Imperial College London

Dr V. Bhargavi Rao

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Honorary Clinical Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 3229bhargavi.rao CV




G27Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus





I am a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow, currently pursuing my PhD in infectious disease epidemiology.

The main focus of my research is to model and understand the impact that health systems factors exert on the effectiveness of interventions such as Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACT)  in reducing malaria transmission, morbidity and mortality. 

Hypothesis: Health systems variables impact on the outcomes of preventative and curative interventions against malaria. It is possible to identify specific points in the implementation pathway which have a critical impact on the resulting effectiveness of the intervention, and thus it is possible to quantify the effect of changing the parameters at these critical junctures, on the effectiveness of interventions.

Aim: To model and quantify the effect of health systems factors acting as barriers to the effectiveness of ACT


  1. To extend a model of the impact of ACT on malaria transmission to incorporate health systems dimensions - namely a) geographic and social heterogeniety in access and response to treatment, b) Diagnostic capacity, c) Treatment capacity (including supply chain and ACT stockouts) and d) Human resources
  2. To collate relevant data on health systems in order to apply the model to a specific setting in Tanzania
  3. To consider the implications of the dimensions considered above on the management of Non-malarial febrile illness (NMFI)
  4. To develop a tool to identify which health systems constraints on appropriate ACT delivery have the greatest impact on malaria transmission and treatment demand, in order to inform estimation of the marginal costs of overcoming such bottlenecks to implement malaria elimination programmes effectively and responsibly.


Rao VB, Schellenberg D, Ghani AC.  The potential impact of improving malaria case management on appropriate treatment for fever in under-5s: a decision-tree modelling study. PlosOne 2013; 8(7): e69654

Rao VB, Schellenberg D, Ghani AC. Overcoming health systems barriers to successful malaria treatment. Trends in Parasitology 2013 Apr;29(4):164-80



Rao VB, Johari N, duCros P, et al., 2015, Hepatitis C seroprevalence and HIV co-infection in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Lancet Infectious Diseases, ISSN:1473-3099

Rao VB, Schellenberg D, Ghani AC, 2013, The Potential Impact of Improving Appropriate Treatment for Fever on Malaria and Non-Malarial Febrile Illness Management in Under-5s: A Decision-Tree Modelling Approach, Plos One, Vol:8, ISSN:1932-6203

Rao VB, Schellenberg D, Ghani AC, 2013, Overcoming health systems barriers to successful malaria treatment, Trends in Parasitology, Vol:29, ISSN:1471-4922, Pages:164-180

Steer JA, Lamagni T, Healy B, et al., 2012, Guidelines for prevention and control of group A streptococcal infection in acute healthcare and maternity settings in the UK, Journal of Infection, Vol:64, ISSN:0163-4453, Pages:1-18

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