NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

Lois King

Project: Addressing neglect of childhood pneumonia within global health governance: a case study in Bangladesh

PhD overview

  • Acute or chronic:  Acute
  • Country:  Bangladesh
  • Based at:  University of Edinburgh
  • Start date:  02 September 2019
  • End date:  31 August 2022
  • Supervisors:  Devi Sridhar, Mark Hellowell
  • Email:
  • Funded by:  This PhD is match-funded by the University of Edinburgh
Lois King headshot
RESPIRE PhD student: Lois King


Globally, childhood pneumonia remains the leading cause of death among children under five. However, the disease receives less prioritisation and funding in global health when compared to other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Thus, childhood pneumonia can be described as a neglected health issue: it is predominantly a disease of poverty and draws little political priority.

Whilst there is a Global Action Plan for Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea, many low-and middle-income countries – where the greatest burden is – are falling behind such targets. However, Bangladesh is typically seen as a success story due to huge reductions in childhood pneumonia in the last few decades. Nevertheless nationally, childhood pneumonia accounts for 28% of deaths of children under five. Therefore, Bangladesh is a unique case study to examine neglect of childhood pneumonia: national priorities are shifting towards other health issues as a result of apparent complacency towards the disease in this demographic.

Aim and impact

This research aims to map and analyse global and national governance of interventions employed to tackle childhood pneumonia, through consideration of the disease as neglected.

By addressing a gap on the study of childhood pneumonia governance in Bangladesh, Lois seeks to add to the current evidence base in the field. The implications of this research will help to improve our collective understanding of how neglect for health issues is framed and addressed through analysing global and national governance of childhood pneumonia.

Key developments

  • Working towards a research proposal
  • Currently designing methods and research questions to be addressed
  • Preliminary data collection for a literature review to inform research design

About me

Lois holds a Masters in Public Health and a BSc in Biomedical Sciences. Her research interests are global governance, global health policy and health systems financing and aspires to continue research in respiratory health by addressing the wider determinants of health. She is also a member of the Global Health Governance Programme within the Usher Institute.

See Lois’ profile on LinkedIn