Division: Institute for Global Health and Development

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Karina Kielmann (MA, PhD) is a Reader in the Institute for Global Health and Development. She is also a member of the Institute for Global Health and Development Research Centre.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning

Karina is a medical anthropologist with training in anthropology and public health. She has 15 years of experience in research, teaching, and developing capacity for social science research in international public health settings.

Prior to joining IGHD in 2011, Karina was based at in the Department of Global Health & Development at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2001-2011) as a lecturer and senior social scientist advising on three successive DfID-funded programmes: the TB Knowledge Programme (2001-2006); the TARGETS RPC for Communicable Disease Control (2005- 2010) and the Evidence for Action RPC on HIV Treatment and Care (2006-2011).

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

Karina’s current research is in two main areas, firstly, examining the ‘boundary work’ of community and lay health workers in Southern Africa and in India and secondly, investigating the social and health systems context of rolling out rapid diagnostic testing technologies in Southern Africa.

Active Research Interests:

  • Public Health : Health systems in low- and middle income settings; human resources for health; access to TB and HIV care; TB/HIV co-infection; integration of health services; lay and informal health care providers; rapid diagnostic technologies.
  • Anthropology : medical knowledge and truths/uncertainty; illness as biographical disruption; ethics and ethnography

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

Optimising health systems implementation of decentralized care for patients with drug-resistant TB

  • Whole systems of care for stroke patients China

This initiative, funded by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Department for International Development, seeks to encourage research that addresses key questions on strengthening and improving health systems in developing countries. Co-investigators from QMU include Professor Brendan McCormack (Head of the Division of Nursing) and Guanyang Zou, who is a doctoral candidate in IGHD and is currently based at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhoun, China. The 16-month project has been developed in collaboration with medical anthropology, nursing, and public health researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University to build evidence towards the development of a stroke care system for older adults in Guangdong Province. 

  • Increased TB treatment adherence & improved outcomes in vulnerable groups in EEA (WHCA lead)

As part of a larger programme of work funded by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and World Health Communication Associates (WHCA) in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), this project will provide preliminary evidence for the impact of a tailored Tuberculosis (TB) adherence support intervention upon interim treatment outcomes, and through process evaluation will report the challenges encountered in delivery of this intervention. This study is being carried out among specific hard-to-reach and vulnerable population groups in Riga, Latvia.

  • Optimizing health systems to improve delivery of decentralized care for patients with drug resistant tuberculosis

Joint Health Systems Research Initiative (JHSRI) - The aim of the project is to identify opportunities for feasible, short to medium term interventions to improve decentralization of services for patients with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in South Africa. Supporting colleagues from the University of Cape Town's Department of Medical Microbiology, we will assess health systems factors that enhance or undermine the delivery of treatment for DR-TB, and determine what works and why it works, across different settings.

Karina coordinates and teaches on the modules Health Systems, Global Public Health, and Health Workforce Development for Stronger Health Systems, and further contributes to the modules Researching Global Health & Development, Research Design & Proposal Writing, and Qualitative Research Methods.


MSc Global Health

MSc Sexual and Reproductive Health

MSc Social Development and Health


  • PG NM305 Global Public Health
  • PG NM217 Health Systems
  • PG NM303 Qualitative Research Methods