Opeyemi Rebecca Akinajo

Opeyemi Rebecca Akinajo

Phd Student
Visiting address: Tomtebodavägen 18A, 17177 Stockholm
Postal address: K9 Global folkhälsa, K9 GPH Hanson, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am pursuing my doctoral degree in the Department of Global Public Health at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden. My main supervisor is Associate Prof. Kristi Sidney Annerstedt. I also have the guidance of Prof Bosede Afolabi, Prof Lenka Benova, and Associate Prof. Aduragbemi Banke-Thomas as co-supervisors.


  • My research interest is focused on understanding the implementation factors that influence the use of IV iron for treating iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy in Nigeria. This condition is a prevalent cause of anaemia in pregnancy and is responsible for many health issues for both the mother and fetus if left untreated, including fetomaternal morbidities and mortalities. To curb the high prevalent of this condition in pregnancy, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends high-dose oral iron supplementation, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, pregnant women often experience suboptimal adherence due to significant gastrointestinal adverse effects, making the condition more prevalent.

    To overcome this challenge, intravenous (IV) iron formulations can be used as an alternative approach for pregnant women with moderate or severe iron deficiency, as it has been shown to be highly effective in rapidly correcting iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy. However, the uptake of this intervention is poor in LMICs due to various challenges. To increase its uptake, it is necessary to identify the barriers and facilitators to the uptake of IV iron, not only by pregnant women but also by their healthcare providers, family support, and health system decision-makers.

    To gain a better understanding of the intervention's acceptability, suitability for everyday use, and the impact of adhering to standardized protocols when administering this intervention by healthcare workers, it is crucial to identify the factors involved. Additionally, it is important to determine the cost-effectiveness of this intervention in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Therefore, my focus will be on achieving these four objectives.

    The study is being conducted in Nigeria, West Africa, and is part of an open-label Intravenous (IV) versus Oral Iron for Iron Deficiency Anaemia in Pregnant Nigerian Women (IVON) trial. This research is being carried out in ten health facilities across two of the most populous states in Nigeria, namely Kano (northwest region of the country) and Lagos (southwest region), at three different levels of the health system, including primary health centres, secondary health centres, and tertiary hospitals.


  • I am currently engaged in training medical students and resident doctors in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Nigeria as part of my official duties. In addition, I am planning to take on the responsibility of training Masters students at Karolinska Institutet in the near future, as part of my doctoral training obligation.


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