UCL Health of the Public


Unravelling Health Disparities: The Racial Divide

Join hosts Doctor Xand van Tulleken and Dr Rochelle Burgess for Season 3, Episode 5 of Public Health Disrupted with Dr Halima Begum and Prof Delan Devakumar.


“It’s the indirect act of racism that is leading to poorer outcomes for racialised groups.”

How does racism impact people’s health? And how big is this problem?  

We're three years on from George Floyd's murder, which launched a wave of global protests under the banner never again. This, of course, has not been the case. We're also three years since the COVID pandemic began, which really highlighted the long-standing racial health inequalities in the UK and beyond.

In this month’s episode, Dr Halima Begum (CEO of ActionAid UK) and Delan Devakumar (Professor of Global Child Health) discuss the systemic challenges faced by people of colour, and the complex relationship between racism, health equity, and efforts for social justice.


Delan Devakumar is a Professor of Global Child Health and an honorary consultant in Public Health. He is co-Director of the UCL Centre for the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents and chair of the International Child Health Group, which is a special interest group of the RCPCH (the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health). Delan was the lead for the Lancet Series on ‘racism, xenophobia, discrimination and health’. Delan also leads the Envisioning Environmental Equity project on climate and racial justice and produces much creative content of his own including podcasts and newsletters as founder and director of Race & Health.

Listen to Delan Devakumar’s Race & Health podcast
Watch the c
hild migration animation Delan mentions in the podcast (
created by the International Child Health Group) 

Dr Halima Begum was recently appointed the new CEO of ActionAid UK, an international development charity working with women and girls living in poverty. Until she starts at ActionAid later in 2023, Halima remains CEO of the Runnymede Trust, the United Kingdom's leading race equality think tank. During her time at Runnymede, the Trust has produced an important body of research on public health in the race context, including its work late last year with Greenpeace examining the impact of the climate emergency on minoritised communities. Halima also played a significant role during the Covid pandemic, working with the government to secure vaccination priority for minority ethnic communities across the UK. She sits on the Board of the NHS Race and Health Observatory and has also held senior positions in the UK Department for International Development, the British Council and LEGO Foundation.

Public Health Disrupted with Rochelle Burgess and Xand Van Tulleken is produced by Buckers at Decibelle Creative, find her on Instagram: @decibelle_creative and here: https://www.decibellecreative.com