Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Bai Cham

Bai Cham

My PhD Title: A population based epidemiological study on the prevalence and risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in The Gambia

Supervisor: Professor Jennifer S Mindell, Dr Shaun Scholes, Dr Linda Ng Fat and Professor Nora E Groce

Lay summary: Globally, there is an increasing change in disease profile from infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs account for 70% of global deaths; 80% of these occur in low and middle-income countries. Worldwide, prevalence of hypertension is highest in the African region (46%) and a very high proportion is undiagnosed. There is very limited up-to-date information on the burden of diagnosed and undiagnosed hypertension and associated risk factors in The Gambia. My PhD project aims to examine cardiovascular disease risk factors in The Gambia adult population, with a particular focus on diagnosed and undiagnosed hypertension. The project uses data from a nationally representative population based Health Examination Survey conducted among adults 25-64 years in The Gambia in 2010 using the WHO STEPwise approach.

My Background

Before starting my PhD, I studied Public Health (BSc) at the University of The Gambia and National Yang Ming University in Taiwan (MSc). I also worked for a number of years at the University of The Gambia, Department of Public Health. I held a number of positions at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of The Gambia before taking a Teaching job at the University of The Gambia. During this period, I had the opportunity to work in different program areas in different parts of the country in both urban and rural settings which triggered my interest in the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases.


· 2018: AFHEA - Recognised by the UKHEA as an Associate Fellow

· September 2009 -June 2011: MSc Public Health, National Yang Ming University, Taiwan

· December 2000-February 2004: BSc Public and Environmental Health, University of The Gambia


· Free place award, Society for Social Medicine 62nd annual conference, 2018

· Third place, 2018 Postgraduate Research Symposium Poster Competition, Faculty of Population Health, UCL

· Free place award, Society for Social Medicine 61st annual conference 2017

· December 2014: Islamic Development Bank Merit Scholarship Award for Science and Technology

· June 2009:Taiwan International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF) Scholarship Program (2009)

· December 2000:Gambia Government Scholarship Award, a merit award to pursue a BSc program

· October 1997: Distinguished student award, for being among the most outstanding students in the Gambia Junior Secondary Certificate Exams


· Cham B, Scholes S, Ng Fat L, Badjie O, Mindell JS. (2018). Burden of hypertension in The Gambia: Evidence from a national World Health Organisation (WHO) STEP survey. International Journal of Epidemiology. Volume 47, Issue 3, Pages 860-871, doi: 10.1093/ije/dyx279

· Cham B, Scholes S, Ng Fat L,, Groce N, Badjie O, Mindell JS. (2018). The silent epidemic of obesity in The Gambia: Evidence from a nationwide population-based cross sectional health examination survey. (Presented at the International Society of Epidemiology 51st annual meeting June 2018, Baltimore, USA)

· Cham B, Scholes S, Ng Fat L,, Groce N, Mindell JS. (2017). Burden of hypertension and its associated factors in The Gambia: Data from a national health examination survey using the World Health Organisation (WHO) STEPwise approach. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (Presented at the Society for Social Medicine, 61st annual conference, September 2017, Manchester, UK) http://jech.bmj.com/content/71/Suppl_1/A48.2


· July 2016-Present: Post Graduate Teaching Assistant, UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (short temporary contracts)

· June 2016-Present: Editorial Assistant (part-time), Journal of Transport and Health

· August 2011-November 2015: Lecturer, University of The Gambia

· September 2008-August 2009: Teaching Assistant, University of The Gambia

· January 2005- August 2008: Public Health Officer, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, The Gambia

Contact details: bai.cham.15@ucl.ac.uk