RESPOND is working to produce evidence on the barriers to hypertension control faced by low-income households in Malaysia and the Philippines, strengthen health systems research capacity and promote the uptake of evidence to inform the development of pro-poor responses to common chronic diseases.
RESPOND is a collaboration between researchers from LSHTM, the University of Philippines Manila, UCSI University, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA and On Our Radar.
- Project overview
- The project will provide the knowledge needed to overcome health system barriers to optimal management of hypertension in Malaysia and the Philippines, which is now a major cause of disability and premature death despite being easily detected and treated. Yet although evidence on its clinical management is universal, to overcome the health systems barriers, especially those faced by the poor, local knowledge is needed. This, in turn, requires local capacity in health systems research and knowledge transfer.
- This project brings together all these elements in a partnership between leading research institutions in Malaysia, the Philippines and the UK. The project will use mixed methods to understand barriers to hypertension control faced by low-income households. We will use innovative open-source mobile technology to capture participant-generated content (audio, text, video, etc.) on their lived experience in real-time, coupled with assessment of formal and informal providers.
- The project will generate analytical and methodological insights of relevance to Malaysia and the Philippines, and the global community, specifically low and middle income countries seeking to implement patient-centred and pro-poor responses to the growing burden of non-communicable disease (NCD).
- The project will also produce various outputs to support the development of pro-poor responses to common chronic diseases. These include policy briefs, academic papers, multimedia resources for training and advocacy, and increased local capacity in research methods and communication.
- Aim and Objectives
The project aims to improve management of hypertension in Malaysia and the Philippines and, in doing so, build capacity to mitigate the rapidly increasing health and economic burden of NCD, now disproportionately affecting the poor in those countries. This project focuses on hypertension, first because it is a leading contributor to cardiovascular disease and other NCD burden, and, second, because it is a “tracer” condition whose study can reveal wider health system barriers to management of any chronic disorder. The project has three interlinked objectives:
- Objective 1 (research on access to hypertension care): Produce robust and compelling evidence on the barriers to hypertension control faced by low-income households in Malaysia and the Philippines. Key research questions include: What are the pathways and key stages of care? What type of provider is accessed and what are the costs at each stage? Are there differences among groups in seeking, obtaining and adhering to care and what explains these? What are the major barriers to continuous access to care and medication?
- Objective 2 (capacity building): Building on a longstanding collaboration among the partners, strengthen health systems research capacity in Malaysia and the Philippines and develop models and approaches that can be used in other low and middle income countries.
- Objective 3 (impact and communication): Promote uptake of evidence, within study countries and regionally, to inform the development of pro-poor responses to hypertension and, by extension, other common chronic diseases.
- Research components
Quantitative elements include:
- Panels of 600 households in each country from low-income urban and rural communities, each with at least one member with high blood pressure, followed up over 18 months.
- An embedded micro-costing study among 5 hypertensive individuals in each community.
Qualitative elements include:
- Recruitment of 40 people with hypertension per country, with repeat in-depth interviews at recruitment and 12 months.
- Completion of audio/text/video diaries via mobile phone during the interim period describing health seeking behaviour.
- Focus group discussions in 6 different communities in each country (mix of urban/rural).
- Structured assessments of selected health facilities.
RESPOND is a collaboration between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of Philippines Manila, the UCSI University, the Universiti Putra Malaysia, the Universiti Teknologi MARA and On Our Radar. The team members and collaborators working on our project are:
- London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Martin McKee CBE MD DSc
Martin McKee is Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he founded the European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition (ECOHOST), a WHO Collaborating Centre. He is also Research Director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and Past President of the European Public Health Association. He trained in medicine and public health and has written extensively on health and health policy, with a particular focus on countries undergoing political and social transition.
As the Principal Investigator, Martin has overall responsibility for the successful conduct of the project.
Benjamin Palafox BSC, MSc, PhD Candidate
Co-Investigator and Quantitative Researcher Lead
Benjamin obtained his first degree in Microbiology & Immunology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and subsequently completed the MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries at LSHTM. His previous public health experience has all been in the public sector. For several years, he worked on health financing and access to medicines issues at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, an agency of the Philippine Department of Health. Just before returning to LSHTM, he was a senior analyst with the Public Health Agency of Canada working to improve access to data for surveillance and reporting activities.
As the Co-Investigator and Quantitative Researcher Lead, Benjamin manages the household survey and facility assessments, as well as the capacity building and policy impact activities of the project.
Maureen Seguin BA, MA, PhD
Qualitative Researcher Lead
Maureen possesses research experience in the sociology of health, with particular expertise on the mental health of marginalized groups. Her PhD, completed at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2016, focused on women’s mental health in post-conflict settings. She completed a BA and MA in Sociology at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 2003 and 2008 respectively.
As the Qualitative Researcher Lead, Maureen will oversee qualitative training, data collection, and analysis for the RESPOND project.
Alicia Renedo BSc, MSc, PhD
Alicia is a social psychologist interested in experiences of health and illness and the social context of health, with a particular emphasis on both theoretical and empirical aspects of patient involvement, participation and citizenship. Her current work is focused on transitions to adulthood among young people living with chronic conditions. She has conducted ethnographic research into how different groups of people participate in health, healthcare improvement and research. She holds an MSc in Social Psychology (LSE) and PhD (LSE).
She co-leads the Qualitative Methodologies module at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK).
As the Qualitative Adviser, Alicia provides oversight on methodological aspects of the qualitative component of the research.
Paola Torrani-Leyva BSc, PMP, CIM
Project Manager Lead
Paola has 15 years of experience in strategic planning, project management, marketing and communication, and financial management. She has been focusing in Global Public Health Projects in the last 5 years, and managed projects up to €58 million, including the Ebola Vaccine Trials, and PEEK. She is a qualified Project Manager, and hold a Professional Master in Marketing (CIM equivalent). She is also passionate for Social Science and finishing her second degree in Anthropology.
As the Project Manager Lead, she is managing all financial and project management aspects of RESPOND. She is also leading RESPOND communication strategy and implementation.
- University of Philippines Manila
Antonio Dans MD, MSc
Co-Investigator and Country Lead Investigator
Tony is a professor and practicing internist at the University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine. He is also an Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology. He has participated in several international clinical trials on cardiovascular drugs as National Leader for the Philippines. He also led the clinical arm of the National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHeS), which became a national reference for epidemiologic data on lifestyle-related diseases, for 10 years. He is currently spearheading the Philippine Primary Care Studies, which pilot a primary care system in various communities around the country.
As the Country Lead Investigator, Antonio provides overall oversight on project implementation.
Lia Palileo-Villanueva MD, MSc
Co-Investigator and Scientific Project Coordinator
Lia is an Associate Professor in the University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine (UPCM), Section of Adult Medicine. She is also an Internal Medicine Consultant at the Philippine General Hospital Department of Medicine and Chief of the Community-Oriented Medical Education Unit of UPCM. She has been involved in several international cardiovascular studies, including clinical trials and epidemiological studies, as national leader and co-investigator.
As the Scientific Project Coordinator, Lia supervises the technical, administrative, and thematic aspects of the project.
Gideon Lasco MD, PhD
Lead Qualitative Researcher
Gideon is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He received his PhD in Medical Antrhopology from the University of Amsterdam in May 2017, and Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of the Philippines in 2010.
As the Lead Qualitative Researcher, Gideon is in charge of processing, management, and production of all qualitative materials of the project.
Christine Candari RN, MSc
Lead Quantitative Researcher
Christine completed her Master’s Degree in International Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2016. She received her Postgraduate Diploma in International Health from the University of the Philippines Open System University, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Sto. Tomas, Manila.
As the Lead Quantitative Researcher, Christine is in charge processing, management, and production of all quantitative materials of the project.
Jossa De Pano MPM
Jossa is an eligible civil service professional with years of experience in the development sector. She earned her Master’s Degree in Public Management from the University of the Philippines Manila and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
As the Project Manager, Jossa is in charge of the administrative and operational management of the project.
Cyril Katherine Manongdo
Cyril completed her Bachelor’s Degree of Public Administration from the University of the Philippines Diliman in June 2017.
As the Project Assistant, Cyril provides support to the Project Leader and Project Manager in facilitating administrative requirements for fund management and activity reporting, as well as perform general clerical tasks.
Genoveva B. Nethercott
Jing is a graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics program of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. She has 15 years experience in field work, and assisting in research coordination and management at the UP College of Public Health and National Institutes of Health.
As the Liaison Officer, she coordinates with the University’s accounting and finance departments to facilitate the processing and release of funds and salaries, and other business-related concerns.
Quantitative Research Associate
Arianna is a graduate of the BS Public Health program of the University of the Philippines Manila. She is currently completing her graduate studies in Epidemiology (Public Health) at the University of the Philippines, and in Spatial Analysis for Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
As the Quantitative Research Associate, Arianna assists the Lead Quantitative Researcher in the implementation, analysis, and production of materials for the quantitative component of the project.
- UCSI University
- Universiti Putra Malaysia
- Universiti Teknologi MARA
- On Our Radar
Rachel Brathwaite, BSc, MSc, PhD
Consultant at London School of Hygine and Tropical Medicine
Rachel has a PhD in Epidemiology and Population Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a MSc in Applied Epidemiology from the University of Nottingham, UK. She has experience working on epidemiological research projects doing quantitative data collection and analysis and on systematic reviews. She has done research on smoking in sub-Saharan Africa and among migrants and ethnic minority groups in Europe, and currently exploring ways to prevent and improve care for skin infections and kidney disease among people who inject drugs in the UK.As consultant for RESPOND, Rachel is working on a systematic review to synthesize evidence on the barriers and enabling factors to effective continuity of care for hypertension in low and middle income countries.
Student at University of North Carolina
Connie is a third year undergraduate studying for a BSc degree in Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, with a specific interest in global health policy. Connie spent more than two months shadowing the RESPOND team in London and under the supervision of Benjamin Palafox contributed to a systematic literature review synthesising global evidence from interventions designed to address disparities in hypertension management and outcomes.
Connie has spent few months with the RESPOND team to shadow them. She also contributed to RESPOND by conducting the second extraction of a systematic literature review investigating interventions that have been conducted to address disparities in hypertension globally, under the supervision of Benjamin Palafox.
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