KAC Scholars 2019/2020
Christopher Abuor Martin is a human rights, drug policy and harm reduction advocate. He is the founder and Executive director of Voices of Community Action and Leadership (VOCAL-KE) an NGO based in Nairobi, Kenya implementing harm reduction and drug policy advocacy aimed at a balanced approach consistent with human rights, public health, safety and the needs of affected communities. His community organizing work focuses on engaging slum community youth groups, soccer clubs, informal groupings of youth, community based organizations as well as national and county level policy makers. He is an avid drug policy advocate with a wealth of experience, spanning over 12 years in community organizing and 7 years in harm reduction.
Adebisi Yusuff Adebayo is the associate director for research at Global Health Focus Africa. He has a background in Pharmacy from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and also earned a diploma in Addiction Medicine from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Adebisi is a drug policy advocate, research enthusiast and public health educator. He is a graduate of Global Health Pharmacy where his interest in drug policy, smoke-free world and research emanated. He is an astute advocate for harm reduction and drug policy. Adebisi has also served as the President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy where he actively advocated for ending the war on drugs. He is also a member of many international organizations in the space of global health.
Hoping to expand on his work on promoting safer and healthier alternatives to tobacco use, Samrat is conducting a project distributing e-cigarettes to bidi smokers in Mumbai, in order to gauge the user response to, and eventual take-up, of e-cigarettes. In particular, Samrat is evaluating the difficulties and obstacles in take-up of vaping in lower-income smoking communities, and how consumer models for e-cigarette distribution and e-liquid production can be adapted to better suit bidi smokers. Through support from his mentor Professor Rajesh Sharan, Samrat is helping to fill the gap in current knowledge surrounding the complexities and peculiarities of bidi smoker transitions to e-cigarettes.
Independent Chilean filmmaker Elisa Correa graduated with a bachelor's degree in film from the Chile Film School (Escuela de cine de Chile) in Santiago and then an associate's degree in screenwriting at Palermo University, Buenos Aires Argentina. In 2013 Elisa moved to New York and started working with different organizations as a freelance editor and shooter, providing services for Community Access, American Field Service, Unseen Films, PI&C, Valleto Dance Company, Curet Performance Project, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Gallim, J’adore Love, Shutter and Sound, School CNXT, The Square, Mass Appeal and Roche Bobois. Elisa is currently developing a new documentary feature, called Americana.
With a professional background in the human services field that spans 45+ years, John de Miranda has served as programme administrator, management consultant, therapist, educator, government official, quality leader, researcher, and trainer. He has conducted research and published on topics as varied as special education, responsible alcoholic beverage service, consumer self-determination, legislative policy, healthcare cost containment, prevention, legal protections for people in recovery, disability rehabilitation, and advocacy for people with disabilities. de Miranda is a regular contributor to Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly. He served six years as a member of the Board of Directors of Faces and Voices of Recovery.
Eleni Diamantopoulou is a registered nurse who graduated from the Nursing Department of Technological Educational Institute of Ioannina. She has specialized in Surgery and worked at the Surgery Department of the Aretaieion Hospital of Athens and in Mental Healthcare at the Psychiatric Hospital of Athens. Additionally, she has worked at the Internal Medicine and Emergency Department of Athens Naval Hospital. She currently works at the Primary Healthcare Center in Piraeus in the Cardiology Section and as a Section Chief in Infectious Diseases. Furthermore, she has obtained her Master of Public Health from the National School of Public Health in Athens in 2017
Andre Freo is a Law Student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS), with certification in Leadership by the Theodor Heuss Akademie - Germany as well as in Social Entrepreneurship by Tongji University - China. Andre is the Brazilian Affairs Manager at Consumer Choice Center, where he fights for smart regulations on consumer related issues. He also serves as Director of Brazilian Programs at Students For Liberty, focusing on volunteer management, projects and events that advance the ideas of liberty.
Samuel Cudjoe Hanu RMN, BA, MSc is a senior nursing officer with supervisory and management responsibilities at Accra Psychiatric Hospital. He is a part-time mental health tutor at a private nursing training school in Accra, and an examiner for the nursing and midwifery council of Ghana. He is a member of the West African Drug Policy Network (CSO), a fellow of the West African College of Nursing, and the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives – where he is the author of the addiction nursing specialist curriculum and a faculty member. He is an advocate for drug policy reforms and has published a number of articles in this respect. He founded a civil society organization called the Harm Reduction Alliance.
Dahna Jeffares-Bozinovitch is living in Nelson, New Zealand and is studying towards post graduate communications qualifications at Massey University. She is a vaper and is interested in learning about nicotine effects. Dahna has worked for over a decade in industries where tobacco dependence is prevalent and now works in the healthcare industry. Her passionate interest in communication underwrites her involvement in Tobacco Harm Reduction research this year, as well as a desire to see better health outcomes for traditionally tobacco-dependant industries. She looks forward to developing her skills in conducting research alongside applying learnings from the communications field of study.
Yolande Jeffares is currently finishing an MS (Psychology) at Massey University. She currently lives in Nelson, New Zealand and studies via distance learning. Yolande was previously awarded a studentship by the Health Research Council of New Zealand to research ethical issues related to vaping and e-cigarette research which gave rise to her concerns regarding how vaping research is conducted and how vapers are often represented. She will be returning to GFN this year to further develop her qualitative research skills through the KAC Scholarship programmes and with the guidance of her mentor Dr Marewa Glover.
A social scientist in rural development and extension, researcher and tobacco harm reduction advocate who previously conducted research which was aimed at establishing evidence base on health and the socio-economic impact of Tobacco, and promoting intervention to enhance public understanding on tobacco harm reduction in Malawi.
Eros Kharshiing obtained his PhD from the University of Hyderabad, India in plant biology and holds a teaching and research position at St. Edmund’s College, Meghalaya, India. He is actively involved in fundamental and applied research in plant biology and is interested in understanding how environment shapes plant responses. Apart from plant biology research, Eros believes that scientists should take active roles in addressing socially relevant issues thereby ensuring participation of informed individuals via various modes and media.
Patrick Kuyokwa is a young professional in the field of social sciences with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics. He is passionate about the commercialization of agriculture and the livelihood of farmers. With six years’ experience in agriculture/forestry and livelihood projects, Patrick has worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Temwa (an NGO) as a Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant and Projects Coordinator respectively. Patrick is a co-founder and currently working as a Chief Executive Officer for an agricultural company Agricentre. In conjunction with THR Malawi, Patrick is one of the nicotine consumer advocates in Malawi.
Sahan Lungu is a communications expert, consultant and advisor who specializes in developing visual, audio and audio/visual media, public relations, communication management, project management, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, community engagement and participation, and social, health and behavior change communication to mention but a few. Sahan is also a Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocate with the Tobacco Harm Reduction Program in Malawi. Sahan uses his researching, writing and social marketing skills to raise awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco smoking, tobacco economics, control, nicotine science and tobacco harm reduction policies, regulations, actions, public health and safer nicotine products.
Joseph Magero is an avid tobacco harm reduction advocate. He has spent a decade working in tobacco control as the former director of the Africa Tobacco-Free Initiative, but after extensive research, consultation, and direct engagement with ex-smokers, scientists and tobacco harm reduction consumer advocates, he became convinced that giving smokers the option of switching to significantly safer (and enjoyable) nicotine products could provide a vital addition in reducing smoking related diseases. He is currently the chairman of Campaign For Safer Alternatives, a regional organisation that advocates for the adoption of tobacco harm reduction policies in Africa. His commitment to a smoke-free future remains undiminished.
Michael McGrady is an accomplished independent public policy researcher and journalist based in Colorado, United States of America. He has an educational background in global politics from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He is one of the youngest people ever to be featured in the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal and The South China Morning Post. Other outlets that have published or cited his work include The Jerusalem Post, New York Post, The Spectator (U.K.), Spiked (U.K.), the Denver Post, the Washington Examiner, The Hill, and many others internationally. Currently, McGrady’s research and journalism has focused on the intersections of tobacco harm reduction and economics.
A Tumbuka/Ngoni from Mzimba, TA Mthwalo, and village of Robert Nthupa. With two years experience in the health field, Vita Mithi served as an environmental health intern in Government Institutions (Balaka and Mzimba DHO) then joined the nonprofit sector. Currently, he works with Maphunziro 265 as an Ambassador and with Tobacco Harm Reduction Malawi as a Volunteer Ambassador and website contributor. He belongs to local and international initiatives namely: Generational Leadership Initiative, Unipers International Media, Africa Youth Union Commission and December to Remember as a volunteer team leader for Northern Malawi. Vita Mithi was awarded a Certificate by December to Remember for active participation in an Orphanage Outreach.
With a background in human service, Alice Ngoma works as a Senior Executive Assistant at AGRICENTRE Limited Company. She owns businesses in mobile money transfer and automobile spare parts, her automobile spare parts business has allowed her to encounter and interact with a number of people struggling with the behavior of smoking. Being a victim of tobacco smoking, Alice educates people who smoke on the dangers of smoking and urges them to quit or switch to safer alternatives. Alice is also a volunteer ambassador for the Tobacco Harm Reduction Malawi project.
Chimwemwe Ngoma is a social scientist and a tobacco harm reduction advocate, and is implementing an information dissemination project on tobacco harm reduction and nicotine science in Malawi. He leads a group of 24 tobacco harm reduction volunteer ambassadors in Malawi and Zimbabwe. Chimwemwe has worked as a Project and Resource Mobilisation Officer at Drug Fight Malawi. Whilst in college he undertook a research study on “The prevalence of drug and substance abuse in Malawian colleges”.
Uche Olatunji is a BSc holder in Business Administration. As a Community Education Specialist, Uche focused on teacher training, youth empowerment and promoting HIV/AIDS prevention, this amongst other reasons led him to joining the advocacy for tobacco harm reduction. Uche is an active board member of Campaign for Safer Alternatives - CASA, Africa. He is the head of the West Africa region, where he advocates for tobacco harm reduction and partly in Kenya. His future plans include pursuing a career in counseling and gaining more knowledge in the healthcare field in order to push further the agenda of harm reduction. He desires to apply his skills to increase awareness in tobacco harm reduction.
Ashok Pandey has been serving his tenure as chairman of Public Health Research Society Nepal since 2014. Ashok started his career as a Health Research Officer in 2011 and has been working as a Research officer since 2015 at the Nepal Health Research Council, Government of Nepal. Ashok was awarded an FK Norway/Fredskorpset Exchange Research Fellow in Child Sight Foundation, Global, Banani, Dhaka, Bangladesh for a year from October 14, 2017, to November 13, 2018. During that tenure, he was the grantee of a three months scoping study of Foundation of Smoke-Free World.
Blandina Nkhata is a tobacco harm reduction advocate, and uses her skills on social media to help in disseminating information on harm reductions to the general public. Blandina has worked as an assistant in disaster risk reduction and management at Salima district council in Malawi where she has trained community members on disaster identification, reduction, management, preparedness and ranking. She has also helped in distribution of relief items to affected people. Blandina has also worked for GIZ as a consultant on a project called VLAP (Village Level Action Plans) where her main role was documentation. She is currently working as an intern in the public relations office at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Prof. Dr Mihaela Raescu is a PhD in Medical Sciences who teaches Oral and Dental Prevention at the Titu Maiorescu University School of Dentistry in Bucharest, Romania since 2003 and is a tenured University Professor since 2015, in addition to being an active practitioner and primarius doctor. She is the Erasmus coordinator and the President of Ethical Committee. She has authored and co-authored numerous studies and publications and has been a guest speaker at various professional conferences. She conducted several research projects in the dentistry field and product development as a project manager (European projects and private lab projects). In 2018 she received a KAC Foundation scholarship regarding research in the THR field.
Florian Scheibein is a PhD Candidate studying "Novel Psychoactive Substance Injecting in Ireland: Practices, Health Implications and Service Utilisation". He currently helps teach a Substance Misuse module as part of the third year Psychiatric Nursing curriculum at the Waterford Institute of Technology. He is an active member of the International Working Group (IWG) of Youth RISE with whom he is currently working on 'law enforcement and youth' and general best practice guidelines. He recently helped develop a homeless support health needs guidebook/online health needs support library, and delivered harm reduction workshops whilst working as a Community Integration Officer for Depaul Ireland.
Claudio Teixeira is co-founder and Director at the Brazilian Association of Vapers (ABRAVAPERS). As a member of organized civil society, he is developing his research to prepare a base text for a new regulation for E-cigs in Brazil. For about 20 years Claudio has been working mainly in the interaction of the information and communication sciences with other applied social and human sciences, with interdisciplinary experiences both in public and private organizations, but mainly in the third sector, acting as consultant, member, adviser, volunteer Pro Bono or in managerial activities in the structuring and elaboration of policies, programs, and projects particularly in the fields of historical memory, communication and social action.