GLOBVAC Research Presenters

Two affiliated University of Oslo researchers will be presenting during the upcoming GLOBVAC 2020 webinar series.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of global health and as a result, the GLOBVAC organizing committee has announced 4 webinars part of the 2020 GLOBVAC webinar series.

  • Webinar 1: 8th of September – Theme: Covid-19 aspects and healthcare systems
  • Webinar 2: 13th of October – Theme: Children, health and nutrition
  • Webinar 3: 10th of November – Theme: Digital Health
  • Webinar 4: 8th of December – Theme: Mental health in crisis, vaccine and point of care support

webinar programs + registration

University of Oslo Presenters

October 13th marks the second webinar part of the 2020 GLOBVAC webinar series including two presenters from the University of Oslo - Montasir Ahmed, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo (UiO) and Misra Abdulahi, Jimma University and UiO.


Image may contain: Jacket, Outerwear, Glasses, Sleeve.
Photo: Montasir Ahmed

Montasir Ahmed is a research assistant performing a cost-effectiveness analysis of nutrition-related education intervention to improve cognitive development among impoverished small children in rural Uganda at the Institute of Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, UiO. Last summer he was also awarded the UiO: life science summer project to identify the role of older siblings in early language development in Norway. Montasir holds MPhil in Economics and MPhil in Health Economics, Policy and Management degree from the University of Oslo. 

Montasir Ahmed will present his research titled, “A cost-effectiveness analysis of the nutrition-related education intervention to improve cognitive development among impoverished small children in rural Uganda.” This project is an add-on study part of the larger study, The Child Nutrition and Development Study (CHNUDEV) partly funded by the Centre for Global Health’s RELIGHT program.

Inadequate nutrition intake in early childhood can lead to long-term deficits in cognitive development. The CHNUDEV project found that nutrition-related education intervention significantly improved cognitive development among small children in rural Uganda. However, cost and cost-effectiveness analysis had not been performed for CHNUDEV intervention. This add-on study, Montasir aimed to see whether the educational intervention is cost-effective compared with the control group considering both cost and health outcome. Therefore, the intervention can be implemented on a large-scale in Uganda or similar countries. 

In order to conduct this study, health outcome data was regenerated from the previous trial. This study considered a healthcare provider perspective for a two-year time horizon. For the future large-scale implementation of this intervention, control group considered as a do-nothing strategy. A standard cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted to assess an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). In conclusion, considering a small cost of the ICER, the education intervention can be considered cost-effective compared with the do-nothing strategy. The outcome, including the cost analysis, health outcome, cost-effectiveness, and sensitivity analysis, can be a useful tool to inform the policymaker in the resource’s allocation process in Uganda or similar countries. 

Misra Abdulahi has received both her BSc and MPH degrees from Jimma University in 2006 and 2009, respectively. She has been working at Jimma University since 2006 and was Head of the Department of Population and Family Health for three and half years. She has been awarded funding for several large research projects of the University as a principal investigator and co-investigator while data from these projects have been used by several students for their master thesis. She is the author or co-author of more than 20 papers in peer reviewed journals. Her research interest includes maternal health, maternal health services, gender-based violence and child health particularly on breastfeeding. Misra is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oslo (UiO), under the supervision of Professor Jeanette H. Magnus focusing on breastfeeding.

Image may contain: Room, Event, Community, Class, Classroom.
Breastfeeding training, Photo by: Roza Mohammed

Misra will present her research titled, “Breastfeeding education and support to improve early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding practices and infant growth: a cluster randomized controlled trial from a rural Ethiopian setting” in the upcoming GLOBVAC webinar. This project is part of UiO’s Strategic And Collaborative Capacity Development in Ethiopia and Africa (SACCADE). SACCADE is building capacity in research and research education in public health, health sciences and primary health care systems in Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular. The aim of this trial was to evaluate the efficacy of a breastfeeding education and support intervention (BFESI) on early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding practices, and infant growth. Women in the intervention group received peer-led breastfeeding education and support by trained local Women’s Development Army (WDA) leaders, while the control group received the routine care. The intervention was provided starting from third trimester of pregnancy until five months postpartum.

The results of the trial found that compared to the control, BFESI significantly increased prevalence of early initiation of breastfeeding by 25.9% and exclusive breastfeeding by 14.6%. Similarly, the intervention resulted in a significantly higher maternal breastfeeding attitude and a trend towards higher maternal knowledge. However, the research group did not find significant intervention effect on infant growth or morbidity outcomes except that the intervention group had a significantly higher mid-upper arm circumference and a lower prevalence of respiratory infection over the past two weeks. In conclusion, in Ethiopia, training local WDA leaders to provide peer-led breastfeeding education and support substantially improves EI and EBF practices and maternal attitude towards breastfeeding affirming the feasibility of integrating the described intervention into the existing primary health care system.

  • Link to published protocol:  

  • Link to published article: 


Tune in for tomorrow’s GLOBVAC webinar to listen to these two UiO affiliated researchers present their projects!

By Gabriella Rodriguez
Published Oct. 12, 2020 10:58 AM - Last modified May 10, 2021 1:29 PM