Dr Sonia Lewycka


Dr Sonia Lewycka, MA (Cantab) MPhil PhD



Senior Epidemiologist, OUCRU, Hanoi

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Auckland

Distance Learning Tutor and Examiner, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine



Sonia is an epidemiologist working at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Hanoi. She is interested in the use of population studies and analyses to evaluate the coverage, equity and impact of public health interventions and programmes. She is currently leading the development and implementation of health behavior change interventions to tackle inappropriate antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance at population-level in Vietnam, as well as an implementation trial of point-of-care testing in primary care settings to reduce antibiotic prescribing. She is also using population datasets to analyse global distributions and determinants of antibiotic use, and building mathematical models to identify intervention points with the largest potential for impact on antibiotic use and resistance. Sonia is also interested in the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases, and is using population datasets to identify the reasons for low vaccination coverage and missed opportunities for vaccination in low and middle income countries.

Previously her work focused on the maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health continuum. Between 2001 and 2014 she worked in Malawi with the UCL Institute for Global Health and led research on population vital events surveillance, cluster randomised controlled trials of community-based interventions to improve maternal and child survival, and the design of a population evaluation of pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccine effectiveness on morbidity and mortality. With the University of Auckland and AUT in New Zealand she worked on population-based research in child, youth and family health, and continues to collaborate on Māori youth health and migrant health research. She has been an advisor to UNICEF/GAVI on developing monitoring frameworks for vaccination coverage and equity, and on identifying health systems bottlenecks for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.



Sonia has published more than 40 articles in international journals.


5 key recent research articles:

Clark TC, Le Grice J, Moselen E, Fleming T, Crengle S, Tiatia-Seath J, Lewycka S. Health and wellbeing of Maori secondary school students in New Zealand: Trends between 2001, 2007 and 2012. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2018 Dec;42(6):553-561.



Lewycka S, Clark T, Peiris-John R, Fenaughty J, Bullen P, Denny S, Fleming T. Downwards trends in adolescent risk-taking behaviours in New Zealand: Exploring driving forces for change.

J Paediatr Child Health. 2018 Jun;54(6):602-608.



Prost A, Colbourn T, Seward N, Azad K, Coomarasamy A, Copas A, Houweling TA, Fottrell E, Kuddus A, Lewycka S, MacArthur C, Manandhar DS, Morrison J, Mwansambo C, Nair N, Nambiar B, Osrin D, Pagel C, Phiri T, Pulkki-Brannstrom AM, Rosato M, Skordis-Worrall J, Saville N, More NS, Shrestha B, Tripathy P, Wilson A, Costello A. Women’s groups practising participatory learning and action to improve maternal and newborn health in resource-limited settings: systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet 2013 May 18; 381 (9879): 1736-46. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)60685-6/fulltext


Lewycka S, Mwansambo C, Rosato M, Kazembe P, Phiri T, Mganga A, Chapota H, Malamba F, Kainja E, Newell ML, Greco G, Pulkki-Brännström AM, Skordis-Worrall J, Vergnano S, Osrin D, Costello A. Effect of women’s groups and volunteer peer counsellors on mortality, morbidity and health behaviours among mothers and children in rural Malawi: MaiMwana cluster randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2013 May 18; 381 (9879): 1721-35.



Lewycka S, Mwansambo C, Kazembe P, Phiri T, Mganga A, Rosato M, Chapota H, Malamba F, Vergnano S, Newell ML, Osrin D, Costello A. A cluster randomised controlled trial of the community effectiveness of two interventions in rural Malawi to improve health care and to reduce maternal, newborn and infant mortality. Trials. 2010 Sep 17;11:88.