UA Prof Gets Fulbright for Research Related to HIV Stigma Among Care Providers in Nigeria

John Ehiri, professor and chair of the Department of Health Promotion Sciences at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grant to Nigeria.

Ehiri will be at the University of Lagos College of Medicine in Nigeria, from January to November 2017, as part of a research project to reduce HIV stigma among health personnel who provide services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV using a cluster-randomized trial at health centers in Lagos.

Nigeria is one of 21 priority countries in Africa that along with India account for 90 percent of pregnant women infected with HIV. It also is one of only four of the 21 priority countries with an HIV testing rate of less than 20 percent among pregnant women, and accounted for 26 percent of all new pediatric infections in the 21 priority countries in 2014.

"The benefits of intervention to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV are well-established," said Ehiri. "It reduces transmission of HIV from mother to child during pregnancy, labor, delivery or breast-feeding from 45 percent to 2 percent."

Ehiri will work to strengthen the UA College of Public Health's global health reach by building research and training collaboration with the University of Lagos College of Medicine.

"I hope that this relationship ultimately will result in exchange of faculty and students and joint research between the University of Lagos and the University of Arizona," he said.

Ehiri's research and teaching focus on social and behavioral aspects of disease prevention, and global maternal, child and adolescent health.

He has been principal investigator of universitywide grants to facilitate global health education and research and has helped establish primary health care programs in less-developed countries. He provides technical assistance on maternal and child health issues to national ministries of health, nongovernmental organizations, the United Nations and bilateral agencies.

With more than 20 years of experience in global health, Ehiri has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, in addition to a major textbook on global maternal and child health, and numerous book chapters.

Ehiri is one of more than 1,200 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research and provide expertise abroad through the Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.