News & Event

"I see it as an opportunity to contribute to development in health in Sub Saharan Africa"

Dr Matilda Aberese-Ako is a medical and organizational anthropologist and a Researcher in the University of Health and Allied Science (UHAS) in Ghana. She is one of the MARCAD women Postdoctoral Fellow. Her current research focuses on behavioural and attitudinal influences on acceptance of malaria interventions among pregnant women in Sub Saharan Africa.

- Why did you choose to be a researcher?
I am a curious person, who seeks to understand how human behavior is shaped by the context that we live in and one way of understanding such phenomena is through social sciences.

- How, as a woman, would you define the current situation of scientific research in Africa?
The field is tough and needs more funding and encouragement of women to join.

- What are the challenges/ difficulties women scientists face in Africa?
Having to combine science with family life, having to compete with men for the limited funding opportunities.

- How can women and girls be more interested and promoted in science?
By creating support systems such as maternity leave, building crèches near research institutions for women to be able to work and have their children comfortably taken care of.

- What is your research theme and why did you chose this theme?
I chose the theme ‘socio-cultural and economic factors influencing malaria interventions in pregnancy’, because there are still gaps on how socio-cultural and economic factors play crucial roles in effective malaria prevention and treatment. Findings and recommendations from my work will contribute to shape malaria in pregnancy interventions in Ghana.

- What explains your choice to investigate on malaria and not another area?
Because malaria affects majority of the population in Africa, especially women and children. So, I see it as an opportunity to contribute to development in health in Sub Saharan Africa especially Ghana.

- How do you think your project results could contribute to the malaria elimination in Africa?
My project focuses on human behavior aspects of malaria infection. Human beings are needed to drive the agenda of malaria in Africa and so being able to contribute in the area of human behavior will help in the elimination efforts.

- Do programs like MARCAD help to promote gender balance in the field of scientific research on the continent? If yes, how?
Yes, by encouraging and enlisting more women to do research.