Dr. Olipher Makwaga

Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Makwaga is a Senior Research Scientist with 17 years of experience in health research at the Kenya Medical Research Institute. She holds a Ph. D in Molecular Biology from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya. MSc in Clinical Microbiology from Jomo Kenyatta University and BSc from the University of Nairobi. I am

Dr. Makwaga is skilled in writing proposals for implementation;  she has written many proposals out of which several are funded as a Principal- and a Co-applicant. she is also engaged in the dissemination of scientific and health research findings through the development of abstracts for presentations in conferences. She has published several manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Makwaga is involved in capacity building thus training young scientists on health and scientific aspects. She Collaborates, Advocates, and networks with other stakeholders on health matters, thus she is a member of the East African Health Research Commission. She has strong managerial capabilities thus representing the Institute in many secretariat meetings.

Currently, Dr. Makwaga is the Acting Cluster Coordinator of Western Division, representing KEMRI in the nine counties of Kenya on health and Scientific matters. She is also a member of the Bioethics Society of Kenya.

Dr. Makwaga has successfully won four Awards for being the best presenter in health and scientific conferences. In addition, she has expert level skills in Strategic Planning; contributed to the revision of training policy and Research guidelines for KEMRI and also contributed to training policy development.

Dr. Makwaga’s interests include using acquired skills as a scientist to venture into new health scientific ideas and provide practical solutions to identify, prevent and control Infectious and Parasitic Diseases not only limited to molecular biology/medicine, Non-Communicable,
emerging and re-emerging diseases among others through Research, Innovation and capacity building

Academic and Professional Qualifications
  • Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Molecular Biology, MMUST, Kenya. Thesis: Molecular characterization of HIV-1 drug resistance patterns among patients in Busia county, Kenya
  • Master of Science (Clinical Microbiology), JKUAT, Kenya.
    Thesis: HIV status of children below eighteen months of age attending selected health facilities in western Kenya: outcomes from manual and automated PCR testing methods
  • Bachelor of Science, UoN (second upper class honours)
  • Certificate in Professional Profile: Senior Management course at KSG: Distinction
  • Certificate in Community Health at Harvard University
Selected Publications
  1. Olipher Makwaga, David Hughes Mulama, John Muoma, Matilu Mwau. Correlation of HIV-1 drug-resistant mutations and virologic failure. Pan African Medical Journal. 2021;39(180).
    10.11604/pamj.2021.39. 180. 28818, (View Publication)
  2. Maureen Adhiambo, Olipher Makwaga, David Mulama, John Muoma, Lucy Okubi, Tom Mokaya and Matilu Mwau. Distribution of HIV-1 subtype in Busia County, Kenya. Pan Africa medical journal 2021, Google scholar (View Publication)
  3. Olipher Makwaga, Maureen Adhiambo, David Hughes Mulama, John Muoma, Ferdinard Adungo, Humphrey Wanjiku, Asiko Ongaya, Geoffrey Mutisya Maitha, Matilu Mwau. Prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus-1 drug-resistant mutations among adults on first- and second-line antiretroviral therapy in a resource-limited health facility in Busia County, Kenya. Pan Africa medical journal 2020; 37:311 (View Publication)
  4. Adungo, F., Mokaya, T., Makwaga, O. et al. Tsetse distribution, trypanosome infection rates, and small-holder livestock producers’ capacity enhancement for sustainable tsetse and
    trypanosomiasis control in Busia, Kenya. Trop Med Health 48, 62 (2020). (View Publication)
  5. Olipher M, Muyodi J, Muthami A, Malela J, Mokaya T, Matilu M. Antibacterial Spectrum and Susceptibility of Bacterial Pathogens Causing Diarrheal Illnesses: Cross Sectional Study of Patients Visiting Health Facility in Lake Victoria Region – Kenya. E Afr Sci. 2020;1(2):24-38.
    (View Publication)
  6. Olipher Makwaga, Maureen Adhiambo, David Mulama, John Muoma and Matilu Mwau. HIV-1 Drug-Resistant Mutations in Relation to Virological Failure among Adults in Busia County, Kenya. Afri J Health Sci. 2020; 33(4): 55-70, (View Publication)