Dr Constance Mackworth-Young

Assistant Professor

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

I am a Medical Anthropologist, with a research focus on young people, sexual and reproductive health, and adolescent wellbeing. I am based in Zimbabwe, with The Health Research Unit Zimbabwe (THRU-ZIM), where I founded and lead the Social Science Research Group in Zimbabwe. Methodologies I focus on are are ethnographic, participatory qualitative methods, and process evaluations. I was previously based at Zambart in Zambia, where I conducted ethnographic studies with young people living with HIV. I hold an undergraduate degree in Biological and Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, and an MSc in Sexual and Reproductive Health and a PhD, both from LSHTM.


Department of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


I am Programme Director for the EMPOWA Programme, Empowering Professionals for the Wellbeing of Adolescents, a joint Programme between LSHTM and University of Zimbabwe. Each year the Programme selects and teaches 20 policy makers and programmers working with adolescents through practical teaching and supporting 'change projects' with the end goal of improving adolescent wellbeing.

I was awarded an LSHTM award for 'Exceptional contributions to innovation and stimulating education' for the development and delivery of the EMPOWA Programme in 2022.

I currently supervise three PhD students, all conducting research in Zimbabwe. Each year I supervise MSc students, particularly those interested in qualitative analysis related to young people and sexual and reproductive health in Zimbabwe. Additionally, I am a lecturer on Qualitative Methods, teach on Medical Anthropology, and tutor on Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy and Programming.


My research focus is on sexual and reproductive health services for young people in Zimbabwe, using ethnographic, qualitative, and participatory methods.

I lead the process evaluations within the CHIEDZA and STICH trials, evaluating a community-based intervention to improve HIV and STI outcomes in adolescents, led by The Health Research Unit Zimbabwe (THRU ZIM). I lead the qualitative research for the GIFT study, investigating women's, healthcare professionals and policy makers perceptions of a novel screening tool for STIs in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Madagascar. I lead the qualitative research on the YCHECK project in Zimbabwe, designing routine health checks during adolescence, in collaboration with the World Health Organization. I led social science research on the Zvatinoda! study, a feasibility study of a mobile health intervention to increase demand and uptake of sexual and reproductive health services among young people.

I was awarded my PhD in February 2020, which was entitled 'An ethnographic study on the everyday lives of young women living with HIV in Lusaka, Zambia' and was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. While at Zambart from 2014-2018, I conducted and collaborated on several studies around young people, HIV and sexual and reproductive health. Beyond sexual and reproductive health, I have researched other infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and TB.
Research Area
Adolescent health
Global Health
Sexual and reproductive health
Sexual health
Qualitative research
Disease and Health Conditions
Sexually transmitted infections
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Innovative Professional Development for Multisectoral Policy Making and Programming for Adolescent Wellbeing.
Karumazondo, JJ; Ross, DA; Mangombe, A; Zvoushe, LK; Jani, K; Mugarapanyama, D; Gumbo, JT; Nyanungo, KR L; Nyamayaro, W; Murinda, E; Mhloyi, MM; FERRAND, RA; MACKWORTH-YOUNG, CR S;
The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine
Fertility preservation and protection: young women's decision-making about contraceptive use in Zimbabwe.
Mavodza, CV; MACKWORTH-YOUNG, CR S; Nyamwanza, R; Nzombe, P; Dauya, E; DZIVA CHIKWARI, C; Tembo, M; FERRAND, RA; BERNAYS, S;
Culture, health & sexuality
A mixed-methods study measuring the effectiveness of a menstrual health intervention on menstrual health knowledge, perceptions and practices among young women in Zimbabwe.
Tembo, M; WEISS, HA; Larsson, LS; Bandason, T; Redzo, N; Dauya, E; Nzanza, T; Ishumael, P; Gweshe, N; Ndlovu, P; DZIVA CHIKWARI, C; Mavodza, CV; Renju, J; Francis, SC; FERRAND, R; MACKWORTH-YOUNG, CR S;
BMJ open
Youth researchers academy: a report on an innovative research training programme for young people in Zimbabwe
TEMBO, M; MACKWORTH-YOUNG, C; KRANZER, K; Dziva-Chikwari, C; Mavodza, CV; Dauya, E; Makuni, M; Chipare, D; Munyavi-Dehwe, B; Raradza, D; BERNAYS, S; Chingono, R; DZAVAKWA, N; Nyamwanza, R; Francis, SC; SIMMS, V; FERRAND, R;
Integration of a menstrual health intervention in a community-based sexual and reproductive health service for young people in Zimbabwe: a qualitative acceptability study.
TEMBO, M; Renju, J; WEISS, HA; Dauya, E; Gweshe, N; Ndlovu, P; Nzombe, P; Chikwari, CD; Mavodza, CV; MACKWORTH-YOUNG, CR S; A Ferrand, R; Francis, SC;
BMC health services research
Putting youth at the centre: co-design of a community-based intervention to improve HIV outcomes among youth in Zimbabwe.
MACKWORTH-YOUNG, CR; Dringus, S; Dauya, E; DZIVA CHIKWARI, C; Mavodza, C; Tembo, M; DOYLE, A; McHugh, G; SIMMS, V; Wedner-Ross, M; Apollo, T; Mugurungi, O; FERRAND, RA; BERNAYS, S;
Wellcome Open Research
"Other risks don't stop": adapting a youth sexual and reproductive health intervention in Zimbabwe during COVID-19.
MACKWORTH-YOUNG, CR S; MAVODZA, C; Nyamwanza, R; Tshuma, M; Nzombe, P; DZIVA CHIKWARI, C; TEMBO, M; Dauya, E; Apollo, T; FERRAND, RA; BERNAYS, S;
Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters
When healthcare providers are supportive, 'I'd rather not test alone': Exploring uptake and acceptability of HIV self-testing for youth in Zimbabwe - A mixed method study
MAVODZA, CV; MACKWORTH-YOUNG, CR S; Bandason, T; Dauya, E; Chikwari, CD; TEMBO, M; Apollo, T; Ncube, G; KRANZER, K; FERRAND, RA; BERNAYS, S;
Journal of the International AIDS Society
Designing Routine Health Checkups for Adolescents in Zimbabwe.
Chingono, RM S; MACKWORTH-YOUNG, CR S; Ross, DA; Tshuma, M; Chiweshe, T; Nyamayaro, C; Sekanevana, C; DOYLE, AM; WEISS, HA; Kohl, K; Mangombe, A; Madzima, B; McHugh, G; FERRAND, RA;
Journal of Adolescent Health
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