Great Global Health Podcasts from summer 2018




With so many podcasts out there, how do you decide what to listen to? We have selected a few podcasts from May-July 2018 that we think are definitely worth a listen if you’re interested in global health or development. We are really keen to hear about new ones, so If you have heard of any great podcasts that you think we should feature, please get in touch at


Displaced: Helene Gayle on how to lead organizations that respond to crisis

This episode explores the varying approaches through which different sectors tackle common problems. Helen Gayle has worked for the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the Gates Foundation, CARE International, McKinsey and the Chicago Community Trust.  She discusses the importance of cross-sector collaboration and of leveraging common values to forge connections with communities and individuals who choose to ignore scientific evidence. Gayle draws comparisons between the current refugee crisis and previous, stigmatised issues that saw slow responses such as HIV/AIDS.


Global dispatches: How Colonialism Explains HIV in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where HIV rates are higher in women; a phenomenon referred to as the “feminisation of HIV and AIDS.” Economist Siwan Anderson recently published a paper exploring this.  She unearthed links between gender equality in property law and the unequal rates of HIV between women and men in ex-British colonies in Africa. Here she discusses how laws that discriminate based on gender affect negotiating power and health outcomes. She shows how important it is that efforts to improve health take a broad, multidisciplinary approach.


Overseas Development Institute Podcast series: Constructive deconstruction

The first podcast in this important new series discusses some key questions facing the humanitarian system.  What should the role of the humanitarian system be? How paternalistic should it be? Should it have a role in longer-term development? And who should hold the power in humanitarian crises? It asks whether you can have systems that are both effective and ethical, and how to escape “saviourism” in the humanitarian system.  Critically, this debate questions how to prioritize immediate needs while supporting the long-term needs of a population.


Fresh Air: The Ongoing Crisis at the Border

Jonathan Blitzer writes for the New Yorker on immigration and has been carrying out in-depth investigations into the separation of families at the Mexico-United States border.  He describes how El Paso is really “feeling the chaos” of the frequently shifting immigration policies of the Trump administration. In particular, he discusses his experience of the separation of children from their parents at the border. He discusses how the government is not set up to deal with the repercussions of policies that separate children from their parents and explores the devastating psychological impacts that these policies are having.


BBC Science Weekly: The Psychological Effects of Inequality

“The Inner Level,” is a new book shedding light on how societies with high levels of inequality, such as the UK and the USA, experience a range of social problems.  These include obesity, violence, anxiety, stress and mental illness. Here the authors argue that societies based on sharing and reciprocity experience much higher levels of wellbeing. They challenge the concept of economic growth and ask if we can look beyond it.


BBC World Service – The Documentary: Outsider’s View of the NHS

As the British National Health Service turns 70, this podcast looks at it with fresh eyes. Although considered an inherently British institution, it is increasingly built and sustained by a diverse range of people from across the world. Here, we hear from those working in the NHS but trained abroad.  This is a perspective we do not hear very often, adding another dimension to the largest single-payer healthcare system in the world.



Katy Davis has a BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Global Health and Development from University College London where she currently works as a research assistant in innovative qualitative research methods for global health. 


Photo by Alphacolor 13 on Unsplash. Available from: <>

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