New Leadership at the Population Council's Kenya Office
The Population Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Harriet Birungi to head the Council's Kenya office
NAIROBI and NEW YORK (13 February 2012) —
Before assuming her new role, Birungi led a key Council operations research project that identified and tested innovative ways for improving health service delivery in Kenya.
Earlier in her career, she conducted research that helped define the reproductive health care needs of the first generation of young adults who were born HIV-positive in Kenya. She also helped document the process leading to the passage of Kenya's Sexual Offences Bill, which provided important guidance for policymakers in other countries who were developing similar legislation.
The Population Council's Kenya office has been changing the way policymakers think about critical health and development issues since the 1960s. One of the Council's first projects in Kenya was a partnership with the national government to develop the country's first population policy, which highlighted the important role of family planning in reducing infant mortality and encouraging economic development.
Today, key priorities of the Council's Kenya office include:
- Evaluating voucher programs to improve reproductive health service delivery: The Kenyan government's voucher program helps poor women afford prenatal and delivery care. Council researchers are providing evidence about the strengths and challenges of this initiative to help provide better care to greater numbers of women.
- Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy (STEP UP): Council researchers are evaluating reproductive health programs to find out how they can run more effectively and efficiently, including postpartum services and services for people living with HIV.
- Safe and smart savings products for vulnerable adolescent girls: The Council is helping to provide safe spaces in which Kenyan girls can learn about financial literacy and ways to save money. This program aims to improve their ability to plan for the future and prepare for financial emergencies.
- Biological and behavioral surveillance for most at-risk populations in Kenya: In collaboration with the Kenyan government and partners, Council researchers are working to establish a periodic HIV biological and behavioral surveillance system to facilitate, inform, and evaluate the impact of HIV preventive interventions for most-at-risk populations (men who have sex with men, female sex workers, and injecting drug users).
Former Kenya office director Dr. Sam Kalibala is joining the Council's Washington, DC office. He will head HIVCore, a new Council-led program funded by USAID that will improve HIV and AIDS treatment, care, and support as well as prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs in developing countries.
About the Population Council
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.
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