Previous Fellows

Dr. Brenda Oulo

Dr. Brenda Oulo, Medical Doctor, Epidemiologist and Biostatistician from Kenya, is this year’s 12 month IAVI Fellow. She had worked on two projects at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation; she was the Project Coordinator of Goals for Girl and worked on the write up of the Girl Power study. With the help of her mentor, Dr. Nadia Ahmed, Dr. Oulo  gained field experience, leadership skills and project logistic experience with the implementation of Goals for Girls in schools in the Mitchells Plain and Klipfontein sub-district, assessing the impact of the extra-curricular activity of soccer on adolescent, female health.

She  also worked with Socio-behavioural Scientist, Laura Myers, on the data analysis and manuscript write up of Girl Power, finding trends in the Girl Power data.

‘I really enjoyed the Biostatistical components of the study design process which is a departure from my clinical background and one of the major reasons that I took up the fellowship.’

                                                                Dr. Brenda Oulo 2018

Dr. Desire Habonimana

Dr. Desire Habonimana, a Medical Doctor and Epidemiologist from Burundi, completed his 3 month IAVI Fellowship. He worked with Socio-behavioral Scientist, Project Lead and Head of Mobile Services,Philip Smith, on a paper on the ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health behaviors among Adolescents versus adults attending mobile clinics in Cape Town, South Africa’.

Azia Ivo Nchendia

Azia Ivo Nchendia is a Public Health Master Graduate from Cameroon, who has completed his 6 month IAVI Fellowship. He is currently working on a manuscript on the ‘Lessons Learnt from the POWER study’, in collaboration with his mentor, Socio-behavioural Scientist, Elzette Rousseau-Jemwa. He has experienced the Tutu Teen Truck in action, had the opportunity to develop research skills through conducting qualitative research and had the opportunity to further develop his written skills.

Janine Clayton

Janine Clayton, a Clinical Psychologist and Programme Specialist from South Africa, worked on several projects during her 3 month fellowship. She worked with Socio-behavioural Scientist, Elzette Rousseau-Jemwa, on revamping the Keeping Girls in School curriculum. She also had the chance to work with Socio-behavioral Scientist, Philip Smith, on completing a paper on HIV self-testing titled ‘Blood-based HIV self-testing: an acceptable and easy alternative to facility- based testing’ that was submitted to the Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics for publishing. Lastly, Janine had the opportunity of working with Dr. Nadia Ahmed on the start of the AYFS Evaluation of the AYFS Programme in 24 clinics in the Mitchells Plain and Klipfontein sub-district.

Ndumiso Madubela

Ndumiso Madubela was the 2017 12 month IAVI Fellow, from South Africa. He was mentored by Philip Smith and Prof. Linda-Gail Bekker. Ndumiso worked as the Project Coordinator for Men's Dialogue for the Zimele Project. He worked on the qualitative and quantitative data collection for a manuscript on Men’s Dialogue, the Zimele Project for the research gained during his Fellowship.

Ndumiso is currently conducting a PhD titled 'Masibambisane Madoda: What do young men want in a sexual healthcare service?' This is formative research that aims to investigate models of care that improve accessibility and uptake of sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention and treatment services among men.

Dr. Robina Momanyi

Dr. Robina Momanyi, from Kenya, completed her 3 month IAVI Fellowship in 2017. Robina was mentored by Socio-behavioral Scientist, Dr Millicent Atujuna. She was assigned two activities during her fellowship; to write a paper using the acceptability and product preferences qualitative data collected from adolescents, heterosexual men, women and the MSM population; and the second activity to develop a database of relevant literature that she and the team at DTHF would use to write a review paper examining Health Care Transition models in South Africa. Robina also had the opportunity to present on disclosure among youth at the 2017 IAVI Workshop.

‘Working with the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation as an IAVI fellow was a dream come true. I got to work on 2 short projects with this amazing team that were so friendly, welcoming and helpful. There was no challenge that didn't find a solution and no effort spared to help achieve objectives. I learnt a lot in the research field in this professional yet homely environment. For all this and more, I say ahsante (thank you) and to more realization of dreams, aspirations and unleashing of potential.’

Dr. Robina Momanyi 2018

Sicily Mburu

Sicily Mburu, was a 3 month IAVI Fellow from Kenya, who was part of the 2017 cohort. She was mentored by Socio-behavioral Scientist, Elzette Rousseau-Jemwa, and was part of the conceptualization and implementation of a sub-study to the POWER study, Prevention Options for Women Evaluation Research, which aimed at suppling PrEP to adolescents on the Tutu Teen Truck mobile clinic. This sub-study was called, "Perceived and actual HIV risk of adolescent girls and young women declining PrEP delivered from a community-based clinic". Sicily became a part of the team who wrote the protocol, trained the field staff and implemented.

Since completing her Fellowship, Sicily joined the Swedish Organization for Global Health as the Evaluation Coordinator of the Mama and Family Project based in South East Uganda where she provides technical support in sexual and reproductive health, analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. She is working with anti-natal care and increase uptake of HIV testing among women in a project run clinic.   Sicily is also, currently undertaking her applied research Masters in public health specializing in Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute.

Sicily has remained in contact with Elzette at least twice a month to work on their research paper, as participants were still being recruited for this sub-study during her fellowship. Recently, Sicily and Elzette’s abstract for this sub-study was submitted to HIVR4P study, in Madrid.

Abdulmumin Ibrahim

Abdulmumin Ibrahim, was a 3 month IAVI Fellow from Nigeria. Abdulmumin was mentored by Dr. Katherine Gill and Prof. Linda-Gail Bekker Abdul investigated the prevalence and severity in adolescents who had not been exposed to HIV. The title of his research, 'Hepatitis B status in cohort of HIV-uninfected Adolescents: The need for Hepatitis B booster vaccine'.

Abdul has recently been awarded and begun a PhD in at UCT in October 2017. His PhD is in "Impact of maternal HIV on the uninfected neonatal brain".


Pancho Mulongeni

Pancho Mulongeni, was the first 6 month IAVI Fellow to undertake his IAVI Fellowship at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation from Namibia. He was mentored by Dr. Richard Kaplan. Pancho assisted with statistical analysis and completed a manuscript HIV Prevalence and determinants of lost to follow up in adolescents and young adults with tuberculosis in Cape Town. He was chosen to present at the second AIDS Conference in South Africa and initiated the development of the IAVI Fellowship manual.

Pancho has been accepted to complete his PhD at the University of New South Wales in Australia. He will be looking at data collected in such programmes as adolescents residential life programmes, focusing on what happens to young people who pass through delinquency, drug and alcohol rehab programmes.

‘I realized HIV research is about telling people’s stories, essentially. And then one may ask, but is it not about publishing and progressing in academia? Indeed, that is part of it - and our paper is still pending, but it’s worth remembering that we are dealing with real life people - it's not fiction nor metaphysics – but people whose lives we deem as important.’

 Pancho Mulongeni, 2018

Reuben Silungwe

Reuben Silungwe, was a 3 month IAVI Fellow from Zambia. He worked on a literature review focused on the barriers of a transitioning HIV-positive paediatric to adult and the facilitators that will help them through this time. He was mentored by Dr. Millicent Atajuna and Tiarney Richwood. Rueben also spent some time with Key Populations Division that impacted his experience greatly.

Since his fellowship Reuben Returned to Zambia, became a Key Correspondent with Positive Vibes from the KP Reach Programme operating in eight SADC countries telling stories using different media of the intersectionality of health, human rights and key populations in Zambia. He has volunteered with Zambia Sex Workers Alliance (ZASWA) and Titandizeni Men's Health Network (Titandizeni) as an M&E officer. He is currently working on establishing an organisation to promote honest and open dialogue between the LGBTIQ communities and the religious, faith leaders and followers. He intends to complete a postgraduate in Public Health with a deliberate focus in key populations and other vulnerable sub-populations.

‘It was a challenging and exciting experience but the support of the different supervisors, mentors and staff was helpful. The exposure to the key populations department was life changing and added value to my work with key populations in Zambia.’

Reuben Silungwe 2018

Yunia Mayaja

Yunia Mayaja, joined the Desmond Tutu HIIV Foundation as a 3 month IAVI Fellow in 2016, from Uganda. She worked with her mentor Dr. Rebecca Marcus, on a project relating to viral suppression in Adolescents living with HIV and analysed data to establish factors relating to ART regimen choices. Yunia contributed greatly to the behavioural scientist team, who continued to use the research Yunia contributed to during her time at DTHF, after she had left.

Yunia is now working in a research institute working on HIV Prevention for key populations.

‘I gained knowledge and skills in working with adolescents in research. I found that the strategies used at the DTHF adolescent research clinic help improve retention in this age group i.e. partitioning the research clinic into spaces that handle research clinic visits, entertainment (sports, music, drama and indoor games) and education (library, computer lab, space to do their homework). Study staff had good skills, they were not necessarily young but worked well with the adolescents.’

   Yunia Mayaja 2018

Lydia Atambo

Lydia Atambo, was 3 month IAVI Fellow from Kenya. She joined Dr. Millicent Atajuna and assisted with qualitative data for HIV-R4P and guidance on how to write an abstract. She also assisted Keren Middelkoop with a TB study at the Emavundleni Clinic. The TB study was "A Randomized, Placebo Controlled, Partially Blinded Phase II Study to Evaluate Safety, Immunogenicity, and Prevention of Infection with Mycobacterium Tuberculosis of AERAS-404 and BCG Revaccination in Healthy Adolescents". Lydia was involved in data extraction and analysis.

Tapiwa Tembo

Tapiwa was a 3 month IAVI Fellow from Malawi. Tapiwa's task was to assist her mentor, Laura Myers, with a study called 'Girl Power- Evaluating a Combination HIV Prevention and Sexual and Reproductive Health Package for at risk Young Women". She worked with the Study Coordinator and Manager creating training for all staff. She helped with recruitment and attended weekly, bi-weekly and monthly meetings and seminars. Tapiwa also helped with the data analysis for another study called, "Preparing for new biomedical HIV prevention technology implementation in South Africa: Investigation of target user group preferences and industry-recommended promotion strategies".