Ms Loveday Penn-Kekana
Loveday Penn-Kekana is a medical anthropologist with 20 years’ experience working as an activist, programme manager, technical advisor in Department of Health in South Africa and academic in the field of maternal health and health systems with a particular interest in the health workforce. My major focus has been on gender based violence, reproductive and maternal health services as well as nursing and midwifery practice. I have worked most of my adult life in South Africa.
I am currently Assistant Professor of Maternal Health & Health Systems at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Co-Lead of the Birth theme at the MARCH Centre.
For the last four years I have been the Co-Investigator and Qualitative Lead on a large mutli site research project aiming at understanding the role of the private sector in maternal health services in low and middle income countries. We have been involved in evaluating a range of projects funded by Merck for Mothers working with the private sector in India, Senegal and Uganda.
I am experienced using a range of qualitative research methodologies including participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus groups, reflective diaries and other more participative research methodologies. I also have many years experience of capacity building in these areas. My particular area of interest is in developing qualitative research methods for exploring health bureaucracies and behaviour of staff who work in them.
I currently teach on the Power, Policy and Process Module as well as the Current Issues in Safer Motherhood. I worked with Dina Balabanova in writing the Health Systems Distance Learning Module.
Current projects include:
Evaluation of the Merck for Mothers Initiative, MSD.Co-Investigatorand Qualitative lead for a large multi county evaluation of a range of projects funded by Merck for Mothers. This includes projects aimed exploring the role of the private sector in maternal health provision. Within this I am PI of an external evaluation of three social franchising programmes aimed at improving health care provision in the private sector in Uganda and India.
Socio-Economic Impact of Zika. I am the qualitative lead on this study that is exploring the socio-economic impact of ZIka both in terms of the children and families affected as well as health workers and Brazilian health system. Wellcome/EU funding.
Hands Project. Senior Qualitative Scientist & Co-Investigator. A project working to understand factors associated with hand hygiene in Tanzanian maternity units. A seed grant aimed at developing a RCT. MRC Funding.
Clean Project. Co-Investigator