52 episodes

A podcast about how researchers and scientists join with communities and people to address global challenges. Across countries and contexts, we hear about ways to partner with communities, including participatory research (PAR), co-production research, social participation, public and patient involvement and engagement (PPIE) and community engagement and involvement (CEI).

Originally founded at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine by Dr. Kim Ozano and Bea Egid, the podcast now cuts across institutions and programmes to bring you the latest research techniques used to connect citizens to science! 

Host Dr. Kim Ozano is a co-production and creative research methodologist with 15 years’ experience working in global research and public health, and an advocate for people centred research across disciplines. 

If you have a theme that you would like to be explored on the podcast, please let us know below in the comments below or contact; hello@theSCLagency.co.uk

Intro music: Mike Donnelly

Connecting Citizens to Science The SCL Agency

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A podcast about how researchers and scientists join with communities and people to address global challenges. Across countries and contexts, we hear about ways to partner with communities, including participatory research (PAR), co-production research, social participation, public and patient involvement and engagement (PPIE) and community engagement and involvement (CEI).

Originally founded at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine by Dr. Kim Ozano and Bea Egid, the podcast now cuts across institutions and programmes to bring you the latest research techniques used to connect citizens to science! 

Host Dr. Kim Ozano is a co-production and creative research methodologist with 15 years’ experience working in global research and public health, and an advocate for people centred research across disciplines. 

If you have a theme that you would like to be explored on the podcast, please let us know below in the comments below or contact; hello@theSCLagency.co.uk

Intro music: Mike Donnelly

    Tackling FGS - A priority for equality

    Tackling FGS - A priority for equality

    We have a really important episode for you as we approach World Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) day on 30th January calling for all to act together and act now.
    We are going to be talking about female genital schistosomiasis, which affects approximately 56 million girls and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Host, Kim Ozano is joined by co-host Pamela Mbabazi from the United Nations with guests; Rhoda Ndubani, who is a study manager for a female sexual reproductive health screening programme for FGS in Zambia, Christine Masong, who is a PhD student with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine undertaking research in Cameroon, exploring how culture and the social structures affect illness experiences and treatment pathways of girls and women with FGS, and finally, Dr. Victoria Gamba, who is a gynaecologist and advocate for FGS awareness based in Kenya.
    If you would like to understand more about FGS, here's some resources for you:
    A call to action for universal health coverage: Why we need to address gender inequities in the neglected tropical diseases community
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7067373/
    Discussion paper the gender dimensions of neglected tropical diseases from the Access and Delivery Partnership in partnership with LSTM
    https://adphealth.org/upload/resource/2523_ADP_Discussion_Paper_NTDs_211119_web.pdf
    Useful factsheets on FGS:
    Japanese: https://adphealth.org/upload/resource/2523_ADP_Discussion_Paper_NTDs_211119_web.pdf
    English: https://adphealth.org/upload/resource/2658_ADP_NTDs_and_Gender_factsheet_280120.pdf

    More about our guests;
    Dr. Pamela Sabina Mbabazi - Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), WHO headquarters in Geneva
    Presently, Pamela is working as a medical epidemiologist in the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Her current research interests include strengthening monitoring and evaluation for neglected tropical diseases programmes particularly in vulnerable populations with a focus on women and children, notably for female genital schistosomiasis (FGS).
    She has authored several publications in peer reviewed journals, mainly related to methodologies for tracking public health gains for neglected tropical diseases and the effects of co-morbidities.

    Dr. Victoria Gamba - Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Private Practice/Ministry of Health Kenya/University of Nairobi
    Passionate about participatory efforts to reduce and eliminate vaccine preventable illnesses and an advocate of gender equality and promoting sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls, Victoria is a resident obstetrician and gynaecologist at a private health group and a part time consultant with the Ministry of Health Department of Vector-borne and neglected tropical diseases in collaboration with LVCT-health Kenya.
    Rhoda Ndubani -Study Manager, Zambart 
    Rhoda is the study manager at Zambart on a study called ‘Zipime Weka Schista’, a longitudinal Cohort Study focusing on Integrating Female Sexual Reproductive Health Screening in Zambia focused on one-stop self-sampling for schistosomiasis and other genital infections. The aim of the study is to develop a holistic approach for the community-based diagnosis of female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) through a comprehensive package for sexual and reproductive health screening including human papillomavirus (HPV), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV and Schistosomiasis across endemicity settings (from high to low transmission) in Zambia. The duration of the study is from 2021 to 2025. And they aim to recruit 2500 women in the cohort.
    The women are screened for FGS and HPV using self-sampling in the household and at the health facility. The women are provided with...

    • 21 min
    E51: Battling Bacteria - Community Microbe Champions!

    E51: Battling Bacteria - Community Microbe Champions!

    We have a conversation including our first citizen scientist to kick of 2023. Lou Kellett is an active participant in the Liverpool School of Tropical medicine Swab and Send programme, which is striving to find the next breakthrough in bacteria to defeat antimicrobial resistance.
    We also hear from Dr. Adam Roberts, the creator of the programme, and Dr. Amy McLeman, who is taking the bacteria that shows promising results, through to the next stage of investigation in the lab.
    Swab and Send is an innovative programme that relies on the anticipation of citizens to infinitely broaden the search for a solution to the AMR problem.
    Amy provides us with an insight:
    “Antimicrobials can be produced by bacteria or fungus from anywhere; from the soil in your local park to your kitchen sink. These are just two of the places we are looking for the next new antibiotics and it works! We are finding microbes producing interesting antimicrobials that our team are working on characterising, but did you know it can take 10-15 years and over $1.7 billion to develop a new antibiotic from discovery to market. Even then once a new antibiotic is being sold the investment return is less than $50 million on average each year. Research and development costs massively outweigh the financial return”.
    About our guests:
    Dr. Adam Roberts – Reader, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
    Adam Roberts leads a research group investigating various aspects of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from molecular biology and evolution of transferable AMR to genomic surveillance and antimicrobial drug discovery.
    Dr. Amy McLeman - Postdoctoral Research Associate, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
    Amy works as a postdoctoral research associate on discovery and characterisation of novel antimicrobials from environmental isolates. Her work includes outreach to individuals and communities to communicate the importance of AMR and what Swab and Send is doing to tackle this, and to also encourage involvement of the public to take swabs of everything and anything and send them into us to look for the next antibiotic.
    Lou Kellett – Active Citizen Scientists, Wales, UK
    Lou has worked in local food and farming business for the last couple of decades, including organic farming. An active participant in many citizen science projects, Lou is particularly enthusiastic about the swab and send programme as it creates the opportunity for to share the unique local environmental habitats with the wider world. Lou finds being an active citizen scientist is a great way satiate a hungry sense of curiosity.
    Relevant links:
    https://www.lstmed.ac.uk/public-engagement/swab-send                                   
    https://www.facebook.com/swabandsend/
    https://www.future-science.com/doi/10.2144/fsoa-2020-0053
    #SwabAndSend
    Want to hear more podcasts like this?
    Follow Connecting Citizens to Science on your usual podcast platform or YouTube to hear more about the methods and approaches that researchers apply to connect with communities and co-produce solutions to global health challenges.
    The podcast covers wide ranging topics such as NTD’s, NCD’s, antenatal and postnatal care, mental wellbeing and climate change, all linked to community engagement and power dynamics.    
    If you would like your own project or programme to feature in an episode, get in touch with producers of Connecting Citizens to Science, The SCL Agency.   

    • 24 min
    S10 E5: From lab to people - the translational research journey

    S10 E5: From lab to people - the translational research journey

    In this celebratory episode to close out 2022, we have brought together previous co-hosts and guests to reflect on what we have learned over the past year. We examine our learning along the translational research pathway. 
    The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have a translational research trajectory; that means there is a continuum of science from basic research and labs to embedding change for communities and within sustainable policies and practices. LSTM works with a range of partners globally along this continuum, and in this episode, we will be hearing from some of those that have worked with LSTM and have different positions within programmes and PhDs. Our multidisciplinary guests share their understanding of community engagement and how they ensure that community voice is included in research design, analysis and outcomes throughout the research pathway.
    This episode features: 
    Beatrice Egid – MRC PhD Student, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
    In 2017, Beatrice completed a BA in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford. She began an MSc in Tropical Disease Biology at LSTM in September 2018, during which she undertook a research project determining the level of insecticide resistance in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Accra, Ghana, and the metabolic mechanisms driving it. Beatrice started the MRC Doctoral Training Programme at LSTM, with an integrated MRes at Lancaster University in Global Health: Quantitative and Translational Skills, in 2019.
    Beatrice is undertaking her PhD as part of the ARISE project. Within ARISE, Beatrice's project focuses on vector-borne diseases in waste-picking communities in Vijayawada, India. She will be employing a mixed-methods approach, combining aspects of entomology and policy analysis alongside qualitative and participatory methods.
    Beatrice has a strong interest in health policy and co-production research approaches. She conducted a desk-based policy project exploring the intersection between vector-borne diseases and city resilience in the context of the Resilient Cities Network (RCN), and has published two papers from her MRes qualitative research project investigating power dynamics in participatory research.
    Dr. Oluwatosin Adekeye - Assistant Director of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry Ahmadu Bello University Hospital Zaria Kaduna
    A social scientist with varied experience in both clinical and research aspects of health among communities in Northern Nigeria. As a Clinical Psychologist, his work has been both on mental and behavioural disorders and the effects of chronic disease on the well-being of patients and caregivers. As a Social Scientist, he just concluded a study that documented the well-being of people with stigmatizing skin diseases and established a care and support group within the community. More recently he is working on developing a well-being tool for parents and children with disability. 
     
    Dr Akinola Oluwole – Consultant, Sightsavers, Nigeria
    Dr Akinola Oluwole is an experienced researcher with a special interest in socio-epidemiology of tropical infectious diseases. His multidisciplinary expertise includes spatial disease mapping, monitoring and evaluation of intervention and control programmes and implementation/Health systems research for public health and disease control. He has over Fifteen years’ experience working on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Recently, Dr Akinola was the programme lead for two Co-production research projects within the COUNTDOWN consortia, one to develop a care package for Female Genital Schistosomiasis and a second to improve the equity of mass drug administration in Nigeria. Both projects utilised...

    • 22 min
    S10E4: Engaging children and communities for lung health - An octopus of methods!

    S10E4: Engaging children and communities for lung health - An octopus of methods!

    In this week's episode, we are talking to the Tupumue Project, who applied creative participatory methods alongside clinical data to understand how many children, in two communities in Nairobi, Kenya have lung problems, and to explore children's experiences of lung problems and air pollution. The project used a variety of creative research methods including drawings, drama, walking interviews with go pros, comics, graffiti and others. They even engaged children in co- analysis and theme development.  
    Co-host for this episode, Dr. Hellen Meme, told us more about the programme; 
    “The choice of the word “Tupumue” (meaning “lets breathe”!) as an identity of the program was because breathing is a function important to all. The Tupumue programme was a complex undertaking considering the broadness of the subject that was covered, in regard to establishing the burden of non-communicable lung diseases in school children and risk factors in both an informal and formal community context. The necessary skill pool had to be wide to achieve this and hence the broad collaboration involving a multidisciplinary team derived from several North and South institutions. For everyone to own the study, we held consultative meetings through which we established a niche for everyone to participate. We are in the process of widely disseminating our study findings and are currently sharing our results with all stakeholders including participating schools and the community in order to get their views on the findings before we engage policy makers”. 
     
    This episode features: 
    Dr. Hellen Meme (co-host) - Chief Research Scientist, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) 
    Hellen Meme’s research work spans over 30 years and involves health and communities. Her research area of interest is in respiratory diseases with bias towards conducting  research in congregate communities. This necessitates a broad skill base as well as innovation in planning approaches appropriate for project implementation. In this regard, engagement of community and other stakeholders is key.  
    Dr Sarah West - Centre Director and Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York 
    Sarah has been using citizen science approaches since she began work at SEI York in 2008, working on topics ranging from air pollution and biodiversity through to parenting and food waste. All her work uses citizen science approaches to engage a diverse range of people with research. She uses this approach because she believes that well designed projects can have huge benefits for advancing research and for making a difference for all those involved in projects. She also conducts research around the method of citizen science, looking at who is and isn’t participating in projects, and evaluating projects’ efficacy.  
    Relevant links: 
    https://www.sei.org/featured/citizen-science-month/ 
    Fred Orina - Senior Research Scientist, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) 
    Fred’s interest is research implementation. He has 10 years’ experience in coordinating the implementation of human health research, with a focus on lung health studies in both static and nomadic communities. This involves liaising with communities and diverse stakeholders. With a scientific background, he acts as the interlink between the community, researchers, and the sponsor. 
    Professor Graham Devereux - Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine 
    Graham is a Professor of Respiratory Medicine with research interests in the antenatal influences on the life course of airways disease and clinical trials in COPD.  He...

    • 24 min
    S10E3: Health Systems Strengthening - Participatory Action Research in Guatemala

    S10E3: Health Systems Strengthening - Participatory Action Research in Guatemala

    In this episode we hear about a participatory action research project in Guatemala, funded by the Director's Catalyst Fund at LSTM, that co-designed a tool for health leaders and community partners to assess and improve urban health governance.  
    The project was based in two Guatemalan urban municipalities; Villa Nueva and Mixco. We speak with Guillermo Hegel, the project lead who was also the Health Director at Villa Nueva Municipality at the time of the project. We also hear from Yaimie Lopez and Cintia Cansado who coordinated and evaluated the project. They share their experience of participatory research and working with policy makers.  
    The research team together with co-researchers who were urban health stakeholders looked at 4 domains, Governance, leadership accountability and multi-sectoral action. They first defined what these terms were, then they co-analysed existing tools to measure governance performance and designed an online tool which could be used to rank current performance and areas for improvement which could then track over time.  
    The tool involved a number of qualitative questions that required discussions and reflections about governance in their work and required a level of trust and transparency which is further explored by our guests.  
    This Episode features: 
    Wesam Mansour (co-host) - Health Systems Researcher, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Wesam is a Health System Researcher with research expertise in health workforce and health systems strengthening in fragile contexts using qualitative research and participatory action research approaches. Her work includes working in the areas of gender, equity and justice and how to apply those concepts to develop gender-equitable, resilient and inclusive health systems. She is currently working, in LSTM, on the ReBUILD4Resilience project which is health system research in Fragile and Shock-Prone (FASP) settings in 4 countries (Nepal, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, and Lebanon). In ReBUILD, they worked with the Close to Community (CTC) providers in FASP settings to explore how participatory action research can support CTC providers to address gender norms and power relations within their communities and in the health systems in Lebanon and Nepal. 
    Links:
    LSTM - Wesam Mansour
    ReBUILD Consortium
    ReBUILD - Gender Project
    Guillermo Hegel, Project Coordinator, INCAP Since 2020 Guillermo has been a researcher at CIIPEC. He coordinates a participatory action research project in collaboration with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. From 2014 to early 2020, he was health director of the municipality of Villa Nueva, Guatemala. A core part of his tasks was to articulate 'Health-in-All Policies' and to improve the primary health care system in urban setting through participatory processes. Between 2008-2013, he worked at PAHO/WHO Guatemala, as an advisor for social determinants of health and the ´Healthy Cities´ initiative, leading and contributing to several programs in Guatemala and Latin America. He began his career in public health in 2000, promoting small-scale projects at the...

    • 33 min
    S10E2: HSR2022 Special - Strengthening Health Systems with Communities

    S10E2: HSR2022 Special - Strengthening Health Systems with Communities

    Our team of podcasters were roaming the halls of HSR2022, the Seventh Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, capturing the conversations ‘in the halls’ after the sessions, with a focus on community engagement. 
    In this final HSR2022 episode, host Kim Ozano and guests share their thoughts and takeaways from the conference.  Our host, Kim, presented at HSR2022 sessions as part of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s (LSTM) cohort.  As LSTM mark 125 years of global health research and look to the next 125 years, she summarises  the themes that reoccurred in conversation with other delegates and presenters.  
    This Episode features:Host of Connecting Citizens to Science podcast: Dr Kim Ozano – Research Director, the SCL Agency 
    Bea Egid (co-host) -  MRC PhD Student, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
    Jhaki A. Mendoza – Research Associate, University of the Philippines  
    Maria Van Der Merwe -  Research Coordinator, VAPAR
    Vivek Dsouza – Research officer, Institute of Public Health, Bangalore 
    Kara Hanson - Professor of Health System Economics and Dean, Faculty of Public Health & Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 
    Follow Connecting Citizens to Science on your usual podcast platform to hear our equitable global health research podcast connect discussing how researchers connect with communities and people to co-develop solutions to global health challenges.
    The series covers wide ranging topics such as TB, NTD’s, antenatal and postnatal care, mental wellbeing and climate change linked to health. 

    • 36 min

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