Apply for the Study UK Alumni Awards 2017-18

The Study UK Alumni Awards 2017-18 are now open for applications!

As alumni of the School, who have gone on make a difference in your communities, professions and countries, we encourage you to apply.

The Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education.

The benefits of applying for an Alumni Award are far reaching. You will raise your profile, extend your professional networks, and share your success with the world.

The awards operate on three levels: national, regional and global awards. There are three award categories at each award level: the Professional Achievement Award, the Entrepreneurial Award and the Social Impact Award.

We are very proud to have had alumni win the Social Impact Award three years in a row.

Dr Pablo Manrique won the Social Impact Award in 2017 for his research in developing innovative interventions and improving methods of controlling mosquitoes to eradicate the transmission of dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

Dr Patricia Mechael won the Social Impact Award in 2016 for her research on mobile phones in health.

Dr Rajesh Babu won the Social Impact Award in 2015 for his contribution to eye health and public health in India.

For more information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit the British Council website. Applications close on 2 October 2017.

Scholarship Opportunity!: 2018/19 Chevening Scholarship – Apply now!

2018/19 CHEVENING SCHOLARSHIP


Applications are open
Applications for 2018/2019 Chevening Scholarships and some Chevening Fellowships are open.
Please read the information on this page carefully prior to applying and subscribe to our newsletter for tips and updates on how to prepare and how to apply.
Applications for 2018/2019 Chevening Scholarships and some Chevening Fellowships close on 7 November 2017.

Before you apply for a Chevening Scholarship
Before starting your Chevening Scholarship application, you may wish to familiarise yourself with the following requirements:

In order to apply for a Chevening Scholarship
Once applications are open, please navigate to your country’s application centre in order to start your application. The video below shows you how to get there:

In order to submit your Chevening Scholarship application, it is essential that you have the following ready:

  • Valid passport/national ID card
  • University transcripts and degree certificates (undergraduate, postgraduate)
  • Three different UK master’s course choices

You may also wish to submit the following optional documents if you already meet the requirements. You can submit your initial application without these documents, but you will have to upload them to your application by 12 July 2018:

  • English language test results
  • UK master’s university offer

Only documents in PDF format can be uploaded to the online application system, and documents cannot be over 5MB in size.
Please note that if you are eventually conditionally selected for a Chevening Scholarship, it is essential that you provide evidence that you meet the Chevening English language requirements and that you have at least one unconditional offer from an eligible course before 12 July 2018 in order to remain in the process.

After you have applied for a Chevening Scholarship
To find out what happens once you’ve submitted your application, please refer to the application timeline.
If you are selected for an interview, please refer to our interview guidance.
Remember, if you are invited to an interview, you will be required to submit two complete references via the online application system no later than 26 February 2018. If you have not submitted your documentation by this deadline, you will be unable to proceed with an interview.

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ICED Newsletter: August 2017

Dear all,

Summer is in full swing and I am sure that many of you are enjoying your holidays, and are scattered across the globe.

I am writing this newsletter from Brazil, where I am based for one month to work on various projects around babies affected by Zika, as well as around rehabilitation in general. I have been having a wonderful time seeing projects in action and deepening collaborations. This week we have started training facilitators for our support programme for carers of babies with Congenital Zika Syndrome. We are training Expert Mothers and Therapists to together deliver a structured programme to parent groups in the communities. The programme is based on the “Getting to Know Cerebral Palsy” programme, also developed by ICED. See “Focus on…” section below for more on our work on Zika.

We have good news at ICED! Joerg Weber has now passed his PhD, which focused on the development of participatory tools for evaluating Community Based Rehabilitation. Islay Mactaggart has also passed her PhD subject to minor corrections. Her research focused on different aspects of measuring disability, and assessing the impact of disability, in Cameroon and India. Congratulations to both of them!

We are hiring! We are looking for a new project coordinator within the Disability & Eye Health Group. The role holder will work across the International Centre for Eye Health and the International Centre for Evidence in Disability. The closing date is Tuesday 15th August 2017.  Details Here

Best wishes,

Hannah Kuper

International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

We have reached more than 1200 followers on Twitter – please follow us @ICED_LSHTM.

Publications and Presentations

  • A new blog was published for the Washington Group series by Islay Mactaggart and Morgon Banks. It focussed on the use of the Washington Group Questions in Surveys and draws on experiences from Cameroon, India and Guatemala. Read Here
  • Maria Zuurmond and colleagues conducted in-depth interviews with 31 families, as well as key informant interviews and focus group discussions to explore Childhood disability in Turkana, Kenya. Specifically, they focused on understanding how carers cope in a complex humanitarian setting. The paper was published in the African Journal of Disability and is now available in Pubmed. Read Here
  • Joerg Weber and colleagues at the WHO and beyond worked to develop and test indicators for monitoring Community-Based Rehabilitation. Ultimately 13 base indicators and 27 supplementary indicators were identified for use. The paper describing the process and outcome is published in Plos One: Access Here
  • The ICED Training Manual ‘Getting to Know Cerebral Palsy’ is now available in French Read Here
  • In collaboration with Plan International, we developed guidelines for consulting with children and young people with disabilities. These have now been translated so that they are available in English, French and Portuguese. Access Here

Focus on: Zika-related activities at ICED

The Zika epidemic struck in 2015 and has now receded. What has been left are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of babies affected by Congenital Zika Syndrome and their families who care for them, mostly in Brazil. The Syndrome has variable presentation, and can include microcephaly (where the baby has a very small head) as well as broad-ranging developmental delay. ICED has been working on a number of projects related to Congenital Zika Syndrome, including:

  • Social and Economic Impact of Congenital Zika Syndrome: This project uses quantitative and qualitative data collection to explore the broad impact of Congenital Zika Syndrome for carers (e.g. economic impact, depression and anxiety) as well as for people in the community (e.g. reproductive decision making) and pregnant women. Funded by Wellcome and DfID and ZikaPlan (EU).
  • Development of Parent Based Intervention for Congenital Zika Syndrome: We are developing and testing a 10 session training programme to support the needs of and empower carers of babies with congenital Zika syndrome. The sessions are conducting in the community and include practical aspects of care, such as feeding and positioning, but also focus on fulfilment of rights and emotional support for carers. Funded by Wellcome and DfID.
  • Health care provider training: An identified gap that the Zika epidemic has revealed is the lack of knowledge of health care providers around childhood disability. We are working with partners in Brazil to develop an Online Training course around childhood disability, using a rights based perspective, and providing practical guidance. Funded by Newton Fund.Upcoming

Seminars and Events at LSHTM

We are taking a break over the summer, and will launch the ICED Disability Seminar Series 2017 – 2018 in September. In the meantime, you can find audio with power-point of past seminars available on our website

Other news

We are hiring! We are looking for a new project coordinator within the Disability & Eye Health Group. The role holder will work across the International Centre for Eye Health and the International Centre for Evidence in Disability. The closing date is Tuesday 15th August 2017.  More Details Here

Work Experience Programme at ICED

We have launched our work experience programme for people with disabilities seeking experience in research. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about joining our team in this capacity: .

Upcoming Conferences

  • Global Evidence Summit, Cape Town, South Africa, 13-16 September, 2017. Information Here
  • Second International Developmental Pediatrics Association Congress. Mumbai, India, 7-10 December 2017. Read Here
  • 2018 Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine conference, Auckland, New Zeeland 21-24 March, 2018. Read Here This conference aims to have increased emphasis on leadership development in this area in LMIC, with scholarships available.

We are making every effort to make all our research findings widely available, and have launched a Resource Webpage where you can find our key reports and manuals. Resource Website Here

Have you seen this?

Look up this great resource by UCLA Public Health that maps constitutional and international rights globally, and can be disaggregated by disability, amongst other things. View Here

And to make you Smile… A video of Pharrel’s Smile in Sign Language: View Here

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Amino acid transport and drug efficacy

Back in 2012, we published our study decoding the anti-T. brucei drug efficacy determinants – or parasite proteins critical to drug action, such as drug transporters and activators. This identified a slew of proteins that drive the action of the five anti-HAT drugs. More recently, we’ve been following up on a few of these proteins, leading to our 2015 paper on the role of two deubiquitinases in suramin action. In July, we published a paper in the FASEB Journal describing a pair of ornithine-transporting amino acid transporters (or AATs) that impact suramin and eflornithine efficacy.

AAT10.1 was identified in our original RNAi library screen. We confirmed that it’s loss led to reduced suramin efficacy, but remarkably we found AAT10.1 loss also increased eflornithine sensitivity. This led us to speculate that it might be transporting ornithine, as loss of ornithine-spermidine pathway enzymes has similar opposing effects on these drugs. Work by Juan Macedo while in Doris Rentsch’s lab confirmed this, and added to the complexity, identifying a second AAT not seen in the original screen. Intriguingly, AAT2.4’s ability to transport ornithine is dependent on exogenous histidine levels – when they’re high, ornithine can only be taken up by AAT10.1, probably explaining why we didn’t identify AAT2.4 in our original screen (histidine is very abundant in T. brucei culture media).

These results highlight how distant processes can influence drug action – neither transporter interacts with either drug, yet both can have a significant influence on drug efficacy. Finally, the impact of AAT10.1 loss on eflornithine action, highlights a possible means to potentiate the efficacy of this frontline anti-HAT drug – specific inhibition of AAT10.1 may enable the use of considerably lower doses of eflornithine. However, the high degree of conservation between AATs may preclude such a development.

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24 – 30 July 2017

Peter Piot is quoted in a CNN article examining the potential impact of proposed US budget cuts on HIV/AIDS. On South Africa, Peter says: “The country has taken the epidemic response into its own hands…it now hosts the largest treatment program in the world financed for the most part from domestic resources.” The piece is run by over 60 regional US outlets.

Helena Helmby is quoted by Popular Science in a report on how scientists are trying to treat autoimmune disease with intestinal worms: “They are pathogens, I think people need to be realistic about that. We would be much better off not using live infection, but actually harnessing the product these parasites produce and then using them for anti-inflammatory treatments.”

Alan Dangour provides comment for a Financial Times (£) piece asking how we solve the obesity epidemic. Alan says that people in obese western countries may soon start ‘dying younger than earlier generations’.

FeedStuffs cover research led by Polly Roy, which found that a new vaccine design shows promise in protecting against African Horse Sickness Virus. Polly explains: “Our unique and cost-effective vaccine design could act as an example for the development of next generation of vaccines against other vector-borne diseases that undermine the horse industry.” The Horse and HorseTalk also feature the study.

The Independent cover Martin McKee’s BMJ Editorial examining the potential impact leaving Euratom will have on the UK’s access to vital medical treatments: “Although it may be possible for the UK to remain within existing arrangements, it will be exceptionally complicated and the UK’s position will inevitably be weakened.”

Daily Express feature the launch of a new School study, which will test whether some people’s genetics mean they naturally produce an attractive or repellent chemical to the insects.

Reference-based MI for Negative Binomial discrete data – R package dejaVu

The R package dejaVu, now available on CRAN, implements controlled based multiple imputation for count data, as proposed by Keene, Oliver N., et al. “Missing data sensitivity analysis for recurrent event data using controlled imputation.” Pharmaceutical Statistics 13:4 (2014): 258-264.

When used to analyse an existing partially observed dataset, the package first fits a negative binomial regression model to the observed data, assuming MAR. Multiple imputations of the counts in the periods after subjects dropout are then generated, under a user chosen assumption. Options include MAR, and the jump to reference and copy reference MNAR assumptions. Users can also write and use their own imputation mechanisms with the package.

The package was developed by the Scientific Computing and Statistical Innovation groups of the Advanced Analytics Centre at AstraZeneca.

A SAS implementation of the same methods, developed by James Roger, is available here.

Available Now: Download “Apprendre a connaitre la Paralysie Cerebrale” in French

Download “Apprendre a connaitre la Paralysie Cerebrale” in French

Download high quality versions of each module:

French translations provided by Light for the World.

© London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK. This publication can be copied, reproduced or adapted to meet local need; any or all parts of this manual, including the illustrations, provided the parts reproduced are distributed free or at cost – not for profit.

For more information about this publication please contact  and for other versions of the Cerebral Palsy Manual can be found on the official “Getting to Know Cerebral Palsy” page: here.

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Workshop on sensitivity in scientific and medical collections, 17 July 2017

The LSHTM Library & Archives service recently hosted a joint workshop with the Health Archives and Records Group (HARG) on ‘handling sensitivity issues in scientific and medical collections’. The workshop was developed partially stemming from the sensitivity issues surrounding cataloguing the Whitehall Study collection and through discussion with colleagues of a desire for greater clarity and guidance on sensitive collections within the health archive sector. The day was divided into two parts: the morning session involved presenting case studies of how various institutions and professionals had addressed sensitivity issues within their collections. In the afternoon, delegates were asked to participate in a workshop session to identify some of the practices and difficulties encountered with sensitivity issues.
The morning session involved 8 short case studies by invited speakers including the Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Medical Research, Lothian Health Service Archives, London Metropolitan Archives, University of Edinburgh, University of Bristol, Institute of Commonwealth Studies and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine [see presentation below]. The talks and discussion afterwards provided a useful mixture of highlighting difficulties and providing methodologies to certain sensitivity issues, which included: identifying gaps within sensitivity review policies; examining types of sensitive records; creating new systems to provide access, but preserve anonymity; how sensitivity decisions change over time; negotiating access with donors/donor organisations and managing access to politically sensitive oral histories.

 

[gview file=”http://blogs.lshtm.ac.uk/library/files/2017/07/LSHTM_Workshop_17-July_The-Whitehall-Study_Sensitive-records-within-a-longitudinal-health-survey.pdf”]

 

During lunch, LSHTM Cataloguing Archivist, Chris Olver, ran a drop-in session showcasing redacted examples of sensitive material within the Whitehall Study collection. This was followed by a practical session, where delegates were split into groups to discuss various aspects of sensitivity affecting archive practice. The groups’ responses were collated together onto Padlet boards, which can be found here, along with images of the posters created on the day.

 

The day highlighted a numbers of areas that required improvement within the sector, that can be surmised as: more training, both on existing legislation and broader sensitivity issues (cultural sensitivity, donor relations); greater consistency across metadata/standards and a single repository for guidance on sensitivity. It was agreed that any follow-up events would need to include wider discussion of digital sensitivities through exploring born-digital material, big data, wearable technology, and also have input from the legal profession, historians and other information management professionals.

 

Special thank you for the help in LSHTM Archive team in hosting the event and Geoff Browell (KCL) and Clare Button (University of Edinburgh) from HARG for co-creating and hosting the event at the School.

 

A full report of the proceedings of the day is available on the HARG website.

GVHC Leadership change announcement

The Gender Violence and Health Centre (GVHC) would like to thank Dr. Lori Heise for her dedicated and creative leadership in the past years. Dr. Heise has continually offered inspirational guidance to GVHC members, colleagues and students at LSHTM and partners around the world, and we are pleased that, although she is transferring to Johns Hopkins University, she we will remain a part of the Centre.

We are also extremely happy to announce that Dr. Heidi Stöckl and Dr. Ana Maria Buller are taking over as the new Director and Deputy Director of GVHC. Their leadership transition is supported by Professors Charlotte Watts, Lori Heise and Cathy Zimmerman, who founded and led GVHC in the past and will continue their involvement in the Centre’s work. 

As the new Director and Deputy Director, Heidi and Ana Maria hope to continue working closely with our current partners, as well as develop new partnerships and continue producing cutting edge evidence to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

The GVHC thanks everyone for their past support and looks forward to many years of future collaboration with our partners around the world.

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Injecting a business perspective into routine immunization programs

by Christian Suharlim (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

Cross-posted at immunizationeconomics.org.

Imagine you own a parking garage business. Half of your costs are associated with owning, building, and maintaining the property – a third for labor costs associated with managing the operations – and the rest for promotional materials, security, and insurance. Businesses often maintain detailed information on the cost structure of their operations. They use this information to help them better allocate resources, identify more efficient ways of operating, and ultimately free up funds for business expansion or profit.

However, the use of such methods to analyze public health services is less common.

In a new study published in Health Policy and Planning, a research team from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health examined the cost structure of routine immunization programs in six countries. These were Benin, Ghana, Honduras, Moldova, Uganda and Zambia.

They found that 77-93% of the total cost of immunization program was attributable to the healthcare facility. The remaining costs were primarily associated with logistical and administrative costs at the national and subnational health offices. Further unpacking the facility-level costs, they found that 63% of these costs were associated with immunization delivery via facility-based service or outreach service, with the remaining 37% spent on supply chain, program management, social mobilization, monitoring and evaluation.

Lead author Fangli Geng shared major takeaways from the findings. “We found that labor costs were a key driver of the facility-level delivery costs.  When we compare more and less efficient sites, we find that labor costs explain a lot of this difference. At the moment, we’re exploring to what extent these costs are explained by contextual factors such as geographical barriers or improved quality,” she said.

“Management and administrative activities account for about a third of facility-level delivery costs.” Geng continued. “Innovations that make these activities more efficient could free up substantial resources to provide better services for underserved populations, such as those in geographically remote areas and the socially marginalized.”

This study comes at a time where novel methods are being piloted in the field of immunization delivery. In October of last year, Gavi partnered with UPS and Zipline to use drone technology to deliver blood supplies to health clinics in Rwanda. This drone-assisted blood supplies delivery serve as a test for other health purposes, including vaccine delivery. Similarly, pilot projects utilizing mobile phones (M-Health) such as text reminders for immunization programs have been well received in low-and-middle income county settings. These novel approaches will add to the toolbox for improving social mobilization.

Geng’s research is part of a larger project called EPIC – Expanded Program on Immunization Costing, Financing, and Efficiency, led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“One major goal for EPIC is to figure out how to routinely collect cost data – so that immunization managers can perform these kinds of cost structure analysis real-time and make optimal resource allocation decisions,” noted Stephen Resch, principal investigator of the EPIC project and the deputy director of Harvard’s Center for Health Decision Science.

This research adds to the understanding of the detailed cost structure and site-efficiency of routine immunization programs, further understanding of the site-level characteristics could reveal approaches to improve efficiency and performance of immunization delivery sites. Comprehensive resources for researchers and policy makers associated with this research and the EPIC project are available on their website, immunizationeconomics.org.


“The cost structure of routine infant immunization services: a systematic analysis of six countries,” Fangli Geng, Christian Suharlim, Logan Brenzel, Stephen C Resch, and Nicolas A Menzies, Health Policy and Planning, online May 31, 2017, doi: 10.1093/heapol/czx067

Image credit: PATH Global Health