Mary Amuyunzu-Nyamongo, Ph.D.
- Fellow, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre
Background and Professional Interests
I am the Executive Director of the African Institute for Health & Development (AIHD) based in Nairobi, Kenya. I coordinate health promotion activities in the region as part of the global initiatives of the International Union for Health Promotion & Education (IUHPE). I am also the Coordinator of the newly founded Consortium for Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control in sub-Saharan Africa (CNCD-Africa). I am a Senior Fellow with the Synergos Institute and a member of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) Technical Consultative Committee (TCC) and of the Community Directed Interventions of WHO-TDR. I hold a PhD in Anthropology (1994) from the University of Cambridge, UK.
My research interests span a wide range of health and development issues. She is currently working on community-based monitoring systems (as an empowerment tool for communities), non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, Social Protection and urban poverty. I also conduct research on women’s health, child health and HIV/AIDS, which are major development issues.
Why I chose to be engaged in this work/How I came to be engaged in this work
The work we are doing with communities fits well with the community tool box on which we are collaborating with the University of Kansas. My interest on social issues is based on my training as an anthropologist, and experience in communities where poverty defines the health outcomes and future of the people. The approach we have adopted in our work is one that attests to the fact that children born in poor households do not necessary have to die poor. I also know that communities have resources and a voice that could lead to the improvement of their health and well-being.
Description of the work I am engaged in
I am currently engaged in programme and research activities mainly focusing on: (i) community empowerment through production and provision of evidence on viable solutions; (2) non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa; (3) capacity building for urban poor women through recycling plastic bags for health and economic empowerment; (4) increasing access to water and sanitation. The activities I am currently engaged in require evidence of effectiveness and advocacy at the community and national levels.