Garazi Zulaika

Senior Research Associate

Garazi Zulaika is a public health epidemiologist and researcher who joined LSTM in January 2016. First working both as a Technical Officer on the Cups or Cash for Girls Trial and a full-time doctoral candidate, she provided technical and logistical support and helped implement the longitudinal randomised-controlled trial which looked at whether cash transfers or menstrual cup solutions could improve the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and schooling outcomes in a cohort of 4000+ adolescent schoolgirls (JGHT, PI: Phillips-Howard). During this time, she also researched how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted adolescent pregnancy and schooling amongst these girls whose schooling was interrupted by the pandemic. Garazi completed her doctorate on adolescent sexual and reproductive health in 2022.

Garazi lives and works full-time in Kisumu, Kenya, now as a postdoctoral research fellow. She works on the longitudinal follow-up of the CCG Trial, looking at girls' longer term wellbeing and life chances as they transition into adulthood. She also leads field research on a nested CACHe sub-study investigating how the vaginal microbiome of girls is impacted by sexual debut and by different menstrual products (NIH, PI: Mehta), and on a project investigating the mental health and wellbeing outcomes of girls who are out-of-school (MRC, PI: Phillips-Howard).

Throughout her time at LSTM Garazi has helped conduct numerous systematic reviews and has supervised related dissertation projects conducted by LSTM masters students. In addition to working on the sexual and reproductive health of young women and girls, Garazi has collaborated with LVCT Kenya on designing research studies documenting intimate partner violence; and has also focused attention on menstrual health research, first working on a menstrual health study funded through UNICEF-India exploring the menstrual needs of Indian schoolgirls and later supporting Grand Challenges Canada Innovators by helping develop menstrual health measurement frameworks. She continues to work on collaborative teams promoting menstrual health research priorities.

Previously in her career Garazi worked in Tete Province, Mozambique on child malnutrition and preventable blindness with Helen Keller International and later ran projects on the built environment and health in Rio das Pedras, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University. Garazi studied Global Health and Biotechnology at Georgetown University and later obtained an MPH in Epidemiology and Global Health from Columbia University, New York.

Garazi is fluent in her native Basque, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.


Co-investigator: Measuring the medium-term impact of school-based interventions as girls transition into adulthood Medical Research Council.

Co-investigator: Menstrual Health and Hygiene Research Priorities, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.

Co-investigator: Menstrual and health solutions for out-of-school adolescent girls Medical Research Council.

Selected publications

  • Zulaika, Garazi, Bulbarelli, Miriam, Nyothach, Elizabeth, van Eijk, Anna, Mason, Linda, Fwaya, Eunice, Obor, David, Kwaro, Daniel, Wang, Duolao, Mehta, Supriya D, & Phillips-Howard, Penelope A. (2022). Impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on adolescent pregnancy and school dropout among secondary schoolgirls in Kenya. BMJ global health, 7(1), e007666.

    Zulaika, Garazi, Elizabeth, Nyothach, vanEijk, Anna, Obor, David, Mason, Linda, Wang, Duolao, Chen, Tao, Kerubo, Emily, Opollo, Valarie, Ngere, Issac, Owino, Samuel, Omondi, Oyaro, Boaz, terKuile, Feiko and Kwaro, Daniel (2021) 'Factors associated with the prevalence of HIV, HSV-2, pregnancy, and reported sexual activity among adolescent girls in rural western Kenya: A cross-sectional analysis of baseline data in a cluster randomized controlled trial'. PLoS Medicine, Vol 18, Issue 9, e1003756.

    Metha, Supriya D, Zulaika, Garazi, Otieno, Fredrick O, Nyothach, Elizabeth, Agingu, Walter, Bhaumik, Runa, Green, Stefan J, vanEijk, Anna, Kwaro, Daniel and Phillips-Howard, Penelope (2021) 'High Prevalence of Lactobacillus crispatus Dominated Vaginal Microbiome Among Kenyan Secondary School Girls: Negative Effects of Poor Quality Menstrual Hygiene Management and Sexual Activity'. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, Vol 11, Issue 716537.

    vanEijk, Anna, Zulaika, Garazi, Lechner, Madeline, Mason, Linda, Sivakami, Muthusamy, Nyothach, Elizabeth, Unger, Holger, Laserson, Kayla and Phillips-Howard, Penelope (2019) 'Menstrual cup use, leakage, acceptability, safety, and availability: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Lancet Public Health, Vol 4, Issue 8, e376-e393.

    Zulaika, Garazi, Kwaro, Daniel, Nyothach, Elizabeth, Wang, Duolao, Zielinski-Gutierrez, Emily, Mason, Linda, Eleveld, Alie, Chen, Tao, Kerubo, Emily, vanEijk, Anna, Pace, Cheryl, Obor, David, Juma, Jane, Oyaro, Boaz, Niessen, Louis, Bigogo, Godfrey, Ngere, Isaac, Henry, Carl, Majiwa, Maxwell, Onyango, Clayton O, terKuile, Feiko and Phillips-Howard, Penelope (2019) 'Menstrual cups and cash transfer to reduce sexual and reproductive harm and school dropout in adolescent schoolgirls: study protocol of a cluster-randomised controlled trial in western Kenya'. BMC Public Health, Vol 19, Issue 1, e1317.

    Phillips-Howard, Penelope, Caruso, Bethany, Torondel, Belen, Zulaika, Garazi, Sahin, Murat, & Sommer, Marni (2016). Menstrual hygiene management among adolescent schoolgirls in low-and middle-income countries: research priorities. Global health action, 9(1), 33032.

    Sommer, Marni, Zulaika, Garazi, Schmitt, Margaret L, Khandaki, Neudorf, Gellis, Leeat and Phillips-Howard, Penelope (2020) 'Improving the impact of menstrual health innovations in low- and middle-income countries: a theory of change and measurement framework'. Journal of Global Health Reports, Vol 4, Issue e2020007.

    Young, Nicole, Taegtmeyer, Miriam, Zulaika, Garazi, Aol, G., Desai, Meghna, terKuile, Feiko and Langley, Ivor (2019) 'Integrating HIV, syphilis, malaria and anaemia point-of-care testing (POCT) for antenatal care at dispensaries in western Kenya: discrete-event simulation modelling of operational impact'. BMC Public Health, Vol 19, Issue 1, e1629.

    Alexander, Kelly, Zulaika, Garazi, Nyothach, Elizabeth, Oduor, Clifford, Mason, Linda, Obor, David, ... & Phillips-Howard, Penelope (2018). Do water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in primary schools consistently support schoolgirls’ menstrual needs? A longitudinal study in rural western Kenya. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(8), 1682.