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Getting to Know Our Staff: Dr. Deborah Nyirenda

Recently, Behaviour and Health research group social scientist Deborah Nyirenda attained her PhD in Public Health. Pauline Mlogeni (PM) had a chat with her (DN) to understand her work and the job that she does at MLW.

PM: What is your job title?

DN: I am a postdoctoral social scientist funded by Global Health Bioethics Network.


PM: What do you do in your job?

DN: My job involves four things: social science research, drafting publications, applying for grants and mentoring junior social scientists. I am currently developing a research that aims to generate evidence to strengthen ethical community engagement or public and patients’ involvement in health research conducted in low literacy settings.


PM: When did you start working at MLW?

DN: I joined MLW in 2010 as a Social Scientist. I have attained my Masters Degree and PhD since then.

PM: You recently attained your PhD. Tell us what it is all about and how it will help you to contribute towards MLW’s outcomes.

DN: My PhD examined community engagement in health research in Malawi. My thesis demonstrated how the socio-economic, political and historical contextual features influence the procedures and outcomes of community engagement initiatives. This work is important to MLW and other research institutions in low resource settings because it identified gaps in contemporary community engagement practices to protect community’s interests and promote mutual benefit sharing in health research.


PM: What are your immediate and long-term plans after your PhD?

DN: I plan to set up an associate research group that focuses on research on bioethics and community engagement/public and patients’ involvement in health research.


Congratulations, Deborah!