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Derrick Ssewanyana

Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya

Derrick Ssewanyana

Derrick Ssewanyana, BEHS, MSc Public Health
PhD Research student (Adolescent Health), KEMRI, Kenya and Utrecht University, Netherlands

I am a Ugandan national pursuing my PhD studies in Adolescent Health at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. I am currently stationed at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) - Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi at Kenyan Coast, where my research field work is ongoing. In 2010, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health Science from Makerere University in Uganda and later on completed my M.Sc. Public Health from University of Southern Denmark in 2014. My PhD research explores forms, patterns and underlying factors for health risk behavior of adolescents in low resource settings at the Kenyan Coast. My special interest is to address knowledge gaps on the burden, determinants and special role played by HIV associated neurodevelopmental impairment in elucidating health risk behavior among the HIV infected and affected adolescents.

My previous work experience includes working as an intern at the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department of the World Health Organization; serving on a yearlong Global Health Corps Fellowship as a Health Officer in Kyangwali refugee settlement in Uganda; working as a Program Assistant on Water and Sanitation projects; serving as a University Peer service provider for sexual and reproductive health; and as a Reproductive Health Volunteer with Pathfinder International in Uganda.

I have also completed some short training programmes and presented at conferences in: health equity & social justice; HIV prevention, care & treatment; sexual and reproductive health; water & sanitation; and global adolescent health.

I enjoy sports, nature walks, writing/blogging, and charity drives.


  • Kakooza-Mwesige A, Ndyomugyenyi D, Pariyo G, Peterson SS, Waiswa PM, Galiwango E, Chengo E, Odhiambo R, Ssewanyana D, Bottomley C, Ngugi AK. Adverse perinatal events, treatment gap and positive family history linked to the high burden of active convulsive epilepsy in Uganda: a population-based study. Epilepsia Open. 2017. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/epi4.12048/full
  • Abubakar, A., Ssewanyana, D., de Vries, P. J., & Newton, C. R. (2016). Autism spectrum disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. The Lancet Psychiatry, 3(9), 800-802.
  • Abubakar, A., Ssewanyana, D., & Newton, C. R. (2016). A Systematic Review of Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa. Behavioural Neurology, 2016, 3501910.
  • Ssewanyana D, Sebena R, Petkeviciene J, Lukacs A, Miovsky M, Stock C. Condom use in the context of romantic relationships: A study among university students from 12 universities in four Central and Eastern European countries. The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care. 2015;20(5):350-60.
  • Derrick S, Clark N. Need for needle and syringe programmes in Africa. African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies. 2014;12(2).
  • Ssewanyana D, Stock C. Sexual health among European University students: The SLiCE study. Health Promotion Research News. April 2014. Issue 12 (pg 14-18)