Panel Discussion

​​UK-PHRST: Working with family caregivers to improve infection prevention and control in hospitals

Teal background featuring text: Working with family caregivers to improve infection prevention and control in hospitals

Family caregivers are an integral but largely unrecognised part of the health team in many countries. Although health professionals should be the main carers of patients in the hospital setting, due to staff shortages, family members can often end up playing critical roles in supporting this care. However, they often do not have knowledge of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) techniques and so risk transmitting infections when caring for their relatives in hospital.

This event, aimed at those working in health service delivery, policy development, health workers, Infection Prevention and Control teams and other academics, will delve into the role of caregivers in African healthcare systems, with two presentations focusing on the situations in Cameroon and Malawi specifically.

Nkwan Jacob Gobte and Emilio Hornsey from The Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS)/Infection Control Africa Network and UK-Rapid Public Health Support Team (UK-PHRST) will present the findings of their joint collaborative project examining the “Development and evaluation of resources to support IPC engagement with caregivers in hospitals”.

Similarly, Natasha Mwenda, WASH Advisor at WaterAid in Malawi and Mary Mbou, a current PhD student at LSHTM will present the findings of their study in Malawi which aimed to develop innovative, creative and interactive WASH and IPC training materials by involving and collaborating with clinical and support staff, guardians and family caregivers as well as the wider community.

Attendees will then get the opportunity to ask questions about the next steps for the research and its real-world implementation through a panel Q&A session.

The Q&A panel will be chaired by Prof Wendy Graham, an LSHTM Professor of Obstetric Epidemiology from the School’s Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health and the Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health.


All attendees are welcome to attend a drinks reception that will follow the event in the Rose Room, LSHTM, Keppel Street.


Nkwan Jacob Gobte

​Nkwan Jacob Gobte is an Infection Prevention and Control and WASH Nurse based at Banso Baptist Hospital, Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, Kumbo Bui, North West Region in Cameroon. He is also a part of the Infection Control Africa Network.

Emilio Hornsey

Emilio Hornsey is an Infection Prevention and Control Nurse based within the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team in the UK Health Security Agency. Emilio initially worked in emergency and prehospital care, before moving into infectious disease control, He has worked with the NHS, military and NGOs in a variety of operational contexts and roles.  During deployments he supports activities to strengthen critical capacities in IPC. He also delivers teaching, training and conducting operational research.

Mary Mbuo

Mary Mbuo is a PhD candidate at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy. She is a qualitative researcher with an interest in community engagement in maternal and newborn health. Before embarking on my PhD, she spent over 20 years working in international development and humanitarian action in Africa focusing on safe motherhood, water-sanitation and hygiene promotion.

Natasha Mwenda

Natasha Mwenda is a WASH expert with over 7 years of experience in developing and implementing WASH in Healthcare Facilities (HCFs) projects in Malawi for improved quality of care. She’s committed to ensuring prominence and prioritization of WASH services in delivery of quality health care. She has been instrumental in establishing strategic partnerships with relevant departments in ministry of health, CSOs such as IPC Association of Malawi and other sector stakeholders to develop and implement policies, strategic plans and guidelines that integrates WASH, Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and infection prevention and control (IPC). She is also passionate about empowering community members and marginalized groups to play an active role in realization of their rights to Health, Water and Sanitation.


Wendy Graham

Wendy Graham is a senior research scientist and advocate for maternal and perinatal health improvement in low-and-middle-income countries. She holds a part-time position as Professor of Obstetric Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen. Prof Graham’s initial research focus was the measurement and prevention of maternal mortality, working for over 20 years with partners in LMICs and with major international organizations. Over the last decade, her focus has shifted to epidemiological and implementation research for the reduction of healthcare-associated infections among mothers and newborns, including IPC and WASH interventions in healthcare facilities, and with collaborative projects currently in Cambodia, Gambia and Malawi.

Annie-May Gibb

iAnnie-May Gibb s the Equity & Human Rights Adviser for the UK-PHRST. A social equity and gender specialist with a background in public health, her experience and interests lie in advocacy and research on culturally responsive health promotion and research practice, health inequalities, sexual and reproductive health rights and women’s leadership. Annie-May has worked with public health institutes, civil society, international organisations, and government ministries within the U.K, Myanmar and New Zealand/Aotearoa.


Kyla Smith

Kyla Smith is the Senior WASH Manager – Health at WaterAid based in the International Programmes Department’s Programme Support Unit. Kyla has over 15 years of experience working in international development in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in Africa, Asia, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and a Master of Applied Science as part of the Drinking Water Research Group at the University of Toronto (Civil Engineering). Kyla leads organisational strategy, technical advisory support and programming on the integration of WASH and health, including WASH in healthcare facilities and integrating WASH into IPC, health programming and systems.


The UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST) launched in 2016, the UK-PHRST is an innovative government-academic partnership funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and co-led by UK Health ​Security Agency (UKHSA) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine  ​(LSHTM), with a consortium of academic and implementing partners in the UK and internationally. 

The views expressed at this event are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social Care.


​The Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) is a Non-profit, Faith-based, Organization that offers holistic care to all who need it as an expression of Christian love. They have 90+ health facilities spread over 9 of the 10 Regions of Cameroon and open 24/7. The CBCHS has maintained excellent and cordial working relationship with national and international partner organizations in providing quality, patient-centered healthcare.​


Free and open to all, online and in person. No registration required. A recording of this session will be available after the event on this page.