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Heilien (Lienkie) Diedericks is part of the Health System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa (ASSET) project. Her PhD is funded generously by the NIHR ASSET grant and the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust (South Africa).

Lienkie completed a MSc in Bioethics and Society at King's, with her dissertation focusing on the ethical and regulatory implications of pharmaceutical drugs being embedded with ingestible sensors to track adherence.

She is fascinated by how social science, philosophy and interdisciplinary methodological approaches can be applied to improve health care policies and interventions. Coming from South Africa, she has a vested interest in understanding how the history of colonial institutions and social trust can influence healthcare access in South Africa.


Thesis title: 'Trust, Institutions and Health Outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa: A historical institutionalist analysis of TB cure rates in South Africa over 100 years'

Lienkie is interested in the role that trust might have played (and still does) in TB cure rates in South Africa over a period where many oppressive and turbulent political changes were made. Studying the role of political and economic institutions is therefore critical in analysing the possible effect of social trust on particular health outcomes.

She will study trust as both a function of society (on a macro level) and as a function of the individual (on a micro level). The main methodology she uses is ‘historical institutionalism’ which relies heavily on a variety of statistical and historical analytical techniques and approaches, in combination with narrative and in-depth interviews with patients and their social networks.

PhD supervision

Further details

See Lienkie's research profile