Mrs Gillian Mckay


Research Degree Student

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

Gillian McKay, MScPH, RN is a Doctor of Public Health student at LSHTM.  She uses qualitative methods to research practical interventions in the areas of infectious disease outbreaks and women's reproductive health. 

Gillian's passion for humanitarian action has been demonstrated through work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Syria and Ethiopia. She approaches all her work with community empowerment, state capacity building and overall resilience approaches. 

She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has previously researched health worker perspectives on epidemic response interventions, mechanisms for organisational learning from emergencies, health systems resilience in outbreaks and gender-sensitive disaster risk reduction strategies. 

Gillian is a 2016 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, a Parkes Foundation grant recipient and is supported by funding from the CDC, ELHRA and the Wellcome Trust.


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


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


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


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. First hand reflections on supporting Ebola outbreak response in DRC. LSHTM Expert Opinion. (2019)

Mayhew, S., et al (inc McKay, G.) More of the same won't solve Congo's Ebola crisis - let locals lead. The Guardian. (2019)

Boland, S. & McKay, G. Lessons from the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Africa at LSE Blog. (2018)

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)

Ongeri, E. & McKay, G. Thousands of Ebola survivors are still in need of support - Advocacy Statement. The Lancet Global Health Blog. (2016)

Multiple Authors (inc McKay, G.) The importance of social and behavioral change response in the Zika epidemic: Lessons learned from Ebola. – Advocacy Statement. (2016).

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).

Kamlongera, A. & McKay, G. Floods and Droughts Through a Gendered Lens: Mitigating Strategies for Women, Men, Girls and Boys in Malawi.  (2015).

McKay, G. Challenging and Addressing the Structural, Cultural and Attitudinal Determinants for sustained behaviour change (CASCADe) Training Curriculum. (2015).

McKay, G. Protecting Myself, Protecting The Nation: Sierra Leone Uniformed Services Ebola Awareness Training Facilitator’s Guide. (2014).

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)