Third Biennial Conference

Global Public Health Challenges: Facing them in Africa

University of the Witwatersrand | University of Pretoria

Sponsored by: Carnegie Corporation of New York


17 - 19 November 2021


09:00 - 17:15 (SAST)

Future Africa Campus and Institute

ARUA Third Biennial Conference Registration

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Kindly note that in view of Covid-19 restrictions in force in South Africa and therefore, the limited capacity at the conference venue, regular delegates to the conference can only participate virtually and not physically
Dinner for the 17th and 18th of November, 2021 will be at delegate’s own cost
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17 - 19 November 2021 | TIME: 09:00 - 17:15 (SAST)

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Event Summary

Global Public Health Challenges: Facing them in Africa

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic was met with a significant amount of concern about how African economies were going to cope, given their relatively weak position in several areas. The pandemic quickly exposed how fragile health systems and institutions in Africa were. As developed economies moved increasingly towards inward-looking policies to counter the pandemic, there was a cascading amplification of risks faced in sub-Saharan economies, and this raised important questions about Africa’s preparedness to meaningfully address the myriad challenges that emerged as a result, formulate, and implement context-appropriate policies to contain the spread of the disease.

What is more, the pandemic provides a bleak reminder that in the global economy, challenges that emerge in one part of the world can easily assume a global dimension fairly rapidly. The inward-looking policies adopted by the economies of the global North in response to the current pandemic should serve as a reminder to African economies to begin to take responsibility for the search for solutions to future global public health challenges as they occur in the region. It is essential to build governance and health systems that make it possible for the region to collaboratively confront the next global health challenges more appropriately.
The ARUA 2021 Biennial Conference will bring together experts from universities, research institutions, government, industry, civil society, international organizations, etc., to discuss the different steps that African economies need to take in order to face global public health challenges squarely. In reflecting on the prominent lessons from the handling of previous and current pandemics, the medium to long term implications of measures and steps taken to contain the spread of the virus in Africa will be the focus of the conference. This will be done in recognition of the interconnectedness of the various issues involved in dealing with a pandemic.

The Conference is jointly hosted by the University of Pretoria and the University of Witwatersrand and will take place at the Future Africa Facility at the University of Pretoria. This year’s conference will be hosted as a hybrid event with physical and online participation. The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) invites you to join the conversation by registering for the event.


Conference Speakers

Professor Lindiwe Sibanda

Director and Chair of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Professor Lindiwe Majele Sibanda is Director and Chair of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She is a serving Member of the Nestle S.A. Board, the One CGIAR System Board (Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers), and the WorldVeg Board. She is also a serving member of Champions UN-SDG 12.3, accelerating progress toward reducing food loss and waste towards achieving SDG Target 12.3 by 2030. She is an animal scientist and a practicing farmer, serving as a policy advisor to numerous African governments and global institutions. Prof Sibanda holds a Ph.D. and MSc in Animal Sciences from the University of Reading, and BSc in Animal Sciences from the University of Alexandria, Egypt.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey

African Research Universities Alliance, ARUA
Ernest Aryeetey is the Secretary-General of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), a network of 16 of Africa’s flagship universities. He is a Professor of Economics and former Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana (2010-2016). He was also previously Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) (2003-2010) at University of Ghana and the first Director of the Africa Growth Initiative of Brookings Institution, Washington D.C. He has held academic appointments at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), Yale University and Swarthmore College in the U.S. at various points in time. Ernest Aryeetey was a member of the Governing Council of the United Nations University (2016 – 2019) and was previously Chairman of the Advisory Board of the United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER), Helsinki, Finland. He is currently Board Chairman of Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) One of Ernest Aryeetey’s strategic priorities as Vice Chancellor at University of Ghana was to develop the University into a research-intensive institution that supports structural transformation in Africa.

Professor Tawana Kupe

Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Professor Tawana Kupe is the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria since 2019. He holds a DPhil in Media Studies from University of Oslo, Norway. Honorary Doctorates were bestowed on him by Michigan State University in December 2019 and by the University of Montpellier in October 2021. Prof Kupe has a notable publication record, having authored journal articles, books and book chapters in his main discipline, Media Studies and Journalism. He is an active member of several Civil Society Organisations and is a board member of a number of tertiary education networks, organisations and initiatives across the world.

Dr. David Nabarro

Institute of Global Health Innovation
David Nabarro is the Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation and supports systems leadership for Sustainable development through his Switzerland based social enterprise 4SD (Skills, Systems and Synergies for Sustainable Development). Currently David is Special Envoy of WHO on COVID-19 and Senior Advisor to the United Nations Food Systems Summit. David secured his medical qualification in 1974 and has worked in over 50 countries in multiple positions. In October 2018, David received the World Food Prize together with Lawrence Haddad for their leadership in building coalitions for action for better nutrition across the Sustainable Development Goals.

Session Chairs

Professor Barnabas Nawangwe

Vice Chancellor
Makerere University and Board Chair, ARUA
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe is the Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, one of Africa’s largest and oldest universities. He holds a PhD in Architecture from the Kiev National University of Building and Architecture. Prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor in September 2017, Prof. Nawangwe worked as the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration, Principal of the College of Engineering, Art, Design and Technology, Dean of the Faculty of Technology and pioneer Head of the Department of Architecture. Prof. Nawangwe is overseeing the transformation of Makerere to a research-led university. His research interests are in vernacular architecture and urbanization.Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe is the Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, one of Africa’s largest and oldest universities. He holds a PhD in Architecture from the Kiev National University of Building and Architecture. Prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor in September 2017, Prof. Nawangwe worked as the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration, Principal of the College of Engineering, Art, Design and Technology, Dean of the Faculty of Technology and pioneer Head of the Department of Architecture. Prof. Nawangwe is overseeing the transformation of Makerere to a research-led university. His research interests are in vernacular architecture and urbanization.

Professor Sizwe Mabizela

Vice Chancellor
Rhodes University
Co-Chair, ARUA

Dr Sizwe Mabizela is the Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University. Prior to assuming this position in 2014, he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic & Student Affairs at Rhodes University. Dr Mabizela is a Mathematician, and his research field is Abstract Approximation Theory, a subfield of Functional Analysis. He has published widely in his field of research in both national and international journals and has produced three Lecture Notes Series. He has presented numerous scientific papers at national and international conferences, workshops, and seminars in the field of Functional Analysis and Approximation. He obtained his PhD from Pennsylvania State University.

Rachel Sandison

Vice Principal, External Relations
University of Glasgow
Rachel Sandison is Vice Principal, External Relations at the University of Glasgow. As a member of the University’s senior management team, Rachel’s responsibilities include strategic leadership for domestic and international student recruitment; marketing, brand and reputation; undergraduate and postgraduate admissions; international affairs and partnership development; fundraising & alumni relations; and widening participation. She is also the University’s Refugee & Asylum Seeker Champion.  Rachel is a chartered marketer and a CASE Global Trustee. She is a member of the Universities Scotland International Committee and sits on a number of sector advisory boards. She is also the University of Glasgow’s senior leader for the Universitas 21 network, The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities and the CIVIS European University Alliance. 

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Vice Chancellor
University of Cape Town
Mamokgethi (Kgethi) Phakeng is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. She holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of the Witwatersrand and is a B1 NRF-rated scientist with over 80 research papers and five edited volumes published.  She has won numerous awards for her research and community work. In 2020 she was included in Forbes’ inaugural list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Africa. The University of Bristol conferred on her an Honorary Doctorate in Science in 2019 in recognition of her leadership role in mathematics education in South Africa. Kgethi is founder of the Adopt-a-learner Foundation.
Nana Aba Appiah Amfo

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo

Vice Chancellor
University of Ghana

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana. She serves on the Consultation Board of the International Pragmatics Association and is also an Assistant Secretary General of the Federation of Modern Languages and Literatures, FILLM (a UNESCO affiliated scholarly association). She co-founded the African Pragmatics Association and currently serves as the President.

Zeblon Vilakazi

Professor Zeblon Vilakazi

Vice Chancellor
University of the Witwatersrand
Professor Zeblon Zenzele Vilakazi was appointed Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University in January 2021. Previously holding the position of Vice-Principal and DVC Research, he brings a wealth of experience, insight and knowledge to the University and the Executive Team. Prof. Vilakazi is committed to making a positive impact on society through creating and advancing global knowledge; and fostering graduates to be leaders with integrity. He is currently a member of the Programme Advisory Committee for Nuclear Physics at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia. In 2010 he was nominated by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He has an extensive list of refereed articles in Nuclear and High Energy Physics, and is a regular invitee for talks and presentations at conferences and seminars.

Professor Stephen Kiama

Vice Chancellor
University of Nairobi
Prof Kiama is currently serving as the Vice Chancellor of the oldest and biggest University in Kenya, the University of Nairobi. Previously he served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Human Resource and Administration, Principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Director of Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology. Prof. Kiama has also served as the Editor in Chief of the Kenya Veterinarian He was employed by the University of Nairobi, Department of Veterinary Anatomy as an Assistant Lecturer upon graduation with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. Since then he has risen through the ranks to positions of Lecturer (1995), Senior Lecturer (2002), Associate Professor (2012) and Professor (2016). He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Structural Biology from University of Bern in 2001. Prof Kiama is an accomplished scholar with a good track record in formulating and managing academic programs and supervising and mentoring Masters and PhD students. He has a cumulative 30 years of research and teaching experience at various institutions including University of Nairobi, St. Andrews University in Scotland, Free University of Berlin, Germany, University of Bern, Switzerland, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and University of Ghana. Prof. Kiama has a unique experience of maintaining a vibrant research career marked by high quality publications and success in grant awards; an excellent record of visionary leadership marked by his success in various positions he has held at the University as well as a strong commitment to mentorship of undergraduate, post-graduate and faculty staff.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Francisca Mutapi

Co-Director Global Health Academy, Institute of Immunology, and Infection Research
University of Edinburgh
Professor Francisca Mutapi is a pan-African biomedical researcher empowering African scientists and policymakers to tackle infectious diseases and improve epidemic preparedness prioritising local needs and solutions .She enables and advocates for locally-led solutions to eliminate preventable and treatable diseases to empower affected communities to thrive and achieve the global development goals.  She is a Professor in Global Health Infection and Immunity, co-Director of the Global Health Academy at the University of Edinburgh, and Deputy Director of the NIHR Global Health Research Unit Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa. She conducts and leads basic scientific research that has had an extraordinary impact on the policy, practice and control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) globally. For example, her work has enabled 50 million African children previously excluded from treatment of the NTD schistosomiasis to access treatment. Beyond NTDs her research work has improved the diagnosis of lupus in people of black African descent and contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic response in Africa. She was the first black woman to be appointed as a Professor in the University of Edinburgh’s 400yr + history and the first black African female professor appointed in Scotland. She is helping shape research and training in Africa through independent advisory board membership. She sits on several advisory bodies including the WHO Africa Regional Director’s Advisory Board, the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (formerly DFID) Science Advisory Group, the UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund Strategic Advisory Group, board of Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases and Wellcome Trust Global Monitor External Advisory Board. She is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences. She is also an internationally recognised visual artist and 2021 TED Fellow and ASPEN New Voices Fellow, In 2020 she founded the Mwenje Wedu Foundation to support the education and health of Zimbabwean children and youth.

Professor Emma Thomson

Professor of infectious diseases, MRC- University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Emma Thomson is clinical professor of infectious diseases at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She trained in Glasgow, Oxford and London and runs a lab that uses next generation sequencing and molecular biology methods to investigate how changes in the genome of viruses may affect their phenotype. She also works as a consultant physician in the NHS and has treated patients with a variety of viral infections from Ebola, to HIV and HCV and more recently COVID-19.

Salim Abdool Karim

Professor Salim Abdool Karim

Salim Abdool Karim (MBChB, PhD, FRS) is director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and CAPRISA Professor for Global Health at Columbia University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard University, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is a member of the WHO Science Council. He is the chair of the WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee for HIV. He is a member of the Africa Task Force for Coronavirus and the Lancet Commission on COVID-19. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Professor Linda-Gail Bekker

Professor of Medicine and Chief Operating Officer, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation.
Director, Desmund Tutu HIV Centre
University of Cape Town

Professor John Ele-Ojo Ataguba

Economist, School of Public Health and Family Medicine
University of Cape Town

Professor Murray Leibbrandt

Director, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit. Director, African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR)
Murray holds the National Research Foundation Chair in Poverty and Inequality Research in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town. He is the Director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit and the African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research within the African Research Universities Alliance. He is on the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association, co-chairs the Scientific Panel on Population, Poverty and Inequality of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, and is a Senior Research Fellow of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research. He has published widely in development economics using survey data and especially panel data to analyse South Africa’s poverty, inequality and labour market dynamics. In 1995–96 he served on President Nelson Mandela’s Labour Market Commission to advise on post-apartheid labour market legislation and, from 2016–17, served on then Deputy-President Ramaphosa’s Advisory Panel on the National Minimum Wage. From 2007–2019 he was a Principal Investigator on the National Income Dynamics Study, South Africa’s national longitudinal study.

Plenary Speakers

Professor Jane Mariara

Executive Director, Partnership for Economic Policy

Jane Kabubo-Mariara is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Economic Policy and a Professor of Economics of the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She is a member of the Central Bank of Kenya’s Monetary Policy Committee and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies Advisory Board among other roles. Jane has over 30 years’ experience in capacity building and research and has served in various corporate and scientific advisory roles globally. Her research interests include climate change impacts and adaptation, Poverty and inequality, youth and women empowerment, multidimensional and child poverty.  Jane has published widely in leading economics journals. She holds a PhD, Master and bachelor’s degrees in economics from the University of Nairobi.

Professor John Gyapong

Vice Chancellor
University of Health & Allied Sciences, Volta Region, Ghana

Professor John Gyapong is a Public Health Physician and Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Science, Ho, Ghana. He is also an Adjunct Professor of International Health at the Georgetown University in Washington. He trained as a doctor in Ghana and pursued an MSc Public Health and PhD in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His area of research is infectious disease epidemiology. He has over 150 peer-reviewed journal publications and an edited book on NTDs in Sub Saharan Africa. He is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Professor Gordon Awandare

Director of West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens
University of Ghana, Legon

of West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, at the University of Ghana, Legon. He holds a Masters in Biochemistry from the University of Ghana, and a PhD in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pennsylvania. Awandare did his postdoctoral training at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, Maryland. His research interest is in the molecular and cellular aspects of infectious diseases in Africa, especially malaria.  He was a recipient of the Royal Society Pfizer award for 2015 and is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Biology, UK.

Dr Supriya Mehta

Interim Associate Dean for Global Health
University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, United States

Dr. Supriya Mehta is Professor of Epidemiology and Interim Associate Dean for Global Health at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health in the United States. She completed her doctorate in infectious disease epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, followed by a CDC-supported post-doctoral fellowship in sexually transmitted infection prevention. She has worked in Kenya since 2007 as a Co-Investigator on the Randomized Controlled Trial of Male Circumcision to Reduce HIV incidence; as PI of a longitudinal study of heterosexual couples to identify under what conditions the penile microbiome leads to reproductive tract infections in female sex partners, and as PI of a cohort estimating the effects of menstrual cups on the vaginal microbiome and sexually transmitted infections among Kenyan schoolgirls. Dr. Mehta is committed to research that leads to tangible benefits in sexual and reproductive health.

Professor Damalie Nakanjako

Principal of the College of Health Sciences
Makerere University
Professor Damalie Nakanjako (MBChB, MMED, PhD) Professor of Medicine, and Principal of the College of Health Sciences, immediate past Dean of the School of Medicine at Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda. She has over 18 years’ experience in Infectious Diseases care, research and training. She is a scientific director of the translational Laboratory at Makerere University’s Infectious Diseases Institute where she leads a translational immunology research group.  She is a co-director of the Makerere University-Uganda Virus Research Institute Infection and Immunity (MUII) program to build Africa’s capacity for scientific leadership in Infection and Immunity research. She is winner of the 4th Fourth Annual Merle A. Sande Health Leadership Award 2013 in recognition of her contributions towards leadership and healthcare in Africa. Damalie has mentored 50 upcoming scientists at masters’, doctoral and post-doc level, to build the next generation of scientists in Africa and worldwide.

Professor Helen Rees

Executive Director, RHI
University of the Witwatersrand
Professor Helen Rees (GCOB, OBE, MB BChir, MA (CANTAB), MRCGP, DCH, DRCOG mASSAf) is the Executive Director of Wits RHI. Helen Chairs the Board of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority and also Chairs the World Health Organisation’s AFRO Region Immunization Technical Advisory Group. She has extensive involvement in national, regional and global response efforts to COVID-19 including the development of COVID-19 vaccines, their potential rollout and utilization. She is a member of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 and a member of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 vaccines. She Chairs the South African VACC-MAC COVID-19 Variant Technical Working Group and is a member of the South African National Essential Medicine Committee on COVID-19. Helen is involved with the oversight of the COVAX facility that GAVI, CEPI and WHO are jointly driving. She is a member of the COVAX committee on COVID-19 maternal immunization and a member of the WHO IHR Emergency Committee on COVID-19, member of the WHO Expert Committee on COVID-19 vaccines, and a member of WHO’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards. Helen has chaired the WHO’s International Health Regulation Polio Emergency Committee since 2014 and Co-Chairs the WHO SAGE Working Group on Ebola Vaccines. Helen is a member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization Board and chairs the Gavi Programme and Policy Committee. She is a member of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation Board and chairs the CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee.

Professor Emma Mcintosh

Professor of Health Economics. Deputy Director, HEHTA & IHW PGR Convenor. Director, NIHR Global Health Group (Arthritis)
Professor Emma McIntosh is Deputy Director of Glasgow University’s Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment (HEHTA) team and Director of the UK’s NIHR Global Health Group on Arthritis. Emma has an MSc in Health Economics and a PhD in Economics. Emma’s methodological interests are in the area of economic evaluation, evaluating public health interventions, global health economics, stated preference methods and cost benefit analysis more generally. These methodological interests are applied across a large portfolio of research projects funded by the NIHR, MRC, EPSRC and other funding bodies. Emma has published over 100 peer-reviewed health economics papers, co-authored two books,  Applied Methods of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Health Care and more recently ‘Applied Health Economics for Public Health practice and research’ as part of Oxford University Press Handbooks in Health Economic Evaluation series.

Professor Anna-Lise Williamson

SARChI Research Chair in Vaccinology
University of Cape Town

Professor Anna-Lise Williamson has held a SARChI Research Chair in Vaccinology at the University of Cape Town since 2008. She is internationally recognized in the fields of human papillomavirus as well as vaccinology. Her research group has developed novel vaccines which include candidate HIV and COVID-19 vaccines. She is also developing veterinary vaccines for Africa based on poxvirus vectors.
Link to full bio online:

Dr Christopher Moxon

Senior Lecturer in Parasitology
University of Glasgow
Christopher Moxon is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology, University of Glasgow. He is a Clinician-Scientist, specialised in Paediatric infectious diseases. He leads a research programme on host: pathogen interactions in severe childhood infections with a particular focus on cerebral malaria. His work combines research on samples from patients and post-mortem tissue samples using single-cell approaches and ex vivo assays and also mechanistic work in vitro. He is principally based in Malawi at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Clinical Research Programme and Kamuzu University of Health Sciences. He leads a research Network supporting Malawi-Glasgow collaboration: MaGNetIC (Malawi-Glasgow Network for Interdisciplinary Collaboration):

Dr Mwapatsa Mipando

College of Medicine
University of Malawi

Mwapatsa Mipando is a physiologist trained at University of Malawi, University of Liverpool and University of KwaZulu Natal. He is a corresponding fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He served as the Principal of the College of Medicine, University of Malawi for 6 years. He has a special interest in building local academic and research leadership capacity that is locally relevant whilst being internationally competitive.  He has managed a number of institutional projects and personal grants. Mwapatsa has sat on a number of international advisory boards. He is currently the Project Director of the Blantyre-to-Blantyre Clinical Research Facility at the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences.

Professor Amelia (Mia) Crampin

Professor of Epidemiology
University of Glasgow
Prof Amelia (Mia) Crampin graduated MBCHB from Manchester Medical School and completed internships and clinical and pathology rotations in Manchester. After a DTM&H at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, she became interested in Public Health and Epidemiology and joined a Public Health Specialist Registrar rotation in South East London, including secondments to Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre at (now) Public Health England and a Masters in Public Health at St Georges, London. On completing specialist training, through an appointment at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in 1998 she took up a field epidemiologist post at the Karonga Prevention Study (now Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit- MEIRU) and has been living and working in Malawi since; currently as Director of MEIRU. MEIRU has urban and rural study platforms in Lilongwe and Karonga, and includes a demographic surveillance site in rural Karonga. In 2018, she joined the Institute of Health and Wellbeing as part of a partnership agreement between the University of Glasgow and MEIRU. She has published widely in the epidemiology of HIV and TB, but current work explores chronic conditions in Malawi, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity and depression. Her work includes epidemiology and mechanistic studies of the origins of chronic conditions, but also interventions; from community based interventions aimed at reducing cardiovascular risk for future generations to those aimed at improving management in clinical settings. She is involved in several large data sharing initiatives and is the principal investigator of the African Non-communicable Disease Longitudinal data Alliance (ANDLA).

Professor Robert Darko Osei

Dean, School of Graduate Studies
University of Ghana
Robert Darko Osei is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana, Legon, and also the Dean for the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Ghana. Robert also heads the Ghana node of the ARUA Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR). His main areas of research include evaluative poverty and rural research, Structural transformation and its implications for poverty and inequality, and other economic development policy concerns.

Policy Wrap-Up Speakers

Professor Kemi Amodu

Professor of Genetics/Molecular Biology and Public Health
University of Ibadan
Olukemi K. Amodu is a Professor of Genetics/Molecular Biology and Public Health at the Institute of Child Health, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She obtained Master’s and PhD (in Molecular Biology/Genetics) from the University of Ibadan and a post-doctoral training at the Harvard University. She has been involved in several public health genetics research studies in childhood infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases. She has worked and collaborated with experts in Nigeria, and in international laboratories in malaria research, including the Malaria Genetic Epidemiology Network (MalariaGEN) and the EU-funded Networks, Biology of the Malaria Parasite (Biomalpar) and EviMalar. She has, since her employment at the University of Ibadan, worked and deployed all efforts to establish a Genetics/Molecular Biology laboratory from the scratch at the Institute of Child Health. One of her main career goals is to build capacity for development, research and application of Genetics/Molecular Sciences in infectious and non-communicable diseases of public health importance in Nigeria and integrate basic and clinical research into translational studies for better patient management. To this end, she developed the curriculum for the pioneering academic Master’s programme in Public Health Biotechnology (a unique blend of training in basic biology, genetics, epidemiology and public health) at the Institute of Child Health. She also does Public Health impact research, bringing health services closer to the population. She was the Principal Investigator for the Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenge Exploration grant (2019-2021), providing innovative strategies for increasing vaccination demand for working mothers in Ibadan metropolis.

Professor Adebayo Onajole

MBBS(Benin), MPH (Lagos), FMCPH, FWACP, Consultant Public Health Physician/Epidemiologist
University of Lagos
Prof Adebayo Onajole has practical experience in management as the director of the Institute of Child Health and Primary Care of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital between 2008 and 2015. He served as the National Lead for Community Mobilization and Communication for the 2014 Ebola Control Programme in 2014. He also has served as a consultant to several national and international NGOs. He has had the opportunity of serving as External Examiner at various medical schools in Nigerian Universities including Enugu, Benin, Port Harcourt, Ilorin, Ibadan, Ladoke Akintola, etc. He has also been a member of Accreditation Panels on behalf of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, National Postgraduate College of Nigeria among others. Over the years he has conducted research in areas of Disease Control, Environmental Epidemiology and Family health systems. with over 80 publications. He has also supervised over 50 postgraduate theses to date. He is a member of several professional bodies and NGOs including, the Nigerian Medical Association, Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Epidemiological Society of Nigeria, International Epidemiological Society of Nigeria among others. He is happily married with children.

Professor James Machoki

Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, and the current Principal, College of Health Sciences
University of Nairobi

Professor Damen Hailemariam

Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, and the current Principal, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi
Addis Ababa University

Professor Stephen Maluka

University of Dar es Salaam
Dr. Stephen Maluka is an Associate Professor of Public Health at Dar es Salaam University College of Education of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has been involved in a number of multi-country research projects on health policy and systems including the following: Strengthening fairness and accountability in health systems priority setting at district level; Supporting decentralized management to improve health workforce performance; Understanding the effect of the takeover of informal sector health insurance scheme by a formal sector scheme on universal coverage in terms of risk pooling and purchasing; Universal health coverage in Tanzania and South Africa: Monitoring and evaluating progress; Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in Africa; Improving access to health services and quality of care for Mothers and Children in Tanzania under the Innovating for maternal and Child Programme in Africa; Engaging non-state providers towards universal health coverage in Tanzania; and Examining effects of decision-making space on health systems performance in Tanzania (RIGHT). Professor Maluka has published more than 40 articles on various public health issues in the international peer review journals.