MSc Public Health: Health Services Management alumnus (2011), Fergus McBean has won the prestigious 2018 Civil Service Use of Evidence Award.
The Civil Service Awards, supported by EY, are a highly respected and prestigious cross-government programme to recognise and celebrate the wealth of inspirational individuals and innovative projects within the civil service. Fergus received the award for leading a ground breaking piece of work to use weather forecasting and cholera risk modelling to better inform cholera prevention in Yemen, work that was inspired by articles published in the Lancet on the cholera epidemic in Yemen (the articles can be viewed here and here), and was featured on the BBC website.
Fergus decided to study an MSc Public Health at LSHTM in 2011 as it is a “world-renowned public health university with an incredible alumni network.” “The most important skill I learned at LSHTM was the approach and interrogation of evidence. It is a skill I have used time and time again in providing advice to DFID for the past 5 years.”
Fergus formed valuable relationships while studying at LSHTM. After he graduated he continued to have access to tutors, academics, professors and even the Director of LSHTM, Professor Peter Piot at times (during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa). He found that LSHTM staff were always willing to understand, discuss and help address challenges.
Fergus told us that he feels honoured to be recognised for his work in the Yemen by being awarded the 2018 Civil Service Use of Evidence Award. “The messages of support and encouragement I have received since being nominated and winning have been great. I should say though that this could not have been completed without a team effort within the UK Department for International Development (DFID) with the research and evidence climate team and external partners at the Met Office, University of Maryland, University of West Virginia, NASA, and UNICEF.”
Fergus is currently a Humanitarian Advisor at DFID. Looking to the future, he said “I hope that we can build off the momentum of the work we have done to date, expand it to other countries and increase the timeframe that the Cholera Risk assessment is valid for – from 4 weeks to 8 weeks.”
Fergus’s advice for current students is to make the most of the opportunities you have to introduce yourself and reach out to anyone affiliated with the School. “The networks and contacts you make during your time at LSHTM can be invaluable later on.” “Take the knowledge you receive and don’t be afraid to apply and challenge it in order to find new ways of making an impact on people’s health.”
Congratulations Fergus on your award, we are proud to have you as part of our alumni community!