Dr Tabitha Mwangi

Senior Lecturer in Public Health

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Allied Health

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Public health

Research Supervision:Yes

Tabitha is an epidemiologist with interest in malaria and other tropical diseases. She is involved with public engagement with science.



After completing her veterinary training at the University of Nairobi, Tabitha was involved in several research studies in neglected tropical zoonotic diseases. Firstly investigating hydatidosis in people living in Dagoretti area of Nairobi for her Msc and secondly, several livestock surveys across Kenya and one human trypanosomiasis outbreak investigation on the Kenya-Uganda border.

Tabitha then spend 10 years conducting malaria research in the Kenya Medical Research Institute, Wellcome Trust Research Program (KEMRI/WTRP) in Kilifi, Kenya. She designed and implemented a long-running longitudinal study which generated data and samples that have contributed to tens of immune-epidemiological research studies and publications.

Between 2008 – 2013, she took a short career break to pursue her writing interests and has been a freelance health writer for the Nation Media Group since 2010 as well as writing and editing her blog, Health Kenya.

Tabitha was senior lecturer in public health at Pwani University, Kenya (2013-2015).

Spoken Languages

English, Kiswahili

Research interests

  • The epidemiology of tropical diseases. Involved in malaria research studies in Kilifi, setting up a longitudinal study and conducting several cross-sectional studies to answer questions on malaria disease definition, distribution, bednet use etc.
  • Promoting health research as a career to school children through exposure to role models. Through a collaboration with the University of Oxford, KEMRI/WTRP and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Tabitha is currently writing a book profiling leading Sub-Saharan African health research scientists. On completion, the book shall be an open resource that shall be used in school engagement with science programs in Kenya and Sub-Sahara Africa.

Areas of research supervision

  • Malaria epidemiology


  • Epidemiology
  • Health promotion
  • Malaria
  • Zoonotic diseases
  • Global Health
  • Sustainability


  • PhD, Malaria epidemiology, Open University, 2004.
  • MSc, Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, University of Nairobi, 1997.
  • Bachelors Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, 1992.

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

International collaboration with the University of Oxford and KEMRI/WTRP, Kilifi, Kenya.

Selected recent publications

Chea, S. K., Mwangi, T. W., Ndirangu, K.K., Abdullahi, O.A., Munywoki, P.K., Abubakar, A., et al, 2018. Prevalence and correlates of home delivery amongst HIV-infected women attending care at a rural public health facility in Coastal Kenya. PLoS ONE, 13(3): e0194028. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194028.

Ndungu, F. M., Marsh, K., Fegan, G., Wambua, J., Nyangweso, G., Ogada, E., Mwangi, T., Nyundo, C., Macharia, A., Uyoga, S., Williams, T. N. and Bejon, P., 2015. Identifying children with excess malaria episodes after adjusting for variation in exposure: identification from a longitudinal study using statistical count models. BMC Medicine, 201513:183 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-015-0422-4.

Atkinson, S. H., Armitage, A. E., Khandwala, S., Mwangi, T. W., Uyoga, S., Bejon, P. A., Williams, T. N., Prentice, A. M. and Drakesmith, H., 2014. Combinatorial effects of malaria season, iron deficiency, and inflammation determine plasma hepcidin concentration in African children. Blood, 123(21): 3221-9.

Fӓrnert, A., Williams, T. N., Mwangi, T. W., Ehlin, A., Fegan, G., Macharia, A., Lowe, B. S., Montfomery, S. M. and Marsh, K., 2009. Transmission-dependent tolerance to multiclonal Plasmodium falciparum infection. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2009(7): 1166-75.

Mwangi, T. W., Fegan, G., Williams, T.N., Kinyanjui, S.M., Snow, R. W. and Marsh, K., 2008. Evidence for over-dispersion in the distribution of clinical malaria episodes in children. PLoS ONE, May 21;3 (5):e2196

Mwangi, T. W., Bethony, J. M. and Brooker, S., 2006. Malaria and helminth interactions in humans: an epidemiological viewpoint. Annals of tropical medicine and parasitology, 100(7), 551-70.

Mwangi, T.W., Ross, A., Snow, R.W. and Marsh, K., 2005. Case Definitions of Clinical Malaria under Different Transmission Conditions in Kilifi District, Kenya. The Journal of infectious diseases [e-journal], 191(11), pp.1931-1939. 10.1086/430006.

Mwangi, T. W., Mohammed, M., Dayo, H., Snow, R. W. and Marsh, K., 2005. Clinical algorithms for malaria diagnosis lack utility among people of different age groups. Tropical medicine & international health: TM & IH, 10(6), 530-6.

Media experience

Tabitha has written a few articles for The conversation. She writes and edits the blog Health Kenya. This blog has won Kenya’s best public health blog BAKE award in 2017 and 2018. On the blog can be found articles Tabitha has written for Kenya’s leading newspapers as a free-lance health journalist with the Nation Media Group since 2010.

Tabitha has participated in radio programs for Cape Talk radio, South Africa and the BBC world service Health Check program.