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Peter Macharia, PhD
Spatial Epidemiology

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I am a postdoc of spatial epidemiology at the Centre for Health Informatics, Computing, and Statistics (CHICAS), Lancaster University, UK and KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme within the Population Health Unit (PHU), Kenya. I work under the guidance of Dr Giorgi at CHICAS to develop geostatistical methods of mapping disease prevalence in presence of incomplete spatial information using school survey data. I also closely work with Prof Bob Snow and Dr Emelda Okiro, both from PHU.

 

I am interested in spatial health metrics to aid in a better understanding of health inequalities, vulnerabilities, and population health through the use of conditional autoregressive and geostatistical models. I also map physical access, marginalization, and vulnerability indices. I have published broadly in spatial epidemiology journals.

 

I received my PhD in spatial epidemiology from The Open University, UK, Master's in GIS & remote sensing from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya. A postgraduate diploma in health research methods from Pwani University and a BSc in Geomatic Engineering & GIS from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.

Skills

  • Spatial analysis/GIS 

  • Disease mapping

  • Spatial accessibility

  • Routine & household surveys

Tools I Use

  • R

  • STATA

  • ArcGIS

  • QGIS

MY JOURNEY

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KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme

Researcher March 2021 - 

Nairobi, Kenya

At KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme I work with the Population health Unit where we continually explore population health at high spatial and temporal resolution. I closely work with Dr Emelda Okiro and Prof Bob Snow on health geography and my Newton International fellowship

Centre for Health Informatics, Computing, and StatisticsLancaster University
Royal Society- Newton International fellow-postdoc March 2021-
Lancaster UK

 

I was successful in my application for the Newton International fellowship by The Royal Society to undertake my postdoc collaboratively between KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme and Lancaster University. Grateful to the many individuals who supported me in this application.

KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme

Career development fellow Octo 2020- Feb 2021

Nairobi, Kenya

 

Immediately after completing PhD, I had a career development year to chart a way for my research. I used this time mainly to finish my PhD papers, generate new ideas for applications and establish more collaborative and employment networks. 

The Open University, UK & KWTRP

PhD spatial epidemiology, awarded November 2020

Milton Keynes, UK, & Nairobi, Kenya

 

I was interested in understanding child survival in Kenya since independence, the disparity in the coverage of child health interventions, and the impact of these interventions on child survival at the subnational level. It was a tough, yet fulfilling journey, a childhood dream. Always grateful to my supportive advisors, Dr Emelda, Prof Bob Snow, Prof Benn Sartorius and Dr Giorgi and the scholarship from The Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders. I got rich experience attending international conferences, seminars and short courses across Africa, Europe and America. I built a rich network of researchers in my field and worked with many stakeholders including the local media discussing child survival in Kenya to both the experts and general audience. One of my PhD papers won an international award 

Jomo Kenyata University of Agriculture and Technology

MSc. Geospatial Information Systems and Remote Sensing earned December 2017

Nairobi, Kenya


My passion for spatial health metrics and their application in better understanding of health problems gave me an impetus to pursue a two years master's course. Predictably, I used spatial models to estimate the number of pregnant women who likely missed a bed net during their antenatal clinics. This was a tough time, where I worked up to 5 PM before finding my way to the lecture halls for evening classes. The process taught me patience and looking at the bigger picture. My gratitude to the Higher Loans Education Board for the scholarship.

KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme

Assistant Geospatial research Officer Sept 2015- Feb 2017

Nairobi, Kenya

 

I landed an opportunity just after completing my Postgraduate diploma within the Spatial health metrics group. I liked the working environment and opportunities to grow. My work was mainly mapping malaria prevalence, coverage of malaria control measures, modelling spatial accessibility and assembling spatial databases of health facilities.

We worked closely with national malaria control programmes to support decision making using evidence through the LINK and INFORM projects. My career in health geography was shaped during this time by Prof Abdisalan Noor and Prof Bob Snow.

Pwani University & KWTRP

Postgraduate diploma in health research Methods Jan-Aug 2015

Kilifi and Nairobi, Kenya

 

I was physically located at the KWTRP office in Nairobi and registered with Pwani University, Kilifi. I enjoyed taught sessions on epidemiology and research, conducted an interesting research project, participated in scientific seminars, and journal clubs. I was guided by prof Abdisalan Noor. My project, analyzing spatial accessibility to basic public health services in South Sudan would form the basis of my interest in spatial accessibility analysis, healthcare utilization and health geography. This was facilitated by a  scholarship from The Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL). My first time in an aircraft was during this time, it was a childhood dream and visiting the beautiful beaches in Kilifi.

Topsurv Geosystems Ltd

Geomatic Engineer, Jan-December 2014

Nairobi, Kenya

 

I was given my first opportunity to practice what I had learnt on Campus. I engaged in many engineering, survey and cadastral projects. My most memorable days were surveying in Tatu city putting new survey beacons in the beautiful coffee bushes. The days were variable, one day in the scorching sun and the next day using raincoats. I gained confidence in implementing projects from start to finish. However, my heart belonged elsewhere, I had a thirst for research and academia.

Jomo Kenyata University of Agriculture and Technology

B.Sc. Geomatic Engineering and Geospatial Information Systems earned June 2014

Nairobi, Kenya

 

I spent 5 years studying B.Sc. Geomatic Engineering & GIS. Here I learned how to think spatially, I fell in love with “geospatial”. Most of my time was spent in class and occasionally playing football. I remember with Nostalgia, being awarded the Vice chancellor’s academic excellence prize for three consecutive years and Alumni of the year, years later.