Skip to main contentSkip to footer
A finger pointing at a scan
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

staff profiles

BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > Dr Mei Trueba

Dr Mei Trueba

Dr Mei Trueba

Dr Mei Trueba (BA, BSc, MA, MSc, PhD)

Lecturer in Global Health
T: +44 (0)1273 872788
Location: Ground Floor, BSMS Medical Research Building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9PX

Areas of expertise: International development; socio-cultural and medical anthropology, labour relations; global health governance, qualitative research, ethnography.
Research areas: Occupational Health and Safety (OHS); health risk perceptions and behaviours; health risk management; globalisation and health, Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Other roles: Mitigating circumstances committee, research ethics, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)


Mei enjoys an interdisciplinary academic background with degrees in Nursing, Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Occupational Health and Safety, Social Development and Comparative and Cross-Cultural Research Methods. She obtained a PhD in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in 2014. She has over 10 years' experience of work in the public and private health sectors and as an Occupational Health Adviser both in Catalonia and the UK. She also has experience of research and development work in Chile, Bolivia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, UK and the USA, where she worked for the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

Before joining the Global Health Team at BSMS, Mei was the course leader of the International Health MSc at the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development (University of Leeds). She has also worked as Visiting Lecturer at the School of Applied Social Sciences (University of Brighton) and as a as programme evaluator in Chile.


My research to date has been situated in Latin America and is predominantly concerned with the politics of health and ill-health. Since 2008, my main areas of research have been international development, labour relations and medical anthropology. In particular, Occupational Health and Safety in low-and middle-income countries. My research interests also include the elimination of NTDs through action on the Social Determinants of Health, the exploration of health risk behaviours and their determinants, and the complex relationship between globalisation and health.

Current research:

a) Management of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Alta Verapaz (Guatemala): policy evaluation and implementation research

(Funded by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the UNDP’s Special Programme for Research in Tropical Diseases (TDR), 2018-2020).Developed in collaboration with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and the Guatemalan Ministry of Health and Social Assistance this action-research project seeks to evaluate strengths and limitations of current national intervention in order to strengthen positive impacts for affected and at risk populations.   

b) Exploring the relationship between commodity prices and occupational health. (Rising Stars Initiative, 2017-2019)

The aim of this project is to explore the relationship between commodity prices and occupational health and safety injuries in the Bolivian Cooperative mining industry. Developed with the collaboration of the Bolivian Network of Women and Mining (RNMM) this research aims to gain insight into the macro-economic determinants of OHS.

c) Tackling Podoconiosis in Central America (IRPN Fund 2015-2018) 

The aim of this project funded by the IRPN Fund (Sussex University) is to explore the extent to which podoconiosis is a neglected public health problem in Central America and support endemic country control through the establishment of sustainable regional collaborations and evidence-based interventions. This project is developed as an action-research network in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), Foorwork (global podoconiosis initiative) and the Centre for Health Studies (CES, University del Valle, Guatemala).   

d) Vivir Bien/ Buen Vivir and post-neoliberal development paths in Latin America: Scope, strategies and the realities of implementation

Editor (with Kepa Artaraz and Melania Calestani) of special issue on the multifaceted meanings of ‘living well’ and their policy translations and challenges in Latin America and beyond. (Journal: Latin American Perspectives) - currently issuing a call for papers. For more information please get in touch or visit the LAP website >

PhD Supervision:I am interested in supervising qualitative research in the fields of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), labour studies, development studies and socio-cultural and medical anthropology. I am particularly interested in the following topics: Occupational Health and Safety, health risk behaviours and/or perceptions, diseases of poverty, precarious employment, working conditions and supply chains. My particular interest is on the complex relationship between development, employment and health, as well as on using grounded research to inform policy and practice. People interested in any of these topics are encouraged to get in touch to discuss thesis supervision. 

Current PhD students: Mohamed Elsheikh – Mycetoma in Sudan, a situational analysis.


I convene the Global Health MSc, PGDipl and PGCert and lead the Global Health Principles, Research Methods and Dissertation modules.

Selected publications

Trueba M. (forthcoming) ‘Negotiating risks. Health and Safety management in the mines of Potosí’. In: Świtek B, Swee H & Abramson A, (Eds). Ordinary extraordinary. Ethnographies of risk, limits and exposure. London: Palgrave.

Tsegay, Girmay, Kebede Deribe, Negussie Deyessa, Adamu Addissie, Gail Davey, Max Cooper, and Mei L. Trueba. (2018). "'I should not feed such a weak woman'. Intimate partner violence among women living with podoconiosis: A qualitative study in northern Ethiopia."  PLOS ONE 13 (12):e0207571.

Kebede Deribe, Jorge Cano, Mei L Trueba, Melanie J Newport, Gail Davey. 2018. "Global epidemiology of podoconiosis: a systematic review."  Plos NTD 12 (3).

Prentice, R. & Trueba M. (2018) Precarious Bodies: Occupational Risk Assemblages in Bolivia and Trinidad.  Global Labour Journal, 9(1)41-56.

Trueba M. (2016) ‘The Global Dimensions of Health’. In: Artaraz K. & Hill M. (Editors). Global Social Policy: Themes and Perspectives. Chapter 7. London: Palgrave.

Artaraz K., Calestani M., & Trueba, M. (in progress) (Editors) Vivir Bien/ Buen Vivir and post-neoliberal development paths in Latin America: Scope, strategies and the realities of implementation. Latin American Perspectives.

Trueba M. (2014) ‘Looking at risk with both eyes’: health and safety in the Cerro Rico of Potosí (Bolivia) [PhD]. University of Sussex; 2014.

Selected conference papers

Trueba, M. (2017) ‘Market variability- safety fluctuations. Mineral prices and Occupational Health and Safety among Bolivian cooperative miners’. In: EPICOH 2017: Eliminating Occupational Disease. Translating research into action. August 2017. Edinburgh.

Trueba, M. (2017) ‘Negotiating risks and uncertainties: Health and Safety decision-making in the mines of Potosí (Bolivia)’. In: EPICOH 2017: Eliminating Occupational Disease. Translating research into action. August 2017. Edinburgh.

Trueba M & Cabrera R. (2016) ‘Podoconiosis in Guatemala: initial field assessments and pathways of action’. International Workshop Tackling Podoconiosis in Guatemala: Geographical distribution and differential Diagnosis. 14-15 November 2016. Centro de Estudios en Salud (CES), Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG).