Land-use changes, market dynamics, agricultural policy, environmental factors, cultural habits, and technology are all influencing and affecting crop farming techniques and animal husbandry for both commercial and subsistence purposes. However, the effects of these changes on zoonotic disease risk remain largely unknown, particularly in the world's poorest communities, where there is rising recognition that zoonotic illnesses have a significant impact on health and livelihoods. A better understanding of the mechanism by which environmental degradation endangers human health, especially in rural communities, will inform ways to optimise zoonotic disease risk mitigation and promote sustainable land-use that is more environmentally friendly.
S5E2 - Climate change and citizen science approaches for addressing flooding and waterborne hazards in Ethiopia
12-05-2022
S5E2 - Climate change and citizen science approaches for addressing flooding and waterborne hazards in Ethiopia
In this week’s episode we hear about citizen science approaches for tackling flooding and waterborne hazards in Ethiopia. Our guests Dr Alemseged Tamiru Haile, Senior Researcher from the International Water Management Institute and David Warne, Professor of Environmental Systems Modelling from Newcastle University are part of the GCRF Global Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub. Their work with citizen scientists aims to improve awareness and action on flooding risks and waterborne hazards in Ethiopia through co-creation of knowledge and development of new management systems for water. Our guests will share the value of citizen science approaches from enhancing community understanding of their environment to resolving data gaps for risk assessment, modelling, and better decision-making. They share with us:  Definitions and understanding of citizen science approaches and co-creation of knowledge  The involvement of citizens in testing water quality and flow, monitoring ecological status in aquaria, analysing and interpreting data and communicating findings to the community.  How climate change and resulting changes in rainfall and water flow created hazards for small scale farmers which stimulated the co-design of a new early warning system by scientists, communities and government  Dr Alemseged Tamiru Haile Senior Researcher, International Water Management Institute  Dr. Alemseged Tamiru Haile is Senior Research of hydrology and hydrological modelling at International Water Management Institute (IWMI). He earned his PhD in Spatial Hydrology at University of Twente, The Netherlands. He is leading and contributing to several research projects that aim to improve water security, fill hydrological data gaps and improve flood risk management. Alemseged enjoys sharing experience with early carrier researchers and students.  (   (   Dr David Werner Professor Environmental Systems Modelling, Newcastle University  Dr. David Werner is Professor of Environmental Systems Modelling at Newcastle University, UK. He earned his PhD in Environmental Sciences at EPFL in Switzerland. He works with colleagues and communities in Africa, South America, and Asia towards ubiquitous genomics in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation for all. This includes the co-development and testing of a suitcase laboratory for water quality testing. David enjoys doing fieldwork with his colleagues and students, and life-long learning about the wonders of nature and human follies.  (  (  (
S5E1 - Affordable and clean energy for improved health and climate action: Considering Sustainable Development Goals
05-05-2022
S5E1 - Affordable and clean energy for improved health and climate action: Considering Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 states that we need to “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”. The consideration of energy is a central focus for climate change experts as it is responsible for “nearly three-quarters of global emissions”, with energy consumption being one of the biggest sources of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.  SDG7 calls for “affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030. Its core target includes: Ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services. In this week's episode we will be focused on learning about renewable energy and the links between sustainable development goals such as health and poverty alleviation. We will hear from guests how they are working with people and communities to adapt to cleaner energy whilst considering the impacts on other SDG goals. Flavia Ajambo from CREEC and Professor Jon Lovett from Leeds University share:  How the entertainment industry helps disseminate information around renewable energy in an interesting manner  The design of microgrids that supply multiple renewable energy sources to orphanages in Uganda.  How new energy technologies and innovations developed in a lab are transferred to communities in a sustainable way  The importance of capacity strengthening and knowledge dissemination such as policy briefs, massive online open courses, and movies! Our co-host for this series  Dr. Ajay Bhave  Core Research Fellow - Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub, Newcastle University  I am an interdisciplinary environmental scientist who uses methods from different disciplines to explore how to identify and prioritise actions and plans for adapting to a changing climate. I use scenarios and decision making under uncertainty approaches to co-produce knowledge with wide-ranging stakeholders regarding potential futures and adaptation options. Currently, he collaborates with researchers and stakeholders in Malawi, India, Malaysia, Colombia and Ethiopia to explore the diverse decision contexts, contextual priorities, climate change risks, and adaptation options. After receiving the Jawaharlal Nehru Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, he has worked at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Leeds.  Profile: (   Publications: (   Twitter: (@ajay_bhave)  Flavia Ajambo is a Ugandan communication expert that has for 9years worked closely with renewable energy experts to influence the adoption of renewable energy technologies. On identifying the different patterns on how people absorb information and how it influences their adoption of clean energy, Flavia has worked closely with industry sector players to encourage and develop content packaged into movies, long foam content on YouTube, carousels, tv and radio drama series. These have demonstrated how renewable energy can be utilized and it’s benefits and has helped to drive impact towards the adoption and optimum utilization of renewable energy technologies.  Professor Jon Lovett is Chair of Global Challenges in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds. He started working with engineers on renewable energy whilst leading the Technology and Sustainable Development group at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. This work led to collaborations on energy and Sustainable Development Goal 7 in Uganda, Tanzania, Congo Brazzaville, Nepal, Indonesia and Nepal. On moving from Twente to Leeds he developed a project on...
S4E4 - Participatory action research: from community collected data to action and change
28-04-2022
S4E4 - Participatory action research: from community collected data to action and change
In this week’s episode we hear from our co-host Robinson Karuga in his role as a Research, Evaluation and Learning Manager at LVCT. Robinson has been part of a team implementing a participatory action research approach to improve health and wellbeing in two informal settlements in Nairobi. Robinson shares with us:  How data collected with community co-researchers using photovoice (see S4E1) was presented to key stakeholders like chiefs, village elders, civil society organisations and community volunteers so they could identify and prioritise key health and wellbeing issues   The development of work improvement teams that were responsible for driving actions for change together with key decision makers, government bodies and those who held power such as police  The journey from data collection to problem identification, root cause analysis, developing actions and implementing them within the system  The role of researchers as facilitators, coaches, and morale support, as well as assessing and navigating power dynamics through reflexivity  Robinson Karuga is a Health Systems and Policy Research specialist. His area of specialization is community health systems research, with a focus on community participation in governance and embedding of quality improvement approaches. Karuga is a co-investigator in (ARISE (Accountability and Responsiveness in Informal Settlements for Equity)), a multi-country research consortium that seeks to generate evidence on how to apply community-based participatory approaches to empower marginalized residents of urban informal settlements to advocate for improvements to factors that affect their health and wellbeing. Within ARISE, Robinson connects citizens with science through the implementation of community-based participatory research such as photo voice and building the capacity of co-researchers in reflexive methods.  Robinson Karuga Research, Evaluation and Learning Manager, LVCT Health  As the Research Capacity Strengthening lead in the ARISE Consortium, Karuga is responsible for developing and implementing the Consortium’s capacity strengthening strategy that targets 29 early and mid-career researchers, a Ph.D. cohort of 9 candidates, and community co-researchers in four countries across Africa (Kenya, Sierra Leone) and Asia (India and Bangladesh).Robinson Karuga is currently the Research Evaluations and Learning Manager at (LVCT Health), a Kenyan not-for-profit organization that seeks to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable and marginalized populations through research, technical support to governments, and policy advocacy.
S4E3-Covid 19 research and relationships with communities in informal settings for policy response
21-04-2022
S4E3-Covid 19 research and relationships with communities in informal settings for policy response
In this week’s episode we talk about COVID-19 and how travel and public health restrictions presented challenges to ensuring that urban marginalised voices were heard by researchers and policy makers in India and Bangladesh. Our impressive guests Professor Sabina Faiz Rashid and Senior Research Fellow Dr.Surekha Garimella discuss the importance of having established long-term relationships with people, communities and supporting organisations which enabled research to continue and ensured that the needs of people in urban spaces were reaching decision makers. Our guests share;   what happened when Covid-19 hit urban informal communities in India and Bangladesh  the personal and professional passion of researchers to work with communities, not only for research purposes but in solidarity for the struggles faced   their own career journeys of humility, unlearning, connectedness and shared humanity that shaped their lives and relationships with communities  Dr Surekha Garimella Senior Research Fellow, George Institute for Global Health, India Garimella Surekha has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, a Master of Science in Nutrition & Food science, a Master of Philosophy in Applied economics, and a PhD in Public Health, Gender, and Work. Her research interests are in gender, women, work, and political economy; Gendered health systems and accountability; feminist theory and practice and ethics of research practice. She has worked in implementation and research in gender, nutrition, health and wellbeing among women, children, and adolescents in informal urban settlements in Delhi and Tamil Nadu as well as researched on the health and wellbeing experiences of women workers in urban informal settlements in Delhi. Currently she leads the work on health and wellbeing of waste workers under ARISE (Accountability for urban informality) in India.  ( Faiz Rashid Professor, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University Sabina F. Rashid, PhD, is Dean and Professor at the BRAC School of Public Health, BRAC University. A medical anthropologist by training, she has over 25 years of work experience in Bangladesh. Her areas of research and teaching interest and experience are ethnographic and qualitative research, with a focus on urban populations, adolescents, and marginalized groups. She is particularly interested in examining the impact of structural inequalities and inequities and intersectional factors that affect the ability of these populations to realize their health and rights. ORCID ID:  (  (linkedin.com/in/sabina-faiz-rashid-5229671aa) Twitter: twitter.com/bracjpgsph FACEBOOK:  (  (
S4E2 - Intersections between Research and Activism
14-04-2022
S4E2 - Intersections between Research and Activism
In this week’s episode we will be discussing the intersections between research and activism for social change. With our guests Vinodkumar Rao and Joseph Kimani, we will be seeking to understand how lessons from activist approaches can be applied within research and vice versa. We will also explore how power, participation and social justice fits within the wider research agenda when seeking to engage communities in informal settings. Key points we hear from Kimani and Vinod include:  How slum federations in India and Kenya lead data collection with support from NGOs and researchers so they can demand rights and ensure they have a ‘seat ‘at the decision-making table   The role that researchers play within activist organisations to support knowledge generation, understand government policies and to decipher academic evidence so that communities can develop solutions or ask for resources from the state.  The organic growth of ‘movement’ building – when one community takes action another will follow and have an example to build upon  The importance of collecting data about slums, challenging government data, and producing evidence to ‘prove their existence, to prove their requirements and to prove the value that they bring to the city by inhabiting in the city.’  How dominance and power within community structures is considered and managed within activism to promote inclusion  Joseph Kimani Executive Director, Shack Dwellers International-Kenya (SDI-K) Joseph is an experienced community organizer, with a Masters in Community Economic Development. He has worked with Civil Society Organizations for the past 18 years in areas including civic and political rights, peacebuilding, economic development, and governance. Currently working as the Executive Director for Shack Dwellers International Kenya (SDI Kenya). SDI Kenya is composed of young professionals who provide technical support to Kenya Slum Dwellers Federation- Muungano wa Wanavijiji. The organization promotes and facilitates Community-based participatory research tools used by Slum federations and community organizations to use their data in the co-production of solutions with city authorities.    (  (  (    Vinodkumar Rao works within ‘The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers’ or (SPARC), an NGO based in India working with grassroots networks of slum dwellers across cities. He has close working experience with the National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) and (Mahila Milan) (‘women together’ in Hindi), two organisations of urban poor who negotiate for access to safe habitat and basic civic services, co-producing solutions with the state institutions. He is currently leading on the interdisciplinary action research project, (ARISE), aimed at improving accountability and governance to produce health equity among marginalised urban people.
S4E1 - Storytelling and visual methods with people living  in informal settlements
07-04-2022
S4E1 - Storytelling and visual methods with people living in informal settlements
Series 4 is brought to us by the ‘Accountability and Responsiveness in Informal Settlements for Equity’ abbreviated to ARISE. The ARISE consortium is all about promoting social change for improved health and wellbeing with communities and people living and working within urban informal spaces.  Together, across 10 partners in 4 countries – Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Sierra Leone- they are co-developing solutions with communities to health and wellbeing challenges. However, co-production of knowledge for action is challenging due to the many and intersecting inequalities and power relations between researchers, development professionals, activists and communities. We will be exploring how ARISE is working to overcome these, in partnership with people in urban informal settlements or slums, to stimulate change.  In this week’s episode we are talking to Inviolata Njoroge from LVCT Kenya and Shrutika Murthy from The George Institute for Global Health (TGI), India. They have shared their experiences of using visual methods and storytelling to bridge the power-laden distances between lived realities of waste pickers, child headed households, the elderly and people with disabilities in urban informal communities and research and policy. We hear about:  methods that have been used to connect with the most marginalised and often hidden people in urban informal communities  how different intersecting identities and inequities add new layers of vulnerability in urban informal settlements   the use of participant shadowing as an activity to capture experience and context of vulnerable people and what needs to be considered before using this as a method to connect with people  how the photovoice method has brought out silent voices and stories that are often left unheard   The importance of considering researcher and community mental health when using these in-depth exploratory and creative methods with vulnerable populations  Guest presenter for this series is Robinson Karuga Research, Evaluation and Learning Manager, LVCT Health Robinson Karuga is a Health Systems and Policy Research specialist. His area of specialization is community health systems research, with a focus on community participation in governance and embedding of quality improvement approaches. Karuga is a co-investigator in (ARISE (Accountability and Responsiveness in Informal Settlements for Equity)), a multi-country research consortium that seeks to generate evidence on how to apply community-based participatory approaches to empower marginalized residents of urban informal settlements to advocate for improvements to factors that affect their health and wellbeing. Within ARISE, Robinson connects citizens with science through the implementation of community-based participatory research such as photo voice and building the capacity of co-researchers in reflexive methods.  As the Research Capacity Strengthening lead in the ARISE Consortium, Karuga is responsible for developing and implementing the Consortium’s capacity strengthening strategy that targets 29 early and mid-career researchers, a Ph.D. cohort of 9 candidates, and community co-researchers in four countries across Africa (Kenya, Sierra Leone) and Asia (India and Bangladesh).Robinson Karuga is currently the Research Evaluations and Learning Manager at (LVCT Health), a Kenyan not-for-profit organization that seeks to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable and marginalized populations through research, technical support to governments, and policy advocacy. Inviolata Njoroge Research officer, LVCT Health Inviolata has 15 years of managing programs that target marginalized and vulnerable populations in Kenya.  She implemented the ambitious 5-year DREAMS project at LVCT Health that targeted vulnerable adolescent girls and young women living in urban...
S3E4, Part Two Challenges and opportunities in TB: leveraging lessons from COVID-19 – the view from the frontlines
24-03-2022
S3E4, Part Two Challenges and opportunities in TB: leveraging lessons from COVID-19 – the view from the frontlines
This episode is a two-part feature with Charles Yu who has been a TB researcher for over 30 years and Mohammed Yassin from Global Fund. In this important episode we hear how lessons from TB informed the COVID response and how COVID 19 learning is shaping the future of TB and lung health. In Part 1 our guests share:  The importance of public-provider partnerships in responding to lung health conditions  How TB experts in the Philippines were drafted in to run the covid-19 responses  How the global fund applied learning from TB when responding to Covid-19  In part 2 we hear about:  How TB survivors filled gaps as community workers during Covid-19  How community engagement of the poor and vulnerable was essential to respond to Covid 19  The unsung Heroes and stories of people on the frontline who continued to serve the community during COVID-19 when TB facilities were closed Dr Charles Y. Yu Charles Y. Yu, MD, MSc, FACP, FPCP, FPCCP is an internationally recognized expert on TB particularly on public-private mix DOTS (PPMD) and has personally directly treated thousands of TB patients almost 30years of practice often without financial gain and indirectly influenced the TB practice of hundreds of other physicians through trainings, guidelines and advocacies . He has proven his leadership by being national Chairman of the Philippine Coalition against Tuberculosis (2002-2004) presiding over some of the most important years of its existence, president of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), and president of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP). He was a member of the Core Group of the WHO DOTS Expansion Committee, PPMD Subgroup, WHO consultant on TB-PPMD and past President of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development Stakeholders Association,which helped develop new TB drugs that are aimed to be affordable,accessible and is a much sought-after authority by WHO and developmental agencies as well as the Philippine Department of Health. He was member of the International Standards for TB care core group. Dr Mohammed Yassin Dr Mohammed Yassin (MD, MSc, PhD) is a public health physician and Infectious Diseases Epidemiologist by profession. He works at the Global Fund, Geneva as a Senior TB Advisor where he provides technical leadership on TB/MDR-TB, TB/COVID-19 and advises Global Fund teams and countries to ensure resources are prioritized for key interventions and populations and to maximize impact. He started his career as physician and district medical officer treating TB patients in Ethiopia over 25 years ago, managed the regional programme for communicable diseases. Before joining the Global Fund in 2010, he has worked in Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK and designed, implemented, and managed several multi-country projects. He promotes innovation and partnership and has worked with national programmes in several countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Western Pacific. He collaborates with technical partners globally as member of several global task forces and contributes to policy development and accelerate implementation.
S3E4, Part One Challenges and opportunities in TB: leveraging lessons from COVID-19 – the view from the frontlines
23-03-2022
S3E4, Part One Challenges and opportunities in TB: leveraging lessons from COVID-19 – the view from the frontlines
This episode is a two-part feature with Charles Yu who has been a TB researcher for over 30 years and Mohammed Yassin from Global Fund. In this important episode we hear how lessons from TB informed the COVID response and how COVID 19 learning is shaping the future of TB and lung health. In Part 1 our guests share:  The importance of public-provider partnerships in responding to lung health conditions  How TB experts in the Philippines were drafted in to run the covid-19 responses  How the global fund applied learning from TB when responding to Covid-19  In part 2 we hear about:  How TB survivors filled gaps as community workers during Covid-19  How community engagement of the poor and vulnerable was essential to respond to Covid 19  The unsung Heroes and stories of people on the frontline who continued to serve the community during COVID-19 when TB facilities were closed Dr Charles Y. Yu Charles Y. Yu, MD, MSc, FACP, FPCP, FPCCP is an internationally recognized expert on TB particularly on public-private mix DOTS (PPMD) and has personally directly treated thousands of TB patients almost 30years of practice often without financial gain and indirectly influenced the TB practice of hundreds of other physicians through trainings, guidelines and advocacies . He has proven his leadership by being national Chairman of the Philippine Coalition against Tuberculosis (2002-2004) presiding over some of the most important years of its existence, president of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), and president of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP). He was a member of the Core Group of the WHO DOTS Expansion Committee, PPMD Subgroup, WHO consultant on TB-PPMD and past President of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development Stakeholders Association,which helped develop new TB drugs that are aimed to be affordable,accessible and is a much sought-after authority by WHO and developmental agencies as well as the Philippine Department of Health. He was member of the International Standards for TB care core group. Dr Mohammed Yassin Dr Mohammed Yassin (MD, MSc, PhD) is a public health physician and Infectious Diseases Epidemiologist by profession. He works at the Global Fund, Geneva as a Senior TB Advisor where he provides technical leadership on TB/MDR-TB, TB/COVID-19 and advises Global Fund teams and countries to ensure resources are prioritized for key interventions and populations and to maximize impact. He started his career as physician and district medical officer treating TB patients in Ethiopia over 25 years ago, managed the regional programme for communicable diseases. Before joining the Global Fund in 2010, he has worked in Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK and designed, implemented, and managed several multi-country projects. He promotes innovation and partnership and has worked with national programmes in several countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Western Pacific. He collaborates with technical partners globally as member of several global task forces and contributes to policy development and accelerate implementation.