Dr Joseph Okebe

Senior Research Associate in Global Health

Joseph Okebe has a medical degree from the University of Nigeria and completed his clinical specialty training in Paediatrics with the West African College of Physicians. He obtained an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

He joined the UK’s Medical Research Council Unit in The Gambia and worked across a range of studies focused on malaria control interventions. In his 14 years at the MRCG, he moved from a research clinician to leading clinical trials evaluating interventions targeting malaria elimination. He was a co-investigator on trials evaluating efficacy and safety of primaquine for asymptomatic gametocyte carriers and, cluster trials assessing the impact of reactive treatment of asymptomatic populations on residual plasmodium falciparum carriage in The Gambia.

He has acquired extensive experience in supporting guideline reviews on malaria control and working with regional and national health managers.

Joseph joined the LSTM in June 2019 to conduct research evaluating health care delivery strategies for preventing and managing HIV-infection and non-communicable diseases in Africa. I am a co-investigator on a large cluster-randomised trial evaluating a novel approach of integrated clinical management of HIV-infection, diabetes, and hypertension in Tanzania and Uganda. I support research teams who are running the study, monitor data quality and ensure that procedures are standardised across all sites.

I also collaborate on other research studies, including a large Investigational Medicinal Product (IMP) trial on preventing prediabetes in HIV-infected persons in Tanzania.

I contribute to the design of new research studies, writing new grant protocols, data analysis and publication of results.

Research grants:

Horizon 2020. Integrating and decentralising diabetes and hypertension services in Africa (2019 – 2022). £4.0m. Role: Co-ordinate research activities at the sites including oversight for delivering trial procedures and, data management. 

EDCTP. Preventing and delaying the development of diabetes in Africa: a randomised placebo-controlled double-blind phase III trial of metformin in HIV-infected persons with pre-diabetes (2020-2024). £3.5m. Role: Co-investigator.

NIHR. Controlling chronic diseases in Africa: development and evaluation of an integrated community-based management for HIV-infection, diabetes and hypertension in Tanzania and Uganda. The INTE-COMM study (2020-2024). £3.5m. Role: Co-investigator. 

MRC UK. Reactive household-based self-administered treatment against residual malaria transmission: a cluster randomised trial (2015-2019). £1.8 million. Role: Co-investigator/trial manager.


Editor, Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (2010-)

Selected publications

  • Shayo E, Van Hout MC, Birungi J, Garrib A, Kivuyo S, Mfinanga S, Nyrienda MJ, Namakoola I, Okebe J, Ramaiya K, Bachmann MO, Cullen W, Lazarus JV, Gill G, Shiri T, Bukenya D, Snell H, Nanfuka M, Cuevas LE, Shimwela M, Mutungi G, Musinguzi J, Mghamba J, Mugisha K, Jaffar S, Smith PG, Sewankambo NK. Ethical issues in intervention studies on the prevention and management of diabetes and hypertension in sub-Saharan Africa. BMJ Glob Health. 2020 Jul;5(7):e002193. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-002193.

    Stepniewska K, Humphreys GS, Gonçalves BP, Craig E, Gosling R, Guerin PJ, Price RN, Barnes KI, Raman J, Smit MR, D'Alessandro U, Stone WJR, Bjorkman A, Samuels AM, Arroyo-Arroyo MI, Bastiaens GJH, Brown JM, Dicko A, El-Sayed BB, Elzaki SG, Eziefula AC, Kariuki S, Kwambai TK, Maestre AE, Martensson A, Mosha D, Mwaiswelo RO, Ngasala BE, Okebe J, Roh ME, Sawa P, Tiono AB, Chen I, Drakeley CJ, Bousema T. Efficacy of single dose primaquine with artemisinin combination therapy on P. falciparum gametocytes and transmission: A WWARN individual patient meta-analysis. J Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 11:jiaa498. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa498.

    Jaiteh F, Masunaga Y, Okebe J, D'Alessandro U, Balen J, Bradley J, Gryseels C, Ribera JM, Grietens KP. Community perspectives on treating asymptomatic infections for malaria elimination in The Gambia. Malar J. 2019 Feb 18;18(1):39. doi: 10.1186/s12936-019-2672-7.

    Bastiaens GJH, Tiono AB, Okebe J, Pett HE, Coulibaly SA, Gonçalves BP, Affara M, Ouédraogo A, Bougouma EC, Sanou GS, Nébié I, Bradley J, Lanke KHW, Niemi M, Sirima SB, d'Alessandro U, Bousema T, Drakeley C. Safety of single low-dose primaquine in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient falciparum-infected African males: Two open-label, randomized, safety trials. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 11;13(1):e0190272. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190272.

    Okebe J, Bousema T, Affara M, Di Tanna GL, Dabira E, Gaye A, Sanya-Isijola F, Badji H, Correa S, Nwakanma D, Van Geertruyden JP, Drakeley C, D'Alessandro U. The Gametocytocidal Efficacy of Different Single Doses of Primaquine with Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in Asymptomatic Parasite Carriers in The Gambia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. EBioMedicine. 2016 Nov;13:348-355. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.10.032.

    Neuberger A, Okebe J, Yahav D, Paul M. Oral iron supplements for children in malaria-endemic areas. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Feb 27;2(2):CD006589. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006589.pub4.