From bone-setters to baby-cares: responding to public health challenges in cities

For many, the future is urban: between 2020 and 2070, the number of cities in low-income countries will increase by 76%. Yet, for decades, policy, programming and research has focused on the challenges of people and health systems in rural areas, leaving city decision-makers with limited evidence to improve the health of their populations.

In this inaugural lecture, Professor Helen Elsey will share insights from her global public health research, highlighting how it is not just what we study, but how and who with, that can help to address the global challenges of the future. She will share lessons learned through her research with partners in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to address major public health challenges such as tobacco control and access to treatment and prevention of diabetes and hypertension. By developing approaches to work with communities as well as city decision-makers, Helen’s research has taken unexpected turns, including finding ways to work with informal health providers as well as childcare centres in informal settlements to improve health in low-income urban areas.