Thesis Title: The Role of Health Advocates in Access to Medicines: A Comparative Study of Essential Medicines Last Mile Issues in Low- and High-Income Settings.
Research Interests: Access to medicines, ethics of conducting research in vulnerable communities, health innovations
Ongolly has a background in Medical Anthropology and lots of interests in Health Innovation, Activism, Behavioural Science, and Implementation Science. He has wide experience of conducting qualitative research in both rural and urban Kenya focusing on sexual and reproductive health. His PhD is funded by the MISFIRES ERC project(https://misfires.ucd.ie/). Prior to joining MISFIRES, he worked at the Kenya Medical Research Institute as a social scientist and a technical advisor for a project implementing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in public HIV clinics in Kenya. He was also involved in studies that focused on innovative HIV prevention technologies such as HIV self-testing kits, adherence monitoring/support devices and mobile apps. He also worked with the University of Nairobi Innovation Fellowship as a mentor in the East African Problem Based Learning Innovation C4D lab where he integrated his knowledge in Medical Anthropology with Design thinking. Prior to starting his PhD in September 2021, he worked as a Research Assistant at UCD Quinn School of Business under the MISFIRES ERC project researching on the rollout of PrEP in Sub-Saharan Africa with interests on mapping out the role of activists among other PrEP actors in influencing the scaleup of PrEP as a HIV prevention intervention. Through this role, he got the inspiration for his PhD research. His research focuses on how health advocates facilitate access to medicines at the last point of delivery. Ongolly is also the current Assistant Secretary of the UCD-PhD Society.