• Larson, Charles

    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia
    Director, Centre for International Child Health
    Degrees / Designations
    Primary Area of Research
    Healthy Starts
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    604-875-2000 ext. 5642
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address
    Suite 203, Broadway Plaza Building
    601 W. Broadway

    Vancouver, BC  V5Z 4C2

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Acute care interventions in Uganda.  This includes: colour coding children under-five (to assist clinical decision making), application of supportive communication/cell phone technologies, oxygen delivery and emergency transportation.

    • Health systems: Scaling up of zinc for the treatment of acute childhood diarrhoea in developing countries. 

    • Pediatric post septic shock survival in Uganda: epidemiology and interventions to improve long term outcomes.

    • Baseline and follow-up evaluation of a capacity building project that aims to strengthen services and health system support for childhood epilepsy and cerebral palsy in Guuangzhou, China.


    Dr. Larson’s primary fields of interest are health systems research, bringing proven and appropriate technologies to scale, and child survival in developing country settings.  Dr. Larson assumed the directorship of the Centre for International Child Health in 2008. 

    Since joining the Centre, he has been focusing on project commitments in Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh, and China, with research focusing on innovations in support of acute illness management of young children (Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh) and neuro-developmental disabilities in China.

    Current Projects

    Clinical Effectiveness and Preventive Impact of Zinc Treatment for Acute Diarrhoea in Children: A Cluster-randomized Field Trial in Rural Western Kenya
    Zinc deficiency is common in Africa. It has been shown in Asia that zinc as treatment for diarrhoea can shorten the course of episodes of diarrhoea, as well as prevent future episodes. The use of zinc to treat diarrhoea in an African setting, where malaria, HIV and malnutrition are common, has not been well-studied. The objective is to evaluate if zinc treatment for diarrhoea in Kenyan children will decrease the community prevalence of diarrhoea and to compare clinic vs. home-based distribution of zinc blister packs. This study is in the analysis and write-up phase.

    Scaling Up Zinc: Impact of an NGO sponsored training and support intervention targeting unregulated private sector providers on household diarrhoea management practices in rural Bangladesh
    Within the NGO sector, direct provision of health services is provided, however some NGOs also work closely with the private sector providers. This study provides objective evidence of the impact of this approach, using the scale-up of zinc for the treatment of childhood diarrhoea as a test case. The study will be assessing NGO impact among unregulated (unlicensed), rural service providers. Further, this study will serve to assess the value of this model of scaling up activities in the non-state sector with a particular eye toward more generalizable and replicable improvement in quality of care strategies between NGOs and unlicensed private providers.

    Developing and delivering integrated innovations in support of acute care and improved survival of under-five children
    Of the nearly 10 million annual deaths occurring in children under five years of age in less developed countries, over 80% are potentially avoidable.  In addition to measures that prevent disease, affordable, proven acute illness treatment interventions exist that have the potential to save millions of lives each year. This project is currently validating a color coding scheme and proxy measurements for a child’s weight that will guide clinical decision making within village and primary care clinic settings.  This is being done in Uganda, Kenya and Bangladesh.

    Selected Publications

    Larson CP, Saha  UR, Nazrul H. Impact Monitoring of the National Scale Up of Zinc Treatment for Childhood Diarrhoea in Bangladesh. PLoS Medicine. Accepted.

    Uddin MJ, Larson CP, Oliveras E, Khan AI, Quaiyum MA, Chandra Saha N.: Child immunization coverage in rural hard-to-reach Haor areas of Bangladesh: possible alternative strategies. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2009 Jan;21(1):8-18.

    Larson CP, Roy SK, Qadri F, Rahman AS, Khan AI.: Zinc treatment to under-five children: Applications to improve child survival and reduce burden of disease. J Health Popul Nutr. 2008 Sept;26(3):356-65

    Larson CP, Poverty during pregnancy: It’s Effects on Child Health Outcomes. Pediatrics and Child Health 2007;12:673-680.

    Khan MA, Larson CP, Faruque ASG, Saha UR, Hoque AM, Alani NU, Salam MA. Introduction of routine zinc therapy for children with diarrhoea: evaluation of safety. J Health Pop Nutr, 2007;25:127-33.

    Md. Islam Md, Brooks AW, KabirMd, Jahid I, Islam Md, Goswami D, Nair G, Larson C, Wagatsuma Y, Luby S. Faccal contumination of drinking water sources of Dhaka city during 2004 flood in Bangladesh and use of disinfectants for water treatment. J Applied Microbiol 2006-0790.R2 [Epub]

    Larson CP, Saha SR, Islam R, Roy N. Childhood diarrhea management practices in Bangladesh: privaten sector dominance and continued inequities in care. mt J Epidemiol 2006;35(6):1430-9.

    Mercer A, Haseen F, Huq NL, Uddin N, Khan MH, Larson CP. Risk factors for neonatal mortality in rural areas of Bangladesh served by a large NGO programme. Health Policy and Planning 2006;2 1 (6):432-43.

    Mercer A, Uddin N, Huq NL, Haseen F, Khan MK, Larson CP. Validating neonatal mortality and the use of NGO reproductive health outreach services in rural Bangladesh. Studies in Family Planning 2006;37(2):1 11-22.

    Larson, CP, Hoque M, Larson CP, Khan AM. Initiation of zinc treatment for acute childhood diarrhea and the risk for vomiting or regurgitation: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Health Popul Nutr,2005;23:3 11-8.

    Nasrin D, Larson CP, Sultana 5, Khan TU. Acceptability and adherence to zinc dispersible tablet treatment of acute childhood diarrhea. J Health Popul Nutr, 2005;23:215-21.

    Brisbois BW, Cole DC, Davison CM, Di Ruggiero E, Hanson L, Janes CR, Larson CP, Nixon S, Plamondon K, Stime B. Corporate sponsorship of global health research: Questions to promote critical thinking about potential funding relationships. Can J Public Health. 2016 Dec 27 PMID: 28026703 

    Rahman AE, Iqbal A, Hoque DM, Moinuddin M, Zaman SB, Rahman QS, Begum T, Chowdhury AI, Haider R, Arifeen SE, Kissoon N, Larson CP. Managing Neonatal and Early Childhood Syndromic Sepsis in Sub-District Hospitals in Resource Poor Settings: Improvement in Quality of Care through Introduction of a Package of Interventions in Rural Bangladesh. PLoS One. 2017 Jan 23 PMID: 28114415

    Whitfield KC, Wozniak R, Pradinuk M, Karakochuk CD, Anabwani G, Daly Z, MacLeod SM, Larson CP, Green TJ. Anthropometric measures are simple and accurate paediatric weight-prediction proxies in resource-poor settings with a high HIV prevalence. Arch Dis Child. 2017 Jan PMID:27073160  

    Honours & Awards

    Honorary Professor of Medical Sciences
    Chelyabinsk Medical Academy
    Chelyabinsk, Russia

    Research Group Members