Nkechi Onyeneho

Takemi Fellow

Department of Global Health and Population

Dr Nkechi Onyeneho is a Takemi Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). She holds Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in Sociology/Anthropology, with specialization in Gender and Medical Sociology/Anthropology respectively, from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she teaches Medical Sociology/Anthropology, Gerontology and Ecology and Society, among others at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels but has moved temporarily to HSPH, on a leave of absence from the University of Nigeria to conduct a research on anemia in pregnancy in Nigeria.

Experience before Takemi Fellowship

Since the commencement of her postgraduate studies in 2001, she has undertaken a number research projects sponsored by local, international and multinational agencies on infectious and tropical disease issues. The focus of her research activities has been Gender issues in development, health and population dynamics as well as Aging issues in society. Some of her studies include one sponsored by UNICEF Enugu on exploration of the issues of children with disabilities in Benue State, as a co-investigator. World Bank Group sponsored project include assessment of causes, prevention and treatment of malaria in Anambra, Bauchi and River States; and a study on Nigeria Expenditure Effectiveness For Opportunities and Results project (SEEFOR) social assessment of four states in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. She was the principal investigator in these two projects. She was also the principal investigator for the Society for Women and AIDS in Nigeria sponsored study on commercial sex workers and HIV/AIDS to assess the risk factors and economic empowerment needs of female sex workers in Enugu. She also participated in UNDP sponsored project on capacity assessment of public and private health facilities, constituent contributing entities and civil societies involved in provision of health care services to people living with HIV/AIDS in Anambra State, Nigeria. She also participated in a number of WHO sponsored operational researches on tropical diseases like onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, among others. Most of her studies are published as monographs of the sponsoring organizations and in international as well as local peer reviewed scientific journals.

Takemi Fellowship 2015-16

During her Takemi Fellowship in 2015-16, Dr. Onyeneho will explore and examine the knowledge, attitude and practice towards anemia in pregnancy as well as the utilization of ANC service in preventing and managing anemia in pregnancy in Nigeria. Anemia in general and indeed anemia in pregnancy continue to constitute a major challenge to public health in Nigeria. With over 40% prevalence rate, it is considered a severe condition in Nigeria, despite efforts made by multilateral and national organizations to control its menace. Majority of girls and women do not meet the recommendations of the World Health Organization and Food & Agricultural Organization on daily iron requirements of 20 milligrams.

The main objective of Dr. Onyeneho’s fellowship is to compare experiences, knowledge and practices of women who delivered within six months to the survey in urban, peri urban and rural communities in order to suggest culturally specific and tailored solutions to anemia in pregnancy in the different communities. HSPH provides an excellent location to consult, analyze data collected, learn and critically review options to managing anemia during pregnancy. There is need for such evidence based and culturally tailored recommendations in addressing the problem of anemia in pregnancy in Nigeria.