MSci MSc PhD
I am an infectious disease epidemiologist, interested in the epidemiology and control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on spatial epidemiology and operational research. I am particularly interested in the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions for prevention, control and potential elimination of helminthic NTDs.
I have a first degree in biochemistry from Imperial College London, and an MSc (Demography and Health) and PhD (Epidemiology) from LSHTM. I have been based at LSHTM since 2005, and lead a group of epidemiologists specialising in GIS, spatial analysis, and field-based research including large cluster randomised trials of public health interventions. We work closely with national control programmes and international agencies, and place a strong emphasis on developing an evidence base that can be used to inform policy and practice.
I am a Research Degree Coordinator for the Disease Control Department. I am also the course organiser for the study unit Spatial Epidemiology in Public Health and contribute to a number of other teaching modules including Parasitology and Entomology and Applying Public Health Principles. In addition, my research group has developed a short training course in GIS tailored for NTD programme managers (http://www.thiswormyworld.org/training/iv-modern-tools-for-ntd-control-programmes)/
I currently supervise three PhD students: Rebecca Flueckiger (spatial epidemiology of trachoma), Simon Kogozi (spatial analysis of routine malaria data); Stefan Witek-McManus (community health workers and the delivery fo NTD programmes).
Our research focuses on two areas:
Spatial epidemiology of NTDs: I lead the Global Atlas of Helminth Infection (www.thiswormyworld.org), an open-access global information platform on the distribution of soil-transmitted helminths (STH), schistosomes and lymphatic filariasis (LF). We are increasingly interested in the spatio-temporal distribution of NTDs, the degree to which changes can be related to the scaling up of interventions or other factors, and a spatially-considered approach to M&E and surveillance for ongoing programmes.
Evaluating intervention strategies: We are currently implementing the TUMIKIA Project in Kenya, which aims to determine whether community-based deworming is more effective at controlling and eliminating soil-transmitted helminths than school-based deworming. This is a community-based randomised controlled trial intended to strengthen the evidence base surrounding STH control and elimination. In addition to addressing the impact of treatment strategies on transmission of STH, we are investigating the cost and cost-effectiveness, feasibility, acceptability and equity of alternative strategies and delivery mechanisms.
Our research is supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Joint Global Health Trials Scheme (DFID, MRC and Wellcome Trust).