Osiro Olivia Awino
University of Nairobi
Institution: University of Nairobi
Area of Research: Development of a prototype for a restorative dental cement in Kenya
I am Dr Olivia Osiro, a dentist, lecturer and researcher who holds a BDS (UoN), MSc (Dent Mater) (Lon), Cert Appl Biostats (UW) and PhD (Biomat. Sci) (UoN). I have just applied for promotion to Senior Lecturer at the School of Dental Sciences, University of Nairobi where I am currently also the Head of Department of Conservative and Prosthetic Dentistry. My research interests are in the field of Dental materials, which are an array of materials used for various restorative procedures during dental treatment. My focus is on filling materials, and my PhD aimed at evaluating local materials such as Portland cements which have found successful alternative applications as dental fillings. I am also interested in public health research in oral health. A special interest area for me is the implication of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the dental amalgam phase down on oral health in low- and middle-income countries where dental amalgam is extensively used. I am presently involved in the supervision of dental postgraduate students investigating certain techniques and procedures to answer research questions intending to improve the quality of oral health services. I also intend to build up on my research on alternative dental filling materials. Further, I have been invited as a technical expert in the team developing the National Oral Health Policy and Strategic Plan. Generally speaking, interest in oral health is low and this has impacted negatively on oral health research regionally. Funding for both oral health services as well as oral health research is rather limited and is one of the challenges in oral health promotion. During my tenure as Head of Department, this is one area I intend to address by providing research leadership in both the Department and the School. The CARTA Fellowship is an excellent research training programme and the skills imparted are exactly what young researchers in Africa need to advance research output. As a CARTA Fellow, I hope to share these insights such that colleagues can benefit as well. Specifically, I would like to enhance research designs and increase publications arising from completed research activities.