Prof Francesco Checchi

Professor of Epidemiology and International Health

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Keppel Street
United Kingdom

I am an epidemiologist whose main expertise is quantitative public health measurement and disease control in crisis (armed conflict, natural disaster, epidemic) settings. I have worked for Médecins Sans Frontières, the World Health Organization and as a consultant for a variety of other agencies. I have spent several years at the School (2004-2012, 2017-present), and in between led Save the Children UK's humanitarian health team.

I have mixed experience in research, policy formulation and operational programme delivery in difficult and insecure settings. By mixed I mean diverse...although come to think of it some of it is definitely mixed.

I haven't managed to settle on a specific topic, though I have done work on malaria, human African trypanosomiasis, tuberculosis, cholera, Ebola, acute malnutrition, vaccines, and COVID-19. I've also worked a fair bit on methods for surveillance, surveys and field epidemiology in general.

My views on and tentative proposals for the future of humanitarian health are in this inaugural lecture which they made me do: . It's from 2017, but I'm not really sure anything has changed in the humanitarian system since then...if anyone knows of something that's actually improved, please write with URGENT in the subject matter.


Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and International Health
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health


Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases
Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre


MSc Health in Humanitarian Crises (module organiser)
MSc module Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
MSc module Conflict & Health
MSc module Applying Public Health Principles for Development

Unfortunately I'm unable at present to take on any more research degree students.


Most of my work (the 8% left over after grant management and emails) is focussed on populations affected by crises due to armed conflict, food insecurity and natural disasters. Within this general setting, I currently work mainly on the following topics:
- mortality estimation in crisis settings;
- adapting vaccination strategies for displaced people and other crisis settings (especially but not only the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine).

Through PhD students and collaborators, I also support work on cholera outbreak control, epidemic risk perceptions, epidemic response evaluation and the effects of armed conflict on health services.
I'm on the Equity Reference Group for Immunization and the Partnership Team of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
I'm trying to decolonise my practice, particularly when it comes to partnering with colleagues in low-income countries: see the charter ( we have published as Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre.
Research Area
Health in humanitarian crises

Selected Publications

Adult mortality patterns in Yemen before and during armed conflict: evidence from a web survey of the global diaspora.
MCGOWAN, CR; ALHAFFAR, M; Ekoriko, P; Al-Refai, S; Badr, J; Bell, L; CHECCHI, F;
Conflict and health
Mortality among populations affected by armed conflict in northeast Nigeria, 2016 to 2019.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Design and implementation of a web-based, respondent-driven sampling solution.
MCGOWAN, CR; Ekoriko, P; ALHAFFAR, M; Cassidy-Seyoum, S; Whitbread, S; Rogers, P; Bell, L; CHECCHI, F;
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Alternative epidemic indicators for COVID-19 in three settings with incomplete death registration systems.
McCabe, R; Whittaker, C; Sheppard, RJ; ABDELMAGID, N; Ahmed, A; Alabdeen, IZ; Brazeau, NF; Ahmed Abd Elhameed, AE; Bin-Ghouth, AS; Hamlet, A; AbuKoura, R; BARNSLEY, G; Hay, JA; ALHAFFAR, M; Koum Besson, E; Saje, SM; Sisay, BG; Gebreyesus, SH; Sikamo, AP; Worku, A; Ahmed, YS; Mariam, DH; Sisay, MM; CHECCHI, F; DAHAB, M; ... Watson, OJ.
Science advances
Drought, armed conflict and population mortality in Somalia, 2014-2018: A statistical analysis.
Warsame, A; Frison, S; CHECCHI, F;
PLOS global public health
Auditing the quality of epidemic decision-making in Somalia: a pilot evaluation.
WARSAME, A; Ore, A; Azad, A; Hassan, F; Blanchet, K; PALMER, J; CHECCHI, F;
BMJ Open
Adult mortality before and during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in nine communities of Yemen: a key informant study.
ALHAFFAR, M; Basaleem, H; Othman, F; Alsakkaf, K; Naji, SM M; Kolaise, H; Babattah, AK; Salem, YA M; Brindle, H; Yahya, N; Pepe, P; CHECCHI, F;
Conflict and Health
Social contacts and other risk factors for respiratory infections among internally displaced people in Somaliland.
VAN ZANDVOORT, K; Bobe, MO; Hassan, AI; Abdi, MI; Ahmed, MS; Soleman, SM; Warsame, MY; Wais, MA; Diggle, E; MCGOWAN, CR; Satzke, C; Mulholland, K; Egeh, MM; Hassan, MM; Hergeeye, MA; EGGO, RM; CHECCHI, F; FLASCHE, S;
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