Five LSHTM innovations that have changed health

Five LSHTM innovations that have changed health

The London School of Hygiene &
Tropical Medicine was founded back in 1899 by Sir Patrick Manson. For 120 years,
we’ve been training future public health experts and conducting research to
improve health all around the world. Our innovations have had global impact – here
are just five that might surprise you… We created the modern randomised control
trial In 1948, while working on tuberculosis, our very own Professor
Austin Bradford Hill introduced the randomised control trial to health
research for the first time. This is now the ‘gold standard’ of trial design, used
by scientists around the world to make fair comparisons between treatments. We proved the link between smoking and lung cancer In 1950, Professors Richard Doll
and Austin Bradford Hill published an early study connecting smoking with lung
cancer. They went on to study the smoking habits of 40,000 doctors, providing
important evidence that death rates from lung cancer and heart disease increased
with the amount smoked. We’re home to the ‘inventor of exercise’ In 1953 Professor Jerry Morris published a famous study comparing heart disease between bus
conductors and bus drivers. It showed that sedentary bus drivers had much higher
rates of heart disease than the more active conductors. This was the first
evidence demonstrating the important connection between exercise and health. So you
can thank Jerry for those trips to the gym! We showed that bed nets
treated with insecticide would stop millions of children dying from malaria.
Since the 1980s, our experts have helped develop, test and roll out insecticide-treated bed nets for people living in regions with malaria. We proved these
nets could prevent millions of deaths and are great value for money – now over
half the population of sub-Saharan Africa sleep under them. Their use has
played a major part in halving malaria deaths over the past 20 years. We brought newborn deaths and stillbirths onto the global agenda In 2005 we published the
first national estimates on the causes of newborn deaths and the numbers of
stillbirths around the world. 99% of the 8 million deaths each year were in
low- and middle-income countries, yet were invisible on the global and political
agendas. Thanks to ongoing work, targets for preventing these deaths are now
included in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and innovations in communities and hospitals are saving babies’ lives daily. Here’s to another 120 years of health


  1. Post
    London International Development Centre

    Happy 120th Anniversary, LSHTM! Here's to many more ground-breaking public health initiatives!

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