Dr Edina Amponsah-Dacosta is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Vaccines for Africa Initiative (VACFA) based at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She is a trained Medical Virologist, Vaccinologist and Health Systems researcher. Edina obtained her PhD in Medical Virology from the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in 2017. Her postgraduate research was in the field of viral hepatitis, with a particular focus on the impact of universal hepatitis B vaccination in South Africa, and the influence of HBV genetic variants on the disease course. After her PhD, Edina completed a Masters in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Cape Town in 2019, specializing in Health Policy and Systems. Her research focus in this area is on the interaction between national immunization programs and the broader health systems in which they are embedded.
In 2018, Edina joined VACFA as an avenue to apply her strong interdisciplinary background in pursuing her research goal of expanding the reach of lifesaving vaccines and reducing the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases across the African region. She is currently project managing a phase IV clinical trial exploring alternative, optimal vaccination strategies against pertussis among adolescents in South Africa. She is also leading a research project assessing progress towards elimination of viral hepatitis in sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on HIV-exposed uninfected children. Furthermore, she is interested in scaling-up health systems capacity to support national immunization programmes like HPV vaccination programmes and maternal immunization programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. During her tenure as a fellow at VACFA, Edina is also involved in conducting systematic reviews, co-supervising postgraduate students and co-organizing the annual African Vaccinology Course hosted by VACFA.