Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Programme

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Thomasena O’Byrne

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Thomasena is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Bacterial and Drug Resistant Infections Group at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Programme. She is an experienced Health Policy and Systems Researcher, living in Malawi since 2008.

Currently, Thomasena’s research focus is on supporting, designing, and evaluating the implementation of the current WHO framework for improved Infection Prevention and Control Practice in secondary and tertiary facilities in the southern region of Malawi.

Additionally, Thomasena is supporting the development of a community engagement intervention to improve understanding of antimicrobial resistance in Malawi. As a member of the Health Systems Global Thematic Working Group on Teaching and Learning, she is leading the evaluation and update of their existing global training database.

During her doctoral studies, Thomasena adopted a systems-thinking approach to construct a theory towards strengthening health leadership and management capacity of Human Resources for Health as part of efforts to strengthen health care systems and improve quality of care in Malawi. Before this, she was the Deputy Head of the Behaviour and Health Group at MLW and a UK country representative and project manager for the Meningitis Research Foundation. She has a strong implementation and mixed methods research background, with her earlier research and writing rooted in exploring the impact of health seeking behaviour and primary health systems in access to care and outcomes for children in LMICs.

Currently, Thomasena is an active member of the Social Science Theme and Policy Unit at the MLW, as well as an appointed member of the Malawi MoH Leadership and Management Task Force.  Outside of research, Thomasena sits on the Board of Directors for The Mentorship and Philanthropic Centre. She has completed a Certified Leadership Coach (CLC) Training Program approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF), and she hopes to utilise these skills to coach, support and empower others to achieve their personal and professional goals.