Carmen Anthonj

Carmen conducts community-based mixed methods water and health-related risk perception and behavior research with international organizations, governments, and research institutes. Her focus is on holistic approaches to water security, human health and health systems. She applies mixed methods, multi-level approaches and incorporates multidisciplinary perspectives for risk assessments and project evaluations in complex, data-scarce and difficult-to-access settings, including flood- and emergency-prone areas and conflict settings. She is interested in the dual health burden (increased incidence of disease and health sector response constrained by destruction) during and after emergencies, promoting health in water and wetland management, the cultural context of health, capturing local knowledge, and translating research for the use of policy-makers and practitioners. Prior to joining The Water Institute at UNC, Carmen worked as a consultant with the World Health Organization Nigeria Health Emergencies Team on a Comprehensive Health Overview in Northeast of Nigeria in order to support a long-term health strategy and conducted a desk study for adelphi on Climate Change Impact on Quality Infrastructure in the Health Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Carmen received her doctorate from the GeoHealth Centre at the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health of the University of Bonn, where she focused on water-related infectious disease exposure and WaSH in Kenya. Carmen has water and health-related field experience in Southeast Asia (Cambodia and Vietnam), South America (Brazil), Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda), and Oceania (Fiji, Solomon Islands).

Profile Information
Selected Projects
Selected Research Products
  • Coping with ill-health: Health care facility, chemist or medicinal plants? Health-seeking behaviour in a Kenyan wetland. 2019. Anthonj, Carmen, Peter Giovannini, and Thomas Kistemann. BMC International Health and Human Rights 19,18.
  • Health risk perceptions and local knowledge of water-related infectious disease exposure among Kenyan wetland communities. 2019. Anthonj, Carmen, Bernd Diekkrüger, Christian Borgemeister, and Thomas Kistemann. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. 222(1): 34-48.
  • Health risk perceptions are associated with domestic use of basic water and sanitation services—Evidence from rural Ethiopia. 2018. Anthonj, Carmen, Lisa Fleming, Samuel Godfrey, Argaw Ambelu, Jane Bevan, Ryan Cronk and Jamie Bartram. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. (15)10: 2112.
  • Improving monitoring and water point functionality in rural Ethiopia. 2018. Anthonj, Carmen, Lisa Fleming, Ryan Cronk, Samuel Godfrey, Argaw Ambelu, Jane Bevan, Emanuele Sozzi and Jamie Bartram. Water. 10(11): 1591.
  • The impact of water on health and ill-health in a sub- Saharan African wetland: Exploring both sides of the coin. 2018. Anthonj, Carmen, Sophie Githinji, and Thomas Kistemann. Science of the Total Environment. 624: 1411-1420.
  • Thirst World? Linking Water and Health in the Context of Development. 2019. Anthonj, Carmen  and Timo Falkenberg. 2019. Chapter 11 In: Foley, Ronan, Robin Kearns, Thomas Kistemann, Ben Wheeler (eds.) Blue Space, Health and Wellbeing: Hydrophilia Unbounded. Routledge. 167-189.
  • Urban and rural sanitation in the Solomon Islands: How resilient are these to extreme weather events? 2019. Fleming, L., Anthonj, Carmen, Mamita Bora Thakkar, Waqairapoa M. Tikoisuva, Musa Manga, Guy Howard, Katherine F. Shields, Emma Kelly, Marc Overmars and Jamie Bartram. Science of the Total Environment. 683: 331-340.
Research Interests
  • Medical Geography, epidemiology of diseases, health system research
  • Water-related health risks, focus on infectious diseases
  • Health-promoting water resources and wetland management
  • Natural hazards, focus on flooding and drought
  • Cultural context of health, health risk perceptions and health-related behaviour
  • Small Island Developing States, focus on South Pacific Islands
Email: Carmen Anthonj