Professor John Walley

Professor John Walley


John is Professor of International Public Health, Co-Research Director of the Communicable Diseases Health Service Delivery (COMDIS-HSD) research programme and teaches on the Master of Public HealthProfessor of International Public Health, Co-Research Director COMDIS/ Health Service Delivery (HSD) Research ProgrammeQualifications

Accreditation, European Specialist in Public Health Medicine, JCHMT – London

MFPHM – Faculty of Public Health Medicine, of the Royal College of Physicians, London

MComH, Masters in Community Health for Developing Countries – School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool

MRCP, Part 1 – London

DRGOC, Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – London

Current and previous roles

1993–present: Professor in International Public Health, Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds; Honorary Consultant (Specialist) in Public Health Medicine, Leeds Health Authority, UK

2006–present: Co-Director of the Communicable Disease Research Programme

1995–2006: Co-Director of Tuberculosis Research Programme, Nuffield Institute, Leeds and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

2001–2003: WHO HQ Consultant on the integrated management of adult/adolescent illness (country office, Kampala, Uganda), Principal Investigator HIV/AIDS/TB care project

1991–1993: Health Training Advisor to Ministry of Health, Hanoi; Training System Support Project of Vietnam–Sweden Health Cooperation Programme

1990–1991: Consultant to WHO, Global Programme on AIDS/Strengthening Health Services, Geneva and Malawi

1988–1990: Doctor/Manager SCF (UK) Child Health Programme, Wollo region, Ethiopia, Advisor to the Regional Health Department in MCH/FP & TB service development

1984–1986: Medical Officer of Health (MCH), Mashonaland Central Province, Zimbabwe

1983–1984: Locum. Paediatric, General Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynaecology Locum Resident posts, Chester, UK

1980–1982: General Practice Specialist Training Rotation; including Pediatric Obstetrics and Gynecology and General Medical Hospital posts, Chester, UK

1978–1979: Medical Officer, Te Kuiti Hospital, New Zealand

1977–1978: General Medicine and Surgery House Officer (Intern) Chester, UK

Current research interests

John's interests are in achieving coverage with quality services, especially in primary care, for the common diseases where we have effective health interventions. This includes operational research, which is "embedded" within low- to middle-income country ministry of health services, in order to develop, pilot, evaluate and trial interventions such as chronic care for TB, diabetes and/or hypertension. That is, to find out how to effectively deliver essential care and prevention services. Methods include feasibility assessment, randomised controlled trials and process evaluation conducted within national programme early site implementation. In addition, in the early stages, developing and refining the intervention guidelines, training modules and tools, used for the implementation research. These process evaluations done alongside a trial assesses the "why" the results are as found. These studies inform the ministry of health and NGO partners ‘technical working group’ to revise the implementation guidelines and tools. The ministry and partners are then ready (and have the guides and tools developed) to scale up across the province or country. A recent example is a trial of a clinical guide and prescription review intervention implemented within routine training sessions and doctors meetings – leading to a 40% reduction of antibiotic use in viral upper respiratory infections – in a trial randomising 64 rural facility and their doctors and nurses (Wei, 2019, Lancet GH). 

Research and service development interests and methods include:

Communicable and non-communicable disease (NCD) service delivery and programme development issues, in particular for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis care, HIV anti-retroviral treatment and sexually transmitted diseases.

Family planning and Child Health service delivery strategies which help fill the unmet need for family planning, such as social franchising. Strengthening health programmes, such as for the above disease groups, within integrated district health systems.

A particular current interest is to develop case management guides, training modules and other tools for the prevention and care of NCDs in primary care. These include early detection and treatment of diabetes, hypertension and high CVD risk. These are to be adapted to the country contexts and evaluated in various African and Asian countries with our HSD partners.

Recent research


Co-Research Director of the Health Service Delivery (HSD) Research Programme Consortium (COMDIS-HSD). This was a £7 million Department for International Development-funded, eight country research programme, including TB, HIV care, malaria, non-communicable diseases and family planning. John is a co-investigator on various eg NCD projects.

TB – China

Studies of the effectiveness of decentralising TB care to township hospitals. Case management guidelines and training materials project; developing materials used to train 3,500 TB doctors. Evaluation of the national policy on microscopy centres (not effective).

HIV – Uganda and Swaziland

Evaluation/validation of the new WHO smear-negative TB in the context of HIV guideline, and a trial and studies on strategies to improve adherence to HIV/ART. Swaziland: TB/ HIV project and a trial which showed as good (and in some outcomes better) results for HIV-anti-retroviral follow up treatment through health centres as compared to the hospital ART service.


Communicable Disease Research Programme Consortium (COMDIS), TB, HIV care, malaria, £5million DFID funding. John's role was as Co-Director and also Co-Investigator on the following Pakistan projects:

Monitoring and supervision project (TB, malaria) in collaboration with WHO

Malaria clinical and programme management guidelines project 

Hospital DOTS linkages project (in collaboration with WHO)

Public-private mix TB project with private practitioners

TB guidelines development and evaluation project

Sexually transmitted diseases guideline development and evaluation project.

Teaching responsibilities

John is a UK Public Health specialist trainee trainer, with a registrar placement in Leeds and Swaziland. John teaches on the Public Health interventions, AIDS, child health and family planning sessions and coordinates the communicable disease and non-communicable disease modules on the LIHS Master of Public Health course. He teaches public health interventions, communicable disease, child health and family planning to medical students on the intercalated BSc courses in International Health and Primary Care. The third edition of his popular book Public Health (Oxford University Press) has been drafted and used by our students. 

Professional activities

With the National TB Programme and ASD Pakistan, John has drafted TB and multi-drug resistant TB doctor's etc. guidelines and tools, evaluated via a Comdis HSD project, and then scaled by the TB programme across Pakistan (and adapted and scaled in provinces in China). Similarly with NCD guides and tools in various African and Asian countries, leading to improved control of diabetes, hypertension, COPD and depression, etc.

We have developed hepatitis B and C care and prevention guides and tools, implemented in Pakistan and Nigeria. 


  • TB, infectious and noncommunicable disease
  • Research Director COMDIS-HSD

Research interests

  • Health Service Delivery, strengthening integrated health services/ programmes
  • Implementation research and trials, linked to service development and scale-up 
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Primary care delivery
  • Antibiotic drug resistance (rational use, reduction)
  • Tuberculosis/ HIV Control and Programme Development

COMDIS-HSD and related projects: with NGO and national programme colleagues in China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Swaziland. 


  • MBBS - University Medical School Newcastle
  • MRCGP - Royal College of GPs, London
  • DTM&H - Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • MCommH - Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • MFPH - Membership/specialist training Faculty of Public Health

Professional memberships

  • FFPH - Fellow faculty of public health of the Royal College of Physicians

Student education

I teach on the:

Masters of public health (international) course, including the burden of disease, public health interventions, child health, communicable disease control, HIV, TB, malaria, intervention option appraisal, primary care 

Masters of International Health, including the above topics.

BSc in International Health (intercalated medical students), including the above topics.

Including coordinating the communicable disease control modules. 


Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Research at the Nuffield Centre of International Health and Development
  • International health research
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