Thembekile Shato is a member of the first cohort of Researcher Resilience Fellows, a NIMH-funded program designed for researchers of African descent interested in adolescent behavioral health in low resource settings. The Researcher Resilience Training Program (RRT) is a joint program between ICHAD, SMART Africa and the Race and Opportunity Lab, all housed at the Brown School. Thembie is currently a doctoral student at Saint Louis University, and under the RRT program, receives mentorship from Dr. Fred Ssewamala. In this capacity she is working with the team on a paper focused on examining the mediational role of family communication on the effect of a family-based economic empowerment intervention (Suubi-Adherence) on HIV-related prevention attitudes and knowledge among adolescents living with HIV in Uganda.
This past spring Thembie received the 2019 Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial Grant, for a research project determining the influence of individual and community-level factors on health-seeking behaviors and access to preventive women’s reproductive health care services in Sub-Saharan Africa. She will be using the grant to enhance the lives of women in their reproductive ages and contributing to further steps that need to be taken by researchers to address reproductive health challenges among Sub-Saharan women.
Thembie also co-authored a paper on intimate partner violence (IPV), pregnancy intention and contraceptive use in Honduras, which was published this August in the Journal Contraception. Findings indicated that IPV was associated with both unwanted pregnancy and increased contraceptive use among married Honduran women.
This October, Thembie presented at the Women in Statistics and Data Science conference on an ongoing co-authored study focused on examining the health care access and sociodemographic determinants of cervical cancer screening in Zimbabwe. The presentation abstract can be found here.
With a group of students at Saint Louis University (SLU), Thembe also participated in an Amazon Alexa SLU Innovation Technology Challenge where they built an Alexa skill with the goal of improving awareness of and linkage to mental health information and services for students. Congratulations Thembe on these wonderful accomplishments!