Benard is pursuing his doctoral program in Health Policy at McMaster University, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Wilson. His current research interests include health system strengthening and health policy analyses that focus on improving public health outcomes. He is keen on combining research that evaluates pharmaceutical policy analyses, health technology assessment, and access to health services.
Benard completed his basic medical degree from Dr. MGR Medical University in India, and thereafter a MSc. Public Health from the University of South Wales in United Kingdom and later an International Course in Health Development/Master of Public Health with a specialization in Tropical Medicine and HIV/AIDS at the Free University and KIT from the Netherlands. He has also completed graduate certificate courses in pharmaceutical policy analysis, pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, and pharmacoeconomics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
Some of his current research includes a project “Comparing mHealth approaches to optimize ART as prevention in key populations.” This study utilizes a randomized trial design to evaluate different health approaches to support treatment as prevention in female sex workers and people who inject drugs. Another research project on “Integrating FP & HIV services to optimize treatment as prevention (Option FP+)” utilizes an implementation science framework to improve integration of FP and HIV services to optimize the impact of antiretroviral therapy and contraception for women’s health and HIV prevention. Another study on “Missed opportunities in Maternal and infant health’’ aims at improving maternal and new born health by targeting the postpartum period, adopting context specific interventions to strengthen healthcare care service delivery at both facility and community level in four sub-Saharan countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Kenya (Kwale District) among others. Before starting his PhD, Benard served in various senior positions at the Ministry of Health in Kenya, including the directorate of Policy, Research and Development.
He is the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship (QES) in Strengthening Health Systems, which will support his PhD research work and program. He intends to establish new networks with QEScholars both locally and at the global platforms while sharing the skills gained through this program.