Speakers

PROFESSOR STEPHEN ALLEN

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Chair in Paediatrics at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
Chair of the Joint BSPGHAN / NIHR-Children Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition Research Working Group

Stephen joined LSTM in 2014 with interests in research and teaching in global child health in the UK and overseas.

His main research interests are in paediatric gastroenterology focusing on interventions to reduce the intestinal inflammation that occurs across a broad range of conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, food intolerance and malnutrition. He has undertaken clinical research in probiotics in the prevention of atopy in infants and also antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in older people, malaria and the protective effect against malaria of inherited haemoglobin and red cell variants.

Current research in sub-Saharan Africa focusses on improving neonatal nutrition working with collaborators in the UK, Nigeria and Kenya through the Neonatal Nutrition Network (NeoNuNet).


Dr.Melissa Gladstone

Senior Lecturer in Neurodevelopmental Paediatrics and International Child Health

University of Liverpool

Her main research interest is in the assessment and interventions for children with developmental and disabilities in low income settings globally. She has undertaken and is presently undertaking large field studies in a number of African settings and pursues research looking at the linkages between assessment of children’s development and behaviour with interventions which can be provided in low income settings.

Dr Gladstone is particularly interested to understand how interventions to support children in the early years can be inclusive of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and how these interventions can be used best in community settings. She has created a culturally appropriate neurodevelopmental assessment tool, the MDAT, which is being utlised in over 12 countries in Africa for research and programmatic work. She also has led development of the IYCD (Infant and Young Child Development Indicators) for WHO.


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Professor Hannah Kuper

Professor of Epidemiology, Director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Hannah’s main research interest is disability in low and middle income countries, with a particular focus on:

  1. Assessment of the prevalence of disability and impairments in children, and development of new methods in undertaking these surveys (e.g. use of mobile technologies).

  2. Investigation of the health and rehabilitation needs of people with disabilities, and how these can be met in low resources settings.

  3. Research on the relationship between poverty and disability, and the potential role of social protection in breaking this cycle.

She is also working on a range of projects investigating the social and economic impact of Congenital Zika Syndrome in Brazil, and how the impact can be mitigated through the development of parent support programmes.


Professor Joy Lawn

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Professor of Maternal Reproductive and Child Health Epidemiology,

Director of MARCH Centre, London School Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Joy is an African-born, British-trained paediatrician and perinatal epidemiologist with 30 years of experience including clinical care, epidemiological burden estimates, and the design and evaluation of integrated maternal, newborn and child care services at scale, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.


Joy’s particular contribution has been in developing the evidence-base for policy and programming change to measure and reduce the global burden of 2.6 million neonatal deaths, 2.6 million third trimester stillbirths, and 15 million preterm births.  She led the Lancet Neonatal Survival series (2005), Lancet Stillbirth series in 2011 and 2016, Born Too Soon (2012) and the Lancet Every Newborn series (2014) with the associated Every Newborn Action Plan, endorsed at the World Health Assembly and supported by >80 partners, leading to the SDG target for newborn survival. In 2017 she led a Gates-funded initiative to develop the first estimates of GBS burden. She has published >250 peer reviewed papers, as well as several high-profile policy reports.


Professor Matthews Mathai

Chair of Newborn and Maternal Health at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

As Coordinator of the Epidemiology, Monitoring and Evaluation Team in WHO's Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, he led the implementation of Maternal Death Surveillance and Response (MDSR) and development of the WHO Stillbirth and Neonatal Death review tool. He co-chaired the Every Newborn Action Plan Metrics Working Group. His earlier work in the departments of Reproductive Health and Research and Making Pregnancy Safer included the development, update and implementation of WHO's Integrated Management of Pregnancy and Childbirth (IMPAC) and other WHO guidelines and tools in maternal and perinatal health.  

As Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India until 2005, he established the first competency based training centre in India for emergency obstetric care. He has worked in many countries in Asia and the Pacific, training health workers in reproductive health, particularly in maternal and perinatal care. Between 1996 and 1997, he established and directed the Regional Training and Research Centre in Reproductive Health at the Fiji School of Medicine, Suva, Fiji.


Dr Helen Nabwera

Senior Clinical Research Associate, Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.  Honorary Consultant Paediatrician in Infectious Diseases at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Helen spent 3.5 years in The Gambia as an MRC Career Development Fellow managing a rural primary health care facility focussing on improving quality of care for the newborn and malnourished children. Helen worked at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust programme as a child health clinical researcher- with a particular interest in infant nutrition in the context of HIV.

Her research focuses on improving the prevention and treatment strategies for newborns in low and middle-income countries through community and health facility-based interventions for both mothers and their newborns.

Helen received her PhD degree from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2018 and holds a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from LSTM.


Professor Atif Rahman

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Professor of Child Psychiatry, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool

Chair of the  Academic Child Mental Health Unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool

His research has focussed on the epidemiology of maternal mental health, the impact of maternal depression on child health and development, and community-based psychosocial interventions in low-income settings including settings affected by humanitarian crises. His is an expert in developing and evaluating culturally appropriate interventions that can be delivered by non-specialists, teachers and parents under supervision of specialists to children with mental health problems. He has a particular interest in implementation strategies, including task shifting and technology, for scale-up of mental health interventions in low and middle-income countries. He works closely with the World Health Organization in evaluating and disseminating psychological interventions