ICED Newsletter: March 2018

Dear all,

What a month we have had!

We had a fabulous time at the international conference on Evidence in Global Disability and Health February 26-27, 2018 in Hyderabad, India. This conference was co-organised with PHFI, and supported by Humanity and Inclusion, Mission Vision and Forus and hosted at NIEPID. There were 200 participants, from 15 countries, and they gave diverse and fascinating presentations and posters all touching on issues around disability and health. We plan to post the abstracts online soon.

Our MOOC (online course) on Global Disability and Health has now started! We have more than 3,300 people signed up and already actively contributing to discussions. Thank you to all have enrolled – and there is still time to sign up if you have not yet done so. This is a three week online course, freely available, that will include 2-4 learning hours per week. Register here.

Our Study Unit on Global Disability and Health also started this month at LSHTM. It is a 5-week course, 2 days per week, which runs each year. We are excited to meet the new cohort of students, all committed to disability, and with a diverse range of experiences.

We are also excited to have had grant success in February. We are starting a 3-year Newton Trust funded project on the Inclusion of People with Disabilities in the Health System in Brazil, working with colleagues in three centres in Brazil. We are also delighted to be collaborating with Professor De Wet Swanepoel, who has received a Newton Advanced Fellowship to collaborate with ICED on the use of mobile tools to measure hearing loss in different settings.

Best wishes,

Hannah Kuper

International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

We have reached more than 1600 followers on Twitter – please follow us @ICED_LSHTM.


In collaboration with the Environmental Health Group at LSHTM, ICED supported a cluster-randomised trial to evaluate the impact of an inclusive, community-led total sanitation intervention on sanitation access for people with disabilities in Malawi. The findings are now out published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The study found that inclusive CLTS could improve sanitation access for people with disability, but requires support to households beyond that provided in this trial. We are particularly excited about this project as it contributes to the very small trial data that exists on interventions for people with disabilities.

Tracey Smythe and colleagues published their paper in Transactions of the Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, on the Prevalence and causes of musculoskeletal impairment in a district in India. This study found that one in 5 people screened had a musculoskeletal impairment, and unmet need for physiotherapy was very high.

Tess Bright and colleagues published their review  in Tropical Medicine and International Health of interventions to improve access to health among children aged 5 and above in low and middle income settings. This review is important as it allows us to identify effective strategies that could be tested for children with disabilities. Potential strategies include text message reminders, incentives, outreach and education.

Hannah Kuper and Sarah Polack are guest editing a special edition on “Disability and Global Health” for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The deadline for submission is July 31 – more information on the call is available here.

Focus On: Our research on access to health

The relationship between disability and health needs is complex, healthcare need and coverage is difficult to measure, and so the access of people with disabilities to healthcare has not been extensively researched.

At ICED we have tried to help fill this research gap through a number of different projects.

  • In surveys and case-control studies, we have explored whether people with disabilities report being able to access to the health and rehabilitation services that they need. For instance, we investigated this question within the context of a national survey in Guatemala.
  • We have undertaken qualitative research to understand in more detail the barriers and facilitators to access experienced by people with disabilities in different settings. For instance, in Malawi we investigated why children with hearing loss were not going for ENT services, even after referral.
  • We have undertaken two systematic reviews to identify ways in which access to healthcare can be improved for children, and reflected on which of these interventions may be relevant for overcoming barriers facing children with disabilities. Review 1 can be found here, and Review 2  can be found here.
  • We have developed interventions, which are being pilot-tested, to improve access to health. For instance, the provision of an informational intervention to increase uptake of hearing services for children in Malawi.
  • We are also completing a systematic review on access to health and rehabilitation among people with disabilities for CBM.
  • We are exploring the inclusion of people with disabilities in the health system, both in Brazil and in Guatemala.


Upcoming Seminars and Events at LSHTM

  • March 12, LSHTM. ICED is celebrating World Hearing Day with a British Sign Language Introductory Workshop (from 2 p.m. at LSHTM). Places are limited, but do let us know if you are interested.
  • June 12, 12:30-14:00, LSHTM. Hannah Kuper will be presenting on Non Communicable Disease and Disability at LSHTM.

Other seminars of interest

  • March 15, UCL. Judy Heumann presents on “Reflections on life as a Disability Advocate – And where do we go from here?

In the meantime, you can find all our previous seminars (including the audio recordings and slides) here.

Work Experience Programme at ICED

We have launched our work experience programme for people with disabilities seeking experience in research. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about joining our team in this capacity: .


Upcoming Conferences


We are making every effort to make all our research findings widely available, and have launched a Resource Webpage where you can find our key reports and manuals.

Have you seen this?

The new issues of Disability and the Global South is out! Free and online:

New blog by for the Washington Group website “Disability data for effective policy design: reflections from the TEACh project in Pakistan written by Nidhi Singal (University of Cambridge) and Rabea Malik (IDEAS, Pakistan).

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