Elizabeth Opiyo

GoHelP Alumni
Elizabeth Opiyo

Elizabeth completed a Doctor of Philosophy in health geography in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. During her studies, Elizabeth worked on the Global Index of Wellbeing project with a major focus on Kenya. Her thesis focused on exploring health and wellbeing of Kenyans of different ages, genders and from different regions in the country. Elizabeth holds a master’s degree in epidemiology and population health from Maseno University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Kenyatta University, both in Kenya.

Elizabeth has diverse work and research experience in the global south. In relation to academic work, Elizabeth has taught epidemiology and community health related courses in different institutions in Kenya. She has been engaged in different scientific research ranging from randomized community trials, cross-sectional surveys to qualitative and mixed research methodologies where she has gained skills in academic and report writing, protocol development and implementation and ethical approval process in low- and middle-income countries, specifically in Kenya. Currently, Elizabeth is working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) where her research work is on the role of formal and informal social protection systems in boosting food security status of urban households.

Elizabeth’s research interests include population health and well-being in the global south with a focus on economic and living standards issues, livelihoods and food insecurity, gender-based violence, youth development, maternal and child health issues and environmental health issues. As a development worker, Elizabeth has a wealth of knowledge and experience in designing and implementing community projects that target vulnerable groups. In addition, Elizabeth does community service as a hobby and a way of giving back to her community.

Elizabeth Opiyo Onyango's CV (.pdf)


  • Onyango E. O. and Kangmennaang, J. (In progress 2020). Conceptualizing wellbeing in place. In Progress at International Encyclopedia of Human Geography
  • Onyango, E.O. and Elliott, S. J. (Under review). Bleeding bodies, untrustworthy bodies: A social constructionist approach to health and wellbeing of young adults in Kenya. Journal of Youth Studies
  • Kangmennaang, J., Onyango, E.O., Luginaah, I., Elliott, S.J. (2017). The next Sub Saharan African epidemic? A case study of the determinants of cervical cancer knowledge and screening in Kenya. Social Science and Medicine. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.12.013
  • Kujunga, P., Borgonjen-van den Berg, K.J., Superchi, C., Ten Hove, H.J., Onyango, E.O., Andang'o, P., Galetti, V., Zimmerman, M.B., Morettie, D., Brouwer, I.D. (2017). Combining food-based dietary recommendations using Optifood with zinc-fortified water potentially improves nutrient adequacy among 4- to 6-year-old children in Kisumu West district, Kenya. Maternal and Child Nutrition. DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12515
  • Onyango, E.O., George A., Watsierah C.A., Were T., Okumu W., Anyona S.B., Raballah E., Orinda G.O. and Ouma C. (2012). Factors associated with non-adherence to Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) to malaria in a rural population from holoendemic region of western Kenya. BMC Infectious Diseases, 12:143
  • Were, R. A., Kioli, N. F., Onkware, K., Onyango, O. E., Gumo, S and Ouma C. (2013). Factors in the management of feeding in nursery school children as perceived by their mothers in rural Bondo County, Kenya. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 13:47

Selected Presentations

  • Onyango, E.O. & Elliott S.J. (2019). Are we afraid of being alone? The politics of gender-based violence - health and wellbeing of middle-aged Kenyans. Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) Annual Meeting. Winnipeg, MB.
  • Onyango, E.O. & Elliott, S.J. (2018). “Bleeding bodies”, “untrustworthy bodies”? A social constructionists approach to the health and wellbeing of female youths in Kenya. Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) Annual Meeting. Quebec City, QC.
  • Onyango, E.O. & Elliott, S.J. (2017). A regional divide on perception and meaning of health and wellbeing by Kenyans: An ecological perspective. Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) 2017 Annual Meeting. York University, Toronto ON.
  • Onyango, E.O. & Elliott, S.J. (2016). Health-Wellbeing Nexus: An Ecological and Life Course Perspective in Theorization and Conceptualization of Health and Wellbeing. Canadian Association of Geographers of Ontario (CAGONT) Conference, Waterloo, ON.
  • Onyango, E.O. (2012). A study of adherence to Artemisinin-Based Combination Therapy (ACT) for treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Southeast Alego, Karemo Division, Siaya District, Kenya. Annual Scientific and Health (KASH) Conference. KEMRI Headquarters, Nairobi.
  • Onyango, E.O., E Raballah & J. Ogendi (2010). Promoting health through local innovative techniques: A case study of community lead total sanitation in Milimani village in Busia. HADCO conference, NORTH-SOUTH-SOUTH Health Africa Intensive Course, Maseno University.