Public Health Section Newsletter

Welcome to the first of our Public Health Section newsletters. Each edition we will focus on an aspect of what we do in the section, and introduce new members of staff. There will also be space for news and congratulations.
This edition highlights some of the excellent Global Health work that is taking place, along with an introduction to two of our newer members of staff, Mary Crowder and Collette Kearney. You can also read about Kelly’s amazing London Marathon feat, and Carolyn Auma’s beautiful poem that she shared at our recent away day.
Thanks to Karen for all her work in putting the newsletter together. Enjoy reading!

Public Health Away Day

For those of you that were unable to join us at our recent away day on 4th April 2016 held at Inox Dine, we had an enjoyable and productive day. A stand out moment for quite a few of us was the poem that Carolyn Auma, one of our PhD students shared with us for the session “I wish I had known….”.
Looking back at the day Carolyn says “…I am not sure what made me share my poem – maybe it was the open, warm and friendly atmosphere at INOX Dine during the event, or it was just a way for me to reflect on the first six months of my PhD journey“. You can read Carolyn’s heartfelt poem here.


On Sunday 24th April 2016, our very own Dr Kelly MacKenzie lined up with over 39,000 other runners to take part in her first ever London Marathon.
Running to raise money for a cause close to her heart, Epilepsy Action, you can read more about Kelly’s amazing London Marathon experience here.
Viola Cassetti, a former Europubhealth student in ScHARR, has won one of the prestigious University Prize Scholarships for Doctoral Research and will be joining us as a PhD student in September. She will be supervised by Dr Tom Sanders and Dr Katie Powell.
Luke Miller, on being awarded the Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Authority (SFHEA). The HEA Senior Fellowship recognises staff who lead and manage teaching programmes or modules, mentor and support colleagues who teach (formally or informally), or have advisory responsibilities around learning and teaching more broadly in their department, faculty or professional service.
Joe Clark on recently passing his PhD viva on Global Palliative Care Policy subject to minor corrections. His work is a mixed methods study which explores the scope of existing international research and policy in palliative care, explores policy response to the growing challenges of palliative care, and examines the contribution of key factors in global policy. Joe was supervised by Dr Amy Barnes, Dr Clare Gardinerand Prof Mike Campbell.

Meet two of our recent new starters in Public Health

Mary Crowder joined us in December last year as a Research Associate to work on the SPHR evaluation of a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator programme.

This is a new area of research for me, although for the past 2 years I have worked as a volunteer supporting a peer-research project, led by young people who have been affected by domestic abuse, into the strengths and gaps in domestic abuse services for young people in Sheffield.
I have lived in Sheffield since 1988 when I came here to train as an occupational psychologist with the Manpower Services Commission and complete my masters in occupational psychology at the (then) Social and Applied Psychology Unit here at the University of Sheffield. On completing my training I set up as a self-employed research consultant, trading as ‘Minds at Work’. For over 25 years I have been providing research and evaluation services, primarily to public sector clients but also to private and third sector organisations.  My work as a self-employed researcher has been varied; I have led research projects aimed at understanding learner motivation, evaluated a diverse range of local and national employment and training initiatives for adults and young people, developed training and assessment materials, and  evaluated selection, recruitment and appraisal systems.  I continue to operate as Minds at Work alongside my part-time employment in ScHARR and am currently working on the evaluation of a Lottery funded initiative being delivered by voluntary sector providers in Sheffield. When I am not at work you are most likely to find me on the allotment and, with the exception of the ‘hungry-gap’ in May/June, my partner and I are now pretty much self-sufficient in fruit and veg –an important part of our efforts towards a sustainable lifestyle. I am also proud to be a volunteer with Chilypep – a local children and young people’s participation project that does fantastic work to empower disadvantaged young people to influence decisions that impact on their lives.

Colette Kearney
I completed my undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Glasgow in 2011. Since then I have worked in Moscow with pre-school children and in the UK with children and young adults with learning disabilities. In September 2015 I graduated with a Masters in Human Nutrition at the University of Sheffield. As part of this I collaborated with the Children’s Food Trust to look at the effectiveness of online training for improving childminder’s provision of food to children in the early years. I began my role as a Public Health researcher in March to pursue my interest in nutrition, appetite and eating habits in young children.

Focus on Global Health

Each issue we hope to bring you articles of interest from different areas of our business.
Here, Dr Julie Balen and Dr Muhammad Saddiq give us some interesting insights into recent work undertaken in Nepal, the Gambia and Nigeria.

Dr Simon Rushton (Dept of Politics) and Dr Julie Balen, Public Health, ScHARR recently visited Nepal for their Sheffield Institute of International Development (SIID) funded study on health impacts of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. They were joined by three other team members: Olivia Crane (ScHARR MPH student 2015-16) who was collecting data for her research attachment, and Nepalese colleagues Prof. Bhimsen Devkota and Ms. Sudha Ghimire (Tribhuvan University). The devastating earthquake that struck parts of Nepal in April last year highlighted major weaknesses in the country’s preparedness policies and also in the government and its partners’ ability to rapidly respond to humanitarian crises. Now, one year later, as reconstruction efforts gear up with the aim of “building back better”, researchers and policy makers are looking backwards to the immediate relief and response phases, as well as forwards towards long-term reconstruction, with the aim of formulating key lessons learnt from this tragic disaster. The Sheffield-Nepal team is exploring the lived experiences of individuals and communities in Gorkha District (the epicentre) in order to provide bottom-up views of health system resilience to the earthquake, and subsequent reconstruction efforts, and to triangulate these with the perspectives of government, NGOs and international agencies. The overall aim is to better understand and incorporate community-level perspectives into future health policy making and implementation at all levels. It is hoped that this will add to current ‘top-down’ policy discussions which appear to fall short on providing a good understanding of what, from the perspective of individuals and communities, makes public health systems more (or less) ‘resilient’ in the face of disaster. Whilst in Nepal the team of researchers conducted 27 in-depth interviews, 3 focus group discussions and an elite-level stakeholder meeting; data analysis is ongoing. This is a pilot study with results feeding into a larger project proposal.  For the first of a series of blog posts detailing the research, see our ScHARR blog.
The Gambia

As part of ongoing collaborative research in The Gambia, West Africa, Dr Julie Balen, Public Health, ScHARR has recently visited in-country partners (MRC Gambia, and Gambia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare) for a new project focussing on reducing malaria transmission in the country. The project is funded by the MRC, Wellcome Trust and DfID Joint Global Health Trials scheme (2015-2019; PI Prof. Umberto d’Alessandro). It is a cluster-randomised trial of a novel community-based approach for controlling malaria in low-transmission settings. The aim of the research is to determine whether treating all household members of clinical malaria cases can reduce parasite carriage and possibly also reduce malaria transmission. In the study intervention arm, malaria patients will be treated according to standard treatment protocols and, in addition, will be given sufficient dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHAPQ) to treat all their household members, who are likely asymptomatic carriers. Primary study outcomes will include incidence of clinical malaria during the transmission season and malaria prevalence at the end of the transmission season. This research project has strong community involvement and draws on the existing health system, particularly during the first year, which is dedicated to formative research relating to the trial. The intervention’s impact, incremental cost and cost-effectiveness will also be determined in order to assess feasibility of scale-up.

Malaria in The Gambia remains a crucial public health issue, despite significant reductions in prevalence over the last decade. A range of control approaches have been pursued, including increased availability and access to long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs), integrated vector control interventions such as indoor residual spraying (IRS), strengthened case management with rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and artemisinin combination therapy (ACT), but these have not yet succeeded in interrupting the highly seasonal transmission patterns of malaria in The Gambia. It is hoped that this novel intervention may help move The Gambia closer to the pre-elimination phase.  For more information on the recent visit see our ScHARR blog and for a recent publication in Malaria Journal see Jaiteh et al., 2016.

Patient safety depends on multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory scientists and other clinical and non-clinical staff working as a team. The picture is from a team building workshop facilitated by Dr Muhammad Saddiq, Public Health, ScHARR, and 3 NHS consultants from 3 different hospitals across the UK working in partnership to strengthen preventative capacity in two teaching hospitals in Northern Nigeria. Patient safety has come to the top of the agenda in global health as a consequences of the recent outbreaks of Ebola, Lassa and Zika virus infections. The two partner hospitals for this THET funded project are Aminu Kano and Federal Teaching Hospitals, Gombe.”
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 & Medicinedoi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.04.033
Bissell P, Peacock M, Blackburn J, Smith C. The discordant pleasures of everyday eating: Reflections on the social gradient in obesity under neo-liberalism
Boote J, Newsome R, Reddington M, Cole A, Dimairo M. Physiotherapy for Patients with Sciatica Awaiting Lumbar Micro-discectomy Surgery: A Nested, Qualitative Study of Patients’ Views and Experiences
Jaiteh F, Dierickx S, Gryseels C, O’Neill S, D’Alessandro U, Scott S, Balen J and Grietens K P. Some anti‑malarials are too strong for your body, they will harm you.’ Socio‑cultural factors influencing pregnant women’s adherence to anti‑malarial treatment in rural Gambia
Meier P S, Holmes J, Angus C, Ally A K, Meng Y, Brennan A. Estimated Effects of Different Alcohol Taxation and Price Policies on Health Inequalities: A Mathematical Modelling Study
Hassen W S, Castetbon K, Cardon P, Enaux C, Nicolaou M, Lien N, Terragni L9,Holdsworth M,  Stronks K, Hercberg S, Méjean C. Socioeconomic Indicators Are Independently Associated with Nutrient Intake in French Adults: A DEDIPAC Study
doi: 0.3390/nu8030158
Fox N J, Health sociology from post-structuralism to the new materialisms
doi: 10.1177/1363459315615393
Relton C, Strong M, Renfrew M J, Thomas K, Burrows J, Whelan B, Whitford H M , Scott E, Fox-Rushby J, Anoyke N, Sanghera S, Johnson M, Easton Sue, Walters S. Cluster randomised controlled trial of a financial incentive for mothers to improve breast feeding in areas with low breastfeeding rates: the NOSH study protocol
doi: 10.1177/1363459315615393
McLean S M, Booth A, Gee M, Salway S, Cobb M, Bhanbhro S, Nancarrow S A.
Appointment reminder systems are effective but not optimal: results of a systematic review and evidence synthesis employing realist principles
Salway S, Mir G, Turner D, Ellison G T H, Carter L, Gerrish K. Obstacles to “race equality” in the English National Health Service: Insights from the healthcare commissioning arena
Salway S, Chowbey P, Such E, Ferguson B. Researching health inequalities with
Community Researchers: practical, methodological and ethical challenges of an ‘inclusive’ research approach
doi: 10.1186/s40900-015-0009-4
Glogowska M, Simmonds R, McLachlan S, Cramer H, Sanders T, Johnson R,
Kadam U T, Lasserson D S, Purdy S.  “Sometimes we can’t fix things”: a qualitative study of health care professionals’ perceptions of end of life care for patients with heart failure
doi: 10.1186/s12904-016-0074-y
Sanders T, Ong B N, Roberts D & Corbett M. Health maintenance, meaning, and disrupted illness trajectories in people with low back pain: a qualitative study

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