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Anthony Idowu Ajayi

Summary Profile
Dr Anthony Ajayi is a research scientist at the African Population and Health Research Center. He has expertise in implementing multi-country and regional research and policy engagement projects in sexual and reproductive health. Anthony is a co-investigator on a gender transformative intervention aimed at empowering adolescent mothers through education in Malawi and Burkina Faso and another project testing the feasibility and effectiveness of a home and mobile-based counselling intervention to improve parenting adolescents’ contraceptive use and continuation in Kenya. He also serves as a principal investigator on the Challenging the Politics of Social Exclusion (CPSE) project, which aims to support the establishment of a robust evidence base that can strengthen policy engagement and advocacy efforts to advance the domestication and implementation of continental commitments on adolescent sexual and reproductive health at sub-regional and national levels in sub-Saharan Africa. Under the CPSE, Anthony provides technical support for policy engagement and advocacy efforts to improve evidence uptake and policy impact. He has participated in several stakeholder engagement fora in sub-Saharan African countries to shape policies on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, including presenting at a public hearing before Kenya’s Senate committee on health, preparing briefs for Zimbabwe's parliament on child marriage, and presenting the GIMAC’s preconsultation outcome statement on behalf of 234 CSOs from over 45 countries at the African Unions Positive Masculinity Conference attended by five heads of states. In addition, he has supported the capacity strengthening of CSOs, media, religious leaders, researchers, parliamentarians, and policymakers in ministries of health and gender in eastern and southern Africa by delivering training on evidence-informed decision-making, the state of SRH in the region, and evidence synthesis. Anthony represents APHRC in several technical working groups and the global CSE partnership forum. Before joining APHRC, he was a lecturer and research fellow at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa. He is a senior editor at BMC Women’s Health journal and has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles in highly accessed journals and 20 online news articles. Anthony is an advocate of the use of evidence in policymaking, and a course facilitator on EIP. He regularly engages with the media to promote evidence uptake and has appeared on national and international media platforms like Nation TV, Aljazeera, eNCA, Newzroom Afrika, South Africa Broadcasting Corporation news, Powerfm 98.7, and SAfm radio.


  • –present
    Postdoctoral Research Scientist, African Population and Health Research Center
  • 2015–2019
    Lecturer, University of Fort Hare
  • 2017–2019
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Fort Hare


  • 2017 
    University of Fort Hare, Doctor of Philosophy in Social Sciences (Health Sociology)
  • 2012 
    University of Ibadan, Masters of Science (Demography and Population Studies)
  • 2009 
    Ekiti State University , Bachelor of Science (Sociology)


  • 2021
    Factors Associated with Peripartum Virologic Suppression in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: A Retrospective Cross-sectional Analysis, Clinical Infectious Diseases
  • 2021
    Adolescent sexual and reproductive health research in sub-Saharan Africa: a scoping review of substantive focus, research volume, geographic distribution and Africa-led inquiry, BMJ Global Health
  • 2021
    " I was tricked": understanding reasons for unintended pregnancy among sexually active adolescent girls, Reproductive Health
  • 2021
    Research priorities to support evidence-informed policies and advocacy for access to safe abortion care in sub-Saharan Africa, Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters
  • 2020
    Maternal health care services utilisation in the context of ‘Abiye’ (safe motherhood) programme in Ondo State, Nigeria, BMC Public Health
  • 2020
    Inequalities in access to birth by caesarean section in the context of user fee exemption for maternal health services in southwest and north central Nigeria, International Health
  • 2019
    “I am alive; my baby is alive”: Understanding reasons for satisfaction and dissatisfaction with maternal health care services in the context of user fee removal policy in Nigeria, Plos One
  • 2019
    Coverage of HIV testing among pregnant women in Nigeria: progress, challenges and opportunities, Journal of Public Health
  • 2019
    Protective sexual behaviours among young adults in Nigeria: influence of family support and living with both parents, BMC Public Health
  • 2019
    Transactional sex among Nigerian university students: The role of family structure and family support, Plos One
  • 2018
    Use of traditional and modern contraceptives among childbearing women: Findings from a mixed methods study in two southwestern Nigerian states, BMC Public Health
  • 2018
    Concerns about contracting HIV, knowing partners’ HIV sero-status and discussion of HIV/STI with sexual partners as determinants of uptake of HIV testing, Biosocial Science
  • 2017
    Unplanned pregnancy-risks and use of emergency contraception: a survey of two Nigerian Universities, BMC Health Services
  • 2017
    Who benefits from free institutional delivery? evidence from a cross sectional survey of North Central and Southwestern Nigeria, BMC Health Services
  • 2016
    Use of non-emergency contraceptive pills and concoctions as emergency contraception among Nigerian University students: Results of a qualitative study, BMC Public Health

Professional Memberships

  • International AIDS Society
  • South African Sociology Association