Staff Profile
DR Ireen Namakhoma - Executive Director

She is the Director of REACH Trust. She is a senior social scientist focusing on the development of practical recommendations to promote equity in access to health care for the poor. Her primary interest is in the implementation of qualitative and quantitative research activities to promote equitable access to health services in Malawi.

Ireen has been Principal Investigator on numerous research studies for REACH, including investigations into health seeking behaviour of HIV patients, and equity and access to antiretroviral therapy. Prior to her current role as Director, Ireen served as Research Manager and Senior Researcher for the Trust. She currently manages REACH Trust’s contribution to the Addressing the Balance of the Burden of AIDS project, research programme which aims to lessen people’s vulnerability to HIV being implemented in eight countries across Africa.

Ireen provides technical and strategic leadership to REACH Trust researchers ensures the delivery of quality research outputs and promotes Trust activities nationally, regionally and internationally. Ireen also has wide experience in developing research proposals, designing research projects and conducting evaluations. Ireen has a PhD with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and a Masters Degree in Social Science from the University of Malawi

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Hastings Mayingira Banda - Research Manager

Is a Senior Clinical Researcher with REACH Trust and a member of the Senior Management Team. He has a Masters in Community Health from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and has attended courses in epidemiology, statistics and research methodologies. Hastings leads REACH Trust’s Clinical Research Team, developing the clinical research portfolio for the Trust as well as managing relevant research projects and all clinical staff.

Hastings’ primary research interest is TB, where his experience includes implementing the first phase of a national multi drug resistant TB survey, developing the Linking Civil Society in TB Control Project, and carrying out a functional review of the national TB laboratory.

Hastings acts as an adviser to the World Health Organisation, serving on the technical review committee of the Global Drug Facility and contributing to consultative meetings. He also teaches a TB module to undergraduates and MPH students at Malawi’s College of Medicine. Hastings has extensive consultancy experience, having evaluated numerous projects (primarily TB related) and has clinical experience at community, district and referral facilities. Hastings serves as the Acting Director of REACH Trust in the absence of the current Director.

Hastings is currently studying for a PHD.


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Lifah Sanudi - Senior Social Researcher

Is a Senior Social Researcher for REACH Trust. He has a Masters degree in Sociology from the University of Malawi as well as postgraduate certificates in International Community Health, Participatory Methods and Cultural Epidemiology. He has nine years experience of conducting health related social science research in Malawi.

One of the projects he recently led, Linking Civil Society with TB Care, drew attention from international bodies and the government of Malawi who recognised it as model for community involvement in TB control. In attendance was the UN ambassador on TB issues who is also former president of Portugal His Excellency Sampaio.

Current project experience includes REACH's Triage Plus project, on which Lifah is responsible for community mapping, conducting training in health promotion and identifying the varying needs of different community groups. Also he is leading a project on the prevalence of TB and HIV among people with disabilities and their pathways to seeking health care services.

Lifah also has significant experience in conducting consultancy assignments, particularly programme evaluations, having recently evaluated OSISA’s funding to Dignitas International and the National TB Control Programme’s TB contact tracing
programme in Mzimba.

Lifah is currently studying for a PHD.

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Grace Mbera - Social Science Researcher

She is a Social Science Researcher with REACH Trust. She has a Masters degree in Sociology from Chancellor College, University of Malawi, and over five years experience in conducting health research.

She has led several key studies for REACH Trust, including analysing factors affecting use of HIV counselling and testing services in Malawi, researching challenges faced by health care workers in accessing HIV services, and an assessment on the impact of bicycle ambulances distributed to traditional practitioners. Grace regularly collaborates with the Gender and Health Group at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Grace is currently studying for a PHD

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