Isabelle Lange


Assistant Professor
in Anthropology

Room 14a

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7927 2128

My PhD in anthropology in the Department of Global Health and Development (LSHTM) looked at identity transformation through the lens of surgical care, religious belief and international development organisations, for which I was based in Benin for fieldwork. I hold a MSc in medical anthropology (University College London) and a BA in social/cultural anthropology (Wesleyan University).


Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Department of Global Health and Development


Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)
Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre


I co-organise the Foundations in Reproductive Health core module, am a personal tutor on the Public Health for Development (PH4D) and Reproductive and Sexual Health Research (RSHR) Masters, and a tutor on the distance learning medical anthropology course. I also lecture on the Current Issues in Safe Motherhood and Perinatal Health module.


My research interests fall along two main, sometimes overlapping, lines. First is the anthropology of religious and spiritual belief, and understanding identities of faith that influence, in particular, personal senses of meaning, health and well-being. The second line largely surrounds maternal health in West and East Africa, employing a range of qualitative methods to investigate: patients’ perceptions of quality of care, hospital environments, quality improvement, care-seeking behaviours, health policy formation and transfer, and knowledge exchange. My other research interests lie in studying the impact of aid organisations; choices surrounding health care and well being; personal and institutional responses to change; and the interplay between different beliefs and health systems.

As a member of the maternal and neonatal health group, I have recently worked with the Maternal healthcare markets Evaluation Team (MET), investigating the role of social franchising models in the private sector as a method of improving access to antenatal care and delivery and improving quality of care in Uganda and India (Uttar Pradesh & Rajasthan).

In the past, I problematized qualitative research on maternal morbidities as part of a systematic review for the WHO and the Maternal Morbidity Working Group. I studied clinical audits in maternal health with AudObEm, a randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of facility-based audits to improve the responsiveness of West African district hospitals to obstetric emergencies in Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. I have also looked at the process of instituting the maternal death surveillance and response mechanism and scorecards in maternal health in Tanzania with E4A. As a part of FEMHealth (EU FP7), a project looking at the impact of the removal of obstetric user fees on maternity care in African countries, my research focused on two main areas: the quality of care in hospitals and the creation and transfer of health policy (in Morocco, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali).

Research Area
Health policy
Maternal health
Research : policy relationship
Private sector
Qualitative methods
Burkina Faso
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Affective Routes of Healing: Navigating Paths of Recovery in Urban and Rural West Africa
Lange I
Affective Trajectories: Religion and Emotion in African Cityscapes
Introduction Anthropological Knowledge and Practice in Global Health
Reynolds R; Lange IL
Anthropology in Action
The costs of 'free': Experiences of facility-based childbirth after Benin's caesarean section exemption policy.
Lange IL; Kanhonou L; Goufodji S; Ronsmans C; Filippi V
Social science & medicine (1982)
Losing women along the path to safe motherhood: why is there such a gap between women's use of antenatal care and skilled birth attendance? A mixed methods study in northern Uganda.
Anastasi E; Borchert M; Campbell OMR; Sondorp E; Kaducu F; Hill O; Okeng D; Odong VN; Lange IL
BMC pregnancy and childbirth
See more Publications