Research Interests: Pastoralism, Health and Conflict, Humanitarian Response
Regions: Ethiopia, South Sudan

Hannah Wild is an MD Candidate at Stanford University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the health of nomadic populations and more broadly, the intersection of health, armed conflict, and culture in Sub-Saharan Africa. She received her undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature from Harvard University with special fields in oral literature and ethnography. Prior to beginning medical school she received a post-graduate fellowship to conduct ethnographic fieldwork with the Nyangatom, a tribe of nomadic pastoralists in the Omo Valley of southwest Ethiopia. She spent 18 months living with the Nyangatom’s nomadic cattle camps and studying their traditional medical practices, and is fluent in the local language. As a medical student, she developed methodology for including nomadic groups in population data and household surveys ( Her work on pastoralists' role in regional conflict dynamics has been cited by policymakers including the United Nations Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan ( Her current research focuses on humanitarian care in conflict and the epidemiology of conflict-related injury among noncombatants. She will pursue residency training in general surgery with a focus on trauma and critical care.

Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, Harvard University, Literature (2011)

All Publications

  • There's No Algorithm For Empathy. Health affairs (Project Hope) Wild, H. B. 2020; 39 (2): 339–42


    When physicians rely on a behavioral "recipe" to convey empathy, patient care can suffer.

    View details for DOI 10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00571

    View details for PubMedID 32011932

  • 'To minimise that risk, there are some costs we incur': Examining the impact of gender-based violence on the urban poor. Global public health Maclin, B. J., Bustamante, N. D., Wild, H., Patel, R. B. 2020: 1–15


    Urban environments marked by violence create fear that can have real impacts on the urban poor, particularly women and girls. Any efforts to tackle poverty and promote health must address the impacts to their access to livelihoods and education, healthcare, markets, and social support that underlie wellbeing. This study aimed to elucidate specific impacts that violence and fear have on the very poor in rapidly growing cities and the coping strategies employed. This multi-country qualitative study was conducted in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Participants in all three cities employed similar tactics to avoid violence. People adjusted how, when, and where they travel and how they interact with people who threaten them. These coping strategies led participants to spend more money on goods and to restrict access to livelihood opportunities, education, healthcare, and social activities. Women are impacted more than men in all spheres and city specific differences are highlighted. Residents of urban slums, particularly women, in these three cities cope with urban violence in many ways, suffering consequences in a range of categories - leading to significant impacts to their own health and well-being and their families.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/17441692.2020.1716036

    View details for PubMedID 31971878

  • Epidemiology of Injuries Sustained by Civilians and Local Combatants in Contemporary Armed Conflict: An Appeal for a Shared Trauma Registry Among Humanitarian Actors. World journal of surgery Wild, H., Stewart, B. T., LeBoa, C., Stave, C. D., Wren, S. M. 2020


    Conflict-related injuries sustained by civilians and local combatants are poorly described, unlike injuries sustained by US, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and coalition military personnel. An understanding of injury epidemiology in twenty-first century armed conflict is required to plan humanitarian trauma systems capable of responding to population needs.We conducted a systematic search of databases (e.g., PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, World Health Organization Catalog, Google Scholar) and grey literature repositories to identify records that described conflict-related injuries sustained by civilians and local combatants since 2001.The search returned 3501 records. 49 reports representing conflicts in 18 countries were included in the analysis and described injuries of 58,578 patients. 79.3% of patients were male, and 34.7% were under age 18 years. Blast injury was the predominant mechanism (50.2%), and extremities were the most common anatomic region of injury (33.5%). The heterogeneity and lack of reporting of data elements prevented pooled analysis and limited the generalizability of the results. For example, data elements including measures of injury severity, resource utilization (ventilator support, transfusion, surgery), and outcomes other than mortality (disability, quality of life measures) were presented by fewer than 25% of reports.Data describing the needs of civilians and local combatants injured during conflict are currently inadequate to inform the development of humanitarian trauma systems. To guide system-wide capacity building and quality improvement, we advocate for a humanitarian trauma registry with a minimum set of data elements.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00268-020-05428-y

    View details for PubMedID 32100067

  • Making Pastoralists Count: Geospatial Methods for the Health Surveillance of Nomadic Populations. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene Wild, H., Glowacki, L., Maples, S., Mejia-Guevara, I., Krystosik, A., Bonds, M. H., Hiruy, A., LaBeaud, A. D., Barry, M. 2019


    Nomadic pastoralists are among the world's hardest-to-reach and least served populations. Pastoralist communities are difficult to capture in household surveys because of factors including their high degree of mobility over remote terrain, fluid domestic arrangements, and cultural barriers. Most surveys use census-based sampling frames which do not accurately capture the demographic and health parameters of nomadic populations. As a result, pastoralists are "invisible" in population data such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). By combining remote sensing and geospatial analysis, we developed a sampling strategy designed to capture the current distribution of nomadic populations. We then implemented this sampling frame to survey a population of mobile pastoralists in southwest Ethiopia, focusing on maternal and child health (MCH) indicators. Using standardized instruments from DHS questionnaires, we draw comparisons with regional and national data finding disparities with DHS data in core MCH indicators, including vaccination coverage, skilled birth attendance, and nutritional status. Our field validation demonstrates that this method is a logistically feasible alternative to conventional sampling frames and may be used at the population level. Geospatial sampling methods provide cost-affordable and logistically feasible strategies for sampling mobile populations, a crucial first step toward reaching these groups with health services.

    View details for DOI 10.4269/ajtmh.18-1009

    View details for PubMedID 31436151

  • A Consensus Framework for the Humanitarian Surgical Response to Armed Conflict in 21st Century Warfare. JAMA surgery Wren, S. M., Wild, H. B., Gurney, J., Amirtharajah, M., Brown, Z. W., Bulger, E. M., Burkle, F. M., Elster, E. A., Forrester, J. D., Garber, K., Gosselin, R. A., Groen, R. S., Hsin, G., Joshipura, M., Kushner, A. L., Norton, I., Osmers, I., Pagano, H., Razek, T., Sáenz-Terrazas, J. M., Schussler, L., Stewart, B. T., Traboulsi, A. A., Trelles, M., Troke, J., VanFosson, C. A., Wise, P. H. 2019


    Armed conflict in the 21st century poses new challenges to a humanitarian surgical response, including changing security requirements, access to patients, and communities in need, limited deployable surgical assets, resource constraints, and the requirement to address both traumatic injuries as well as emergency surgical needs of the population. At the same time, recent improvements in trauma care and systems have reduced injury-related mortality. This combination of new challenges and medical capabilities warrants reconsideration of long-standing humanitarian surgery protocols.To describe a consensus framework for surgical care designed to respond to this emerging need.An international group of 35 representatives from humanitarian agencies, US military, and academic trauma programs was invited to the Stanford Humanitarian Surgical Response in Conflict Working Group to engage in a structured process to review extant trauma protocols and make recommendations for revision.The working group's method adapted core elements of a modified Delphi process combined with consensus development conference from August 3 to August 5, 2018.Lessons from civilian and military trauma systems as well as recent battlefield experiences in humanitarian settings were integrated into a tiered continuum of response from point of injury through rehabilitation. The framework addresses the security and medical requirements as well as ethical and legal principles that guide humanitarian action. The consensus framework includes trained, lay first responders; far-forward resuscitation/stabilization centers; rapid damage control surgical access; and definitive care facilities. The system also includes nontrauma surgical care, injury prevention, quality improvement, data collection, and predeployment training requirements.Evidence suggests that modern trauma systems save lives. However, the requirements of providing this standard of care in insecure conflict settings places new burdens on humanitarian systems that must provide both emergency and trauma surgical care. This consensus framework integrates advances in trauma care and surgical systems in response to a changing security environment. It is possible to reduce disparities and improve the standard of care in these settings.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamasurg.2019.4547

    View details for PubMedID 31722004

  • “Lost Generation” in South Sudan: A Broader Approach Toward Peace Urgently Needed Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness Wild, H., Fallavier, P., Patel, R. 2019: 1-9

    View details for DOI 10.1017/dmp.2018.144

  • The militarization of cattle raiding in South Sudan: how a traditional practice became a tool for political violence Journal of International Humanitarian Action Wild, H., Jok, J. M., Patel, R. 2018; 3 (2)
  • On the Move in Cattle Country: Tracking Nomadic Pastoralists in Southwest Ethiopia. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene Wild, H. 2018; 99 (1): 9–10

    View details for PubMedID 29978779

  • To Do No Harm: Humanitarian Aid in Conflict Demands Political Engagement Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness Patel, R., Wild, H. 2018; 12 (5): 567-568

    View details for DOI 10.1017/dmp.2017.133