Professor Andrew Smith
BSc MSc MB BS MRCP DCH DObstRCOG
My main interest is to study, promote and teach the epidemiology, control and rehabilitation of deafness and hearing impairment in less developed parts of the world.
I am a member of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED).
I have been principal investigator or provided technical advice in surveys and intervention studies on hearing impairment in various low and middle-income countries around the world.
Before joining LSHTM in 2008, I was responsible for the programme for Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Impairment at the World Health Organization (WHO) Geneva, Switzerland from 1996. I continue to support WHO activities in this field.
Prior to WHO, I was head of the Hearing Impairment Research Group at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK. Before that, I worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Pakistan amongst Afghan refugees, and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) in The Gambia. I originally trained as a paediatrician in the UK, Canada and South Africa, and subsequently developed interests in international public health.
Through devising, coordinating and teaching the short course on Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment, I promote a public health approach for ear and hearing health.
The course is intended to develop a cadre of professionals who will use and spread this approach in low and middle-income coutries, and in disadvantaged communities in high-income countries.
The course started in London in 2009. In 2016 it was held in Nairobi, Hyderabad, Lima, Manila, and Islamabad. From 2009 to end March 2017, 751 health work from 41 countries will have been taught in 25 courses in 9 centres throughout the world - London, Hyderabad, Cape Town, Nairobi, Lima (in Spanish), Vancouver, Ouagadougou (in French), Manila, Islamabad, Harare.
My research is focused on measuring the prevalence, causes and impact of deafness and hearing impairment in low and middle income countries. I have also conducted studies of interventions against ear and hearing disorders in these countries using innovative methods. The aim of this research is to bring about appropriate and cost-effective solutions for hearing health in underserved areas of the world.