Professor Kamija Samuel Phiri

Executive Director

Professor Kamija Samuel Phiri has a medical degree from the University of Malawi, a postgraduate diploma and master’s in epidemiology degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London and a PhD in epidemiology from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Liverpool in the UK. He is a professor in clinical epidemiology at the University of Malawi, College of Medicine and a visiting lecturer with University of Zambia.

Professor Phiri directs the Training & Research Unit of Excellence (TRUE), an independent affiliate of the College of Medicine, which he established in 2009 with several field sites in southern Malawi. His research interests are in the control of malaria and anemia in children and pregnant women. His PhD work involved understanding the effect of infection on the measurement of iron status in children living in a malaria endemic area. He has previously conducted a number of studies; investigating etiology and long-term outcomes of children with severe anemia in Malawi; the effect of iron supplementation in HIV infected children and also the optimum timing for iron supplementation in anemic children post-malaria infection. He is currently leading a multicenter research consortium (across Malawi, Kenya & Uganda) on the efficacy of intermittent preventive antimalarial therapy in the post-discharge management of children with severe anaemia. Prof Phiri is widely published in his field and he has recently secured funding to assess malaria chemoprevention in sickle cell anemia and also establish a multidisciplinary network to develop a research agenda for anemia in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Phiri has also conducted a number of malaria drug efficacy studies and has a keen interest in malaria control at population level. This has included conducting a large population-based cluster-randomized study across 90,000 households in southern Malawi assessing community-led malaria prevention strategies.

He is a recipient for several awards, including the 2012 Merle A. Sandee Health Leadership award in Africa. He sits on the Malawi National Malaria Advisory Board which advises Ministry of Health on all matters related to malaria control. He is a member of several international organizations including USAID HEmoglobin MEasurement (HEME) working group, WHO Evidence Review Groups, UK Research Council, DFID and Wellcome Trust research review groups. Lastly, he is interested in knowledge translation and currently leads a network of partners in and outside Malawi involved in evidence use in decision making (EVIDENT).

Other academic roles have included being the founding Dean of the School of Public Health and Family Medicine and he has served as the Dean of Postgraduate Studies and Research at the College of Medicine.

He is an avid squash player and enjoys traveling, especially long road trips in southern Africa.