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Economic, Social and Political Sciences
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Professor Allan G Hill BA, MA, Dip. Demog, PhD

Professor of Population and International Health

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Professor Allan G Hill is Professor of Population and International Health in the Department of Social Statistics and Demography, School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences. He joined the University of Southampton in September 2011 after 22 years as the Andelot Professor of Demography at Harvard University. He works mainly on demographic and public health issues in West Africa and the Middle East. At Southampton, he teaches the two Demography modules (DEMO 6020 and DEMO 6022); modules in the Population and Geography undergraduate programme; and a module called Analysis of Global Health Trends and Differentials (GLHE 6002) or the Global Health MSc.

His career has included academic appointments at the University of Aberdeen, Princeton University, the American University of Beirut, the University of Jordan, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Ghana as well as four years as the Population Council Representative in the Arab countries.

Research interests

Research interests

Current research is focused on finding the best routes to the improvement of health in adults and children in African cities, especially in Accra. This work, stemming from the longitudinal study of Women’s Health Study of Accra which began in 2003, is focused on addressing the epidemic of non-communicable disease in older women and the continuing problems of diarrhoeal disease in young children. In the first case, the focus is on behaviour change designed to manage obesity and prevent diabetes and in the second case, trials have been conducted to identify ways of providing subsidised clean water sold in sachets is under way in Ghana. Both projects are conducted in close collaboration with the Ghana School of Public Health and with colleagues at Southampton (Dr. James A. Wright in Geography and Environmental Science. 

In parallel, work continues of the demography of the Arab Middle East with a special focus on the changing composition of the populations of the Gulf States and the Sultanate of Oman.  The central research question is how nationality and citizenship issues are managed when immigrants form a majority of the population.

Research projects

Expanding safe water and waste management service access to off-grid populations.

This project funded by ESRC through the GCRF (Re)-thinking the off-grid city initiative runs for three years from April 2020 and includes work in Greater Accra in Ghana and Kisumu County, Kenya.  The overall aim of this project is to reduce diarrhoeal disease in off-grid populations through affordable vended water whilst minimising the entry of unmanaged waste into the environment.

While 91.8% of urban households in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) had access to piped or protected groundwater sources in 2015, only 46.2% had safely managed water available when needed.  Vendors provide a key role in supplying urban off-grid populations, with consumption of bottled or bagged water (sachets, water sold in 500ml plastic bags) growing in SSA.  Whilst several studies show bottles and bags are usually free from faecal contamination, given that many off-grid urban populations lack solid waste disposal services, when people drink such water, there can be problems disposing of the plastic bags and bottles afterwards.

This project aims to deliver evidence on the different ways that people sell water to off-grid populations and what this means for plastic waste management. We plan to do this in Ghana, where most urban household now drink bagged water, and by way of contrast, Kenya, where the government has banned plastic bags. In  this way, we want to widen access to safe water and waste management services among urban off-grid populations, by supporting water-sellers and waste collectors to fill the gaps in municipal services.

 

A Test of the Suitability of Western Behaviour Change Interventions to Prevent Diabetes and Promote Cardiovascular Health in Older Women in Urban Africa (completed).

This work, conducted with Dr. Philip Adongo (Ghana School of Public Health) aims to test and adapt community-based behaviour change programs of known effectiveness in the US, the UK and other high income countries to African settings through a pilot study in Accra, Ghana; and to collect preliminary data required for a full intervention study.

Support: US NIH/NIA.

 

Urban Drinking Water and Health Outcomes – A Randomized Controlled Trial in Accra, Ghana (completed).

This pilot trial asked: does the use of sachet water improve child health? Do the benefits of sachet water use for drinking outweigh the costs of subsidizing the provision of this water, especially for young children in poor urban areas? Will the provision of free or subsidized clean sachet water improve child health in general, and reduce the prevalence of diarrhoea in particular? How cost-effective is increased provision of sachet water (either through further regulatory investment, a voucher system or via subsidy) as an intervention to improve child health?

Note: ‘Sachet water’ is local short-hand for treated water packaged into 500ml plastic bags (‘sachets’) and sold commercially by shops and itinerant traders throughout the city.

Support: PI Dr. J.A. Wright: MRC/Wellcome/DfID.

 

Recent references (since 2015 only).

NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) (2019). Rising rural body-mass index is the main driver of the global obesity epidemic in adults. Nature, 569(7755), 260-264. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1171-x

Morgan SA, Eyles C, Roderick PJ, Adongo PB, Hill AG. Women living with multi-morbidity in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana: a qualitative study guided by the Cumulative Complexity Model. J Biosoc Sci 51(4): 562-577. doi:10.1017/S0021932018000342. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30472965.

Frempong-Ainguah F, Bailey CE, Hill AG. Women's health status in urban Ghana: dimensions and differentials using short form 36. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2018 Apr 24;16(1):74. DOI: 10.1186/s12955-018-0894-y. PubMed PMID: 29690865; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5926535.

Dzodzomenyo, M., G. Fink, W. Dotse-Gborgbortsi, Wardrop NA, Aryeetey G. , N. Coleman, Hill AG, J. Wright, J Water Health Sachet water quality and product registration: a cross-sectional study in Accra, Ghana. Journal of Water and Health, 2018. 16(4): p. 646-656.

Waterhouse, P, Hill, Allan G. and Hinde, Andrew (2017) Combining work and childcare: the experiences of mothers in Accra, Ghana. Development Southern Africa. doi.org/10.1080/0376835X.2017.1323627 Published online on 17 May 2017.

Wardrop NA, Hill AG, Dzodzomenyo M, Aryeetey G, Wright JA. Livestock ownership and microbial contamination of drinking-water: Evidence from nationally representative household surveys in Ghana, Nepal and Bangladesh. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2018 Jan; 221(1):33-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.09.014. Epub 2017 Oct 3. PubMed PMID: 29031736; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5739303.

Wardrop, Nicola A.  Mawuli Dzodzomenyo, Genevieve Aryeetey, Allan G. Hill, Robert E. S. Bain, Jim Wright (2017) Estimation of packaged water consumption and associated plastic waste production from household budget surveys. Environmental Research Letters ERL-103100.R1.

Wright J, Dzodzomenyo M, Fink G, Wardrop NA, Aryeetey GC, Adanu RM, Hill AG. Subsidized Sachet Water to Reduce Diarrheal Disease in Young Children: A Feasibility Study in Accra, Ghana. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Jul 6;95(1):239-46.  DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0854. Epub 2016 May 23. PubMed PMID: 27215298; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4944696.

Hill, Allan G. (2016) Review of Jay Weinstein and Vijayan K. Pillai: Demography—The Science of Population. European Journal of Population, 32(4), 623-625.  DOI: 10.1007/s10680-016-9395-z

Wright J, Dzodzomenyo M, Wardrop NA, Johnston R, Hill A, Aryeetey G, Adanu R. Effects of Sachet Water Consumption on Exposure to Microbe-Contaminated Drinking Water: Household Survey Evidence from Ghana. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Mar 9;13(3). pii: E303. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph13030303. PubMed PMID: 27005650; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4808966.

Waterhouse, P, Hill AG, Hinde A. (2016) Childbearing and Economic Work: The Health Balance of Women in Accra, Ghana. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2016 Feb;20(2):408-21. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-015-1839-2.

Blanchard K, Gutierrez HR, Lince-Deroche N, Adanu RMK, Hill AG. Contraceptive Use among Women in Accra, Ghana: 2003 and 2008. Afr J Reprod Health. 2016 Dec;20(4):22-36. PubMed PMID: 29566316.

S Afshar, PJ Roderick, AG Hill, BD Dimitrov, P Kowal (2016) Global multimorbidity: a cross-sectional study of 28 countries using the World Health Surveys, 2003.  European Journal of Public Health 25(3): 85. DOI: doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckv170.003

Afshar S, Roderick PJ, Kowal P, Dimitrov BD, Hill AG. (2015) Multimorbidity and the inequalities of global ageing: a cross-sectional study of 28 countries using the World Health Surveys.  BMC Public Health. 2015 Aug 13;15(1):776. DOI: 10.1186/s12889-015-2008-7. PMID: 26268536 Free PMC Article.

Research project(s)

Urban Drinking Water and Health Outcomes - Early Phase Study for a Randomized Controlled Trial in Accra, Ghana

ESRC Methods and Infrastructure Committee.
ESRC ‘Understanding Society’ sub-Committee.

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Lectures in DEMO 3013, DEMO 6018 and UOSM2004 Global Health

Professor Allan G Hill
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