Man Charurat, MHS, Ph.DPrincipal Investigator

Man Charurat received his Masters of Health Science in Infectious Disease Epidemiology and PhD in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is an international leader in the field of epidemiological studies of HIV affected and infected populations.
Dr. Charurat has nearly 20 years of experience in public health epidemiology program implementation in Nigeria, including overseeing large statistical analysis and data coordination activities, Fogarty training programs, HIV treatment and prevention service research, HIV surveillance of acute HIV infection, and epidemiological studies of high-risk populations in Nigeria. Currently, he is PI on three NIH RO1 grants with cohorts in Nigeria: MARGIN (R01DE025174) a study characterizing microbiome among HIV-Exposed but Uninfected infants in Nigeria; Building TRUST (R01AI120913) a study engaging marginalized MSM in Nigeria into HIV care and treatment and integrating phylodynamic modeling to pattern incidence and prevalence over time; and ADAPT (1R01HD089866) a randomized clinical trial targeting gaps in care during the transition of adolescents to adult HIV care. Additionally, Dr. Charurat leads two CDC-funded PEPFAR Strategic Information projects: SHIELD (1NU2GGH001976) and NAHSS ((3U2GGH000656), and he is PI of the Fogarty Epi Nigeria (D43TW010051) grant for HIV research training in Nigeria. Dr. Charurat’s focused research and health systems strengthening work in Nigeria has helped lay the foundation for epidemic control.


Bola Ibrahim Gobir, MD, MPH: Project Director

Bola Ibrahim Gobir is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland and the Interim Country Director for UMB’s Nigerian program.
Over the last 17 years, he has supported policy development program implementation and research grants in many countries across Africa and the United States. He has served as PI and key personnel on grants from NIH, multiple CDC PEPFAR funded awards such as the HIV/AIDS care and treatment awards on projects like CRS AIDSRelief, CHAN-CHARIS and CCCRN SEEDS; Pre-service training and in service awards on projects like PMET I & II, WHO STOP TB Partnership TB REACH projects (Wave 1 and 4), CHAI CRAG project and Abbot project. His career has focused on infectious diseases particularly HIV and Tuberculosis for which he has led programs involving training, care and treatment and research in more than 16 states in Nigeria.
He is the Interim Country Director for the University of Maryland program in Nigeria where he leads several public health initiatives. He is the Co PI on a CDC award to strengthen surveillance systems, working with the Nigerian Center for Disease Control. This has resulted in improved real-time reporting of surveillance activities across 774 LGA in 36 states plus FCT and enhanced laboratory reporting from the NCDC Laboratories. This effort has resulted in another award from CDC to improve the quality of HIV service delivery through instituted M&E processes working through all the CDC Implementing Partners in Nigeria. In addition, he is also the project director in a newly funded CDC award to improve the quality of HIV service delivery through instituted M&E processes across all CDC PEPFAR supported implementing partners with 3 core objectives- Support CDC partners to establishment and routinize data quality assessment and improvement system; Outcome evaluation of community ART and Test and Start strategies; Support the Strengthening of the Health Management Information System (HMIS).
He is currently evaluating the effectiveness of m-health and e-health technologies as innovative interventions to strengthen the disease surveillance and notification systems in Nigeria.
His training includes Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Ilorin, MSc Public Health University of London, MA Public Health Lancaster University and ongoing PhD program Public Health.

Mercy Niyang, MPH: Senior Technical Adviser

Piringar Mercy Niyang is a technical advisor at Maryland Global Initiative Cooperation Nigeria. She is the Activity Lead for Data Quality Assessment and Improvement objective of the SHIELD project. She has worked on various CDC and WHO funded grants as the lead for Strategic information. She holds an MPH degree from the University of Liverpool.



 Kristen Stafford, BA, MPH, Ph.D ; Epidemiologist

Kristen Stafford received her BA in psychology from Notre Dame of Maryland University, her MPH in Health Policy and Management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her PhD in Epidemiology from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Stafford has extensive experience working with multi-country HIV treatment programs. Prior to completing her doctoral studies, she served as the Director of Outcomes and Evaluation from 2004 to 2010 at the Institute of Human Virology – University of Maryland School of Medicine for an eight country, 240 clinics, 700,000 patient HIV care and treatment program funded through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.  Her work focuses on the epidemiological evaluation of both patient and program level outcomes of HIV treatment.  Dr. Stafford is particularly interested in implementing advanced epidemiological methods in clinical research and program evaluation, with a focus on translating routine surveillance and programmatic data into evidence-based service delivery. Her current research interests include HIV and aging and HIV-associated non-AIDS conditions.


Aliyu G. Gambo, MBBS, MS, Ph.D: 
Technical Advisor-HIV Treatment Evaluations

Aliyu G. Gambo received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, and Master of Science in Clinical Research and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Maryland and post-doctoral training in Vaccine and Drug Evaluations from the University of Manitoba. Dr. Aliyu is an emerging international leader in the field of epidemiological studies of HIV/AIDS key affected populations and tuberculosis in Nigeria.    He has over a decade of experience in HIV-TB implementation science research and working with Dr. Charurat pioneered the first PEPFAR mobile outreach recruitment platform in 2005 that successfully provided HIV services to key populations in Abuja, Nigeria. His studies on TB occurrence in people living with HIV provided new insight into the prevalence, distribution, and pattern of non-tuberculous mycobacterium among HIV-infected patients in Nigeria. He was the first to describe the impact of seasonal Harmattan dust exposure on the prevalence of TB disease in Nigeria.  Dr. Aliyu will guide and supervise the conduct of the HIV treatment evaluations component of the SHIELD project, and together with the PIs and stakeholders evolve a framework for outcome interpretation, dissemination and translation of new knowledge created to inform decision making on program implementation and service delivery.


Stephen Ohakanu, B.Eng: Technical Advisor, Health Informatics

Stephen Ohakanu studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria in 2006. He proceeded to work as an intern in the Software Development Unit of Quanteq Technology Service: an Information Technology Consulting firm, and later employed as a Software Developer. He rose through the ranks over four years to become Lead Developer of the Unit on. In 2010, he assumed the role of Manager of a new Application Development Unit in Interra Networks primarily responsible for the setup and coordination the unit. Passionate about developing solutions and Information technology, the move to the University of Maryland Baltimore’s (UMB) Program in Nigeria was a natural fit where he is currently the Technical Advisor for Software Development and Health Informatics (SD/HI). Stephen is a Solution Developer with 12 years’ experience in Software Engineering (Analysis, Design, and Development) and has managed over 50 software development and information technology implementation projects. He is well versed in architecting and implementing systems using software development best practices and methodologies and is a big fan of artificial learning and cognitive systems.


Ramat Ibrahim, B Sc, MPH: Public Health Specialist 

Ramat Ibrahim is a Public Health Specialist with the University of Maryland Nigerian Program. She was born in Minna, Niger State in the North Central part of Nigeria.
She holds a Bsc in Microbiology from Kogi University. She further pursued a second degree in Oxford Brookes University, which earned her a master’s in Public health.
In the quest for more knowledge, she completed short courses in adolescent health in low and middle-income countries and Global health and human rights from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Geneva respectively. She joined the Organization in 2016 and has actively been involved in applying interventions that improve the quality of data collected from HIV programs in Nigeria. One key strength she brings to the job on a daily basis is the drive to achieve more than yesterday while planning to improve for tomorrow. She is well skilled in Interpersonal relation, verbal and written communications, problem-solving and good teamwork. On her free time, she likes to relax by the pool with friends and family.


Okere Nwanneka, BPharm, MscIH: Technical Advisor, Clinical Quality Improvement

Okere Nwanneka is Project Manager both for the NigeriaQual-HIV objective of the SHEILD Project and for the NigeriaQual-TB objective of the Global Fund DR/TB Project under the direction of the PI,  Dr. Man Charurat. A seasoned public health professional, her leadership contributed immensely to the development and implementation of the first of its kind National Quality Improvement project in over 200 facilities across Nigeria providing PEPFAR funded HIV/AIDS care and treatment. She received her Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Master of Science in International Health from the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International health, Charite University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany.  Nwanneka has extensive experience in the leadership, management, monitoring, evaluation, capacity building and quality improvement of public health interventions including HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria programs etc. She is familiar working with different stakeholders and funding agencies e.g. USAID, CDC, FMOH, SMOH, IPs etc. Nwanneka is committed to the promotion of continuous quality improvement as a means for achieving a sustainable health system across Nigeria


Ogbonna Charles, B. Eng: Health Informatics Officer

Ogbonna Charles was born in Anambra state, Nigeria. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has been with the UMB team since 2014.



Baffa Sule Ibrahim, MBBS, MPH : Epidimeologist

Baffa received his medical degree (MBBS) from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 2004. In 2010, he joined the residency training program where he trained as a pathologist (Medical Microbiologist) at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano. He later proceeded to the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP) in 2015, and was trained as a Field Epidemiologist with masters in public health (Mph ABU Zaria) from 2015 to March 2017. As a trainee field epidemiologist, Dr. Baffa was involved in several field activities which include, outbreak investigations, surveillance evaluations, and secondary data analysis, and has published more than 15 manuscripts in various peer-reviewed journals. He has also presented papers at both local and international conferences. His current research interests cut across infectious diseases and public health, and he is particularly interested in HIV, Malaria and vaccine preventable diseases. He is a member of the West African College of Physicians (MWACP), American Society of Microbiologist (ASM) and European Society of Clinical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID).


Onyekachi Anukam, BA, MPH: Public Health Specialist

Kachi joins the SHIELD team with an ardent interest in Health Promotion, and Quality Improvement in Healthcare in Nigeria. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from George Mason University, Virginia and a Master’s degree in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University, New York. Born and raised in Nigeria, Kachi is a firm supporter of participatory public health and in community development programs that benefit the marginalized and underprivileged of society. In her free time, Kachi enjoys singing, traveling, swimming & listening to gospel music. She is fully committed to the SHIELD project and works full-time as a Public Health Specialist in the program.


Emeka Christian Madubuko, B.Eng: Health Informatics Officer

Emeka is a full stack software application developer and software architect. He obtained B.Eng. in Electronic Engineering from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 2011. He obtained a certificate in Project Management from CUBE Projects, UK. In 2013, he joined Appzone, a FINTECH company in Lagos, as a System integration personnel. Shortly after he was appointed the unit head.  When the company restructured in 2015, he was appointed as the group head, technology, Personal banking Cloud division. While in Appzone, he was responsible for a wide range of completed projects with some of the major bank brands in Nigeria. Projects like Instant Card Issuance system (Access Bank, Fidelity, FCMB, Wema, First bank), Credit scoring and issuance portal for FCMB, Automated transaction settlement and reconciliation system for WEMA bank etc. In 2016, he joined the UMB-Nigeria team as a software developer working on the SHIELD project. He is currently pursuing a specialization certification in Big data processing and Machine Learning.


Samuel Adams, B.Sc, MPH: Public Health Specialist

As a public health specialist on the SHIELD project, Samuel provides technical guidance on data quality assessment for all CDC-Nigeria Implementing partners. He oversees the development of the Data Quality Strategy, he provides guidance on the development and modification of guidelines, standards and user guides for Data Quality Assessment processes. Routine Data Quality Assessments by CDC-Nigeria partners are also carried out with his support and he oversees the design and development of Data Quality Assessment tools.


Henriatta Selle Tiri, B.Sc, MBA: Public Health Specialist

Henriatta’s background spans the fields of public health and health systems. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Nigerian Program as a Public health specialist, Henriatta was with the Institute of Human Virology on the AidsRelief project as a Research Coordinator and was later moved to the position of Continuous quality improvement specialist. A graduate of the University of Jos, Nigeria with a degree in Microbiology and an Executive Masters in business management from the Indian Management School and Research Center. Her interests lie in Health research.


Ehoche, Akipu B.Sc: Bio-Statiscian

Akipu received her first degree from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and later proceeded to join the University of Maryland, Nigerian program saddled with the responsibility to support selected hospitals in southeastern Nigeria and provide the best quality data. Passionate about the use of data, she was drafted into the SHIELD team where she is part of the evaluation team analyzing data. In her free time, she loves to travel and catch up on all that’s happening in the world.


Utin, E. Archibong, BA: Coordinations and Communications Officer

Bringing over 8 (eight) years in business development, Organization Development, and brand communications to MGIC Nigeria, Archibong is a staunch believer in the saying “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” As the Coordinator and Communications Officer, his line of duty involves providing invaluable IT and Communications support. A Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre Arts from the University of Abuja, FCT, Nigeria, plus practical hands-on experience and exposure in the field of Information Technology and his inconsumable crave for challenges in this field puts him in good stead to occupy this office. Archibong is also a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. A Graphics Designer, an organizational development specialist, a Digital Marketer, a Communications pro and a User Experience Designer, he is also a Social Media Evangelist who strongly advocates the use of social media to build great businesses. He also possesses great strengths in the following key skills: Interpersonal, verbal and written communications, problem-solving, organizational skills, multi-media software and design software. He enjoys adding special value by masterminding new forays into the improvement of communications.