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International Health

Elli Leontsini, MD MPH


Assistant Scientist
MSPH Program Coordinator

Social & Behavioral Interventions
Department of International Health

My overarching aims are to understand social, cultural and behavioral factors in community-based disease prevention and control in resource-poor settings. To do this I employ a variety of approaches:

I specialize in formative, ethnographic and operations research with a focus on qualitative methods, including surveys, behavioral trials, trials of improved practices, and community participation.

Research topics: health education; health communication; health-seeking behavior; health behavior change; evaluation of school-based programs; evaluation of children's museum exhibits; vector-borne disease; mosquito-borne disease; tropical disease; Aedes aegypti; dengue fever; malaria; cysticercosis; Lyme disease; diarrheal disease; child survival; IMCI; water, sanitation, and hygiene.

I have worked on projects based in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Peru, Brazil, Cambodia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Liberia, Bangladesh, and Equatorial Guinea.

Recent selected publications
Oswald WE, Hunter G C, Kramer MR, Leontsini E, Cabrera L, Lescano AG, Gilman RH. Provision of private, piped water and sewerage connections and directly observed handwashing of mothers in a peri-urban community of Lima, Peru. Tropical Medicine & International Health 2014 doi: 10.1111/tmi.12262

Hulland KRS, Leontsini E, Dreibelbis R, Unicomb L, Afroz A, Dutta NC, Nizame FA, Luby SP, Ram PK, Winch PJ. Designing a handwashing station for infrastructure-restricted communities in Bangladesh using the integrated behavioural model for water, sanitation and hygiene interventions (IBM-WASH). BMC Public Health 2013, 13:877 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-877

Dreibelbis R, Winch PJ, Leontsini E, Hulland KRS, Ram PK, Unicomb L, Luby SP. The Integrated Behavioural Model for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: a systematic review of behavioural models and a framework for designing and evaluating behaviour change interventions in infrastructure-restricted settings. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1015 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1015

Kayima J, Wanyenze RK, Katamba A, Leontsini E, Nuwaha F. Hypertension awareness, treatment and control in Africa: a systematic review. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2013 Aug 2;13:54. doi: 10.1186/1471-2261-13-54