Flavia Namuwonge

Flavia Namuwonge

Brown School: Social Work (PhD)

Flavia is a PhD student in social work at WashU’s Brown School. Her research interests center around working with children, adolescents and families impacted by poverty, HIV/AIDS and poor mental health. Before joining the PhD program, Flavia worked as the Head of Operations and Research Coordinator at Washington University’s International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD) field offices in Uganda for eight years. In this capacity, Flavia implemented multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded studies in Uganda—funded to ICHAD. These studies, include Suubi+Adherence (R01HD074949)—focused on treatment and adherence for children living with HIV/AIDS; Suubi4Her (R01MH113486)—focused on keeping young girls from poor families who live in low-resourced communities in school by addressing their economic needs and offering them psychosocial and emotional support; and Bridges to the Future (R01HD070727-01), a family-based economic empowerment intervention focused on in-school orphaned and vulnerable children. A widely published young scholar with publications in well-respected peer review journals, including The Lancet, Journal of adolescent health, and PLos One, Flavia holds a BA in Social Sciences from Makerere University in Uganda; and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Uganda Martyrs University. Her hobbies are traveling and watching movies.

Scholar Highlight

McDonnell Scholars Author 7 Papers in High-Impact Peer Reviewed Journals

Four McDonnell Scholars, affiliated with the International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD) at the Brown School, published seven articles in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. Josephine NabayindaJennifer Nattabi, and Flavia Namuwonge, Social Work PhD students, and Dr. Samuel Kizito, currently enrolled in the Public Health Sciences PhD program, recently published their research in top-tier public health peer review journals including AIDS and Behavior, Journal of International AIDS Society, and PLoS One. These McDonnell Scholars are all graduates of McDonnell Academy partner institution Makerere University.

Their articles reported findings from National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded studies housed at ICHAD, including Suubi+Adherence, and Kyaterekera Projects. These multi-year randomized trials seek to address poverty and improve public health outcomes for children, youth, and families in communities heavily affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa through economic empowerment interventions and behavioral health promotion. The articles highlighted how poverty-related factors influence behaviors such as treatment adherence and condom use among vulnerable populations. Findings indicated that economic strengthening interventions improve outcomes such as academic achievement in these populations.

Scholars worked closely with McDonnell Academy Ambassador to Makerere University, Dr. Fred Ssewamala, and Brown School faculty members, including Ozge Sensoy Bahar, Proscovia Nabunya, Mary McKay, and other ICHAD faculty affiliates.

  1. Kizito S, Namuwonge F, Brathwaite R, Neilands TB, Nabunya P, Sensoy Bahar O, Damulira C, Mwebembezi A, Mellins C, McKay MM, Ssewamala FM. Monitoring Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy among Adolescents in Southern Uganda: Comparing Wisepill to Self-Report in predicting viral suppression. Journal of International AIDS Society. 2022 Sept 02. https://doi.org/10.1002/jia2.25990
  2. Kizito S, Nabayinda J, Kiyingi J, Neilands TB, Namuwonge F, Namatovu P, Nabunya P, Sensoy Bahar O, Ssentumbwe VMagorokosho N, Ssewamala FM. The Impact of an Economic Strengthening Intervention on Academic Achievement Among Adolescents Living with HIV: Findings from the Suubi+Adherence Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial in Uganda (2012-2018). AIDS and Behavior. 2022 Sep 01. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-022-03838-8
  3. Nabayinda JKizito S, Witte S, Nabunya P, Kiyingi J, Namuwonge F, Nsubuga ESensoy Bahar O, Jennings Mayo-Wilson L, Yang LS, Nattabi J, Magorokosho N, Ssewamala FM. Factors associated with consistent condom use among female sex workers. Lessons from Kyaterekera study in Southern Uganda. AIDS and Behavior. 2022 Sep 16. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10461-022-03833-z
  4. Kiyingi JNabunya P, Sensoy Bahar O, Jennings Mayo-Wilson L, Tozan Y, Nabayinda J, Namuwonge F, Nsubuga E, Kizito S, Nattabi J, Nakabuye F, Kagayi J, Mwebembezi A, Witte SS, Ssewamala FM. (in-press). Prevalence and Predictors of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections among Vulnerable Women Engaged in Sex Work: Findings from the Kyaterekera Project in Southern Uganda. Plos One. 
  5. Kiyingi J, Nabunya P, Kizito S, Nabayinda J, Nsubuga ESensoy Bahar O, Jennings Mayo-Wilson L, Tozan Y, Namuwonge F, Nattabi J, Magorokosho N, Witte SS, Ssewamala FM. Self-reported adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among women engaged in commercial sex work in Southern Uganda. AIDS and Behavior. 2022 Sept 06. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-022-03837-9
  6. Byansi W, Namatovu P, Sensoy Bahar O, Kiyingi J, Nabayinda J, Mwebembezi A, Kivumbi A, Damulira C, Nattabi J, Namuwonge F, McKay MM, Hoagwood K, Ssewamala FM Family-level correlates of disruptive behavior challenges among children in Southwestern Uganda. Children and Youth Services Review. 2022 Sep 1; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6446353/.

Nabunya P, Byansi W, Muwanga J, Sensoy Bahar O, Namuwonge F, Ssentumbwe V, Ssewamala FM. Family Factors and Gender Norms as Protective Factors against Sexual Risk-taking Behaviors among Adolescent Girls in Southern Uganda. Global Social Welfare. 2022 Aug 11. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40609-022-00237-8