Dr Helen Nabwera

Senior Clinical Research Associate- Neonatology

Helen is a consultant General Paediatrician with interests in newborn health, nutrition and infectious diseases. She has clinical and research experience from sub-Saharan Africa and the UK.

Prior to taking up her position here at LSTM, Helen worked as a locum general paediatrician at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children. She was awarded a Medical Research Council (MRC) Career Development Fellowship (for a PhD) from 2012-2015, and spent most of that time at MRC, The Gambia’s rural field station in Keneba, managing a rural primary health care facility and undertaking nutrition research using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Helen completed her PhD with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in October 2017. She also worked at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust programme as a child health clinical researcher- with a particular interest in infant nutrition in the context of HIV from 2008-2010.

Helen undertook her undergraduate medical training at the University of Nottingham followed by postgraduate training in Paediatrics in the East and West Midlands deaneries in the UK. She also completed her Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene here at LSTM in 2005.

Research Interests

Helen’s research focuses on newborn health and designing and testing innovative strategies that incorporate infant and early child nutrition, for reducing mortality in the low birth weight infants who are at a particular risk of poor outcomes.

The overarching theme that has come from her work both in Kenya and The Gambia is that maternal socio-economic status and support networks within the family (particularly from the husband) and at a community and national level have a great influence on the nutritional outcomes of their children. This has a lot of implication for advocacy and policy planning in strategies to improve the health and nutritional outcomes of children in low and middle income countries.


Helen is the Director of Studies for the Sexual and Reproductive arm of the Masters in International Public Health. She is also the assistant module convenor and teaches on two CMNH delivered modules: Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Key concepts in maternal and neonatal health. In addition, Helen teaches on the following courses: HIV in resource-limited settings, Current clinical challenges in Tropical Medicine and Child Nutrition.

Memberships and affiliations

Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Member of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Member of the Children’s HIV Association, UK
General Medical Council
Medical Defence Union
Member of the Kenya Paediatric Association

Selected publications

  • Nabwera HM, Moore SE, Mwangome MK, Molyneux SC, Darboe MK, Camara-Trawally N, Sonko B, Darboe A, Singhateh S, Fulford AJ, Prentice AM The influence of maternal psychosocial circumstances and physical environment on the risk of severe wasting in rural Gambian infants: a mixed methods approach. BMC Public Health. 2018 Jan 6;18(1):109.

    Nabwera HM, Bernstein RM, Agbla SC, Moore SE, Darboe MK, Colley M, Jallow AT, Bradbury R, Karaffin J, Fulford AJ, Prentice AM Hormonal Correlates and Predictors of Nutritional Recovery in Malnourished African Children J Trop Pediatr. 2017 Oct 30.

    Nabwera HM, Jepkosgei J, Muraya KW, Hassan AS, Molyneux CS, Ali R, Prentice AM, Berkley JA, Mwangome MK Infant feeding decision making and growth outcomes in a rural HIV clinic in Kenya Int Breastfeed J. 2017 Jul 12;12:31. (Impact factor-2.71)

    Burrell A, Kerac M, Nabwera HM. Monitoring and discharging children being treated for severe acute malnutrition using mid upper arm circumference: secondary data analysis from rural Gambia. Int Breastfeed J. 2017 Jul

    Nabwera HM, Fulford AJ, Moore SE, Prentice AM Growth faltering persists in rural Gambian children despite four decades of interventions. Lancet Glob Health. 2017 Feb;5(2): e208-e216

    Prentice AM, Nabwera H, Unger S, Moore SE. Growth monitoring and the prognosis of mortality in low-income settings. Am J Clin Nutr 2016 Feb 17

    Nabwera HM, Fegan G, Shavadia J, Denje D, Mandaliya K, Bates I, Maitland K, Hassall OW. Paediatric blood transfusion practices at a regional referral hospital in Kenya. Transfusion. 2016 Sep 9.

    Prentice AM, Nabwera H, Kwambana B, Antonio M, Moore SE. Microbes and the malnourished child. Sci Trans Med. 2013; 5:180fs11.