Prof Joy Lawn

Professor of Public Health

London School Hygiene & Trop Medicine
United Kingdom

Joy is an African-born, British-trained paediatrician and perinatal epidemiologist with 30 years’ experience especially in sub-Saharan Africa including: clinical care, epidemiological burden estimates, implementation/evaluation of maternal, newborn and child care services. Her paediatric training was in the UK, followed by teaching, implementation and research, mainly living in Africa. Her MPH was from Emory, Atlanta, USA, whilst at CDC, and her PhD at Institute of Child Health, London. For 10 years, she was Director of Evidence and Policy for Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children. She has been a full time professor at LSHTM since 2023, and was Director of the MARCH Centre (Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health) from 2013-2023 seeing growth from 200 to over 500 academics.

Her main contribution to global health has been developing the evidence-base to measure and reduce the global burden of 2.3 million neonatal deaths, 2 million stillbirths, and 13.4 million preterm births, including informing Sustainable Development Goal targets. She has published >340 peer-reviewed papers including leading several influential Lancet series, with wide media and policy uptake. H-index ~120. She and her research team work on multi-country studies regarding newborn health, stillbirths and child development worldwide, including large scale implementation research on small and sick newborn care with NEST360 Alliance across Africa and novel work on Group B Streptococcus with WHO and others. She is on WHO’s STAGE committee, and Global Statistics committee.

She is a champion for equitable and diverse research leadership. Joy is one of the few women nominated to membership of both UK Academy of Medical Sciences and USA National Academy of Medicine.

Twitter @joylawn


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


Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health
TB Centre
Antimicrobial Resistance Centre


MSc teaching includes:
- RHSR (several modules)
- Current issues in Safe Motherhood/perinatal health
- Global Nutrition

Six successfully completed in the last 5 years
Currently co supervising two and on advisory committee/mentoring new supervisors for three others.


Joy and her research team work on multi-country studies regarding newborn health, stillbirths and child development worldwide, including large scale implementation research on small and sick newborn care with NEST360 Alliance, big data partnerships, analyses and UN estimates for the Lancet Small Vulnerable newborn series 2023 and novel work on Group B Streptococcus with WHO and others.

She is Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Implementation and Evidence in Global Health (2023-2025).
Research Area
Maternal health
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)
South Asia
East Asia & Pacific (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Small babies, big risks: global estimates of prevalence and mortality for vulnerable newborns to accelerate change and improve counting.
LAWN, JE; OHUMA, EO; BRADLEY, E; Idueta, LS; Hazel, E; OKWARAJI, YB; Erchick, DJ; Yargawa, J; Katz, J; Lee, AC C; Diaz, M; Salasibew, M; Requejo, J; Hayashi, C; Moller, A-B; Borghi, E; Black, RE; BLENCOWE, H; Lancet Small Vulnerable Newborn Steering Committee,; WHO/UNICEF Preterm Birth Estimates Group,; National Vulnerable Newborn Measurement Group,; Subnational Vulnerable Newborn Measurement Group,;
Mortality, neurodevelopmental impairments, and economic outcomes after invasive group B streptococcal disease in early infancy in Denmark and the Netherlands: a national matched cohort study.
Horváth-Puhó, E; Van Kassel, MN; Gonçalves, BP; De Gier, B; PROCTER, SR; PAUL, P; Van der Ende, A; Søgaard, KK; Hahné, SJ M; CHANDNA, J; Schrag, SJ; Van de Beek, D; JIT, M; Sørensen, HT; Bijlsma, MW; LAWN, JE;
The Lancet. Child & adolescent health
Assessment of the validity of the measurement of newborn and maternal health-care coverage in hospitals (EN-BIRTH): an observational study.
DAY, LT; Sadeq-Ur Rahman, Q; Ehsanur Rahman, A; Salim, N; Kc, A; RUYSEN, H; Tahsina, T; Masanja, H; Basnet, O; GORE-LANGTON, GR; Zaman, SB; SHABANI, J; Jha, AK; GORDEEV, VS; Ameen, S; Shamba, D; Jha, B; BOGGS, D; Hossain, T; Shirima, K; Bastola, RC; PEVEN, K; Siddique, AB; Mbaruku, G; Paudel, R; ... EN-BIRTH Expert Advisory Group,
Lancet Glob Health
Kangaroo mother care: EN-BIRTH multi-country validation study.
Salim, N; SHABANI, J; PEVEN, K; Rahman, QS-U; Kc, A; Shamba, D; RUYSEN, H; Rahman, AE; Kc, N; Mkopi, N; Zaman, SB; Shirima, K; Ameen, S; Kong, S; Basnet, O; Manji, K; Kabuteni, TJ; BROTHERTON, H; MOXON, SG; Amouzou, A; Hailegebriel, TD; DAY, LT; LAWN, JE; EN-BIRTH Study Group,;
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Systematic review of Group B Streptococcal capsular types, sequence types and surface proteins as potential vaccine candidates.
Bianchi-Jassir, F; PAUL, P; To, K-N; Carreras-Abad, C; SEALE, AC; Jauneikaite, E; Madhi, SA; Russell, NJ; Hall, J; Madrid, L; Bassat, Q; Kwatra, G; Le Doare, K; LAWN, JE;
Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic response on intrapartum care, stillbirth, and neonatal mortality outcomes in Nepal: a prospective observational study.
Kc, A; Gurung, R; Kinney, MV; Sunny, AK; Moinuddin, M; Basnet, O; Paudel, P; Bhattarai, P; Subedi, K; Shrestha, MP; LAWN, JE; Målqvist, M;
Stillbirths: rates, risk factors, and acceleration towards 2030.
LAWN, JE; BLENCOWE, H; Waiswa, P; Amouzou, A; Mathers, C; Hogan, D; Flenady, V; Frøen, JF; Qureshi, ZU; CALDERWOOD, C; SHIEKH, S; Jassir, FB; You, D; McClure, EM; Mathai, M; COUSENS, S; Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirths Series study,; Lancet Stillbirth Epidemiology investigator group,;
Effectiveness of kangaroo mother care before clinical stabilisation versus standard care among neonates at five hospitals in Uganda (OMWaNA): a parallel-group, individually randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation.
Tumukunde, V; Medvedev, MM; Tann, CJ; Mambule, I; Pitt, C; Opondo, C; Kakande, A; Canter, R; Haroon, Y; Kirabo-Nagemi, C; Abaasa, A; Okot, W; Katongole, F; Ssenyonga, R; Niombi, N; Nanyunja, C; Elbourne, D; Greco, G; Ekirapa-Kiracho, E; Nyirenda, M; Allen, E; Waiswa, P; Lawn, JE; OMWaNA Collaborative Authorship Group,;
Lancet (London, England)
National, Regional, and Global Estimates of Preterm Birth in 2020, With Trends From 2010: A Systematic Analysis
OHUMA, EO; Moller, A-B; BRADLEY, E; Chakwera, S; Hussain-Alkhateeb, L; LEWIN, A; OKWARAJI, YB; Mahanani, WR; Johansson, EW; Lavin, T; Fernandez, DE; Domínguez, GG; De Costa, A; Cresswell, JA; Krasevec, J; LAWN, JE; BLENCOWE, H; Requejo, J; Moran, AC;
Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey
Quantifying health facility service readiness for small and sick newborn care: comparing standards-based and WHO level-2 + scoring for 64 hospitals implementing with NEST360 in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
PENZIAS, RE; Bohne, C; Gicheha, E; Molyneux, EM; Gathara, D; Ngwala, SK; Zimba, E; Rashid, E; Odedere, O; Dosunmu, O; Tillya, R; Shabani, J; CROSS, JH; Ochieng, C; Webster, HH; Chiume, M; Dube, Q; Wainaina, J; Kassim, I; Irimu, G; Adudans, S; James, F; Tongo, O; Ezeaka, VC; Salim, N; ... With the Health Facility Assessment Data Collectio,
BMC pediatrics
See more information