Dr. Emelda Okiro

Current Mentees

Dr. Jacquie Narosto Oliwa, MBChB Peter Nguhiu Alice Kamau

Past Mentees


Emelda has over 15 years of professional experience in Epidemiology and Public health and heads the Population health unit. She has worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, Philips Research Africa and also worked with several partners including PMI and ICF Macro.

Emelda returned to the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme in October 2016 from a Senior Health Scientist position at Philips Research Africa. She is leading the Population Health unit and Research theme within the Programme which aims to understand changing epidemiology of malaria, understand the determinants of health transitions and vulnerabilities at fine scales a major component of which is malnutrition in Kenya and across Africa, and to embed the use of data for decision-making by national ministries.

Her current work focuses on exploring the spatial heterogeneity of child survival across Kenya using multiple survey data to map and explore the Spatial, Social and Environmental determinants of childhood mortality. Emelda has previously worked on the measurements of trends of P. falciparum burden across sites of varying malaria endemicities in Africa and on evaluating the impact of scaled malaria control interventions and supporting regional Ministries of Health in Uganda, Malawi and Kenya. At the Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, Seattle Emelda worked on identifying determinants of cost-effective anti-retroviral treatment programs in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

During her academic research career, she has been awarded two internationally competitive Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships. Emelda is widely published and has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Egerton University, Kenya and a PhD in Epidemiology through the Open University – UK in collaboration with Warwick University, UK.