The NIHR Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility (RUHF) at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh focuses on contexts where displacement, conflict, pandemic disease or weak capacity makes the delivery of vital health services especially challenging.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the RUHF is one of thirteen Global Health Research Units across the UK to lead research in key areas of relevance to global development.

Building on IGHD’s extensive previous work in these regions, RUHF is bringing together expertise from research clusters in health systems development and psychosocial wellbeing, integration and protection to develop a comprehensive ‘systems for health’ approach to addressing fragility and building resilience.

Our Partners

The Unit's collaborative partners are the Global Health Institute, American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon, and the College of Medicine & Allied Health Science (COMAHS), Freetown, Sierra Leone.

About this project / objectives

Although its work seeks to be of wide relevance to delivery of healthcare in situations of fragility, RUHF is especially focusing on two vital but commonly neglected areas of health provision in these contexts:

  • Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS)
  • The treatment and prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes and heart disease

In summary, RUHF’s work programme is working to inform policy making and care delivery regarding mental health and NCDs in real time in Sierra Leone and Lebanon, before extending our impact to fragile settings globally.

Project publications

The unit is hosted within QMU’s Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD). IGHD is recognised as a world leader in two major areas of research - health systems and mental health provision - and the work of the Unit brings together these two major strands.  

The unit’s work builds on ideas and methodologies developed in IGHD's previous work. This includes the study of post-conflict health systems recovery in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Cambodia, and also the resilience of health care systems in the Middle East, following the displacement of people from the conflict in Syria.

American University of Beirut Logo QMU Institude for Global Health and Development Logo
 College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences Logo  National Institute for Health Research

Engage with the Team

Reflections on coronavirus, fragility, resilience and craftism from the CDG transit lounge
Professor Alastair Ager, Unit Director
“The UK Government's focus for international aid is increasingly in fragile settings It is desperately important to understand how to deliver vital health services in these places and identify practical strategies to promote resilience.”
  • RUHF Blog

Reflections on coronavirus and perception of risk

In this blog post, I would like to reflect on my experience of travelling in the COVID-19 crisis. I read more

06 April 2020

Reflections on coronavirus, fragility, resilience and craftivism from the CDG transit lounge

On 9th March I arrived home from working in South Sudan, and had a few days at home before leaving f read more

27 March 2020

Research impact and Policy Influence: On Bricks and Visions

Last year I was in a position to reflect with some of our UK, Lebanon and Jordan-based Refugee Hosts read more

10 March 2020 More blogs
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RUHF Unit staff and collaborative partners
RUHF group management
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