Who we are:
A cross-cutting and multidisciplinary team of social scientists from within MLW and affiliated research institutions working together to advance the field of health-related social sciences. Since the theme will be cross-cutting, it may overlap with other themes.
What we (will) do
- Create a safe space where social science researchers can develop independent research
- Provide support to upcoming social science researchers including providing peer support
- Support other themes and groups which are interested to employ social science research methods
- Catalyse interest in social sciences research career among junior researchers
- Strengthen research collaboration with the Kamuzu University of Health Science, regional and International social science researchers
- Promote visibility of social science research within and outside MLW
- Support post-graduate research methods training at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences
- Developing “U=U” communication messages in Malawi: Establishing evidence on feasibility and acceptability.
- Study Acronym: ACCEPTU2U
- Study Aim: To address the information gap on treatment as prevention (TasP) through developing contextually relevant TasP messaging materials that emphasise “U=U” information targeting HIV discordant couples in order optimise adherence to ART, reduce new HIV infections sero-discordant couples and increase male partner engagement in HIV self-testing, prevention and care.
- Funder: EDCTP
- Host: HNTI, KUHES
EDCTP Career Development Fellow
Dr. Moses Kelly Kumwenda holds a PhD in Public Health – Medical Anthropology from the University of Malawi, a Master of Philosophy in Environmental Geography from the University of the Western Cape, and a Bachelor of Education (Geography and Demography major) from the University of Malawi. He is currently working as an EDCTP Career Development Fellow at the Helse Nord TB Initiative (HNTI) of the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences and Malawi Liverpool Wellcome, in Blantyre - Malawi. He currently leads the Social Sciences Theme, the Gender in Health Associate group, and work as an Associate Group Head for the Maternal and Fetal Group at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome. He holds honorary Research Associate positions at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Liverpool. His research interests are in areas of gender, specifically masculinities, mental health and novel psychosocial interventions, and the understanding social impacts of new biomedical technologies using applied social science research methods (Implementation Science). He has long-standing interests in research on access to health services and social benefits and potential harms linked new health interventions. Dr Moses Kumwenda co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications in the field of public health over the past 13 years. He has contributed greatly on work about HIV self-testing which has informed both the national and international policies. He has also contributed to the development of the WHO-TDR Intersectional Gender Analysis Toolkit.
Global Health Bioethics Network senior fellow and an Associate Group Head for Community Engagement and Bioethics
Dr Deborah Nyirenda is a Global Health Bioethics Network senior fellow and an Associate Group Head for Community Engagement and Bioethics at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Programme. She has over 11 years’ experience of leading social science research projects on various health topics. Deborah completed a PhD on social interactions among research stakeholders and ethical issues in the context of community engagement in Malawi. She holds a Masters Degree in International Public Health from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and a Bachelors Degree in Education, Humanities from Chancellor College. Deborah serves as a member of the African Academy of Sciences Community & Public Engagement Advisory Group and a reviewer for funding applications. She has published 22 research articles in international journals and guest edited publications on public engagement in low- and middle-income countries (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5867-4687).
Senior Research Associate
I am a Senior Research Associate, trained in qualitative research and expert in health systems at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW). I am currently co-Director for Multilink study, leading a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, health economists, statisticians and social scientists in an NIHR-funded four year study that is designing and testing a system which identifies patients suffering from multimorbidity during emergency assessment in sub-Saharan African hospitals. As trial manager, I have previously delivered an MRC-funded randomized controlled trial at University of Witwatersrand’s Centre for Health Policy, Johannesburg. This tested the effectiveness of task-shifting to clinic based lay health workers for patients with chronic diseases in multiple clinics in rural South African. I have also chaired the process evaluation working group of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD). With my specific expertise of social science with complex interventions, I have also focused on hospital treatment as Social Science theme lead of the NIHR Global Health Group on Sepsis (ARCS) and delivered a global Delphi consultation process for developing standards for sepsis care. With Malawi policymakers and WHO Knowledge Translation Unit, I established the national knowledge translation platform for evidence-based decision making. I provide technical advice through a Ministry of Health expert groups for NCDs. My recent work has documented important health system and inpatient perspectives during the pivot to COVID-19 management in Malawi. My Post-Doc experience has seen me teaching and supervising PhD and Masters Students. Grants Multimorbidity-associated emergency hospital admissions: a “screen and link” strategy to improve outcomes for high-risk patients in sub-Saharan (Multilink study) – NIHR supported (201708)
health systems specialist and a Nurse/Midwife
A health systems specialist and a Nurse/Midwife by profession with research interests in optimizing delivery and uptake of services including quality management and Implementation Science. Her areas of focus are HIV and AIDS across different populations and Maternal and Newborn Health. Her publication record is available on: ORCID: 0000-0002-3572-3810
Mtisunge is a Post- Doctoral Research Associate in Maternal and Fetal group under Safe Motherhood Africa project, which aims at improving maternal and neonatal health outcomes in Malawi and Zambia. Mtisunge is health systems researcher with a nursing and midwifery background, interested in implementation and service delivery research that focuses on health systems strengthening, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (MNCAH), quality improvement, policy, bioethics and nursing practice. Mtisunge’s PhD in Global Health evaluated processes and outcomes of stillbirth and neonatal death audit in Malawi. Mtisunge has worked as a nurse in maternity, paediatric and general wards for more than 10 years. Mtisunge has also previously worked as the project coordinator/manager on improving paediatric patient pathways to care in primary health care setting in Malawi, worked as a part time lecturer at Kamuzu College of Nursing and Translational Research Associate on prevention of parachute research implementation to promote equity in global health research. Mtisunge has a strong clinical, operation, teaching, qualitative and quantitative research methods skills.
PhD Student (Global Health- LSTM)
I am a Social Scientist with a passion for public health interventions that seek to empower grassroots populations. I believe it is important to recognize that community involvement is central to maximizing the impact of any intervention as the approach itself. To this end, I have worked on numerous community-based projects that sought to explore factors affecting community participation in health programs. I hold a master’s degree in public health (MPH) from College of Medicine, COM, now Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS). ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7543-8512
Post-doctoral Research Associate
Wezzie Lora is a Medical Anthropologist with over 10 years’ work experience in Social Science in health research. She is currently a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Programme where she leads research focusing on HIV research, biomedical technologies, pandemic preparedness, and resilience. Much of her work has been on understanding the relationship between individuals and biomedical technologies employing various research designs like qualitative research and mixed research methods and has directly impacted public health and informed global and national policies and guidelines. Her research has included general, vulnerable, and marginalised populations in rural and urban settings. Through her expertise, Wezzie has been involved in a number of multi-sited studies and contributes to multi-disciplinary teams. Wezzie is also an honorary faculty member at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, where she provides supervision to MSc and PhD students, and teaches on the MSc Public Health course. Wezzie is currently involved in the AMETHIST study implemented in Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa. In this study, Wezzie is leading the research activities in Malawi to understand the context and patterns of sex work and transitions into and out of sex work. The outcomes of this study will provide a better understanding of sex work and the development of an intervention for female sex workers in Malawi, and in similar settings.
Doreen Sakala is a social scientist with over 6 years’ experience in the field. Doreen holds a Masters in International Health from the University of Leeds and is currently studying for a PhD in Global Health at LSTM. Her PhD work is investigating the role of social media in sex work using traditional and digital ethnography in urban Blantyre, Malawi. Doreen’s PhD is embedded in the AMETHIST (Adapted Microplanning Eliminating Transmissible HIV in Sex Transactions) study which aims to understand the transitions into and out of sex work. Over the years, Doreen’s work has been in HIV research particularly with disadvantaged and hard to reach groups.
Global Health Scientist
A global health scientist currently training at a doctoral level with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Treighcy hold an MSc in Global Health from Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and an honours BSc in Physiotherapy from the University of Malawi. She is conducting health systems research for the Multilink research group in the Lung health theme.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Blessings M. Kapumba is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Shire Valley Vector Control Project (Shire-Vec) at MLW and LSTM, based in Malawi. He is a Social Scientist and recently submitted his PhD thesis at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. His research interests include community engagement and involvement, research ethics in global health, health policy on sexual reproductive health, decolonisation of global health research, infectious disease control, mental health, and implementation science. He is currently working on a policy brief, based on his doctoral thesis, tentatively entitled, “Ancillary care in resource-constrained settings: from the lens of Decolonisation”. The policy brief is an exploration of promoting the practices of ancillary care as a means of decolonizing global health. His publication record is available on ORCID: 0000-0002-8210-3454
Postdoctoral Research Associate