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Prof. Eilish McAuliffe, Dr. Purity Mwendwa and Dr. Ikenna Ebuenyi contributing to research efforts in Malawi and Northern Kenya

Monday, 21 November, 2022

News Item :Prof. Eilish McAuliffe

Our colleagues have been busy traveling through Malawi and Northern Kenya to further enhance collaborations and research efforts in a diverse field of study.

Dr. Purity Mwendwa has been conducting focus group discussions in Northern Kenya. Dr. Mwendwa, as part of her Government of Ireland Scholarship, is working on male involvement in ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). These discussion groups not only help understand male perspectives but also inform them of the negative effects of this practice on women's health and well-being.

Professor Eilish McAuliffe returns to the Centre for Social Research (CSR) at the University of Malawi where she worked as a Research Fellow in the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1990s. As well as reconnecting with former colleagues, she also held discussions about the development of a partnership between CSR and UCD IRIS Centre focused on the exchange of staff to develop methodological and context expertise and foster the development of joint research programmes.

Professor McAuliffe with a class of undergraduate students at the University of Malawi where she delivered a lecture on Friday.  She also held a group discussion with students on youth mental health in Malawi as part of preparatory work for a proposal to Horizon Europe in which the University of Malawi has agreed to partner. They discussed the many challenges they face, including the limited knowledge of mental health in their parents' generation and the unrealistic expectations on young males in their culture. High unemployment rates are also contributing to anxiety and depression. The views of youth will inform the project design and implementation.

Dr Ikenna Ebuenyi presenting an overview of the APPLICABLE Project at a project closing event in Lilongwe, Malawi this morning. The meeting included the Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Health, Irish Aid (who co-funded the project with the Irish Research Council) and several other officials in the Malawian government. The project, led by Maynooth University in partnership with the Centre for Social Research, Malawi has informed the development of Malawi's new disability policy and has resulted in the government adopting an essential Assistive Technology List as an essential component of the policy, a key outcome of the project. Professor Eilish McAuliffe as an Advisor to the project was also in attendance at the meeting.


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