First Malawian Researcher to win “L’Oreal -UNESCO for Women in Science Award Eyes PhD

The first Malawian researcher to win “L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award, Ms. Halima Twabi is on the verge of bagging her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biostatistics.

Yesterday, Twabi who is the lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Malawi (UNIMA) defended her PhD thesis.

Meanwhile, ‘Dr’ Twabi has commended her supervisors, family and friends for the milestone attained.

“I would like to sincerely thank my supervisors (Professor  Samuel Manda, Professor  Dylan Small and Professor Hans-Peter Kohler) for the enormous support, advice, guidance and superb mentorship they gave me throughout this journey. To my family and friends, words fail me.  I am tremendously grateful,” she says.

In 2020, ‘Dr’ Twabi was among the young talents who won the “L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award. The young talents came from 16 countries and embody all of the potential of African science through their backgrounds and research subjects. For the first time in 2020, young women scientists from Congo and Malawi were rewarded.

After the announcement of the winners in 2020, Twabi told Muslim  Media Agency that her work that won the award involved assessing the impact of interventions in curbing adverse multiple child health outcomes such as child under-nutrition which includes stunting, underweight and wasting, and investigating the impact maternal HIV infection on multiple adverse pregnancy outcomes in a prevention of mother to child HIV transmission (PMTCT) context, using advanced statistical methods.

‘Dr’ Twabi’s research area involves developing and applying statistical methodology to explore and understand various attributes of social and health problems faced in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Malawi and to provide concrete evidence on the effectiveness of interventions on improving such problems. The research purpose provides reliable and accurate evidence to policy makers to address problems that we face within our country and globally.

‘Dr’ Twabi did her  primary education at Jamia Islamia Primary School, then she joined Assalam Girls Secondary School where she sat for my Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE). She  was later selected to pursue a Bachelor of Science at Chancellor College.

After obtaining her Bachelors Degree  in 2012, ‘Dr’ Twabi  was given a position as an associate lecturer at Chancellor College under the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Later, she  did  Masters in Biostatistics and became a full lecturer in 2016

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