Committed to improving health globally through collaborative, multidisciplinary research and education.
Public Health Institute is committed to improving health globally through collaborative, multidisciplinary research and education. We are engaged in a range of research and networking activities that address key issues in international health policy and practice.
Our international health research includes the following topics:
- Maternal, reproductive and sexual health
- Health promotion
- Migration and refugee health
- Sex trafficking
- Violence prevention
- Substance use
- Health system research
- Capacity building activities in low and middle income countries
Our team of staff and PhD researchers are engaged in multi-disciplinary collaborations with a range of stakeholders, research institutions and international bodies.
Publications for International public health
Papers for International public health
Reflexivity, positionality and power in cross-cultural participatory action research with research assistants in rural Cambodia
Education Action Research, Pages 1-15 | Received 25 Nov 2016, Accepted 12 May 2017, Published online: 05 Jun, 2017.
Abstract: This paper draws on the experiences of a doctoral student undertaking a cross-cultural, cross-language participatory action research (PAR) project in rural Cambodia. Cambodia is a largely Buddhist country with a complex history of religion, invasion, colonisation, war and oppression. Despite a democratic constitution, political control and fear of challenging authority are ever present; and all had an impact on the participation and development of this project. I recruited eight volunteer community health workers (CHWs) and two research assistants (RAs) with an aim to explore methods and challenges faced when trying to improve health with and for community members. Over eight participatory workshops and a two-day training session CHWs identified, implemented and reflected on solutions to community health problems. Simultaneously, the RAs and I reflected on the processes and challenges we faced. Creating opportunity for reflexivity allowed for discussion to emerge around culture, position and power and how these were impacting on the research process and outcomes. Established social hierarchical power structures in Cambodia presented challenges to undertaking a PAR project with emancipatory and social change aims. Such structures also impacted on the ability and readiness of participants to be critical and analytical. The importance of the RAs as cultural navigators and the necessity of embracing their situated knowledge as both an insider and outsider is a key finding.
Grassroots responses to violence against women and girls in post-earthquake Nepal: Lessons from the field
Kay Standing, Sara Parker, Sapana Bista
Gender & Development, Volume 24, Issue 2, 2016 Special Issue: Violence Against Women and Girls, pages 187-204, 2016.
Abstract: Violence against women and girls (VAWG), including sexual violence, can increase after natural disasters. This article provides evidence from Nepal, a country where progress has been made on gender equality but VAWG remains an endemic problem. Research since the earthquakes involving women activists and non-government organisations indicates the continuing challenges facing disaster response efforts to prevent VAWG and protect women. Women and girls in camps and temporary shelters feel threatened and insecure due to the risk of violence and lack of privacy. Humanitarian aid, health care, and disaster responses can challenge VAWG, and offer safe spaces for women and girls to be established. This article draws on the views of grassroots women’s activists in Nepal and shares lessons for development and humanitarian workers about steps to be taken to challenge and minimise VAWG in emergency situations.
Professor Padam Simkhada, Aditi Sharma, Edwin van Teijlingen, Rachel Beanland
Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, Vol 6, No 1, 2016.
Abstract: Background: Increased travel abroad has a significant impact on the incidence and prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Previous reviews have focused on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of tourists and acquisition of STIs. Less is known about the impact on tourism operators in countries visited by tourists. The aim of this review is to ascertain factors influencing sexual behaviour between workers in the tourism industry and tourists; exploring the prevalence of sexual behaviour between the two populations, their perceptions of sexual risk while engaging in sexual activities and the knowledge of tourism operators regarding STIs. Methods: A systematic review was conducted. Database searches were performed in Medline/Ovid, EMBASE, Cochrane library and CINAHL for studies published between 2000 and March 2016. Grey literature searches were completed in the NHS database and Google Scholar between 2000 and December 2013. Papers were independently selected by two researchers. Data were extracted and critically appraised using a pre-designed extraction form and adapted CASP checklist. Results: The search identified 1,602 studies and 16 were included after review of the full text. Studies were conducted in nine countries. Findings suggest that STI knowledge, attitude and practice were fairly good among tourists and tourism workers, but there is a need for pre-travel advice for travellers, especially those travelling to low and middle-income countries. Greater importance was given to tourists than to tourism operators and locals interacting with tourists. Studies suggest that as a group both tourist and tourist workers were likely to engage in sexual activities. Overall, both condom use and STI screening were low, among tourists as well as tourism operators. Furthermore, studies reported links between drug and alcohol use and sexual behaviour and risk taking. Conclusion: Although less research appeared to have been conducted among tourism workers than tourists, it does demonstrate the need for education, training and promotion of travel medicine. STI screening, pre-travel advice, travel history in terms of contracting STIs and safe-sex awareness-raising are needed. More and better sexual health education and relevant tourism policies are needed globally.