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session 3 Speakers

Chantal Victoria Bright

Chantal Victoria Bright is a first-generation Liberian-American. Due to the civil wars in Liberia, her family sought refuge in the United States where she grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2013, she moved to London where she has worked in academia as a researcher at Kings College London and Kingston University. In 2017, she published the children’s book Janjay, on clean water sanitation set in Liberia that caught the attention of the U.S. State Department-Africa Regional Services Nouveaux Horizons and has been translated to French, Janjay, La petite porteuse d’eau. The French edition of Janjay is marketed in French-speaking Africa, Haiti, and distributed to American embassies to support programmes.


Chantal holds a master's degree in Environmental Management from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science (dual course) from Seton Hall University. She is pursuing a PhD in Water Security and Environmental Peacebuilding in Liberia at the University of Manchester.

Inside Janjay: Teaching Children through Literature about Environmental Health Risks associated with Drinking Water Access in Developing Countries

Environmental health risks especially affect women and children in poorer regions because mothers—as the primary caregivers—are more vulnerable to environmental contaminant exposures found in water, which creates a greater risk of being passed down to children. Studies have shown school-led interventions on good hygiene practices to be an effective way of mitigating the spread of water-related diseases. The objective of this article is to examine ways in which children’s literature can be used to teach environmental education inspired by the African children’s book, Janjay—a story aimed at increasing environmental awareness to help children conceptualise water contamination and water-related diseases. With this rationale, the paper seeks to conduct a review of key findings on the use of children’s literature to increase environmental health education with emphasis on participatory pedagogy to stimulate student learning. Through case study analysis, it will focus on how introducing children in low to medium income countries to literature that interacts with environmental curriculum can be an effective tool in improving environmental health related behaviour.  

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Antonella Bancalari

Challenges to the Adopting Public Infrastructure: Experimental Evidence from Urban Slums

Community toilets (CTs) are helping improve sanitary conditions in urban slums, where access to private toilets is difficult. Yet, even when this infrastructure is available, adoption is not universal and sanitation behaviour risky to public health is prevalent (i.e. open defecation). We conduct a field experiment in 110 slums of India to shed lights on this puzzle. We first show evidence that the low adoption of CTs is a result of treating sanitation as a right and the resulting non-payment social norm, more prevalent among women. We then explore if an external supply-side push to the quality of the infrastructure and an information campaign can break the negative cycle generated by the non-payment social norm. Externally funded improvements crowd-out private willingness to pay, worsen attitudes towards paying the CT fees, increase the demand for public intervention and generate no sustained effect on usage. The negative effects on attitudes to pay for the CT are driven by women. Our results highlight how much of a challenge it is to generate demand for public goods whose adoption entail positive health externalities. 


Antonella is an applied microeconomist and her research sits at the intersection of Development, Public and Health Economics. She is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science. She holds a Master in Public Administration - International Development from LSE and a Bsc in Economics from Universidad del Pacifico. Antonella is also a Research Officer in Development at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a Consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank and will be joining the School of Economics and Finance at the University of St. Andrews from January 2021 as an Assistant Professor. Antonella has extensive experience in impact evaluations in health and sanitation in Latin America and South-East Asia.

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David Astudillo-Rueda

Post-traumatic stress disorder, food insecurity, and social capital among mothers after the 2017 Coastal El Niño flooding in Piura, Peru: a mixed method study

Introduction: Between February to April 2017, the northern coast of Peru experienced the coastal El Niño season with intense rainfalls underlying a river flooding. Hence, it critically affected the unprepared urban areas, outskirts, and farm communities of the Piura region. In order to understand the post-disaster scenario, we aimed to study the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Food Insecurity (FI), and Social Capital (SC) in mothers from the Piura, Castilla, and Catacaos cities. 


Methods: In June-July 2017, three months after the Coastal El Niño flooding, we started conducting a mixed-method baseline study with two follow-ups in November-December 2017, and February-April 2018. We interviewed 179 mothers enrolled in the El Niño cohort study from the Catacaos, Piura and Castilla cities, which were the three most affected cities. We measured PTSD with the PTSD-Checklist-Civilian (PCL-C), FI with the Household-Food-Insecurity-Access-Scale (HFIAS), and SC with the Adapted-Social-Capital-Assessment-Tool (SASCAT). Moreover, we conducted in-depth interviews focused on the items with highest scores for PTSD, and food insecurity to understand individual’s reasons and community conditions.


Results: Three months after the flooding (n=21), mothers reported 38.1% of PTSD, and 76.2% of related-symptoms. Eight months after the flooding (n=107), prevalence of PTSD decreased to 1.9% and the related-symptoms to 3.7%. One year after the flooding (n=106), PTSD and its related symptoms declined to virtually zero. Moreover, three months after the flooding, the prevalence of severe FI was 90%, eight months afterwards, severe FI decreased to 31%, and one year afterwards, severe FI was 13.1%. Three months after the flooding, mothers reported 42.1% of high-cognitive SC which increased to remain highly-constant eight and 12 months afterwards (86.7%, and 77.7%, respectively). 


Conclusions: Three months post-disaster, PTSD and severe FI were high, then consistently decreased until a virtual zero. One year after crisis the high-cognitive SC helped to recover PTSD and FI among mothers from Piura.


David Astudillo is a senior medical student and trainee at CI-Emerge, the Center for Research on Emerging Diseases and Climate Change from the National University of Piura, Peru. He earned a foundation in quantitative and mixed-method studies while investigating the social and mental impacts of the 2017 Coastal El Niño among inhabitants from Piura. His research interests are focused on infectious diseases and mental health among underserved population settings in the northern Peru

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Annel B. Rojas Alvarado

Persistent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and resilience in people affected by the El Niño Coastal Phenomenon 2017 in Lima, Peru

Introduction: In 2017, El Niño impacted the mental health of the communities of Carapongo-Lima. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was estimated at 21% one year post-disaster, Our study evaluated the association between persistent PTSD and resilience patterns three years post-disaster.

Methods: Cross-sectional analytical study of inhabitants affected by the El Niño Coastal Phenomenon in Carapongo Lima, Peru.

Results: Of 150 people, 79% were women with a mean age of 42 years, 39% had completed secondary school, 43% were housewives, 89% lacked access to the public water network and 88% to sewage. After the floods, 40% reported physical injuries, 53% of homes were uninhabitable, 85% of the participants still reside in them, and 60% lost their jobs. 8% had PTSD, 25% high resilience, 40% moderate food insecurity and cognitive-structured social capital were reported at 72% and 56%, respectively. 23% had moderate to severe depression, 12% moderate anxiety and 5% severe anxiety. There are differences in the prevalence of PTSD between participants with high and low resilience (5% vs 8%), who live in a new home after the flood (22% vs 5%), suffered physical injuries (15% vs 3%), diagnosed with anxiety (2% vs 50%) and depression (7% vs 50%) and among those whose functionality was affected by depressive symptoms (35% vs 1%). The probabilities of having PTSD were 3 times more if the participants suffered physical injuries due to sliding (3.69, 95% CI = 1.4-9.5), 54% higher if they consumed tobacco (1.54, 95% CI = 2.8-8.1) and 9 times more if their functionality was affected by depressive symptoms (9.32, 95% CI = 1.3-63.5).


Conclusion: PTSD was not associated with a low level of resilience in survivors of the 2017 El Niño landslide


I am a Peruvian medical student and trainee at CI-Emerge the Center for Research on Emerging Diseases and Climate Change from the National University of Piura. I earned a foundation in quantitative and mixed-method studies while investigating in exploratory projects about infectious diseases, and mental health projects related to the 2017 Coastal El Niño. My research interests are focused on infectious diseases, mental health, and gender equality among vulnerable population settings in the northern of Peru.

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Mikaela Patrick & Winnie Chelagat

Planetary Health Justice for women: examples of practice from Design, Participation and Ecofeminism

This presentation describes a recent paper and body of work developing a framework of planetary health justice linking participatory research and design practices with ecofeminist approaches. The concept of ‘planetary health justice’ articulates the relationship between climate justice and health justice and draws on ideas of spatial justice and ecofeminist approaches to ‘make visible’ the interconnectedness of these problems or injustices. The inequities that connect health and climate are experienced most by those that have been historically oppressed, such as women. 


An ecofeminist approach highlights how the oppression of nature is intrinsically connected to the oppression of women and rooted in patriarchal, capitalist and colonial structures. An example of this can be seen in the expansion of mass agricultural practices across the Global South, damaging subsistence livelihoods and caring relationships with land which have traditionally been led by women. It is our view that this philosophy offers a vital approach to research and practices in the field of planetary health. We combine this approach with a range of participatory research methods from participatory action research to participatory planning and spatial design research methods. 


Design and spatial practice offer processes and tools to understand the complexity of planetary health across scales, systems and relations; and generate design solutions that promote equity and justice. We will present practical examples of Global South design projects that connect health and climate. We will draw our work in Kenya which looks at designing solutions for maternal health challenges in a harsh climatic context and reflect on our position within this project as feminist researchers. We use this work to show how a conceptual design framework for a justice-based planetary health can contribute to the planetary health field.


Mikaela is a researcher and architectural designer working on research around inclusion, gender and planetary health in the built environment through participatory design, qualitative and spatial methods. She is currently based at the Global Disability Innovation Hub, researching the state of inclusion of the built environment for disabled people in low-resource settings on the ‘Inclusive Infrastructure’ sub-programme of the UK Aid-funded ‘AT2030: Life Changing Assistive Technology for All. Mikaela also collaborates with Stema on community-led approaches to health in low-resource settings and has previously worked in architectural practice and on various research projects around health, climate, social care and architecture and design in the UK, China, Spain, Kenya, South Africa and the Pacific region. 

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Winnie has over 7 years’ experience in developing and implementing internal and external communications strategies for grassroots and international organizations. She is driven by her passion for empowering women and girls and maternal and child health.  She is the co-founder of Maternal Aid for Mothers in Africa,  an organization working with marginalized and rural communities in Kenya to empower women and girls of childbearing age with maternal and child health information to reduce preventable maternal and child deaths and strengthen community and household resilience.

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