10th ECTMIH conference

Sarita Panday

Sarita presenting her poster entitled “Impact of community-level factors on the volunteers’ services in rural Nepal: a qualitative study”

Sarita Panday (SIID) and Julie Balen (ScHARR/SIID) recently attended the 10th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH), held in Antwerp, Belgium. Beyond presentations of their research from Nepal and The Gambia, Sarita and Julie reflect on what they gained from attending the conference, and what some of their main take home messages were.

ECTMIH is a biennial event that brings together scientists and experts from Europe and from all over the world, including a large proportion of delegates from low and middle income countries (LMICs), as well as many of the Emerging Voices. It is patronised by the Federation of European Societies of Tropical Medicine and International Health (FESTMIH). Both Sarita and Julie were impressed by the huge representation of countries and regions at the conference. There was a great diversity of scholars and research presented from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, giving the conference a truly international flavour.

Similarly, there was a wide range and breadth of disciplines represented, including some in sessions that ran using rather innovative formats. Julie attended the Emerging Voices session entitled “Making Promises, Breaking Commitments: What is the Role of Health Policy and Systems Research in Transforming Political Commitments into Better Health Systems?”. The format of this session was an interactive debate with pre- and post-debate voting by the audience. Both sides put forward an impassioned and convincing set of arguments for and against the motion: “health policy and systems research (HPSR) has focused too much on evidence, blind to the fact that policy is about interests, values, power and politics, which has made HPSR largely irrelevant to the creation and implementation of political commitments”. The audience was fairly divided, and some even tried to vote for and against, seeing both sides of the argument.

Of particular interest to Sarita and Julie were the numerous sessions focussing on community engagement and participation, given the focus of the ESRC project 1 Sarita and Julie are both involved in, as well as Julie’s Global Health Trials funded study 2. Sarita will shortly be heading Nepal for fieldwork using video-voice methodology for data collection. Although no sessions focussed specifically on video-voice, there was a session entitled “The Power of the Image: Use of Multimedia in Health Research, Advocacy and Dissemination” which explored the use of photovoice to explore aspects of social inclusion/exclusion of children with special needs in Uganda. This session also explored use of video for advocacy and research, as well as agenda setting in the Indian health policy sphere.

Finally, one stimulating aspect of the conference is that all delegates were encouraged to attend at least 1 session in a different field or discipline to what they themselves work on. Indeed this kind of cross-disciplinary thinking was encouraged throughout the conference by ensuring that all the Opening, Plenary and Closing Sessions included speakers focussing on the basic science / clinical aspects of global health, as well as the applied science / implementation aspects of global health. Breaktime discussions with other delegates from a range of disciplines were aided by this kind of formal attempt at cross-fertilisation of ideas. We hope that future conferences continue to find ways of breaking down the silos that we all commonly find ourselves in. Overall, ECTMIH was a successful conference and Sarita and Julie represented Sheffield University, engaged with alumni, and met old and new colleagues and collaborators, whilst also presenting and gaining feedback on their research.
1 Resilience policymaking in Nepal: giving voice to communities (2017-2018)
2 Reactive household-based self-administered treatment against residual malaria transmission: a cluster randomised trial (2015-2018)

Written by Julie Balen & Sarita Panday


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New Year, New Students

We are delighted to welcome our new cohort of taught postgraduate students to ScHARR.

Students from across the globe have arrived today to study programmes in public health, management and leadership, health economics and decision modelling and clinical research.

We also welcome students to our online programmes. Although they may not be based in Sheffield, students studying international health leadership and management, advanced emergency care, public health or health technology assessment at a distance are equally part of the ScHARR community.

Intro Week 2017 student cohort

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

ScHARR contributes to new report on liver disease and alcohol consumption

A new report published by the Foundation for Liver Research and endorsed by the Lancet Commission on Liver Disease includes new estimates from the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group (SARG) of the burden that alcohol places on the NHS and society. The report was featured on the front page of the Guardian newspaper on Monday 24th July, 2017.

SARG team

The figures used in the report come from the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model, a complex behavioural and epidemiological simulation model which combines data on patterns of alcohol consumption and purchasing, current rates of harm for 43 different alcohol-related health conditions, evidence on the relationship between prices and purchasing, and epidemiological evidence on the links between drinking at different levels and risks of harm.

The numbers show that alcohol is estimated to cause 35 deaths and 2.300 hospital admissions a day in England, and over the next 5 years this will cost the NHS almost £17billion at a time when healthcare resources and budgets are already being stretched. This research also highlights the potential for policies such as a Minimum Unit Price for alcohol to reduce this burden.

This report comes out just as the UK Supreme Court is hearing the final stage in a lengthy court battle between the Scottish Government and the Scotch Whisky Association about the legality of Scotland’s efforts to introduce a Minimum Unit Price for alcohol.

Evidence from SARG and the Sheffield Model has formed an integral part of the court case, highlighting that the policy would effectively target the heaviest drinkers and have a positive effect on socioeconomic inequalities in health. The court’s judgement is expected to be delivered in the Autumn, with a host of other countries, including Wales and Ireland, looking on. Both countries have announced their intention to introduce a Minimum Unit price, supported by SARG modelling, however this seems certain to be conditional on the Supreme Court ruling that the policy is not in breach of EU law.

The report can be downloaded from the “Downloads” section on the right hand side of this page.

University of Sheffield press release.

Guardian article featuring SARG’s work.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

What is the public health role in modern slavery?

liz-suchDr Liz Such has been seconded to Public Health England to review the public health issues and knowledge gaps in the field of modern slavery. Early findings have identified the value of partnership working across all  sectors plus the importance of senior strategic leadership in tackling modern slavery. A summary of findings will be published before the autumn; there will be a poster presentation at the PHE conference, and a full report planned for October to coincide with national anti-slavery day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Nepal: Reconstruction, Resilience and Development. A One-Day Workshop

nepalThis workshop isn’t a ScHARR Public Health event; it is presented by our colleagues at the Sheffield Institute for International Development. It features Professor Padam Simkhada who is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at ScHARR.


The massive earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015 caused huge loss of life and widespread damage to property and infrastructure, from which the country is still recovering. This workshop brings together leading experts on Nepal to discuss the challenges that the country faced in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, and also the prospects for future resilience and development.

The morning sessions will be devoted to the presentation of papers. The afternoon will be made up of roundtable discussions on key issues in reconstruction, resilience and development.

Provisional programme:

10.00-10.10 Welcome from Dan Brockington, Director of the Sheffield Institute for International Development

10.10-10.30 Introduction and introductions. Simon Rushton

10.30-11.30 Panel 1:

Sapana Bista (Liverpool John Moores University) – ‘The disability sector’s experience of the Nepal earthquake during recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction’

Sarah Galvin (PHASE Worldwide) and Jiban Karki (PHASE Nepal) – The experience of small NGOs

Padam Simkhada (Liverpool John Moores University) – Traumatised? I don’t think so! Mental health situation in Nepal after earthquake.

11.30-11.45 Coffee break

11.45-13.00 Panel 2:

Bibha Simkhada (Liverpool John Moores University) – Scope and importance of continuous professional development (CPD) training on risk reduction and disaster management in Nepal

Bhimsen Devkota (Tribhuvan University) – Education

Hanna Ruszczyk (Durham University) – The earthquake and ideas lying around.

Edwin van Teilingen (Bournemouth University) – Business as usual? Disasters, incompetency and corruption.

13.00-13.45 Lunch (provided)

13.45-14.45 Roundtable 1: Characteristics of resilient communities.

What made communities resilient (or not) through the earthquakes and reconstruction?

14.45-15.00 Coffee break

15.00-16.00 Roundtable 2: Developing resilient communities.

What are the challenges communities face today and in the future? What role can the national government and its international partners, as well as NGOs, play in mitigating these challenges?

16.00 End

All welcome. Please register for a (free) ticket by 13/7/17 so that we know the numbers for catering purposes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Join Us


Opportunity for a qualitative researcher to join SARG: Sheffield Alcohol Research Group

Closing date Thursday 13 July 2017.

For more information, or to apply, see the Job Overview

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Join Us

People walking into the quad at ScHARRWe are recruiting a talented, effective social scientist with a strong interest in understanding and tackling the social determinants of health inequalities, particularly those linked to race/ethnicity and migration. Closing date 18.07.2017 Apply here.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dean of ScHARR recognised for world-leading research

John BrazierCongratulations to Professor John Brazier, Dean of our School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), who has been elected to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

The Fellowship brings together world-leading scientists from across the UK to pioneer the research that will transform the future of public health.

Celebrated globally, their work is renowned for providing real benefits to society while breaking new academic ground.

Professor Brazier said: “I am delighted to be elected to such a prestigious Academy of medical and health scientists, and pleased for the recognition it brings to the research undertaken in ScHARR. The Academy is influential in the development of research policy in this country and I hope to lend by support for investment in the important areas of applied health services and public health research.”

Fellows are elected from across the spectrum of biomedical and health research. Representing the cutting edge of medical science, they are chosen for their outstanding contribution to research and society.

Professor Brazier has been distinguished for his widely celebrated research in the area of economic evaluation of healthcare interventions. After more than 25 years at the forefront of health research, he is best known his work in developing a preference-based measure of health for the SF-36 (SF-6D), a survey now used across the world to monitor healthcare outcomes for patients.

Professor Brazier was Director of the Economic Evaluation Policy Research Unit (EEPRU) until taking up his new position as Dean. A collaboration between our University and the University of York, the Unit undertakes applied and methodological research that informs health policy in England.

Professor Brazier is also a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator (Emeritus), and in 2016 was listed as a Thomson Reuters 2016 Highly Cited Researcher.

He is currently involved in several innovative projects, including an investigation into the value of self management support interventions for long-term conditions, What works well in wellbeing in the community and a Medical Research Council (MRC) project to develop a new measure that better takes into account of wellbeing for use in health technology assessment, public health and social care.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Public Health Newsletter Issue 5 – May 2017

headermarkstrong1Welcome to the latest issue of the ScHARR Public Health newsletter. In this issue we are very proud to be reporting that one of our recent PhD graduates, Sarita Panday, is off to Stanford to do a post-doc fellowship – well done Sarita! We also have other good news to report – Rebecca Pradeilles, who was with us as a Research Fellow until a year ago, is back. Rebecca will be working with Michelle Holdsworth, Hibbah Saeed and others on projects relating to dietary transitions in African cities.

We’ve won some interesting new grants – in particular Clare Relton’s project “Fresh Street”, which will explore the feasibility of using targeted cash incentives to increase fruit and veg consumption within neighbourhoods with high levels of socio-economic deprivation and low fruit and veg consumption.

As you can see, a bit of a nutrition theme at the moment – I’m doing my bit by trying to ensure both cake and fruit are at each section meeting…..

Public Health PhD graduate off to Stanford University

One of our recent PhD graduates, Sarita Panday has been selected for the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Developing Asia Health Policy for 2017-18 at Stanford Asia Health Policy Program and the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policy (APO) at Stanford University in the USA.
This is a fantastic opportunity for Sarita and we extend our best wishes and good luck for the fellowship which will start at the end of September 2017 and extend for 10 months.

You can read more about Sarita’s story here.

We have been awarded £55k from the Health Foundation to build on our research on primary healthcare’s response to new migrants. It is an Evidence into Practice grant with Liz Such as PI, Sarah Salway as senior steer and Liz Walton from AUPMC. We have two main partners – Doctors of the World UK and the tech firm YooMee. This work will start in April 2017 for 15 months – CLAHRC YH Public Health and Inequalities and Kate Pickett’s Health Inequalities strand are providing match to support the project. You can read the Health Foundation’s press release here.

The FRESH Street Project

Our ScHARR based team (in collaboration with Dr Megan Blake from Geography) have been awarded MRC PHIND funding (£149,000) to develop an area (street) based cash transfer scheme to promote healthy eating in areas of high deprivation. During this 18 month project we will work with key stakeholders in Barnsley to develop and then feasibility test a scheme which will target individuals of all ages (children, adults and older adults) in areas with low fresh fruit and vegetable and high processed food consumption and high social and economic deprivation. 

This innovative public health intervention aims to:

(i) increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption
(ii) encourage new purchasing, food preparation and eating patterns in the short term; and in the longer term
(iii) reduce food poverty and improve health outcomesIf successful, this intervention is likely to increase social cohesion and strengthen the resilience of local sustainable food systems and the food choice architecture.

Staff news

Welcoming new staff

Hibbah Saeed joined us on 1 May 2017 as a Research Associate in Global Public Health Nutrition. Hibbah will work across two research projects led by Michelle Holdsworth investigating dietary transitions in African cities.

Rebecca Pradeilles, a familiar face to some of us having worked in Public Health section previously and also as an Honorary, will be back from 1 May as a Research Fellow working alongside Michelle and Hibbah.

Goodbye and good luck

Sarah Hollely, Communications Officer on the SPHR Project left on 27 April. We wish her well in her new job at the INSIGNEO Institute here at the University.

Mel Rimmer is taking the ‘Big Walk 2017’

Mel will be taking part in the forthcoming Big Walk, which takes place 30 June to 1 July 2017. Walking 50 miles in 24 hours to raise money for the Sheffield Scanner. Mel would really appreciate your sponsorship – you can find Mel’s justgiving page here or you can text “MELR51 £5” (or any other amount) to 70070- a ‘big’ thank you from Mel.

Good luck to you Mel!


Julie Balen on achieving recognition as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy through the Learning and Teaching Professional Recognition Scheme.


Julie Dickinson has been elected to staff membership of the Senate for the period 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2020. The Senate’s role is to oversee the teaching and research of the University and the admission and regulation of students.

Hosting the Nigeria Patient Safety Conference in Lagos

The THET (Tropical Health Education Trust) project is a Health Partnership between ScHARR (the University of Sheffield), The Health Education Trust (THET) in the UK, Bayero University, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe.

Muhammad Saddiq through (THET) patient safety project successfully hosted the first ever Nigeria Patient Safety Conference in Lagos on 14 March 2017. The conference brought together 100 of the top leadership from health institutions across Nigeria to disseminate the experience of implementing changes aimed at improving patient safety culture in the two partner hospitals. Leadership of health institutions across the country were targeted because of their role in leading change in their respective organisations and also in educating the healthcare workforce. An important outcome of the conference is the celebrations among participants to set up a Nigeria Patient Safety Forum which will serve as an advocacy platform to government and practitioners towards actions aimed at accelerating the improvement in patient safety culture in the country.

Speakers at the Conference

Whilst in Nigeria, Muhammad was invited to participate in an interview for a breakfast show on Nigeria’s national broadcast channel as a follow up to the conference. The discussion focused on medical negligence, an important component of patient safety. The programme also included audience engagement through social media – you can listen to Muhammad’s interview here.

Clare Relton was recently invited to give a talk at Kings College, London entitled Trials within Cohorts (TwiCs) What are they and how are they being used? as part of the Cancer Epidemiology Population and Global Health Programme Seminar Series.

Recent Publications

Barnes A, Brown Garrett W, Harman S. Understanding global health and development partnerships: Perspectives from African and global health system professionals. Journal of Social Science & Medicine

Angus C, Holmes J, Maheswaran R, Green MA, Meier P, Brennan A. Mapping patterns and trends in the spatial availability of alcohol using low-level geographic data: A case study in England 2003-2013  International Journal of Environmental Research in Public Health, 14(4), 404

Gavens L, Holmes J, Buehringer G, McLeod J, Neumann M, Lingford-Hughes A, Hock ES, Meier PS. Interdisciplinary working in public health research: a proposed good practice checklist, Journal of Public Health

Li J, Lovatt M, Eadie D, Dobbie F, Meier P, Holmes J, Hastings G, MacKintosh AM. Public attitudes towards alcohol control policies in Scotland and England: Results from a mixed-methods study,  Social Science & Medicine

Horton P, S Banwart, G Brown, R Bruce, D Cameron, M Holdsworth, L Koh, J Ton, P Jackson. An agenda for integrated system-wide interdisciplinary agri-food research. Food Security 1-16.
doi: 10.1007/s12571-017-0648-4

Vedio, A, Liu, EZH, Lee, ACK, Salway, S. Improving access to health care for chronic hepatitis B among migrant Chinese populations: A systematic mixed methods review of barriers and enablers Journal of Viral Hepatitis

Such, E, Walton,E, Delaney,B, Harris, J, Salway, S. Adapting primary care for new migrants: a formative assessment BJGP Open, BJGP-2016-0620

Simkhada R, Wasti SP, Vijay GC, Lee A. Prevalence of depressive symptoms and its associated factors in older adults: A cross-sectional study in Kathmandu, Nepal. Aging & Mental Health

Akparibo R, Booth A, Lee A. Recovery, Relapse, and Episodes of Default in the Management of Acute Malnutrition in Children in Humanitarian Emergencies: A systematic review. Oxfam Humanitarian Evidence Programme

Hall ML, Lee ACK, Cartwright C, Maharatta S, Karki J, Simkhada P. The 2015 Nepal earthquake disaster: lessons learned one year on. Public Health 2017; 145:39-44

Lee A, Sim F, Mackie P. Ethical public health: more than just numbers (Editorial). Public Health, 2017;144:A1-2

Fox, N. J. and Alldred, P. (2016) Sociology, environment and health: a materialist approach. Public Health, 141: 287-293
doi: 0.1016/j.puhe.2016.09.015

Fox, N.J. and Alldred, P. (2017) Sociology and the New Materialism
London: Sage.

Hobbs M, Green M, Griffiths C, Jordan H, McKenna J. How different data sources and definitions of neighbourhood influence the association between food outlet availability and body mass index: a cross-sectional study.  Perspectives in Public Health

Alldred, P. and Fox, N.J. Materialism and micropolitics in sexualities education research.  In: Allen, L. and Rasmussen, M.L. (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education.  London: Palgrave.

Alldred, P. and Fox, N.J.Young bodies, power and resistance: a new materialist perspective. Journal of Youth Studies

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Nepal earthquake, two years on: still too little, too late?

Simon Rushton, Julie Balen and Olivia Crane from the University of Sheffield were in Barpak with Professor Bhimsen Devkota and Sudha Ghimire, working on a SIID-funded project examining the resilience and reconstruction of the health system following the Nepal earthquake. This is one of a series of blog posts and journal articles published by the team.

This April 25th marks two years since two major earthquakes and almost 500 aftershocks struck Nepal with the epicentre in Gorkha district, some 150km west of Kathmandu. The impact of this disaster was staggering, with an estimated 9000 lives lost, 22,000 people injured and 700,000 houses damaged or destroyed. Moreover, thousands of public service buildings and vast infrastructure – schools, health centres, offices, bridges, roads, agriculture, irrigation and water supply systems and telecommunication networks – were impacted, many of which remain damaged. With so many lives lost and so many livelihoods disrupted, two years later the official response still appears to be “too little, too late”. Why have the victims of the earthquake been left, primarily, to fend for themselves through two wet monsoon seasons and two icy cold winters? And how will such an inadequate disaster response from the government impact upon Nepal’s emerging political landscape?

A total of 14 districts were severely affected by the disaster, with an additional 17 districts experiencing some degree of damage. The Nepalese Government set up the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund and established a National Emergency Operation Centre, through which new sources of aid were routed, within approximately one week of the first earthquake. However, the National Reconstruction Authority took nine months to become active and the government response was, overall, widely criticized for being too slow. International donors played an essential role, as did parts of the growing Nepali private sector and, by necessity, its citizens.

Relief and support was offered by many countries: India, China, Japan, UK, USA, and Germany were among those that provided the largest contributions, though search and rescue teams from 34 different countries were involved overall. Likewise, regional and international agencies such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, European Union and International Monetary Fund were among the highest supra-national donors. Besides these however it was the countless international, national and sub-national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organisations, together with so many affected local communities and family networks, that were critical in responding in which ever way possible.

In Barpak village, Gorkha, where we conducted our research 1 year ago, residents spoke of Nepali and Indian government helicopters and support during that early critical period. Triaging and emergency healthcare in the village was supplied by a private pharmacist, who trained youths to provide basic first aid support and used meagre resources from her family-owned pharmacy business; the government health centre was damaged and key health personnel were absent on the day of the earthquake (a Saturday) – a pattern that was seen across many rural health posts on that day.


Barpak village, April 2016 – one year after the earthquake many families lived in dangerous buildings or temporary shelters; Photo credit: Julie Balen

Two years on, and many of these same communities and citizens feel let down, forgotten and deserted. Far too many have not yet received any – and certainly not adequate – assistance or support, and have been left instead to, survive the traumatic events of 2015 and rebuild their homes, lives and communities primarily without external assistance. The most disadvantaged among them are those who were already marginalised in some way prior to the disaster; the extreme poor, the “lower” casts, the elderly, the disabled, the women. This is likely to widen disparities in the population, leading to poorer health outcomes.

Nepal 1

Younger and older women – often with migrant husbands, fathers or sons – bore a large burden from the disaster; Photo credit: Sudha Gimire

In May 2017 local elections will be held for the first time in 20 years*. These upcoming elections are a key moment in the country’s fraught transition to democracy and it is expected that the local polls will pave the way for provincial and then national elections later in the year. The impact of the formal response to the earthquake on voting patters and outcomes remains to be seen. Have actions taken (or not taken) been a missed opportunity to grow support for Nepal’s leading party, and will earthquake-affected areas vote, instead, in favour of the Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) party representatives?

At present, we can only speculate whether the national elections will indeed take place this year, and what impact the staggering earthquake, and by comparison the vastly deficient government response, will have on Nepal’s politics. One certainty however is that Nepal continues to be disaster prone, and any elected government will have to do a better job of preparedness and response in future.

* Nepal emerged from a brutal decade-long civil war in 2006, which brought the end of the 240-year-old monarchy and transformed it into a republic.

Article reproduced with permission from The Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID) blog 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized