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Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo Receives Runner-Up Award for UCL Excellence in Health Research Prize 2019

Research Associate Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo received the runner-up award for the 2019 UCL Excellence in Health Research Prize for her paper, ‘Income inequality and cardiovascular disease risk factors in a highly unequal country: a fixed-effects analysis from South Africa’ (Adjaye-Gbewonyo et al., 2018). The first place prize went to Dr Paulo Rui Anciaes, for his paper, ‘Perceptions of road traffic conditions along with their reported impacts on walking are associated with wellbeing’. The prizes were awarded on Tuesday March 26th at the UCL Populations & Lifelong Health Domain Symposium: Overweight and obesity
epidemic and how to stop it? 

Adjaye-Gbewonyo, K., Kawachi, I., Subramanian, S. V., & Avendano, M. (2018). Income inequality and cardiovascular disease risk factors in a highly unequal country: a fixed-effects analysis from South Africa. International Journal for Equity in Health, 17(1), 31.

Improving Stroke Rehabilitation in Ghana: A Public Engagement Roundtable with Communities, Healthcare Providers, Policymakers and Civil Society

Date: 14 February 2019

Location: Seminar Room, International House, University of Ghana

The Institute of Advanced Studies (UCL) and the Academic Partnership on Chronic Conditions in Africa (APCCA) (University of Ghana) are delighted to host this public engagement roundtable sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.

Stroke is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Ghana. Management of stroke in the Ghanaian setting is quite challenging and complex due to poor healthcare accessibility and pluralistic healthcare seeking behaviours. This roundtable event aims to bring together health professionals, faith/traditional healers, policymakers, NGOs, community members, stroke survivors and caregivers, and representatives from the media (radio and newspaper journalists) and telecommunication companies in Ghana, to promote discussion and collaboration around stroke rehabilitation. Previous research with stroke survivors and their caregivers and local community residents in Ghana showed that people seek biomedical treatment, in addition to treatments from faith healers, and herbal/traditional healers, either concurrently or sequentially. Despite this, there is a lack of collaboration among the healthcare providers on the one hand. Furthermore, biomedical health professionals do not have a clear understanding of why patients seek non-biomedical treatments and therefore reprimand them when they do so. The discrepancies between explanatory models of stroke by lay people and pluralistic healthcare providers contribute to poor stroke prognosis in the country. Some of the interviews with faith healers and herbal healers indicate that this traditional/alternative healthcare group is willing to collaborate with biomedical health professionals to enhance stroke rehabilitation. What is unclear is whether biomedical health professionals in Ghana will be willing to collaborate with non-biomedical practitioners on stroke rehabilitation. This event intends to explore this feasibility. The outcomes will expand knowledge on health systems integration in Ghana and will also provide a base for further research.

The aims of this roundtable event are to:

  1. Initiate discussions/collaborations among biomedical health professionals, faith healers, herbal/traditional healers, and stroke patients and their caregivers around stroke rehabilitation.
  2. Create an avenue where healthcare providers across pluralistic health systems can learn from each other.
  3. Allow a two-way exchange of information between healthcare providers and patients/caregivers.
  4. Work with telecommunication companies to develop and disseminate context-specific ‘Stroke-Act F.A.S.T’ messages to mobile phone users in Ghana.


  • Olutobi Sanuade, IAS, UCL
  • Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo, IAS, UCL
  • Megan Vaughan, IAS, UCL
  • Ama de-Graft Aikins, RIPS, University of Ghana

All welcome, please register  here

Africa and the Epidemiological Imagination Workshop

Start Date: 06 September 2018 09:00AM 
End Date:  07 September 2018 08:00PM

Location: IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building, UCL, Gower Street WC1E 6BT

The Institute of Advanced Studies is delighted to host this multidisciplinary workshop sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.

Over the past two decades, chronic health conditions, such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, cancer, liver and renal diseases, as well as mental health disorders, have become increasingly visible on the African continent. Whether it is a local newspaper in Kampala or Accra or a critical report from the World Health Organization, the explanation for this increase in chronic diseases is often attributed to wealth and “lifestyle choices,” and an epidemiological transition. First put forward by Abdul Omran in 1971, this theory was an attempt to spell out the consequences of the extraordinary advances in health status made in industrialized countries since the eighteenth century. Omran posited that all societies would move through three stages, from a regime dominated by pestilence and famine, characterized by high and fluctuating mortality and low life expectancy, through an age of receding pandemics to one dominated by degenerative and man-made disease. The idea that Africa is the last continent to undergo the “transition” to a “modern” epidemiological regime still underlies much of the health policy literature and the messages being conveyed to African patients, despite the many the existence of many critiques of Omran’s theory.

In this workshop, our aim is to bring historians and social scientists into conversation with epidemiologists and public health policy officials who are making knowledge and policy about the chronic disease epidemic on the continent. We ask: what is the utility of “transition” as a way to theorize, describe, and explain the increasingly visible chronic disease burden on the continent? What are the strategies for rethinking temporalities of transition on the African continent? How do we bring “transitions”—political, economic, epidemiological – into the same frame of analysis? Other core questions include: What new theoretical tools are historians and public health colleagues using to move beyond the theory of epidemiological transitions? What are the challenges we face in making knowledge about the emergence of a chronic disease epidemic on the continent? And lastly, what can historians and social scientists and epidemiologists, clinicians, and public health policy makers learn from one another in a time of increasing urgency as patients seek relief for chronic conditions and African health practitioners strive to provide that care?

•Revisiting ‘epidemiological transition’ theory from the vantage point of the ‘global south’.
•Epidemiological methods and data collection: case studies from sub-Saharan Africa.
•Developmental origins, epigenetics and alternative temporalities.
•“Lifestyle diseases”, food, nutrition, environment and global systems.
•Chronic conditions and the challenges of care.

Confirmed Speakers Include:
•Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo, University College London
•Betsey Brada, Reed College
•Catherine Burns, University of Pretoria
•Ama de-Graft Aikins, University of Ghana
•Shane Doyle, University of Leeds
•Marissa Mika, University College London
•Amy Moran Thomas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
•Tolu Oni, University of Cambridge
•Jackson Orem, Uganda Cancer Institute
•Randall Packard, Johns Hopkins University
•Michelle Pentecost, Oxford University
•Ruth Prince, University of Oslo
•David Reubi, King’s College London
•Olutobi Sanuade, University College London
•Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, Columbia University
•Simon Szreter, University of Cambridge
•Megan Vaughan, University College London
•Emily Yates Doerr, University of Amsterdam and Oregon State University
•Branwyn Poleykett, University of Cambridge

•Megan Vaughan , IAS, UCL
•Marissa Mika, IAS, UCL
•Olutobi Sanuade, IAS, UCL

All welcome, please register here.