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Andi Mabhala, Professor in Public Health Epidemiology, will deliver his inaugural lecture entitled Being at the Bottom Rung of the Ladder in an Unequal Society on Thursday, October 27 at 6.30pm. 

Professor Mabhala has expertise in epidemiology, social justice and research in a wide range of public health projects. He has held several senior public health roles in the NHS and in higher education. 

Since the independent inquiry into inequalities in a health report, reducing inequalities in health has become a priority for all UK health and social care policies. However, there are conflicting ideologies on how health inequalities should be approached. 

The lack of a consistent definition of health inequalities has made the concept malleable by advocates of contrasting interventionist and non-interventionist ideologies.

Interventionists' views of inequalities in health favour upstream population-based activities associated with tackling the core determinants of health inequalities, such as living wage policies, wage capping and progressive taxation. By contrast, non-interventionists favour activities associated with encouraging individuals to take personal responsibility for their own health and well-being. 

Professor Mabhala will look at how the scientific evidence indicates that the uneven distribution of 'primary social goods' such as rights and liberties; powers and diverse opportunities; income and wealth; and the social bases of self-respect are the fundamental cause of the uneven distribution of health benefits and disease burden in society. Therefore, interventions focusing on wider determinants have more potential to reduce health inequalities than individual behavioural interventions. 

The lecture will draw on several studies that support the proposition that social justice is a foundation for public health as a strategy to reduce inequalities in health. It will contextualise these concepts and principles within the research on socioeconomic determinants of homelessness. It will also present evidence that homelessness is a manifestation of unequal societies. 

The lecture takes place in room 017 in the Anna Sutton Building at the University’s Exton Park site with tea and coffee served in the foyer from 6pm. 

The lecture is free to attend and places can be booked by emailing  A link to a live stream of the lecture can also be obtained from the same email address. 

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