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 (CP) remains the leading infectious 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, malaria and polio. Thus, CP can be described as a neglected health issue at the global level due to lack of synergy among key stakeholders and current agenda-setting practices between influential global health actors.

Bangladesh is typically seen as a success story due to huge reductions in CP in the last few decades. Nevertheless, it remains the 13th highest burden country globally for CP. As such, Bangladesh offers a unique example of what governments are doing to address CP, despite the lack of global prioritisation. Due to the complex wider determinants of health that need to be considered when tackling CP, this disease is a useful litmus test of how well a health system is functioning.

Aim and impact

This project aims to map and analyse global and national governance of CP control through examination of existing health policies, financing mechanisms and health system analysis. Lois will investigate the extent of neglect at the international level and look at the extent of neglect at the domestic level, uncovering if and why there are differences when comparing global to national prioritisation, what the local effects of this are and how Bangladesh’s policies have adapted to tackle CP.

This thesis aims to add to the current evidence base by documenting the effectiveness of CP governance in Bangladesh to inform how countries can address disease burden in this context, if Bangladesh is found to truly be tackling CP adequately.

Key developments

  • Progressed to 2nd year with specified research questions and methodology in place
  • Project sponsorship in progress
  • Stakeholder mapping for key informant interviews in progress

Project data

Download the project Data Management Plan

View the project metadata on the Health Data Research Innovations Gateway

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 the political dimensions of global health. She is also a member of the Global Health Governance Programme within the Usher Institute.

See Lois’ profile on LinkedIn

Three-Minute Thesis-Style Video Competition

For the RESPIRE ASM Showcase on the 24th November 2020, the RESPIRE PhD students recorded videos explaining their research, as part of a Three-Minute Thesis-Style Video Competition. Watch Lois' presentation below.

Video: KING, Lois
RESPIRE 3-Minute Thesis-Style Video Competition - KING, Lois - Exploring the interplay between political prioritisation practices in global health and childhood pneumonia governance in Bangladesh