Skip to content Accessibility statement
Home>Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre>Events>Harnessing the strength of the private & informal sector for better health
This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 30 March 2021, 11am to 12pm
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Join the Urbanisation and Health Network webinar providing two short talks with brief questions followed by a panel discussion with experts in the field.

"Harnessing the strength of the private and informal sector for better health in urban areas" is jointly hosted by the University of York/Hull & York Medical school and the University of Leeds, in collaboration with ''CHORUS'' (Community-Led Effective Urban Health Systems) FCDO-funding research programme consortium. 




11.00 am


Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds.

11.05 am

Introducing Community-led Effective Urban Health Systems (CHORUS)

Professor Irene Agyepong, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Ghana and CHORUS CEO

11.10 am

Introducing the panel members


11.12 am

“Urban Primary Health Care Programme: the experience of public-private partnerships from Bangladesh”

Dr Khaleda Islam, former Director of Primary Care, Directorate General of Health Services, Bangladesh

11.24 am

“Improving the contributions of informal healthcare providers for improving urban health systems”

Professor Obinna Onwujekwe, University of Nigeria

11.36 am

Panel discussion

  • Dr Nathalie Roebelle, Head of Urban Health WHO
  • Dr Priya Balasubramaniam Kakkar, Public Health Foundation of India
  • Dr Jaideep Gupte, Institute of Development Studies


11.56 am

Wrap up



  • Dr Khaleda Islam was previously the Director of Primary Health Care until retiring from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Dr Khaleda is currently involved with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) Bangladesh, in the revision of the 4th Health Population Nutrition Program. She started her career as Medical Officer, worked at different tires of Health Facilities along with teaching positions. Dr Islam worked for emergency response with different International and UN organizations in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Liberia, and Cox’s Bazar for Rohingya refugee and as implementation research facilitator of WHO/TDR, worked in Ghana, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. She is a medical graduate with MPH, with a Master’s in medical education (MMEd) from Dundee University, and certificate courses from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH). Her focus is Health System Strengthening to achieve Universal Health Coverage
  • Professor Obinna Onwujekwe is medically qualified but also has MSc and PhD in Health Economics. He is a Professor of Pharmacoeconomics/ Pharmacoepidemiology in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Professor of Health Economics, Systems & Policy in the Department of Health Administration and Management, both at the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus. He is an adjunct Professor of Health Policy and Systems with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos. He is the Director of Research in the University of Nigeria, the Coordinator of the Health Policy Research Group and the President of the Nigerian Health Economics Association. He was the technical facilitator of the 2014 Presidential Summit on Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria. Professor Onwujekwea is also a member of the board of the African Health Economics and Policy Association (AfHEA) and the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON). He is also the Director of the Nigerian National Centre on Health Policy and Systems, University of Nigeria, which is part of the African Health Observatory Platform (AHOP) on Health Systems. He is a member of The African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development (AACHRD) of the WHO African Regional Office (WHO AFRO), the Nigerian National Health Research Committee, the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19 (MEACOC) and the COVID-19 Socio-economy working group of African Scientific Research and Innovation Council of the African Union. He is the editor of the African Journal of Health Economics. He has published more than 290 journal articles. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science and is also a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria. 


  • Dr Priya Balasubramaniam is a Senior Public Health Scientist and Director of PHFI-RNE Universal Health Initiative. She is a seasoned health professional with over two decades of experience in large scale implementation research, education and program planning in academic, nonprofit and government settings. Her interests and expertise are in urban health, health systems strengthening, universal health coverage, public policy and health technology innovation directed at strengthening health systems in low and middle-income countries. Her projects include developing a research agenda for Urban Health in India and the role of the private sector in mixed health systems. She is the editor and co-author of PHFI’s Urban Health Landscape report series.
  • Dr Jaideep Gupte is a Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK. Dr Gupte leads the Cities Cluster at IDS. His research is on urban violence, poverty and development. His other research interests and expertise include urban inclusion, justice/security in informal settlements, and using GIS/GPS aided mobile data collection platforms for spatial research.
  • Dr Nathalie Röbbel is the head of Urban Health at the WHO. Prior to this, she was the coordinator for Air Pollution and Urban Health at the WHO in Geneva leading the department's work on housing and health. One of her main areas of work was the development of WHO Housing and Health Guidelines and WHO’s efforts to address slum upgrading through housing policies and other social policies and interventions. Before joining WHO HQ, she worked as a technical officer at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, in Bonn and Copenhagen, where she was responsible for environmental health performance reviews and involved in several housing and health-related projects. Ms Röbbel holds a PhD in sociology from the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn, Germany.


  • Dr Helen Elsey, Associate Professor of Global Public Health in the Department of Health Sciences, University of York
  • Professor Irene Agyepong, Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons are co-Research Director and CEO of CHORUS.


CHORUS Community-led Responsive and Effective Urban Health Systems, brings together researchers from Africa, South Asia and the UK in an equal partnership to work with communities, health professionals and city-level decision-makers to develop and test the best ways to improve the health of the poorest urban residents. In each of Ghana, Bangladesh, Nepal and Nigeria from 2020 to 2026, we will work in one large and one smaller city to address key urban challenges. Our projects have a particular focus on working across public, private and informal providers to improve access, quality and health outcomes.

Please note that this meeting will be delivered using Zoom. No prior purchasing of software is necessary but registration is required. The event may be recorded. However, we will not use any recordings of your voice or image. Please note that during the session, your name and email address (as entered at the registration stage) may be visible to other participants. If you have any questions, please contact

Image: "This is an Indian pharmacy (Chemist). You can often get whatever you want, cheaply, without a prescription (India is lax on observing pharma IP.) Ranikhet, India" by @superamit is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


Urbanisation and Health Network logo CHORUS logo

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • No hearing loop