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Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)

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Dr Misheck Nkhata

Misheck is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies. He is working on a Wellcome Trust-funded project titled “Chronic Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa: a critical history of an ‘Epidemiological Transition”. The project aims to produce a clearer historical analysis of the rise in incidence of non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa and a critical account of epidemiological change, contextualising this within a larger environmental, economic and social history. Within this project, Misheck is conducting an ethnographic study that will explore the experience of co-morbidities including diabetes, hypertension, AIDS and depression. Using syndemics theory, Misheck will explore how these diseases (and other social factors including poverty) are individually experienced, and interact with each other to highlight their historical situatedness and social drivers.

Misheck’s research interests are in non-communicable diseases, AIDS and antiretroviral treatment (ART) and sexual and reproductive health. He previously worked as a senior study co-ordinator (Malawi) for a DFID-funded multi-country project aimed at evaluating effectiveness and economic implications of ART delivery in lower level health facilities with limited laboratory services. He has also been part of a qualitative study of change in sexual behaviour within marital unions after initiation of ART. More recently, Misheck was part of the Analysis of Non-communicable Disease Prevention Policies in Africa (ANPPA), a project implemented in Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria and Malawi which explored use of multi-sectoral approaches in the formulation and implementation of policies addressing WHO “best buy” interventions for the prevention of non-communicable diseases. Misheck has previously taught medical anthropology at the Catholic University of Malawi.

Misheck received his PhD in Anthropology from Durham University in 2020. His thesis titled “Managing Uncertainties: An Ethnography of Diabetes Management in Malawi” was based on fieldwork at two diabetes clinics and patients’ homes in Blantyre City and Chiradzulu District, Malawi. Misheck also holds a Master of Science in Medical Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam and a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree from the University of Malawi.