Library & Archives Service Satisfaction Survey

We’re running our annual user satisfaction survey fropm the 17th to 28th July. You’ll be recieving an email to your School account with a simple 1 click response to capture how satisfied you have been with the Library & Archives Service in 2017/18.

All you have to do is open the email and click the number that best represents how you feel about the Service.

You’ll then also have the option to provide more detailed comments and suggestions for the Service.

Your views and suggestions are really important to us, we use them to shape our plans to improve your Service. For example, feedback from users in 2016/17 led to:

  • Desks with plugs in the Library Reading Room
  • Whiteboards for group study
  • USB chargers for your devices
  • Number pads for laptops
  • Screen wipes for laptops
  • Improved Inter Library Loan request form
  • Improvements to the Wellcome Gallery




Obituary: Professor Basia Zaba

It is with great sadness that we announce that Basia Zaba, Professor of Medical Demogrpahy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, passed away on Thursday 12 July. Her family was with her at the time. She will be hugely missed by many – not just in the School, but around the world. She leaves an enormous legacy, primarily through her work on demographic estimation and population-level HIV surveillance, and her mentorship and guidance of generations of demographers in the School and overseas.

Basia started her long association with the School in 1975 when she enrolled to study Medical Demography. She stayed on to work as a Research Fellow, leaving in 1980 to spend 8 years in Trinidad. She initially worked for the UN Economic Commission for Latin America, and later took a part-time position at the University of the West Indies, to tie in with her new family responsibilities. On her return to LSHTM in 1988 she was awarded an ESRC fellowship that enabled her to conduct fieldwork in Mwanza, Tanzania. This convinced her that HIV/AIDS was the outstanding health, demographic and development problem facing the region, and since the mid-90s she worked more or less exclusively in this field. Her far-sighted, seminal work in this area – including the establishment of the ALPHA network of population surveillance sites – led to increasing international recognition and internal promotion. Basia became Professor of Medical Demography in June 2008 and Head of the Department of Population Health in August 2015.

Basia was diagnosed with cancer in early 2016.  With her typical passion for science, she promptly enrolled in a clinical trial for a novel therapy and got on with her life, continuing to work with undimmed drive and enthusiasm. She simply took an occasional day off to undergo rounds of therapy. She even continued as Head of Department until May last year, and only stopped coming into the Department a few weeks ago, when her illness took a sudden and very serious turn for the worse.

She was a keen cyclist, a massive fan of Manchester United and great fun to be around. She has been, and will continue to be, a huge inspiration to many.

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Upgrading seminar: Human resources for maternal and child health in China

Human resources for maternal and child health in China


Speaker: Huan Zhang


Supervisors: Carine Ronsmans, Georges Reniers, & Xiaoyun Liu (Peking University)


Date: Wednesday 18th July

Time: 12:45

Venue: Room LG9, Keppel Street



China has achieved spectacular success in maternal and child health (MCH) over the last sixty years. Human resources for health (HRH) have been important in this progress, but a thorough understanding of how HRH have contributed to better health, particularly better MCH, is lacking. Little is known about the MCH workforce – i.e. what training they have received and how they are certified – and their density in relation to the number of births. The health system in China is facing deep-rooted problem of human resource imbalance coupled with challenges due to the relaxation of the birth control policy. Putting in place the HRH needed for MCH services towards universal access is a pressing task.



The overall aim of my PhD is to gain a better understanding of the contribution of HRH to improvements in MCH in China in the past and in the future. I will look back at trends in MCH outcomes since 1950 and examine if and how HRH have contributed to this success; I will describe the current profile of MCH workers and how this varies by hospital; I will model future changes in the birth composition between 2015 and 2030 in order to project future HRH needs; and I will evaluate a currently ongoing HRH policy in order to estimate future HRH supply in rural and remote areas by 2030.

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The HIV Prevention Cascade – Infographic Released (July 2018)

A new framework called the HIV Prevention Cascade helps us to use everything we know about the virus for more effective prevention. This infographic explains how the Prevention Cascade works, using the example of PrEP as a direct prevention mechanism for the population of vulnerable adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Find the full length version here.
Find an abridged version here.

Related reading
Journal publication: The HIV prevention cascade: integrating theories of epidemiological, behavioural, and social science into programme design and monitoring
Journal publication: Providing a conceptual framework for HIV prevention cascades and assessing feasibility of empirical measurement with data from east Zimbabwe: a case study

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5 – 11 July 2018

NHS at 70

Dina Balabanova joins BBC World Service Radio’s Health Check programme discussing the 70th birthday of the NHS and how it has influenced other health systems around the world.

Martin Gorsky is interviewed on BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback programme (from 00h07m50s) reflecting on the creation of the NHS and whether the Service has stuck to its founding principles.


James Logan is quoted by Vogue on why some people maybe more attractive to mosquitoes than others: “The most recent discovery is that we know that [it’s] hereditary.” James also provides his expert advice to the Daily Mail and The Sun on how to avoid being bitten by insects this summer.

Phillippe Mayaud provides comment to CNN International on new guidelines to prevent the STD known as MGen from developing into a superbug: “Information on global rates of MGen are hazy at best…however, he believes that about 3% of the population globally has it.

SHEFS Annual Meeting 2018

SHEFS team photo Durban May 2018

SHEFS Research Group in Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Photo Credit: Christine Cuénod


From 15 to 18th May 2018, the SHEFS Research Group held their annual project meeting in Kloof, Kwa-Zulu Natal. The meeting was organised by the SHEFS South Africa team, led by Professor Rob Slotow of UKZN.

The SHEFS project started in May 2017 and the collaborative research-groups – in South Africa, India, and the UK – have been steadily growing in number over the past years.

One of the main objectives of the meeting was to update each other on ongoing and planned research in SHEFS. Topics were wide ranging and diverse, including small scale chicken farming in KwaZulu-Natal, processed foods in India, and the effects of environmental change on fruit and vegetable intake in the UK.

Additionally, the meeting formed a great opportunity to meet each other in person and engage with local, province and national stakeholders from South Africa. Approximately 60 participants – both SHEFS project team members and stakeholders – participated in the meeting over the 4 days. Non-SHEFS participants included representatives from the governmental departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Health, KZN Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the eThekwini Municipality, as wells as individuals from public and private organisations. This gave us a unique opportunity to further work out ideas for policy-relevant research to take forward in SHEFS.

For more details on the meeting see here.

Collection of the Month: Professor Robert Leiper

Professor Robert Leiper as a young man

Professor Robert Leiper as a young man

When considering the foundation of the School we often refer to esteemed staff such as Sir Patrick Manson, but often overlooked are the dedicated and accomplished members of staff like helminthologist Professor Robert Leiper who helped establish the School in its early days.

Leiper joined the School in 1905 while it was still based at the London Docks and prior to its emergence as the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 1921. Here, Leiper became the first professor of helminthology at the University of London, supposedly, personally chosen by Sir Patrick Manson. During his time at the School, Leiper went on numerous research trips abroad, investigating the guinea-worm in the Gold Coast, and worked under the guidance of German zoologist and helminthologist Arthur Looss at the University of Cairo. In addition to his research, Leiper founded the Journal of Helminthology and the Helminthological Abstracts, and was Director of the Prosectorium of the London Zoological Gardens

Leiper’s passion extended beyond helminthology, proving himself to be a guiding force in matters of the School helping to decide policies and manage its affairs; Sir Philip Manson-Bahr stated that it was probably his guidance that the London School of Hygiene merged with the Tropical School after the Athlone Report in 1921. Moreover, Leiper led the School on several occasions, stepping in as acting Dean of LSHTM.

Leiper in the front row, third from the right, near to Sir Patrick Manson

Leiper in the front row, third from the right, near to Sir Patrick Manson

Robert Leiper is probably best known at the School for the Institute of Parasitology that was based at Winches Farm in St Albans that he both set-up and directed. During its 68 year history the Institute conducted important research work into schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, malaria, trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis. Although the site was closed down in 1992, its work carried on at Keppel Street.

Although not directly involved in its creation, his dedication and guidance helped to establish the School in the early days and his mark was left long after his retirement in 1947.

Leiper’s papers relate to his work, life and research. Please contact the Archives team if you wish to view the collection.

IAS 2018 – Conference Pathway (July 2018)

MeSH has produced a conference pathway for IAS 2018 to highlight key sessions on epidemiology, metrics, and the use of routine HIV data.

IAS 2018 – MeSH Conference Pathway – Find it here

The first objective of the upcoming 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam is to present new research findings and advance knowledge on HIV. Key to the advancement of knowledge is data; robust data that support HIV prevention and care activities, inform advocacy, secure resources, and create an environment conducive to better rights.

Recognising we have entered a new phase with intensive data requirements, the MeSH Consortium, based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is developing, testing and implementing innovative and efficient methods to routinely measure and monitor progress toward treating all and reducing the number of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths. We are driving a shift from using routine HIV data purely for descriptive purposes towards directly informing and improving clinical care and program performance.

With interest in efforts to improve the collection and use of quality HIV data increasing, MeSH has produced a Conference Pathway to highlight and promote sessions on epidemiology, metrics, and the use of routine HIV data. Travelling along this pathway takes you to a number of sessions where novel research taken forward by MeSH is to be presented. Key amongst these are two sessions on the Thursday afternoon (double-sided cascade & I want your sex). The Pathway also helpfully provides details on available resources for maximising the potential of data routinely collected through HIV surveillance and service delivery platforms.

Only by strengthening the collection, analysis and use of routine HIV data can we sustainably inform prevention and treatment monitoring and transform the insights we have into tracking HIV incidence decline. The sessions highlighted in the pathway will advance our knowledge on how best to leverage routine data so that they efficiently provide timely information at a local level to inform action, as well as provide information at scale with wide geographic coverage to strengthen estimation efforts

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SUPPLEMENT LAUNCH: Strengthening health system leadership for better governance: what does it take?

By Lucy Gilson (University of Cape Town)

Why is health system leadership so important? And what can be done to improve health system leadership in low- and middle-income countries for better governance? A new supplement in Health Policy and Planning addresses these questions providing evidence of leadership in public hospital settings and of existing initiatives put in place to strengthen leadership in Africa and have been written by predominantly African author teams.

What are the lessons that can be learnt from this supplement?

The key messages from these papers demonstrate the weaknesses of current leadership practices –  which commonly involve authoritarian approaches and power plays and often work to undermine staff motivation, and have knock-on negative consequences for patient care. However,  these practices are also reflective of critical features of the broader public sector context. Such features not only include resource shortages, but also features of organizational culture such as centralized decision-making, individualized decision-making and medical professionals’ dominance.

Nonetheless, these papers do also provide evidence that participatory leadership practices, such as encouraging teamwork, building relationships, creating a supportive environment and spreading motivation, can offer opportunities to encourage positive staff attitudes. Current African health leaders also judge these types of leadership practices are vital in strengthening health systems.

Overall, then, these experiences show that the status quo of poor leadership and constraining contexts simply must be disrupted  – with changes are required at individual, team and system levels. Context-specific health leadership development interventions are needed and can be supported by research that acknowledges and engages with that context.

Articles in this supplement

  • Editorial: Strengthening health system leadership for better governance: what does it take?
  • Article: Leadership and the functioning of maternal health services in two rural district hospitals in South Africa
  • Article: Leadership styles in two Ghanaian hospitals in a challenging environment
  • Article: Examining clinical leadership in Kenyan public hospitals through the distributed leadership lens
  • Article: Strategic Leadership Capacity Building for Sub-Saharan African Health Systems and Public Health Governance:  A multi-country assessment of essential competencies and optimal design for a Pan African DrPH
  • Article: Achievements and challenges in developing health leadership in South Africa: the experience of the Oliver Tambo Fellowship Programme 2008-2014
  • Article: Enabling relational leadership in primary healthcare settings: lessons from the DIALHS collaboration

You may also listen to the podcast discussing papers from this supplement here.

Speakers include authors Assoc Prof Susan Cleary, Dr Matilda Aberese Ako, Dr Jacinta Mwikali Nzinga and also a health manager, Soraya Elloker, who worked with Susan in one sub-district in Cape Town. A very interesting and thoughtful debate concerning health system leadership and development in Africa and wider applicability to other low-resource settings.

Image credit: Susan Cleary