Gates Scholars Receive Grand Challenges in Global Health Grant

Two Gates Scholars, Drs. Funmi OlaOlorun and Neetu John, are the principal investigators for a new Grand Challenges in Global Health grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Ibadan College of Medicine. The grant, for $496,600, will fund their project, “Promoting Female Empowerment at the Household Level with Family Planning Use, Financial Literacy and Gender Sensitization Education among Couples in Ibadan, Nigeria.” The announcement was made on March 8, International Women’s Day.

Drs. OlaOlorun and John are co-originators and co-principal investigators of the project, which they call WWW.Partners—Women Working With Partners—for short. Its aim is to “conduct a cluster randomized control trial to evaluate a multi-pronged approach for empowering Nigerian women within the household and thereby the wider community. [The] program targets both partners of couples, both individually and together, and involves training on gender socialization and finance, and access to family planning. The aim is to generate rigorous evidence on how to promote gender equality in household decision-making and improve family health and wellbeing,” according to the Grand Challenges website.

Drs. OlaOlorun and John were Gates Scholars in 2009–13 and 2009–14 respectively. The Gates Scholars program, run by the Gates Institute, supported exceptional students from developing countries with the potential to become leaders in the population and reproductive health fields. More than 50 master's, doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships were awarded to exceptional mid-career professionals between 1999 and 2006.

Dr. OlaOlorun is a lecturer in the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, and an honorary consultant to the University College Hospital, Ibadan. Trained as a community health physician, she has more than a decade of experience in community-based research in southwest Nigeria. The co-principal investigator for PMA2020/Nigeria, Dr. OlaOlorun holds MBBS and MPH degrees from the University of Ibadan and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. John is a Sexual and Reproductive Health Specialist with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) in Washington, D.C. She has extensive experience in international reproductive and sexual health research, and has focused on gender, couples and broader contextual issues. Dr. John holds an MS in Global Health and Population from the Harvard School of Public Health and a PhD from the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Monday, April 18, 2016 - 17:00