Professor Joy Townsend (nee Skegg) BSc MSc PhD

Emeritus Professor of Economics and Primary Health Care


Research in areas of health services research, economics, epidemiology and health economics. Graduate of London School of Economics and School of Oriental and African Studies, Research at the MRC National Institute of Medical Research; lecturer University of Essex; senior scientist at the MRC Epidemiology and Medical Care Unit; initiated and directed the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care at the University of Hertfordshire. In 2000  joined the LSHTM where I continue work on tobacco economics and policy including two studies for European Union on training about tobacco economics, consultant to World Bank and WHO, and HSR in primary health care including new health services in Myanmar and care for neuroloigally impaired children in England. Publications on estimates of costs of not handwashing with particular reference to India and China. Honorary Secretary and Trustee of the National Heart Forum. Received medals from World Health Organisation for contribution to world health for work on economics of tobacco.




PhD supervision on adolescent health in refugee camps on Thai/Myanmar border, TB and Public Health in Cambodia.


Research in tobacco control economics; EU funded studies of economic influences on tobacco use across EU and UK assessing the impact of price, income and smuggling on demand for cigarettes; randomised controlled trials of complex interventions, adolescent care.  Economics of handwashing. Health care in Myanmar. Grantholder on CAMWEL study of treatment of obesity in primary care. Chapter on economics of tobacco control for OECD/WHO book on Economics of Public Health published 2015. Advisor to European Respiratory Society on costs of respiratory disease in Europe. Consultant to World Bank on Tobacco Control and Smuggling of Tobacco in Southern Africa.  Economic analysis of care for neuroloigally impaired children in England. Economic analysis of costs not handwashing inclusing cost per DALY estimates.

Research areas

  • Adolescent health
  • Behaviour change
  • Capacity strengthening
  • Economic evaluation
  • Health services research
  • Primary care
  • Public health
  • Tobacco control


  • Development studies
  • Epidemiology

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Addiction
  • Cardiovascular disease


  • East Asia & Pacific (all income levels)
  • Europe & Central Asia (all income levels)
  • European Union
  • South Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)


  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • United Kingdom

Other interests

  • Adolescents
  • Child Disability
  • Cost Effectiveness Analysis
  • Economics
  • Evaluation
  • General Practice
  • Handwashing
  • Health Economics
  • Health behaviour
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Obesity,adolescent Health
  • Primary Prevention
  • Southeast Asia
  • Time Series
  • assessment
  • economics of tobacco
  • epidemiology
  • newborn
  • tobacco
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