Dr Oghenebrume Wariri, Research Clinician at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at LSHTM, has been awarded an EDCTP Career Development Fellowship 2019 after a competitive process. This award is a 30-month fellowship aimed at supporting early to mid-career sub-Saharan African researchers by providing them with an opportunity to train and develop their clinical research skills.
Dr Wariri also won the 2019/2020 Imperial College London ISSF Global Health Clinical Research Training Fellowship, a 1-year fellowship from the Wellcome Trust that supports early-career clinical professionals wishing to undertake research to improve the health of people and reduce health inequalities in developed and developing countries.
Through these fellowships, Dr Wariri will apply novel geospatial mapping technologies to nationally representative primary and secondary data sources to explore how geographic accessibility to immunization service points impacts on the timelines and clustering of delayed infant vaccination in The Gambia. As part of the EDCTP fellowship, he will also explore the impact of disruptions to immunization systems due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on vaccination timelines in The Gambia. This data will be useful for the national Expanded Programme on Immunization to develop and implement strategies aimed at optimizing childhood vaccinations at country level.
Dr Wariri said, “I am excited and look forward to this interesting chapter in my academic career. I am pleased to be working on something really close to my heart and hope that my research can contribute to understanding the broader factors determining access to immunization services for Gambian children”.
Professor Beate Kampmann, Theme Leader for Vaccines and Immunity (VIT) at the Unit, who is one of Dr Wariri’s supervisors for both fellowships, said “I am really pleased that Dr Wariri can now pursue an important area of research that he independently identified, and which nicely complements our ongoing vaccine research. His work is directed at understanding implementation hurdles to vaccination; he will apply the exciting new tools of geospatial mapping and develop the additional partnerships with Kris Murray and Chris Grundy as part of his PhD, facilitated by these prestigious grants”.
Other collaborators are Dr Kris Murray, Associate Professor of Environment and Health, School of Public Health at Imperial College London and Dr Chris Grundy, Assistant Professor in Geographical Information Systems, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at LSHTM.
Dr Wariri joined the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM in August 2017 as a Research Clinician, and has worked under the supervision and mentorship of Professor Beate Kampmann in the VIT. He worked for the HIPC study which aimed to understand the biomarkers of neonatal vaccine immunogenicity, and on MENACYWX (Men5), a phase 3 trial on the safety and immunogenicity of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine.
Dr Wariri recently set up and coordinated the Staff COVID-19 Risk Coordinating (SCRIC) team which is responsible for the COVID-19 test and contact tracing of the Unit’s staff. He originally trained as a Paediatrician in Nigeria, with a MBBS degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria and a clinical Fellowship from the West African College of Physicians. He holds an MSc in Global Health (with distinction) from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, United Kingdom through the prestigious and highly competitive British Chevening Scholarship.
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