Dr Margaret Wazakili is the first International Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation Fellow on Public Policy in Malawi and works in the Department of Disability and Elderly Affairs. She obtained her PhD at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa in 2008. Her PhD focused on experiences of disability, sexuality and HIV/AIDS among young people with physical disabilities in a South African setting. Dr Wazakili’s first one-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship was on knowledge and skills that University staff need to combat HIV/AIDS in a work-place. The next three-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship was called the African Policy on Disability and Development, whose aim was to investigate the inclusion of disability in poverty reduction strategies in four African countries, including Malawi and Ethiopia.
Dr Wazakili has published her work in accredited journals and presented at a number of local and international conferences. On two occasions, she won awards at the World Confederation for Physical Therapists in Vancouver, Canada in 2007 and at Stellenbosch University, Medical Campus in 2009 for outstanding presentations. She has worked with Special Olympics Malawi and the University of Cape Town in collaboration with Special Olympics International on ‘young athletes’ and ‘Healthy Communities’ research projects respectively. Dr Wazakili has many research interests, including disability and health, inclusive education and community-based rehabilitation. In 2014, Dr Wazakili attended a leadership course at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government. She is also a co-editor of the Special Issue of Sexuality Research and Social Policy.