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Professor Mike English

Professor Mike English

Podcast interview

Basic hospital care may be key to saving newborn lives. Professor Mike English outlines a multidisciplinary project engaging policy-makers and practitioners in Kenya. This project demonstrated poor coverage of Nairobi’s 4.25 million population if a sick newborn baby needs quality hospital care. Using novel research approaches the team also identified how severe shortages of nurses contribute to poor quality of care for patients and negatively affect nurses themselves.

Podcast interview

Professor Mike English leads the Health Services Unit at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. This unit aims to strengthen equality in access to affordable quality health care in Africa. Studies are based on health systems clustered around five main topics: malaria, service delivery & access, information for decision making, governance and financing. Professor English leads efforts to develop multidisciplinary links with Oxford through the Oxford Health Systems Research Collaboration (OHSCAR).

Mike English

Professor of International Child Health

Health Services Research

Mike English is a UK trained paediatrician who has worked in Kenya for over 20 years supported by a series of Wellcome fellowships. His work often takes Child and Newborn Health as a focus but increasingly tackles health services or wider health systems issues. He works as part of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in collaboration in Kenya with the Ministry of Health and a wide set of national and international collaborators. His work focuses predominantly on improving care in African District Hospitals.

The work of his team spans: clinical epidemiology (including develloping national, evidence-based guidelines for care of severely ill children and newborns, clinical trials and observational studies); implementation research (including cluster randomised  trials and mixed methods research), and health systems research (qualitative studies of health worker and managers’ behaviour and rethinking the health workforce). He co-leads Health Systems Research in KWTRP and established the Oxford Health Systems Research Collaboration (OHSCAR). Recently Mike helped establish a team focused on delivering simulation based training using gamification through mobile phones and virtual reality (

Mike’s 2013-2018 fellowship initiated the Kenyan Clinical Information Network (CIN). Working with 15 hospitals and focused on generating high quality routine data the CIN is exploring how to improve hospital care at scale while using aggregate data to trial feedback interventions and understand practice variation. Other major current work includes a 4.5 year project on how to improve health care provision for sick newborns, work that spans measuring effective coverage and multiple methodological approaches to inform thinking on the challenges of delivering effective nursing care and possible task-shifting.

Mike frequently provides advice to the Kenyan government and WHO on a range of issues related to child and newborn survival and health systems performance and is a member of the Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems in the SDG Era (

How might a network change practice, a realist CMO configuration
Change in adoption of MUAC screening across 15 hospitals

Key publications

Recent publications

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