Centre for Global Health Policy

Global Health Seminar Series 13/14


Seminar One – Thursday 24 January 2013, 4.30-6 pm

Global Studies Resource Centre in Arts C

Dr Sushrut Jadhav (University College London)

The Elephant Vanishes: Impact of Human-Elephant Conflict on People’s Wellbeing

Human-wildlife conflicts impact upon the wellbeing of marginalised people, worldwide. Although tangible losses from such conflicts are well documented, hidden health consequences remain under-researched. Based on preliminary clinical ethnographic inquiries and sustained fieldwork in Assam, India, Dr Jadhav documents mental health antecedents and consequences including severe untreated psychiatric morbidity and substance abuse. The case studies presented make visible the hidden mental health dimensions of human–elephant conflict. This presentation seeks to illustrates how health impacts of conflicts penetrate far deeper than immediate physical threat from elephants, worsens pre-existing mental illness of marginalised people, and leads to newer psychiatric and social pathologies. These conflicts are enacted and perpetuated in institutional spaces of inequality. Dr Jadhav argues that both wildlife conservation and community mental health disciplines would be enhanced by coordinated intervention. The presentation concludes by generating questions that are fundamental for a new interdisciplinary paradigm that bridges ecology and the clinic.

Part 1



Part 2


Seminar Two – Tuesday 5 February 2013, 6.30-8 pm

Chowen Lecture Theatre

Professor Stefan Elbe (University of Sussex)

Contagion: Disease, Security and the Politics of Fear

As we embark upon the 21st century, the world appears to confront an epidemic of epidemics. From HIV/AIDS and SARS, via anthrax terrorism scares, through to avian (H5N1) and swine flu (H1N1) – the threat of infectious diseases is generating high-level concern around the world. So much so that governments now routinely identify pandemics as major security threats – frequently placed on par with terrorism. But to what extent do infectious diseases threaten security? What are the political implications of framing health issues as security threats? And what are the institutional and commercial interests driving the rise of health security? Drawing upon prominent examples from recent years, the lecture uncovers how the rise of health security is bringing about crucial changes in how we think about and practice security in the 21st century. It concludes by considering the implications of this ‘medicalization’ of security for us as citizens (and patients).

Stefan Elbe is Director of the Centre for Global Health Policy and Professor of International Relations in the Department of International Relations at the University of Sussex. His is currently the Principal Investigator on a four-year €1.2 million grant from the European Research Council (2013-2017) and has served as an expert scientific advisor to the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).



Seminar Three – Tuesday 19 February 2013, 6-7:30 pm

Fulton Building, Seminar Room 114

Dr Gail Davey (Brighton and Sussex Medical School)

How Research Can Fuel Policy and Practice: The Example of Podoconiosis

Podoconiosis is a non-infectious form of leg swelling (elephantiasis) found in tropical highland areas where subsistence farmers work the land barefoot. While an estimated 4 million people in tropical Africa are affected by podoconiosis (1 million in Ethiopia), the disease has till recently received very little attention from policy makers at national or global level. In this seminar, Dr Gail Davey will explain how a multidisciplinary program of research has contributed not only to understanding of the disease and its management, but also had impact on national policy within Ethiopia.  Dr Davey now heads a program covering disease distribution, aetiology (genetic, mineralogical and biochemical), consequences (economic, social and ethical), and management of disease (diagnosis, clinical staging, treatment and health systems), and serves as director of the International Podoconiosis Initiative.



Seminar Four – Tuesday 11th June 2013, 4.30-6 pm

Bramber House, room 236

Professor Michael Parker (Oxford University)

Ethical Problems in Global Health Research

The global burden of disease is disproportionately large in developing countries but only a very small proportion of medical research has historically focused on the problems primarily affecting the world's poorest people. In recent years, however, there has been a considerable increase in the amount of research being carried out on diseases affecting people in low-income countries – much of this taking the form of collaborative research networks bringing together large numbers of research groups in many countries across both the developed and developing worlds. The growth of these complex new forms of research collaboration is leading to the parallel emergence of complex ethical issues arising out of the interplay between globalised research and the ways in which such research is manifested locally.  My aim in this presentation will be to attempt to map out the ethical issues that arise uniquely (or achieve a particular resonance) in such research. Using my experience of leading the ethics programme of the Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network and practical ethical issues arising in it, I shall outline some of the ways in which the ethical issues arising in collaborative global health research can be different to those arising in other, more bi-lateral collaborations between researchers in developed counties and those in developing countries.