Dr Semira Manaseki-Holland BMed Sci, MBBS, MPH, MRCPCH, FRCP, FFPHM, PhD

Dr Semira Manaseki-Holland

Institute of Applied Health Research
Clinical Senior Lecturer

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 4533
+44 (0)121 414 7878
Public health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Semira Manaseki-Holland is a senior clinical lecturer in public health with an interest in health systems, maternal-child health and low- and middle-income countries. She is a UK based public health physician with a paediatric background and has worked in clinical medicine, health systems delivery and policy, public health and research in the UK and developing countries for over 20 years. Her low- and middle-income country experience includes research (such as large community trials in challenging academic environments), work for WHO and UNICEF on country based programmes and at WHO HQ, with Ministries of Health to advise on strategy and policy development, and at the CEO level in International Health Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) coordinating delivery of integrated health services (in Afghanistan and Tajikistan from village to provincial hospitals), and operations of training colleges.


  • Fellowship of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh - 2009
  • Fellowship of Faculty of Public Health Medicine of Royal College of Physicians London - 2009
  • PhD Paediatric Epidemiology - 2002 to 2005
  • Membership of Faculty of Public Health Medicine of Royal College of Physicians - 2001
  • Masters in Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology - 1995 to 1997
  • Membership of Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health - 1997
  • Membership of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh: Part 2 - 1995
  • Membership of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh: Part 1 - 1994
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery - 1985 to 1991
  • Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours - 1987 to 1988


Semira graduated from University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne medical school with a BMedSci, and an MBBS; she worked in adult clinical medicine and paediatrics, specialising in Paediatrics, and then moved to Public Health starting in the North East of England and ending her training in the West Midlands. In the process she gained a MSc (Public Health & Epidemiology), the Membership of the Royal College (RC) of Physician, RC of Paediatrics and Child Health, and Faculty of Public Health Medicine, colleges where she is now a Fellow.  She worked as a NHS Public Health/Child Health Consultant in Birmingham Health Authority (then the largest health authority in the UK) and a Technical Officer at the WHO HQ, Geneva, before starting her Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) towards her PhD from 2002-2005. Here she conducted the first ever randomised controlled trial in Mongolia following 1300 birth cohort of children for 3.5 years with over 200 clinical and non-clinical research staff in Ulaanbaatar, investigating the health effects of swaddling. In this time, she continued collaboration with the UN and other international agencies on maternal and child health projects, and the Ministry of Health and the University Medical School of Mongolia developing public health programmes and their evaluation.

Semira moved to Afghanistan from 2005-2010 to work with the Ministry of Health, the UNICEF, WHO, Save the Children, JICA and other international agencies. For 3.5 years, she was the Central Asia CEO for an international health NGO, Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS), stationed in Kabul. In this role she directed and managed health system development and service delivery in 3 deprived and hard-to-access provinces of Afghanistan and 2 in Tajikistan while collaborating with projects in Pakistan and other countries of ARHS. Both Afghanistan and Tajikistan programmes expanded in size and scope two-fold during her leadership as she managed over 420 international and national professional staff, 400 support staff, 1100 community health volunteers and a budget of US$10.5mil/year. In both countries, she worked as an advisor to the MOH in health system restructuring and served as a member of the Ethical Review Board of the Ministry of Public Health. AKHS-Afghanistan responsibilities comprised the management of over 300 facilities ranging from 2 provincial hospitals to village health posts, and 3 Community Midwifery Schools (CME). She directed the implementation of the first Afghan tele-medicine programme, numerous censuses and household surveys and formal research projects as PI in collaboration with LSHTM and Aga Khan University-Karachi (including 2 first ever RCTs in Kabul). Furthermore she conducted 3 studies. The largest of these studies, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British Council, was an 18-month follow-up of 3,050 infants with vitamin D supplementation in Kabul – the largest RCT in Afghanistan held to date.  In AKHS-Tajikistan also the programme expanded geographically, in health systems improvement and training programmes as she introduced clinical audit, implemented the second Tajik pilot of ‘Family Medicine’ primary care provision, expanded the Afghan-Tajik border health care services and including numerous research training programs and surveys.

On return to the UK in 2010, Dr Manaseki-Holland joined University of Birmingham Public Health Department, working in quality of health service improvement projects in the UK and on health systems and maternal child health studies in low and middle-income countries. She currently conducts active research in Nigeria, the Gambia, Tanzania, Uganda, India, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Romania and other LMIC countries. Semira’s current research topics in LMIC include childhood vitamin D deficiency, weaning food hygiene interventions, perineal trauma prevention and management, medical device procurement and clinical handover (non-communicable chronic disease). She also has an active programme in the UK looking into preventable mortality in hospitals and the role of case note reviews.   Semira has been involved with an advisory group with NHS England aiming to develop an indicator for avoidable hospital mortality.

Semira established and directs a highly rated MPH International programme at Birmingham University and continues with PhD students, teaching on other Masters courses, BMedSci, and undergraduate medical school teaching programmes. She is also a member of a number of professional bodies and an examiner for Royal Colleges of Physician and Faculty of Public Health Medicine.


Teaching Programmes
Medicine and Surgery MBChB
Public Health MPH/PG Diploma/PG Certificate

Semira developed the Masters in Public Health International (MPH (Int)) programme and is its Programme Director

Semira has also taught in the past on distance learning epidemiology courses at LSHTM.

Postgraduate supervision

Semira is interested in supervision masters or doctorial research students in the following areas, particularly in relation to low- and middle-income countries:

  • Maternal child health
  • Clinical handover
  • Device prioritisation in hospitals
  • Vitamin D and infection
  • Childhood Pneumonia and diarrhoea
  • Health Service Quality metrics / indicators
  • Preventable hospital mortality / case notes review



Health determinants and health systems in low and middle-income countries
Maternal Child Health
Quality of Health Care and Health Service
Clinical Trials

Infectious diseases epidemiology
None-communicable diseases - CVD


Manaseki-Holland S, Lilford RJ, Bishop JR, Girling AJ, Chen YF, Chilton PJ, Hofer TP (2016)  UK Case Note Review Group. Reviewing deaths in British and US hospitals: a study of two scales for assessing preventability. BMJ Qual Saf. 2016 Jun 22. pii: bmjqs-2015-004849. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2015-004849.

Sarin P, Manaseki-Holland S, Mughal Z, Duffy J, Hedayat E. (2016) Vitamin D and tuberculosis: review and association in rural provinces Bamyan, Baghlan and Badakhshan, Afghanistan. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis.2016 Mar;20(3):383-8. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.15.0303.

Bazarragchaa Tsogt B, Manaseki-Holland S, Pollock J, Blair PS, Fleming P. (2016) Thermoregulatory effects of swaddling in Mongolia: A randomised controlled study. Arch Dis Child. 2016 Feb;101(2):152-60. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2014-307908. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

Braddick L, Tuckey V, Abbas Z, Lissauer D, Ismail K, Manaseki-Holland S, Ditai J, Stokes T. (2016) A mixed-methods study of barriers and facilitators to the implementation of postpartum hemorrhage guidelines in Uganda. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2016 Jan;132(1):89-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2015.06.047. Epub 2015 Sep 28.

Aluisio AR, Maroof Z, Chandramohan D, Bruce J, Masher MI, Manaseki-Holland S, Ensink JH. (2015) Risk factors associated with recurrent diarrheal illnesses among children in Kabul, Afghanistan: a prospective cohort study. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 13;10(2):e0116342. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116342. eCollection 2015.

Lilford RJ, Burn SL, Diaconu KD, Lilford P, Chilton PJ, Bion V, Cummins C, Manaseki-Holland S. (2015) An approach to prioritization of medical devices in low-income countries: an example based on the Republic of South Sudan.Cost Eff Resour Alloc. 2015 Jan 10;13(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s12962-014-0027-3. eCollection 2015.

Aluisio A R, Maroof Z, Bruce J, Mughal Z, Masher MI, Bhutta Z, Walraven G, Chandramohan D, Manaseki-Holland S (2013) Vitamin D₃supplementation and childhood diarrhea:a randomised controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2013 Oct;132(4):e832-40. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-3986. Epub 2013 Sep 9.
Yao G L, Novielli, N, Manaseki-Holland S, Chen Y, van der Klink M, Barach P, Chilton PJ, Lilford R J(2012) on behalf of the European HANDOVER Research Collaborative. Evaluation of a pre-development service delivery intervention: an application to improve clinical handovers. BMJ Quality & Safety. 2012 Dec;21 Suppl 1:i29-38. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2012-001210. Epub 2012 Sep 13 
Manaseki-Holland S. (2012) Vitamin D for childhood pneumonia. Indian Pediatr. 2012 Jun 8;49(6):439-40. 
Manaseki-Holland S, Bruce J, Maroof Z, Mughal Z, Masher M I , Bhutta Z, Walraven G, Chandramohan D. (2012) Effect on the incidence of pneumonia of vitamin D supplementation by quarterly bolus dose to infants in Kabul: a randomised controlled superiority trial. Lancet. 2012 Apr 14, 379(9824):1419-27. 
Manaseki-Holland S, Spier E, Bavuusuren, B. Bayandorj T, Marshall, T, and Sprachman S (2010)  Effects of tight and prolonged swaddling upon mental and psychomotor development at one year of age: a randomised controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2010 Dec;126(6):e1485-92. 
Pollock J, Manaseki-Holland S, Patel V. (2009) Depression in Mongolian women over the first two months after Childbirth: prevalence and risk factors. J Affect Disord. 2009 Jul; 116(1-2); 126-33. 
Walraven G , Manaseki-Holland S, Hussain A, and Tomoro J B (2009) Improving maternal and child health in difficult environments: experiences in adjacent geographical areas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan and the case for 'cross border' health care. PLoS Medicine 2009 Jan 13;6(1):e5. 
 Sovd T,  Mmari K, Lipovsek V, Manaseki-Holland S (2006) Acceptability as a Key Determinant of Client Satisfaction: Lessons from an Evaluation of Adolescent Friendly Health Services in Mongolia. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2006 May;38(5):519-26.