Health and wellbeing in a changing world

We work with health ministries and NGO partners in low income countries to identify the complexity of health concerns, develop and test interventions that can be scaled up to benefit all. Rapid urbanisation is changing the health risks and diseases that people must face, understanding these risks, particularly in slum areas, and finding ways to respond is a key focus of our work.

To improve people’s health and wellbeing, we need skilled healthcare practitioners coupled with ready access to healthcare services for all sections of society. With over-stretched health services, we need to find ways of helping people, particularly the poorest, to stay healthy so they can lead full and productive lives. Our research focus is therefore on inclusive services, which includes prevention and reducing risk factors, such as tobacco use and improving diet and lifestyle.

Our research also recognises that data about the poorest people in urban areas is often missing. Learn more about how population surveys are often skewed to represent the wealthier sections of urban areas. Our current work on Surveys for Urban Equity looks at ways to improve survey methods to reach the urban poorest and works with municipalities in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nepal to support them to access appropriate data on urban health inequities.

Interventions to improve health often address many wider social outcomes. Our partner organisations in Bangladesh have found that providing community-based day-care significantly reduces rates of injuries and drowning among children aged under 5. We are now working together to see if the day-care model can be implemented in poor urban neighbourhoods in Dhaka, Bangladesh, helping to reduce injuries but also improve early childhood development and women’s opportunities to take up paid work

Read more about our research on health and wellbeing

Read about our work to understand the health and environmental risks, and wider social determinants facing slum households in Nepal.

Dr Helen Elsey of COMDIS-HSD shares her experience of developing and implementing a behaviour change tool to help lung patients in Nepal quit tobacco use.

Read about how this tobacco use intervention can be integrated within routine health services in Nepal so they become accessible to all patients.