Library & Archives Service BookSwap

Fancy reading something non-academic this summer? Looking to refresh your own collection at home? Why not try the Library & Archives Service BookSwap scheme. Running for several years now, BookSwap continues to be extremely popular among LAS users.
Located just inside the foyer, our growing selection accommodates all sorts of literature tastes: popular and classic fiction; biography and autobiography; we even have one or two travel guides!
So feel free to have a browse, choose something to take home, and if there’s any books you’d like to donate in return, we’d be really grateful. Please ask a member of staff at the enquiries desk if you want to find out more.

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5 – 11 June 2017

Heidi Larson provides comment to CNN on the vaccination challenges in Europe: “I think the main point is that while there is overall good vaccine acceptance in Europe, there are clear trends reflecting more questioning about vaccines.” The article generates coverage in over 50 regional papers across the US.

AFP report on a study published in the new Lancet Series on Health in Humanitarian Crises, led by the School, which shows WhatsApp is being successfully used to monitor attacks on healthcare workers in Syria. The article generates coverage in the Daily Mail, Yahoo and France24.

News Deeply compile a list of 11 experts to watch on refugee health, including Karl Blanchet and Francesco Checchi.

Chris Drakeley is quoted by The Star (Malaysia) about a study led by the School that found male farmers are at higher risk of contracting ‘monkey malaria’ in Malaysia: “Conventional approaches used to tackle malaria such as drugs or bed nets cannot be used to combat P. knowlesi as monkeys are the host and the risk is associated with outdoor work. Our study offers important insight into where social interventions are likely to have the biggest impact.” The study is also reported in Free Malaysia Today, Business Standard (India) and The Week (India).

Julian Eaton is interviewed by BBC World TV’s Focus on Africa programme, discussing mental health in areas that have suffered long-term conflict and violence.

BBC Radio Gloucester (from 1h44m10s) interview Ailie Robinson and Will Stone at the Cheltenham Science Festival about their event ‘The Story of the Mosquito’. Will said [Mosquitoes] are a tremendous challenge. Close to a million deaths every year are caused by mosquito-borne diseases and we are here in honour of Ronald Ross’ discovery that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes. Malaria alone causes about two-thirds of those deaths every year.”

Joy Lawn provides comment to The Observer on studies that investigate why women live longer than men: “When we were there on the neonatal unit and a boy came out, you were taught that, statistically, the boy is more likely to die.”

“Let’s Face It” – 2017 Alumni Photo Competition Results

The 2017 Alumni Photo Competition with the theme “Let’s Face It” closed at the end of May. We received over 40 entries that highlighted the variety of experiences our alumni encounter on a daily basis. The quality of entries was excellent and we are pleased to announce that this year’s winner is Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (DTMH) alumnus (2016), Dr Alexander Kumar with his striking image “Love in the time of Zika”.

UntitledAlexander said: “Love in the time of Zika – where there is love, there is hope. I took this image while on a research visit to a neurological rehabilitation centre in North East Brazil. Loving mother Anacarla cradles her baby boy Jose-davi affected by Zika-microcephaly. The true burden of the cognitive impairment associated with Zika-microcephaly is still yet unknown and will challenge Brazil’s public health system requiring a multidisciplinary effort to overcome these challenges. A colouring book with Peter Pan on its cover sits in the foreground.”


IMG_4991 MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases alumna (2016), Katina Zeligman-Sommers is our first runner up with her photo entitled “Facing Trachoma”. Katina said: “This young girl takes part in the daily washing routine, common before leaving the compound, in rural Ethiopia. In this region of Oromia trachoma prevalence rates are upwards of 40% in children aged 1-9 years”.



Version 2DTMH alumnus (2006), Dr Dan Wiklund is our second runner up for one of his images entered in a series entitled “Faces of NGO Medical Work”. Dan said “[we’ve worked] in 150 countries since 1985 and [we] just finished our 20th medical outreach in Cameroon where over those years we have seen in this single country over 100,000 patients; pulled nearly 15,000 decayed, painful teeth; dispensed over 16,000 glasses; performed some 500 surgeries; and, hopefully saved from death hundreds of children from Malaria, Onchocerciasis, Leishmaniasis, Typhoid and innumerable other infectious diseases. No research yet has evaluated the benefit of non-governmental organizations impact on global health. Every year thousands of NGO’s are doing work in hundreds of countries”.

Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s photo competition. The winning entry will feature on the front cover of this year’s alumni magazine. We will also be using other entries in School publications and other materials to showcase the inspiring work of our alumni community.

Request-a-Copy Button and Copyright Law

‘Request-a-copy’ Button

The School’s repository, Research Online, includes items that are open access, meaning they are freely available online, or closed access, meaning that they are not freely available online for a certain period of time or forever. If the article you wish to consult is one of the latter, fear not, as there is the ‘request-a-copy’ button!


This button acts as a guard to make sure we follow copyright law. Copyright is a collection of rights that govern the copying of a published work. Many people think that if a work is closed access and/or the Publisher is copyrighted that the distribution of this work is prohibited. This, however, is not entirely true. Just as a guard must monitor that only the ‘right visitors’ have access to the palace and the right to enjoy its bounties, the ‘request-a-copy’ button does this for protecting access to closed access items.


Under the Fair Dealing Provisions of Copyright, publications are allowed to be distributed for specific purposes: research, study, criticism and new reporting. The ‘request-a-copy’ button enables the distribution of published material for these purposes.

When one presses the ‘request-a-copy’ button a screen pops up asking for one’s email address and the reason for the request.


This email, i.e. envoy, is sent to the author, i.e. the king or queen, who decides whether or not to accept the request or not. If the request is accepted, an email with the article is sent to the individual who made the request. If the request is denied, an email is sent stating this. The ‘request-a-copy’ allows for all publications to be in the School’s repository without violating copyright law. For more on the specifics of copyright law and research, see:


UK ME/CFS Biobank at LSHTM

Written by Klea Isufi

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), causes severe and debilitating fatigue with painful muscles and joints, disordered sleep, gastric disturbances, and poor memory and concentration among other symptoms. In some cases, a viral infection, such as glandular fever, is linked to the onset of ME, although a definitive cause is yet to be discovered.

Many people are unaware of the existence of ME/CFS, yet it is estimated that up to 250,000 people in the UK are affected by this illness. Some people have thought of it as psychological in origin or representing general tiredness, however, ME/CFS is a long-term and disabling medical condition characterised by severe and overwhelming fatigue. People with ME can experience extreme disruptions to their everyday life. Some are unable to work or undertake the physical activities of everyday living without collapsing. Social life is affected as a result of being unable to get involved in events and outings, which can lead to isolation, detachment, and in some cases, depression.

There is cynicism around ME and often people are not given appropriate support from healthcare systems or family and friends, who may not understand the condition and its severity. It is therefore vital that we find a biological marker for ME/CFS so that we can progress towards developing a robust diagnostic method, and seeking effective treatments.

At the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, we are driving clinical and biomedical research for recognition, diagnosis and treatment of ME/CFS. We are home to the UK ME/CFS Biobank, which functions as an open resource for research leading to the discovery of biomarkers for the diagnosis prognosis and stratification (sub-grouping) of cases, and the facilitation of a wide range of research studies now and in the future.


The CureME team in 2016

The UK ME/CFS Biobank began five years ago and currently stores samples from over 500 donors, representing those with ME/CFS, Multiple Sclerosis (MS – a control group) and healthy control donors. Over 30,000 aliquots of blood (collected over two time-points) have been processed and are currently stored at the UCL/RFH BioBank in London. The samples are the first collected in the UK to be made available to external researchers internationally on application.

Collecting and storing blood and data for research are costly procedures, and we need your help to ensure that we can continue this life-changing research to help people suffering from a condition that is so often overlooked. It costs approximately £2,500 to collect and store blood and data from one person at one time point. We want to enhance data collection and analysis and expand biomedical research in the field of ME/CFS. Any gift at any level towards the UK ME/CFS Biobank helps us push forward our mission and make an impact on thousands of lives.

Please visit the following page to support our work today: 

Images courtesy of the CureME team.

Feature image shows liquid nitrogen storage freezers at the UCL/RFH BioBank.

Vacancy for a Assistant Professor in Epidemiology and Impact Evaluation @LSHTM

Job opportunity: Assistant Professor in Epidemiology and Impact Evaluation

Salary:   £44,226 to £50,629 per annum, inclusive.
Closing Date:   Monday 19 June 2017
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  EPH-PH-37

We are seeking to appoint an experienced and highly motivated epidemiologist as an Assistant Professor within the Population Studies Group (PSG) and Department of Population Health (DPH). The post holder will work collaboratively with an inter-disciplinary research team at LSHTM and with partners in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe, to contribute to the implementation, analysis, writing and dissemination of results from studies designed to evaluate the impact of PEPFAR investments in HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women (an initiative called DREAMS).

More details can be found here:

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Vacancy for a Research Fellow in Medical Statistics and Epidemiology @LSHTM

Job opportunity: Research Fellow in Medical Statistics and Epidemiology

Salary:   £37,889 to £43,028 per annum inclusive
Closing Date:   Sunday 25 June 2017
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  EPH-PH-36

We are seeking to appoint a highly motivated Research Fellow within the Population Studies Group (PSG) and Department of Population Health (DPH). The post holder will work collaboratively with an inter-disciplinary research team at LSHTM and with partners in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe, to contribute to the impact and causal analyses of data generated from studies evaluating the impact of PEPFAR investments in HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women (an initiative called DREAMS).

More details can be found here:

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Staff & Student Photo Competition 2017

We are delighted to introduce our new photo competition for staff & students and invite all budding photographers to share photos of your experiences studying and working at the School, both in London and around the world.

There are two categories with prizes available to both staff and students, and a third kindly sponsored by the MARCH Centre which will have one overall winner.

The deadline for entries is Sunday 6th August and all entries should be sent to along with the required photo consent forms. See below for the competition rules.

Category 1: A typical day working/studying at the School

Show us what you love about your day-to-day experiences at the School, whether through research or teaching, or studying in London or by distance learning.

  • 1st prize for staff: £75
  • 1st prize for students: £75

Category 2: Research and projects in the field

We have staff and students working on field research and summer projects in dozens of countries, so show us how the School makes a difference worldwide.

  • 1st prize for staff: £75
  • 1st prize for students: £75

Category 3: Adolescents, women, newborns, and children

Show us the School in action working to improve the health of women, adolescents, newborns, and children worldwide.

  • 1st prize for staff or students: £75 & a star place in the MARCH Centre report

Here are some previous competition winners and other top photos to help inspire you:

Competition rules

– All entries must be sent to – All photos including identifiable individuals must be accompanied by a consent form completed by the subject or by their parent or guardian if under 16 years of age (full guidelines available on the intranet):

– Staff and students may enter up to three photos per category. All photos should be clearly labelled to indicate the category they are being entered for.
– Each category will be judged by a panel and winners will be notified by Friday 18th August.
– Please provide a caption/description for each photo (maximum 30 words) which may be included in print and digital publications and on social media. The caption may be edited.
– Entries must be available in high resolution (300dpi) and full colour (no black & white and no filters).
– Entries will be judged on originality, quality, composition and appropriateness to the theme.
– Entries may appear on the School’s photo library, Assetbank, which is accessible to School staff and students.
– Entries may be used for promotional purposes e.g. School website, prospectus and other publications, social media platforms, exhibitions, postcards etc.
– Copyright – by entering the competition, competitors warrant that they own the copyright in their photograph and they give consent to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to store the image and reproduce it in any School-related publication or medium.

Celebrating alumni awards and achievements

Over the last few months we have received fantastic news of awards and achievements from our alumni network. In case you missed any of the announcements, here is a roundup of how some of our alumni are being recognised around the world.

On 23 May 2017 the World Health Assembly elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General.

Dr Ghebreyesus, an MSc Immunology of Infectious Disease alumnus (1992), and an Honorary Fellow (2012) was selected from a shortlist that included two other tedroscandidates, Pakistan candidate Dr Sania Nishtar and UK candidate Dr David Nabarro. Dr Nabarro is also an alumnus of the School; he studied an MSc Community Health in Developing Countries in 1979 and was awarded an Honorary Fellow in 1999.

Prior to being elected as the next WHO Director-General, Dr Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012–2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia from 2005–2012. He has also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board, and as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

On the announcement of his new position, Dr Ghebreyesus received an outpour of support from LSHTM staff, students, alumni and friends of the School on the Alumni Facebook page and other social media platforms. He took time to thank the LSHTM community on Twitter for recognising his achievement.

Dr Ghebreyesus will begin his five-year term as WHO Director-General on 1 July 2017, succeeding Dr Margaret Chan who has been WHO Director-General since 1 January 2007.

On 3 May the Government of Dominica nominated Dr. Carissa F. Etienne for a second term as Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, the secretariat of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The PAHO serves as the regional office for the Americas of WHO and is the specialized health agency of the inter-American system. Dr Etienne a medical doctor and an MSc Community Health in Developing Countries alumna (1982) was elected Director of PAHO in September 2012 and began her five-year term on February 1, 2013. PAHO Member States will elect the new Director during the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference, scheduled for 25-29 September 2017 in Washington, D.C.

On 23 May we received the news that PhD in Public Health alumna (2010) Dr. Sylvia Struck was selected as one of 80 women who will be part of the Homeward Bound leadership initiative for women in STEMM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Medicine) that culminates in a trip to Antarctica.

In April 2017, alumna Dr Celina Turchi was named one of the Time 100 Most Influential People for 2017. Dr Turchi is an infectious disease specialist who studied an MSc Epidemiology at the School in 1991 has lead the Brazilian microcephaly research effort in partnership with LSHTM Professor Laura Rodrigues. Dr Turchi’s studies were part of an emergency investigation that ultimately proved that Zika does indeed cause microcephaly.

On 7 March 2017, MSc Infection & Health in the Tropics alumna (1996), Dr. Joy Pamela Rendi-Wagner was appointed Minister of Health and Women for Austria. Dr Rendi-Wagner has worked internationally as a scientist in the areas of infection epidemiology, vaccine prevention and travel medicine. Her achievements include setting up a network for nationwide epidemiological monitoring of major infectious diseases. As a result of her research, the recommended interval for tick protection vaccinations was extended from three to five years.

Feature Image 2 copyIn April 2017 Dr. Cesar Victora, PhD in Health Care Epidemiology alumnus (1983) won the prestigious 2017 Gairdner Global Health Award. On 17 March 2017 MSc Medical Microbiology alumnus (1981), Professor Barry Cookson won the Royal College of Physicians’ Excellence in Patience Care Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. On 16 February 2017 MSc in Medical Entomology (1996) and MPhil/PhD in Infectious and Tropical Diseases (2000-2006) alumnus, Dr. Pablo Manrique won the British Council Alumni Award 2017 for Social Impact. Read more about Cesar Victora, Barry Cookson and Pablo Manrique on the Alumni Blog.

Congratulations to everyone!

We love to celebrate and recognise the achievements of our alumni and we are so proud to see our mission of improving health worldwide in action through our alumni community. If you have an achievement that you would like to share on the Alumni Blog, please contact us at

Frameworks to assess health system governance

By Thidar Pyone, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Governance has previously been measured by assessing the performance of health indicators at the national level and has not been assessed at the sub-national level. There are various tools and frameworks for assessing governance, but no critical evaluation of these. Our primary aim of conducting this review was to identify a framework which we could use in our health system and policy research. This will also help us move forward the debate in this area by providing an overview of all available frameworks, their theoretical basis, and their usefulness for assessing governance at the sub-national level.

Governance is a neglected agenda in health system and policy research

Governance is a diffuse concept with the lack of clarity on what it comprises. Governance had originated from different disciplines before it was introduced into health systems research.

Before conducting this review, I viewed governance as a concept linked to international development; I may have been influenced by my professional as a medical doctor with several years of experience in public health. Doing this review helped me to realise that it may be beneficial to explore governance not only from the standpoint of international development but different disciplinary perspectives. Political science, new institutional economics and international development have all shaped the concept of governance and how it is interpreted in health systems research.

Which frameworks are available to assess governance in the health system?

In our Health Policy and Planning paper, we identified 16 frameworks in total, published between 2004 to 2014 and the first published application in the health systems research was in 2009. Most of the frameworks (9) originated from the discipline of new institutional economics (NIE) which focuses on the role of institutions and shape interactions among organisations within the system.

Which frameworks are the most commonly used?

The framework of Brinkerhoff & Bossert based on the “principal-agent theory” seems to be the most widely used one in assessing governance in health systems. The “principal-agent” theory was adopted in several studies to assess governance.

There are growing numbers of frameworks adopting qualitative research methods (interviews and focus group discussions) to provide an in-depth explanation of the governance. On the other hand, there are frameworks which offer quantitative measurement to assess governance across settings such as ranking or scoring governance principles which are usually presented as summary measures.

From this review, we believe that governance is so context-specific and we cannot recommend one unified framework as no single, agreed framework can serve all purposes.

What next in assessment of health systems governance?

In summary, governance is a “set of actions and processes” and needs to be operationalised by individuals at different levels in the health system. Governance is not an “apolitical” process, and there are no absolute principles that define governance; it is a diffuse concept that cuts across disciplines and borrows from a range of theories. However, whether it is applied to health systems or political science, governance is concerned with how different actors in a given system or organisation function and operate and the reasons for this.

In the context of health systems governance, based on our review, we think that governance can be assessed and should be approached by identifying what governance arrangements are considered appropriate for a particular context. So we believe a multidisciplinary approach to assessment is necessary.

What do you think? Have you tried to assess governance in the health system? What did you learn in the process?

The relevant paper can be accessed here:

Image credit: Blue Coat Photos