PhD Defense of Upendra Bhojani on September 16

Upendra Bhojani (DGD/ITM/IPH PhD scholar) has the pleasure of inviting you to the public defense of his PhD thesis “Enhancing care for urban poor with chronic conditions in India”.

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Stefaan De Henauw (Ghent University), Prof. Dr. Patrick Kolsteren (Ghent University) and Prof. Dr. Narayanan Devadasan (Institute of Public Health Bangalore, India).  

The defense will take place on Friday September 16th, 2016 at 6 p.m., in Auditorium 1 (entrance 42) of the Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, Ghent.


This thesis focuses on a poor urban neighborhood in south India. It is aimed at understanding the role of the local health system in enhancing care for the urban poor living with chronic conditions. Based on research over five years it reveals a high burden of chronic conditions in the neighborhood where the majority rely on private health facilities for care. Poverty hinders people from accessing health care and those who do, get further impoverished. Socially defined roles and positions particularly limit women and elderly in managing care. Fragmented services imply residents having to visit more than one facility for a single episode of care. The limited use of medical records and the lack of a referral system hinder continuity of care. Poor regulation of the heterogeneous private sector, lack of platforms for patient engagement and widespread bribery mark inadequate governance of the mixed health system. While there is inadequate care provision in the government sector, the private sector with many of its care providers lacking adequate training strives to maximize profits where the care for poor is at best seen as charity. Health service experiments to improve diabetes care delivery reveal the complex nature of the local health system wherein implementing interventions is not easy and requires careful consideration of local dynamics and opportunities.


Update: photos from the event!

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Seminar series on complexity in health, development, research and evaluation

By Bruno Marchal

The Department of Public Health would like to invite you for a first seminar on complexity in health, development, research and evaluation on 30 September 2016, entitled Complex systems thinking in international aid and health development. The starting point will be the publication of the book Development cooperation as learning in progress, edited by Paul Bossyns and Paul Verlé of the Belgian Development Agency BTC. The objective is to bring together policymakers and experts in the field of complex systems in development and evaluation, with a particular attention for the health sector. We would like to identify the challenges of complexity and the existing strategies for complex systems thinking in international aid and health development by creating opportunities for presentation, exchange and discussion.

This is the first seminar of a series, which we organise with support of the Health Department of the Belgian Development Agency (BTC), the Institut de recherche santé et société (Université Catholique de Louvain), and Be-cause Health.

The seminar will have two presentation sessions, with ample time for discussion.

  • This first session – The paradigm shift – will address the shift from linear, results-based management to complexity-sensitive planning and management that is taking place in the world of international aid and development. Speakers include Rosalind Eyben (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex) (TBC), Cornelius Oepen (GIZ-European Commission) and Paul Verlé (Belgian Development Agency).
  • In the second session – Complexity-sensitive planning and management – practical complexity-sensitive approaches to development and aid will be introduced with examples from practice. Speakers include Geert Laporte (European Centre for Development Policy and Management – ECDPM), Paul Bossyns (Belgian Development Agency) and Jaap Bijl (ECDPM Programme Associate).

The seminar will take place in Aula Janssen, Campus Rochus of ITM. It will start at 9am and finish at 2pm. Participation is free, but registration is obligatory. Please register here. Deadline for registration is 21 September 2016.

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8th International Congress on Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (CIPIP) in December

In the period of December 8-10, 2016 the 8th International Congress on Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (CIPIP) will be organized by INRB, the DRC’s National Institute of Biomedical Research. ITM, as a partner institution is a co-organizer; Professor Marleen Boelaert is one of the members of the organizing committee.

The main theme of the congress is infectious diseases, co-morbidities, and global health security agenda.

The submission deadline for the abstracts is September 6, 2016. For more information, download the flyer of the conference (in French).