LSTM’s Senior Lecturer in Global Health and Social science, Dr. Webster Mavhu has been awarded a five-year NIHR-Wellcome Trust Global Health Partnership International Intermediate Fellowship.
During this Fellowship, Dr. Mavhu will co-develop and evaluate an intervention for 10-14 year-olds that addresses the causes of gender inequality in adolescent sexual health through approaches that challenge norms that privilege boys/men over girls/women. There is an urgent need for programmes to promote positive attitudes and behaviours related to ‘manhood’ among boys/men in Africa, where harmful beliefs and practices have wide-ranging societal impact. Working with younger adolescents is likely to effect positive change.
The intervention will be implemented by the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research (CeSHHAR) Zimbabwe where Dr. Mavhu is the Deputy Director and Masculinities Research lead.
The ultimate goal is to develop an effective scalable model. The project will include both girls and boys but will have a focus on boys. He will:
i) conduct research to identify the issues to be targeted
ii) work with younger adolescents to co-develop and pilot the gender-transformative intervention iii) develop tools to measure norms related to masculinity iv) test the gender-transformative intervention to determine if it is feasible and acceptable.
Dr. Frances Cowan, LSTM Professor Global Health and Dr. Mavhu’s sponsor for this fellowship explains that this research “is timley given that the UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) is about to undertake a research priority setting exercise on masculinities and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)”.
Dr. Mavhu will also work closely LSTM’s Dr. Angela Obasi, Senior Clinical Lecturer, as a collaborator throughout the fellowship.