Dr Gillian Mckay


Honorary Research Fellow

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

Gillian McKay, DrPH, RN, is a global health practitioner and researcher with a specialty in primary and secondary impacts of epidemics. She is currently working with Elrha's R2HC programme where she works to ensure that the research Elrha funds meets the priority needs of the humanitarian community and is shared with the right people to make change. She has previously worked with the World Health Organization, the International Rescue Committee, UK-Med, Imperial College, GOAL Global and others.

As a recent DrPH graduate at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine she is well connected to evidence-generation efforts in the global health space. Her DrPH researched how communities were engaged in large epidemics of Ebola and how their knowledge and experiences were integrated into response actions.

Gillian contributes to research and policy in the fields of epidemic disease, community engagement in humanitarian crises, maternal health, gender and human rights, and the health impacts of global trends including urbanization, migration, and climate change.

Gillian holds a BSN from the University of British Columbia and an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is active in Canadian academic circles as a 2016 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar.


Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Global Health and Development


Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)
Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre
Centre for Epidemic Preparedness and Response


Conflict and Health. Feb 2022. LSHTM

Disease Outbreaks in LMICs. Sept 2019 & Jan 2020. LSHTM

Ebola in Conflict: Field perspectives on response strategy and implementation in DRC. June 2019. LSHTM

Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Crises. Feb 2018. Imperial College.

LIDC Short Course Development: Humanitarian Crises. London International Development Centre, UK

Ethics and Decision Making in Humanitarian Crises. May 2017. UK-Med Foreign Medical Team, UK

Health Systems. Jan-Mar 2017. LSHTM MSc Public Health, UK 

Community and Facility Level Health Interventions in Humanitarian Contexts. Nov 2016. Imperial College MSc Global Health, UK.

Health in Humanitarian Action.  January 2016. York University School of Nursing, UK

Public Health in Fragile States.  November 2015. Imperial College MSc Global Health, UK.

“What’s Next?”: Health System Strengthening in Sierra Leone.  June 2015.  LSHTM Public Health and Policy Department Seminar, UK

Programme Development in South Sudan.  May 2015. LSHTM MSc Health Services Management, UK


McKay G, Enria L, Nam S, Fofanah M, Conteh SG, Lees S. Family planning in the Sierra Leone Ebola outbreak: Women's proximal and distal reasoning. Studies in Family Planning. 2022

Ousman K et al (inc McKay G). Evaluation of a health systems strengthening intervention to improve Ebola Virus Disease infection prevention and control in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Journal of Global Health Reports. 2022

McKay G, Baggio O, Camara C A, Erlach E, Robles Dios L, Checchi F, Rohan H. 'The response is like a big ship': community feedback as a case study of evidence uptake and use in the 2018-2020 Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. BMJ Global Health. 2022

Takemoto M, McKay G, Amorim M, Gbomosa CN, Tengbeh AF, Wenham C. How can countries create outbreak response policies that are sensitive to maternal health? BMJ. 2021

McKay G, Lees S. Letter to the Editor re. Protection by Exclusion: Another Missed Opportunity to Include Pregnant Women in Research During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2020

Rohan H, McKay G. The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: why there is no 'silver bullet'. Nature Immunology. 2020

McKay G, Black B, Janvrin A, Wheeler E. Sexual and reproductive health in Ebola response: A neglected priority. Humanitarian Exchange Magazine. 2020

Dada, S, McKay G, Mateus A, Lees S. Lessons learned from engaging communities for Ebola vaccine trials in Sierra Leone: reciprocity, relatability, relationships and respect (the four R's). BMC Public Health. (2019)

McKay, G. & Parker, M. Epidemics in Humanitarianism: A Dictionary of Concepts. Routledge. (2018)

Hanefeld, J., et al. (inc McKay, G.) Towards an understanding of resilience: Responding to Health Systems Shocks. Health Policy and Planning. (2018)

Mattia, John G., et al. (inc McKay, G.) Early clinical sequelae of Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone: a cross-sectional study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases (2015).

McKay, G. “There was no good choice”: An ethics case study from the Ebola response. Nursing ethics (2015).

Research Area
Health policy
Health systems
Infectious disease policy
Maternal health
Public health
Behaviour change
Capacity strengthening
Disease control
Global Health
Qualitative methods
Reproductive health
Policy analysis
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Pandemic diseases
Emerging Infectious Disease
Vector borne disease
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sierra Leone
South Sudan
Least developed countries: UN classification
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)