Professor Justine Davies

Professor Justine Davies

Institute of Applied Health Research
Professor of Global Health

Contact details

Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Justine’s driver is to do research that informs development of health systems that deliver quality care in lower and middle income countries, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, projects that she works on all have a health system question in mind. 

The overall aim of her research is to provide the evidence to inform where health systems need to develop in order to serve the needs of their populations. This involves looking at the health of the population and the health system that serves them from many different angles; from epidemiological, qualitative, systems-readiness, and economic perspectives. Justine also does implementation science research in order to study real-world solutions to identified gaps. The specialty areas that Justine is interested in are in conditions that require surgery to treat and cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors. Both of these specialty areas require a joined-up health system that provides good quality care.


Justine has previously been a practising physician in the field of cardiovascular diseases and trained as a clinical pharmacologist in the area of cardiovascular disease risk factors. As a clinical pharmacologist she ran early stage clinical trials of medications to reduce cardiovascular risk. 

Recognising the necessity to put human health in the context of the planet on which we live, Justine took time out to study for a Zoology degree, after which she honed her interest in Global Health and research excellence whilst working at the Lancet Journals. She worked as an executive editor at The Lancet and latterly as Editor in Chief of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. She returned to full time academia in the field of Global Health in December 2016 and has worked at Wits University in South Africa and KCL since then.  

Experience at The Lancet Journals has developed a keen sense of what is an impactful research question and how to answer this with methodological rigour. 

Justine also has a love of writing and communicating science to non-scientists. She has thus done work as a freelance journalist and worked at the BBC.

Postgraduate supervision

Currently supervising 3 PhD projects at KCL:

  • Global surgery
  • Paediatric surgery
  • Access to care for trauma



The aim of this project is to identify barriers in access to quality care for people who have been injured in lower and middle income countries, in particular Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda.

Funded by the NIHR Global Health Policy and Systems Research (130036) and the Institute for Global Health Innovation at the University of Birmingham.

Ongoing projects in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia: 

Implementation science to Improve Quality Surgery Care in a tertiary referral hospital (NIHR funded)

  • Sierra Leone:

Burden of, barriers to access to care for, and consequences of Cardiovascular Diseases Risk Factor in Sierra Leone (Wellcome Trust funded)

  • Malawi:

Burden of peripheral vascular disease amongst high risk people living in Malawi (MRC/KCL funded)

  • Burkina Faso: 

Burden of and consequences of multimorbidity in a population in Nouna (Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation funded)

  • South Africa, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Kenya

Burden and consequences of cardiovascular disease risk factors across four African Countries (part of the AWIGEN collaboration)

Other activities

  • Independent expert advisor to WHO on Global Surgery
  • Consultant on NCDs with MSF


Recent publications


Whitaker , J, Chirwa , L, Munthali , B, Dube , A, Amoah , AS, Leather , AJM & Davies, J 2021, 'Development and use of clinical vignettes to assess injury care quality in Northern Malawi', Injury.

Brima, N, Sevdalis, N, Daoh , K, Deen, B, Kamara, T, Wurie, H, Davies, J & Leather, A 2021, 'Improving nursing documentation for surgical patients in a referral hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone: protocol for assessing feasibility of a pilot multifaceted quality improvement hybrid type project', Pilot and Feasibility Studies. <>

Hernandez, NN, Ismail, S, Hen, H, van Pelt, M, Witham, M & Davies, J 2020, 'An innovative model for management of cardiovascular disease risk factors in the low resource setting of Cambodia', Health Policy and Planning.

Teufel , F, Geldsetzer, P, Manne-Goehler, J, Karlsson, O, Koncz , V, Deckert , A, Theilmann, M, Marcus , M-E, Ebert, C, Seiglie , JA, Agoudavi, K, Andall-Brereton, G, Gathecha, G, Singh Gurung, M, Guwatudde, D, Houehanou, C, Hwalla , NC, Kagaruki, GB, Karki, KB, Labadarios, D, Martins, JS, Msaidie, M, Norov, B, Sibai , AM, Sturua, L, Tsabedze, L, Wesseh, CS, Davies, J, Atun, R, Vollmer, S, Subramanian , SV, Bärnighausen, T, Jaacks, LM & De Neve , J-W 2020, 'Analysis of attained height and diabetes among 554,122 adults across 25 low- and middle-income countries', Diabetes Care.

Davies, JI, Reddiar, SK, Hirschhorn, LR, Ebert, C, Marcus, M-E, Seiglie, JA, Zhumadilov, Z, Supiyev, A, Sturua, L, Silver, BK, Sibai, AM, Quesnel-Crooks, S, Norov, B, Mwangi, JK, Omar, OM, Wong-McClure, R, Mayige, MT, Martins, JS, Lunet, N, Labadarios, D, Karki, KB, Kagaruki, GB, Jorgensen, JMA, Hwalla, NC, Houinato, D, Houehanou, C, Guwatudde, D, Gurung, MS, Bovet, P, Bicaba, BW, Aryal, KK, Msaidié, M, Andall-Brereton, G, Brian, G, Stokes, A, Vollmer, S, Bärnighausen, T, Atun, R, Geldsetzer, P, Manne-Goehler, J & Jaacks, LM 2020, 'Association between country preparedness indicators and quality clinical care for cardiovascular disease risk factors in 44 lower- and middle-income countries: a multicountry analysis of survey data', PLoS Medicine, vol. 17, no. 11, e1003268.

Wagner, RG, Crowther, NJ, Micklesfield, LK, Boua, R, Nonterah, EA, Mashinya, F, Mohamed, SF, Asiki, G, Tollman, SM, Ramsay, M & Davies, J 2020, 'Burden of cardiovascular risk in community dwellers over 40 years old in South Africa, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Ghana', BMJ Global Health. <>

Brinkmann, B, Payne, C, Kohler, IV, Harling, G, Davies, J, Witham, MD, Siedner, MJ, Sie, A, Bountogo, M, Ouermi, L, Coulibaly, B & Bärnighausen, T 2020, 'Depressive symptoms and cardiovascular disease: a population-based study of older adults in rural Burkina Faso', BMJ open.

Seiglie , JA, Marcus , M-E, Ebert, C, Prodromidis , N, Geldsetzer, P, Theilmann, M, Agoudavi, K, Andall-Brereton, G, Aryal, KK, Bicaba, BW, Bovet, P, Brian, G, Dorobantu, M, Gathecha, G, Singh Gurung, M, Guwatudde, D, Msaidie, M, Houehanou, C, Houinato, D, Jorgensen, JMA, Kagaruki, GB, Karki, KB, Labadarios, D, Martins, JS, Mayige, MT, McClure, RW, Mwangi, JK, Mwalim, O, Norov, B, Quesnel-Crooks, S, Silver, BK, Sturua, L, Tsabedze, L, Wesseh, CS, Stokes, A, Atun, R, Davies, J, Vollmer, S, Bärnighausen, TW, Jaacks, LM, Meigs , JB, Wexler , DJ & Manne-Goehler, J 2020, 'Diabetes prevalence and its relationship with education, wealth, and body mass index in twenty-nine low- and middle-income countries', Diabetes Care.

Odland, ML, Payne, C, Witham, MD, Siedner, MJ, Bärnighausen, T, Buontogo, M, Coulibaly, B, Geldsetzer, P, Harling, G, Manne-Goehler, J, Ouermi, L, Sie, A & Davies, J 2020, 'Epidemiology of multimorbidity in conditions of extreme poverty: A population-based study of older adults in rural Burkina Faso', BMJ Global Health, vol. 5, no. 3, e002096. bmjgh-2019-002096

Umutesi, G, Davies, J & Hedt-Gauthier, BL 2020, 'Global Surgery: Seeing Beyond the Silo', World journal of surgery.

Majid, Z, Welch, C, Davies, J & Jackson, T 2020, 'Global frailty: the role of ethnicity, migration and socioeconomic factors', Maturitas, vol. 139, pp. 33-41.

Jorgensen, JMA, Hedt , KH, Mwalim, O & Davies, J 2020, 'Hypertension and diabetes in Zanzibar – prevalence and access to care', BMC Public Health, vol. 20, 1352 .

Odland, ML, Nepogodiev, D, Morton, D, Martin, J, Bekele, A, Ghosh, D, Ademuyiwa, AO, Davies, J & Weiser, TG 2020, 'Identifying a basket of surgical procedures to standardize global surgical metrics: an international Delphi study', Annals of surgery.

Odland, ML, Whitaker , J, Nepogodiev, D, Aling, CA, Bagawhira, I, Dushime, T, Erlangga, D, Mpirimbanyi, C, Muneza, S, Nkeshimana, M, Nyundo, M, Umuhoza, C, Uwitonce, E, Steans, J, Rushton, A, Belli, A, Byiringiro, JC, Bekele, A & Davies, J 2020, 'Identifying, prioritizing and visually mapping barriers to injury care in Rwanda: a multi-disciplinary stakeholder exercise', World journal of surgery.

Brima, N, Davies, J & Leather , A 2020, 'Improving quality of surgical and anaesthesia care at hospital level in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review protocol of health system strengthening interventions. PROSPERO Registration number: CRD42019125570', BMJ open.

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