Professor Lars Åke Persson


of Public Health Evaluation

The Dagu team
Ethiopian Public, Health Institute,
Addis Ababa

+46702870357 (international), +251909563988 (Ethiopia)

Paediatrician and epidemiologist with a focus on global child health. Earlier Director, Public Health Sciences Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, and Professor of International Child Health at Uppsala University. From 2016 Professor of Public Health Evaluation at LSH&TM and posted at Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa. My research focuses (1) community-based interventions for child health and survival, (2) prenatal nutrition interventions and short- and long-term effects, and (3) social conditions in family and society and effects on child health.


Department of Disease Control
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases


Centre for Evaluation
Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)


Teaching and supervision of Ph.D. students from four Ethiopian Universities. Responsible for the Ethiopian ORCA program (Operational Research and Coaching of Analysts) that is an education and support program for analysts from the Federal Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute and the Pharmaceutical Supply Agency.


The Dagu project in Ethiopia includes implementation research and research capability strengthening. A large intervention that aims at improved utilisation of primary child health services will be evaluated. In this effort, the Federal Ministry of Health, regional health bureaus, four Ethiopian Universities, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute and LSH&TM collaborate. The project includes training of 10 PhD students. In the MINIMat trial (Maternal and Infant Nutrition Interventions in Matlab) in Bangladesh, pregnant women were randomised to different food- and micronutrient alternatives. We have documented effects on infant survival, child growth and metabolic markers at five years. The cohort is being followed up, currently around puberty. This cohort has generated around 100 scientific publications and 20 PhD theses. In the NeoKIP trial in Quang Ninh province in Vietnam local stakeholder groups were engaged in problem-solving cycles that halved neonatal mortality in the intervention areas. Studies of social differentials in child health in Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Rwanda have demonstrated unfair gaps in health and survival but also shown that wise health politics and interventions might close these gaps. Studies of gender-based violence against women have contributed to improved laws to protect women in Nicaragua and Bangladesh. We have also shown that gender-based violence against women also markedly increases the risk of childhood diseases, impaired growth, and mortality in childhood.

Research Area
Child health
Clinical trials
Health inequalities
Perinatal health
Public health
Global Health
Impact evaluation
Neonatal health
Randomised controlled trials
Life-course epidemiology
South Africa
East Asia & Pacific (all income levels)
European Union
Latin America & Caribbean (developing only)
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Routine health management information system data in Ethiopia: consistency, trends, and challenges.
Adane A; Adege TM; Ahmed MM; Anteneh HA; Ayalew ES; Berhanu D; Berhanu N; Beyene MG; Bhattacharya A; Bishaw T
Global health action
Assessing the quality of care in sick child services at health facilities in Ethiopia.
Getachew T; Abebe SM; Yitayal M; Persson LÅ; Berhanu D
BMC health services research
Implementation of the 'Optimising the Health Extension Program' Intervention in Ethiopia: A Process Evaluation Using Mixed Methods.
Okwaraji YB; Hill Z; Defar A; Berhanu D; Wolassa D; Persson LÅ; Gonfa G; Schellenberg JA
International journal of environmental research and public health
Prevention and treatment of suspected pneumonia in Ethiopian children less than five years from household to primary care.
Tariku A; Okwaraji YB; Worku A; Biks GA; Åke Persson L; Berhane Y
Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992)
See more Publications