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Editorial board profiles


Jose BelizanDr. José M. Belizán, MD, PhD, a native of Argentina, is a medical doctor, with a PhD in Reproductive Health Sciences, Superior Researcher of his country's National Board of Science and Technology. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Reproductive Health.

He is the former director of the Pan American Health Organization/WHO’s Latin American Center for Perinatology in Montevideo, Uruguay and currently is a senior scientist of the Department of Mother and Child Health Research at the Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently also Adjunct Professor of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has worked in many Latin American Institutions, including the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), in Guatemala and Social Security Hospitals in Mexico. He is the former Director of the Centro Rosarino de Estudios Perinatales (CREP) and a former professor at the School of Medicine in Rosario, Argentina. He is an obstetrician and epidemiologist and has participated in numerous major perinatal trials.

New Content Item (1)Professor Sanni Yaya is a Full Professor of Economics and Global Health, Director and Associate Dean of the School of International Development and Global Studies. His work focuses on a broad array of multidisciplinary topics in development and global health. This includes cross-cutting research and publications in disciplines of global health. He has a strong interest in large-scale evidence (in particular randomized trials) and analyses of large survey data sets. Professor Yaya was Editor of The Innovation Journal and is currently Editor of Health and Society at the University of Ottawa Press. He also serves as Associate Editor, Health Economics for the British Medical Journal Global Health and as Associate Editor for Biomed Central (BMC) Public Health (Global Health section).

Professor Yaya was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Yale University and Senior Visiting Scholar at New York University (NYU). He has held appointments both as Visiting Professor at Harvard University and Visiting Scholar in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has authored numerous books, book chapters and articles and his work has appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals, including The Lancet, Infectious Diseases of Poverty, Health Policy, HIV/AIDS, The International Journal of Medicine (Oxford University Press) to name a few. He has been involved in many research projects in Africa, Europe and in North America and now works in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where he collaborates with partners to advocate for cost-effective interventions addressing Maternal, Newborn and Child health (MNCH). His methodological toolkit ranges from traditional economics and clinical epidemiology, to techniques in causal inference as well as qualitative research and the design of multilevel methods for investigating the relationship between macro socioeconomic environments and population health. 

Section Editors

Dr. Mercedes Bonet is a perinatal health epidemiologist based in Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland) since 2015. Before joining WHO, she worked at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM). She has extensive experience in global health, with a particular interest on improving the health and well-being of mothers and newborns through research on epidemiology and evidence-based medical practices in the continuum of pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. She has developed her work at the international level around maternal and neonatal infections, care during childbirth, breastfeeding practices, and very premature babies. She has led and contributed to over 50 publications including peer-reviewed original research and systematic reviews, and WHO’s normative guidance.

Venkatraman Chandra-MouliDr. Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli works on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) in the World Health Organization’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research (which includes the UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/WBHRP). His work involves building evidence on ASRH, and supporting countries to translate this evidence into action through well-conceived and well-managed policies and programmes. His experience in generating knowledge and taking knowledge to action is global in scope and spans over 30 years.

Dr Chandra-Mouli joined WHO in early 1993 and worked on HIV/AIDS prevention till mid-1996. Since then, his work has focussed on adolescent health. Before joining WHO, he worked in Zambia, India and Zimbabwe for 12 years – providing primary care services (with a private Zambian company), preventing childhood malnutrition (with a Zambian NGO – Kitwe Nutrition Group), preventing HIV and responding to people with HIV (with another Zambian NGO – Copperbelt Health Education Project), setting up a regional training and mentoring initiative – ‘School Without Walls’ (with the Canadian Public Health Association); and funding HIV/AIDS related work – ‘NGO AIDS Cell’ (with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation).

For 25 years in WHO, he has led or contributed substantially to a number of the World Health Organization’s publications including evidence reviews, policy and programmatic guidance, advocacy documents, training and self-learning materials and evaluation tools, and traveled to countries around the world, where he has contributed to – and drawn from - the work of national level bodies and front-line organizations, in many different social, cultural and economic settings. Drawing upon these experiences, he has presented in scores of global, regional and national conferences, and authored/co-authored books, book chapters, newsletter articles, blog pieces and over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Fernanda EwerlingDr. Fernanda Ewerling is an economist (Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil) with a strong interest in health and social disparities in health. She obtained a MsC degree in 2013 and a PhD in Epidemiology in 2018 from the same University. She also completed a doctoral fellowship at the University of Adelaide (Australia), working with the BetterStart group on the evaluation of the impact of the mother’s empowerment on the development of the children in Africa. Since 2015 she has been working with health inequalities, as part of the team of the International Center for Equity in Health (Pelotas, Brazil). Her work is mainly focused in gender related issues, including the analysis of national health surveys from low- and middle-income countries on reproductive health, women’s empowerment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence. During the last years she has also been working on the development of a measure of women's empowerment to allow the accountability of low- and middle-income countries regarding the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls).

Professor Fabian Esamai currently works at the Department of Child Health and Pediatrics, Moi University since 1990. He is a Professor of Child Health and Paediatrics since 2005. He holds a PhD from Linkoping University, Sweden; He holds an MPH degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, USA; A Master of Medicine in Paediatrics and an MBChB from University of Nairobi Kenya. His research interests are in Malaria in children which was the subject of his PhD and has conducted several clinical trials on malaria treatment. He has conducted several studies in the field of Asthma and allergies in children. He has vast experience on international health and in the area of community trials and prospective or cohort studies in child and maternal health. 

He is currently the Research Chair for Health Systems in Kenya sponsored by the National Commission form Science technology and Innovation and the Canadian International Research Centre, IDRC. He is the senior Foreign Investigator for Kenya in the Global Network for Womens and Childrens health Research since 2008. The Global network is a consortium of research institutions drawn FROM United States Universities paired with low and middle income country Universities conducted maternal and child health research. He has been a reviewer and member of the editorial boards of several journals including the East African medical Journal and Journal of Tropical Paediatrics. He has been Chair of Department of Paediatrics, Dean of School of Medicine and Principal of the College of health Sciences of Moi university. He is currently the Principal of Alupe University College which is a Constituent College of Moi University.

Tabassuum FirozDr. Tabassum Firoz completed her training in Internal Medicine and Obstetric Medicine, medical complications of pregnancy, from the University of British Columbia, Canada. She then obtained her Master's degree in Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine while completing a research fellowship in pre-eclampsia care in low and middle income countries.

She practices as a clinician in both General Internal Medicine and Obstetric Medicine at Yale New Haven Health. Her research is focused on maternal morbidity and mortality at a global level. She continues to work as a consult for the WHO with projects on non-severe maternal morbidity, maternal near miss and Maternal Death Surveillance and Response (MDSR) systems. She also has an interest in medical education and is currently, the sexual and reproductive health module lead for the postgraduate fellowship in migrant and refugee health for Doctors World Wide. Locally, she is a member of the Connecticut State Maternal Mortality Review Committee and is involved in quality improvement projects related to Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy.

Audrey GaskinsDr. Audrey J. Gaskins is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She earned her doctorate of science in nutrition and epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Overall, her research focuses on understanding the relation of environmental, dietary, and lifestyle factors with fertility and fecundity in men and women. She has published extensively on the benefits of folic acid, at levels well above the current recommendations, in terms of preventing anovulation and incident pregnancy loss and increasing the success of infertility treatment. She also has active funding from the NIH investigating the the influence of ambient air pollution on fecundity and markers of fertility in women. Other areas of research interest include the impact of maternal body weight and long-term weight change on fertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes and the impact of diet on semen quality and reproductive hormones among men.

Zohra LassiDr. Zohra Lassi is a Perinatal Epidemiologist working as an NHMRC Public Health and Health Services Fellow at the University of Adelaide. Her research work has primarily focused on maternal, child and adolescent health and nutrition issues in low- and middle-income countries. Her research interests includes reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition particularly in marganalised and low resource settings. She has speacial interest in research synthesis, scaling up evidence-based intrventions in community settings and implementation research in health system research. In particular, her work with community health workers and out-reach services has contributed significantly to global integrated maternal and newborn outreach policies and guidelines. Her work with the WHO and PMNCH in developing consensus based essential interventions for women, children and adolescents is the dominant set of agreed interventions guiding global policy.

Suellen MillerProfessor Suellen Miller is the Director of the Safe Motherhood Program and full Professor, UCSF Dept of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and an adjunt professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health (UCB).  She is a graduate of the PhD program at UCSF in 1994, and she has been with the two schools, UCSF and UCB , since 1997, when she completed her post graduate fellowships: Health Policy as a Pew Fellow at the Institute for Health Policy Studies and Clinical Epidemiology in the UCSF School of Medicine. 

Professor Miller has been practicing as a certified nurse-midwife since l977, in private and public practices, and is considered an expert on global midwifery practice, being a co-author of the Hesperian Foundation’s “A Book for Midwives, which has been translated into French, Spanish, Nepali, and Urdu.  She conducts both qualitative and quantitative research, mainly in lower-resourced settings, primarily focused on maternal survival and health.  Her research includes contraceptive research in Africa and Asia, misoprostol clinical trials in Tibet and India, and the clinical trials of the Non-pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment (NASG), and the continuum of maternal care in Peru, Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Timor Leste, and Tanzania, among other reproductive and sexual health projects and programs.  She recently concluded an NIH-funded study on community reintegration for women having had fistula repair surgery in Uganda and the integration of NASGs in 300 primary health care centers and ambulances in rural Tanzania.  The author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, Professor Miller was  co-author of “Beyond Too Little, Too Late, Too Much too Soon,” in the Lancet 2016 Maternal Health Series.  She is currently co-editing two special sections of the BMC Reproductive Health Journal, one on Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation and one on Respectful Maternity Care.  She began her work on quality of care and respectful care in the 1970s, writing papers on Midwifery and Physician Collaborative Care, this work was her lived practice as a midwife.  She conducted a study on disrespectful care in the Dominican Republic, which resulted in the seminal publication, “Quality of Care in Institutionalized Deliveries: The Paradox of Maternal Mortality in the DR.”

Hilary SchwandtDr. Hilary Schwandt is an Associate Professor at Fairhaven College at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, where she teaches classes on pregnancy and childbirth, HIV, and statistics. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Hilary’s research focuses on reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa. Just prior to joining Fairhaven College, Hilary was working in the research division at the Center for Communication Programs in Baltimore, Maryland. At the Center for Communication Programs she worked on numerous projects, such as the Go Girls Initiative!  – a project that aimed to reduce adolescent girls’ vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique and the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative – a project that aims to reduce the barriers to family planning use among the urban poor. More recently, Hilary is the co-PI on a second round of a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct research with undergraduates from the USA and Rwanda on Rwanda’s successful family planning program.

Josh VogelDr. Joshua Vogel is an Australian medical doctor with a PhD in maternal and perinatal epidemiology. His research work has primarily focused on maternal and perinatal health issues affecting women and families living in resource-constrained settings, particularly on the major causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. For the past several years, he has co-ordinated and contributed to a number of WHO-led primary research, knowledge synthesis and implementation activities in low- and middle-income country settings. His areas of professional interest are clinical epidemiology, interventional research and systematic reviews. He is a Principal Research Fellow in Maternal and Child Health at the Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

Joseph Mumba ZuluJoseph Mumba Zulu is a Social Worker, Medical Anthropologist and Public Health Specialist by training. He is currently the Director for the Research Support Centre, Assistant Dean -Research for the School of Public Health as well as the Program Manager for the master’s in public health with Implementation Research supported by the Tropical Disease Research (TDR). He has  more than 10 years of professional and research experience with local and international institutions in the following fields: research ethics, sexual and reproductive health and rights, human resources for health (particularly community-based health workers), health policy and systems, gender, infectious diseases, as well as child protection. 

Editorial Board Members

Pierre Buekens

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Pierre Buekens is Dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University, New Orleans, where he is also W. H. Watkins Professor of Epidemiology and Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Buekens previously was Professor and Chair of the Department of Maternal and Child Health and Associate Dean for Global Health in the School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an obstetrician-gynecologist and former Vice-President of the School of Public Health at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium. Dr. Buekens served as President of the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health (ATMCH) and the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research (SPER). He is Corresponding Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium. Dr. Buekens holds MD, MPH, and PhD from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium). In 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Medical Sciences by the University of Suriname. Dr. Buekens’ research interests are in perinatal epidemiology and evaluation of perinatal services.

Shivaprasad Goudar

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Dr Shivaprasad S. Goudar, besides postgraduate training in medical physiology, has a Masters’ degree in Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.

Dr Goudar has conducted a number of workshops on Curriculum Planning, Student Assessment, Research Methodology, Evidence Based Medicine and Computer Applications in Health Professions Education for faculty and postgraduate students of various medical colleges in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa.

Dr Goudar is the Course Coordinator for the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Professions Education (PGDHPE) program offered by KLE University, Belgaum in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr Goudar is also engaged in the conduct of community based research aimed at reducing maternal and newborn mortality in Belgaum, Bagalkot and Bijapur Districts of Karnataka.

His research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have focused on prevention of postpartum haemorrhage, training birth attendants for newborn resuscitation, home based intervention for improving neurodevelopmental outcomes in survivors of birth asphyxia, strengthening Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care services, and administration of Antenatal Corticosteroids for increasing survival in preterm babies.

He has several publications in international and national journals and has presented papers at many international and national scientific meetings.

Michael Mbizvo

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Dr Michael Mbizvo is a Professor at the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Prior to that, he was Director for Reproductive Health and Research and of HRP, at the World Health Organization (WHO), at it's headquarters  in Geneva, Switzerland, where he spent the last 16 years, before retiring in February 2013. HRP is co-sponsored as a Special Human Reproduction Programme, for Research, Research training and Development, by UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank.  He joined WHO in 1997, as a Manager for the Male Reproductive Health Research Programme, before moving to the Office of the Director in 2000 as a Senior Scientist and a deputy to the Director, in charge of technical support to countries and research capacity strengthening. He is also the founding Chairman of ZimHealth, a philanthropic organization formed in 2008 by Zimbabweans in Geneva, to make voluntary contributions towards access to maternal and child health care by poorer communities in Zimbabwe. ZimHealth has raised more than $500,000.00, to support various centers throughout Zimbabwe.  

Dr Mbizvo's career in reproductive health and research, which includes andrology, maternal mortality reduction, access to and quality of family planning services, HIV prevention and care, among others, has taken him to many countries globally. He has published more than 100 scientific articles, presented more  than 500 papers and written two books, in these areas.

Olufemi Taiwo Oladapo

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Dr Femi Oladapo is an Associate Professor and obstetrician-gynaecologist working at the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Olabisi Onabanjo University /Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Medicine and Surgery, a Master’s degree in Public Health and the Fellowships of the West African College of Surgeons (FWACS) and International College of Surgeons (FICS). He served for several years as a master trainer and an international facilitator for the WHO workshops on Evidence-Based Decision Making in Reproductive Health, a training workshop aimed at promoting best reproductive health practices, and has been the WHO Reproductive Health Library (RHL) Nigeria focal person since 2006. He has been actively involved in research and training activities of the Centre for Research in Reproductive Health (CRRH), Sagamu, Nigeria (a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in Human Reproduction) since 2000 and currently the Centre's Director of Clinical Research and Coordinator of Scientific Programmes. His main research interest lies in maternal and perinatal health, with special focus on evidence-based obstetric care and strategies to reduce near-miss and maternal mortality in underserved populations, and has published over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He was the initiator and central coordinator of the largest surveillance network of tertiary institutions for quality of care assessment for near-miss and maternal death in Nigeria. Dr Oladapo has served as Consultant to the WHO's Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) on consolidating evidence base for guideline development and research prioritization in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. He is a review author and an Associate Editor for the Pregnancy and Childbirth Group of the Cochrane Collaboration.

Omrana Pasha

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Dr. Omrana Pasha is an internist and an epidemiologist with over 18 years of experience working on issues of women’s and children’s health. Dr. Pasha completed medical college at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan; post-graduate training in internal medicine from the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York city and her Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Pasha worked at Save the Children Federation, Inc. in Westport, Connecticut, USA and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA before joining Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan as a member of the faculty in 2004. Dr. Pasha currently serves as Associate Professor in the Departments of Community Health Sciences and Family Medicine at AKU. She has an active research portfolio with funding from the NIH, the Gates Foundation, US State Department and the French Development Agency. Her research portfolio emphasizes interventional research, particularly community-based trials conducted within international partnerships in both developing and developed countries, as well as surveillance activities. Dr. Pasha is the Director of AKU’s Clinical Research Track of the Masters of Science degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is closely involved in graduate education, designing and teaching courses on various aspects of epidemiology and providing mentorship and supervision for students’ research theses.

Enrique F Schisterman

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Enrique F. Schisterman, Ph.D., is a senior investigator and chief of the Epidemiology Branch. He earned both his master's degree in Statistics and his doctorate degree in Epidemiology from the State University of New York, Buffalo. Overall, his research interests focus on epidemiological methods and reproductive epidemiology. He has specific interests in biomarkers and their impact on general health, particularly women's health (i.e., endometriosis, infertility, and menstrual cycle function).