V Kovačič BSc, MSc, MPhil,

Appointment: Research Assistant/PhD student, Medical Anthropologist working on a field based tsetse control project, West Nile Uganda, LSTM 

Areas of interest: Community-based approaches in delivery of health care and disease control.Community empowerment. Communication between different stakeholders involved in delivery and consumption of health services. Operational research. 

Background: Before completing an MSc in Vector Control at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Vanja Kovačič gained a first degree in Biology at the University of Ljubljana. She continued her professional training at the University of Oxford where she obtained an MPhil in Medical Anthropology. Vanja is currently pursuing a PhD in International Health at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and working as Research Assistant within the Vector Biology Department.

Since the start of her professional carrier Vanja has been involved in numerous overseas research projects in developing countries concerned with conservation in Colombia and Guatemala, leishmaniasis control in Brazil and tsetse control in Tanzania. In the past six years, her work has focused on community viewpoints. This work has included studies of the health-seeking behavior of sleeping sickness patients in Uganda and, while working for Médecins Sans Frontières, access to health for HIV/AIDS patients in Kenya. She is currently conducting research on the role of communities, especially women, in tsetse control and their impact on sustainability and cost-effectiveness.