Dr Helen Nabwera has a passion for evaluating and implementing innovative strategies for improving the health outcomes of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. She spent 3½ years in Keneba as an MRCG Career Development Fellow, studying for her PhD as well as being Head of Clinical Services.
For her PhD with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, that she is due to submit imminently, she sought to understand the secular trends of growth faltering and explore the psychosocial factors that contribute to persistence despite intensive health interventions. She also sought to evaluate the physiological predictors of nutritional recovery in rural Gambian malnourished children. She is supervised by Professor Andrew Prentice.
During her time in Keneba, she helped to foster a clinical environment where health care professionals delivered consistent care based on the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) or national guidelines and valued their continuing professional development. She also helped to develop a holistic model of care for children and their carers admitted to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Unit, which the National Nutrition Agency are keen to use in other centres that care for children with severe acute malnutrition.
Helen recently left The Gambia to complete her paediatric training in the UK and is now working as a Locum Consultant Paediatrician at the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London. She will soon take up a post as Senior Clinical Research Associate at the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. She will be working on evaluating and developing interventions for reducing maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality, and will be advised by Professor Nynke van den Broek and Professor Matthews Mathai. She hopes to maintain close links with MRCG.
Helen has previously worked as a Wellcome Trust Visiting Fellow at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Wellcome Trust research programme, where under the supervision of Professor Jay Berkley, she evaluated strategies for improving the health and nutritional outcomes of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in exposed and infected children.
Helen’s husband, Mr Serge Soubeiga who works in the humanitarian field, has been very supportive of her throughout her career. Their two young boys Tegwende and Wendpanga who spent their early years in Keneba, thoroughly enjoyed their time there.