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PhD-level statistician / data scientist. I have worked as a statistician for 25 years in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. I organise project data handling and analytics, including the management of solutions for robust and secure online data collection. I have published around 200 peer-reviewed articles covering a range of chronic and infectious diseases. Working with colleagues, I have secured over 14 million US dollars of funding for health-related research. I am committed to open-access data, and am developing an infrastructure for collecting and sharing Caribbean research data. I work with a range of Caribbean and international agencies involved in health and wellness.
The Human Mobility Transition model describes shifts in mobility dynamics and transport systems. The aspirational stage, ‘human urbanism’, is characterised by high active travel, universal public transport, low private vehicle use and equitable access to transport. We explored factors associated with travel behaviour in Africa and the Caribbean, investigating the potential to realise ‘human urbanism’ in this context. We conducted a mixed-methods systematic review of ten databases and grey literature for articles published between January 2008 and February 2019. We appraised study quality using Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklists. We narratively synthesized qualitative and quantitative data, using meta-study principles to integrate the findings. We identified 39,404 studies through database searching, mining reviews, reference screening, and topic experts’ consultation. We included 129 studies (78 quantitative, 28 mixed-methods, 23 qualitative) and 33 grey literature documents. In marginalised groups, including the poor, people living rurally or peripheral to cities, women and girls, and the elderly, transport was poorly accessible, travel was characterised by high levels of walking and paratransit (informal public transport) use, and low private vehicle use. Poorly controlled urban growth (density) and sprawl (expansion), with associated informality, was a salient aspect of this context, resulting in long travel distances and the necessity of motorised transportation. There were existing population-level assets in relation to ‘human urbanism’ (high levels of active travel, good paratransit coverage, low private vehicle use) as well as core challenges (urban sprawl and informality, socioeconomic and gendered barriers to travel, poor transport accessibility). Ineffective mobility systems were a product of uncoordinated urban planning, unregulated land use and subsequent land use conflict. To realise ‘human urbanism’, integrated planning policies recognising the linkages between health, transport and equity are needed. A shift in priority from economic growth to a focus on broader population needs and the rights and wellbeing of ordinary people is required. Policymakers should focus attention on transport accessibility for the most vulnerable.
BACKGROUND: Risk stratification is a cornerstone of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and a main strategy proposed to achieve global goals of reducing premature CVD deaths. There are no cardiovascular risk scores based on data from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and it is unknown how well risk scores based on European and North American cohorts represent true risk among LAC populations. METHODS: We developed a CVD (including coronary heart disease and stroke) risk score for fatal/non-fatal events using pooled data from 9 prospective cohorts with 21,378 participants and 1,202 events. We developed laboratory-based (systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking), and office-based (body mass index replaced total cholesterol and diabetes) models. We used Cox proportional hazards and held back a subset of participants to internally validate our models by estimating Harrell’s C-statistic and calibration slopes. FINDINGS: The C-statistic for the laboratory-based model was 72% (70-74%), the calibration slope was 0.994 (0.934-1.055) among men and 0.852 (0.761-0.942) among women; for the office-based model the C-statistic was 71% (69-72%) and the calibration slope was 1.028 (0.980-1.076) among men and 0.811 (0.663-0.958) among women. In the pooled sample, using a 20% risk threshold, the laboratory-based model had sensitivity of 21.9% and specificity of 94.2%. Lowering the threshold to 10% increased sensitivity to 52.3% and reduced specificity to 78.7%. INTERPRETATION: The cardiovascular risk score herein developed had adequate discrimination and calibration. The Globorisk-LAC would be more appropriate for LAC than the current global or regional risk scores. This work provides a tool to strengthen risk-based cardiovascular prevention in LAC. FUNDING: Wellcome Trust (214185/Z/18/Z).
Travel has individual, societal and planetary health implications. We explored socioeconomic and gendered differences in travel behaviour in Africa, to develop an understanding of travel-related inequity. We conducted a mixed-methods systematic review (PROSPERO CRD42019124802). In 2019, we searched MEDLINE, TRID, SCOPUS, Web of Science, LILACS, SciELO, Global Health, Africa Index Medicus, CINAHL and MediCarib for studies examining travel behaviour by socioeconomic status and gender in Africa. We appraised study quality using Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklists. We synthesised qualitative data using meta-ethnography, followed by a narrative synthesis of quantitative data, and integrated qualitative and quantitative strands using pattern matching principles. We retrieved 103 studies (20 qualitative, 24 mixed-methods, 59 quantitative). From the meta-ethnography, we observed that travel is: intertwined with social mobility; necessary to access resources; associated with cost and safety barriers; typified by long distances and slow modes; and dictated by gendered social expectations. We also observed that: motorised transport is needed in cities; walking is an unsafe, ‘captive’ mode; and urban and transport planning are uncoordinated. From these observations, we derived hypothesised patterns that were tested using the quantitative data, and found support for these overall. In lower socioeconomic individuals, travel inequity entailed reliance on walking and paratransit (informal public transport), being unable to afford travel, travelling less overall, and travelling long distances in hazardous conditions. In women and girls, travel inequity entailed reliance on walking and lack of access to private vehicles, risk of personal violence, societally-imposed travel constraints, and household duties shaping travel. Limitations included lack of analytical rigour in qualitative studies and a preponderance of cross-sectional quantitative studies (offering a static view of an evolving process). Overall, we found that travel inequity in Africa perpetuates socioeconomic and gendered disadvantage. Proposed solutions focus on improving the safety, efficiency and affordability of public transport and walking.
From 1985 to 2016, the prevalence of underweight decreased, and that of obesity and severe obesity increased, in most regions, with significant variation in the magnitude of these changes across regions. We investigated how much change in mean body mass index (BMI) explains changes in the prevalence of underweight, obesity, and severe obesity in different regions using data from 2896 population-based studies with 187 million participants. Changes in the prevalence of underweight and total obesity, and to a lesser extent severe obesity, are largely driven by shifts in the distribution of BMI, with smaller contributions from changes in the shape of the distribution. In East and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the underweight tail of the BMI distribution was left behind as the distribution shifted. There is a need for policies that address all forms of malnutrition by making healthy foods accessible and affordable, while restricting unhealthy foods through fiscal and regulatory restrictions.