Ferdinand Moyi Okwaro

Ferdinand Okwaro is a Kenyan born Medical Anthropologist who is currently working on a GLOBVAC funded research project titled "The Practice and ethics of collaboration in transnational medical research in East Africa: an ethnographic approach".

This anthropological project ethnographically studies the work of scientific collaboration around East Africa's two leading research universities, Nairobi and Makerere. Conducted at a time of increasing debate about global health North/South collaboration among scientists, ethicists and funders, and social scientists, the study responds to the need for more empirically grounded social research on the ethical challenges of global health science.

It will hopefully enhance the understanding of international collaborative research work, facilitate more open debate about challenges and solutions, including scientists and other stakeholders in the conversation, and thus further better, more equitable collaborative health research to take on mounting global health challenges.

Before joining the SAI, Ferdinand was a postdoctoral research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he conducted the formative research for this current project. He previously wrote his PhD from the university Heidelberg in Germany and his Master and Bachelor degrees from the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He has also conducted extensive research in the field of ritual healing and alternative medical practices, reproductive health and social marketing.

Research interest:

Tematic: Science, Medicine, medical research, bioethics, ritual healing, Anthropology of health interventions.

Region: Africa: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.


Okwaro, F., Chandler, C.I.R., Hutchinson, E., Nabirye, C., Taaka, L. Kayendeke, M., Naiga, S.and Staedke, G.S. 2015. Challenging logics of complex intervention trials: community perspectives of a health care improvement intervention in rural Uganda. Social science and Medicine 131:10-17

Okwaro, F. and Geissler. P. 2015. In/dependent collaborations: perceptions and experiences of African scientists in transnational HIV research. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, pp 1-20, DO1:10.1111/maq12206

Okwaro F. 2015. Ritual and Social Justice in an African healer’s court. In: The Law of Possession. (eds. Sax William and Basu Helene). Oxford University press, Oxford, pg 162 - 189

Wenzel G and Okwaro F. 2014. Confronting economic inequalities to strengthen global research. Nature: 513 (303) doi: 10.1038 (513303a)

Okwaro. F. 2011. Ritual Healing and Modernity in Western Kenya. Viennese Ethnomedicine Newsletter. 14 (2-3) 5-13.

Okwaro F. 2010. Modernity and Efficacy in Kenyan ritual healing. Journal of Ritual studies 24 (2) 57 -79.

In Preparation: Media representations of transnational scientific collaborations in Kenya. Public understanding of Science.

  • Geissler, Paul Wenzel; Kelly, Ann H.; Gerrets, René; Mangesho, Peter E.; Okwaro, Ferdinand Moyi & Poleykett, Branwyn (2020). Remembering Africanization: two conversations among elderly science workers about the perpetually promissory. Africa.  ISSN 0001-9720.  90(1), s 17- 35 . doi: doi:10.1017/S0001972019000925

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  • Okwaro, Ferdinand Moyi (2019). The making of science and scientists in post-austerity Africa.
  • Okwaro, Ferdinand Moyi & Tette, Edem M. A. (2019). Priorities for infectious disease research in Ghana and Kenya. Show summary
  • Okwaro, Ferdinand Moyi (2018). Collaborations and the question of agenda setting for health research in Africa..
  • Okwaro, Ferdinand Moyi (2018). Scientific lives in the post-austerity South: Scientists biographies in collaborative global health research in Africa.
  • Okwaro, Ferdinand Moyi (2018). 'Scientific lives, ethos and morality in transnational medical research collaborations in Africa'.
  • Okwaro, Ferdinand Moyi (2017). Collaborations, Postcolonial legacies and patterns of scholarly mobilities in East Africa..
  • Okwaro, Ferdinand Moyi (2017). Whose priorities count? Empowering scientific capacities for locally relevant and sustainable solutions..

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Published June 14, 2016 1:01 PM - Last modified Mar. 13, 2018 12:34 PM