Sahai Burrowes, PhD, MALD

Associate Professor, Public Health

Areas of Expertise

Cervical Cancer International Research, Health Policy and Management, Global Health Economics, Global Health Policy


I am a global health policy and health systems researcher with a regional focus on eastern and southern Africa. My research interests are the implementation of policies to improve the quality of stigmatized reproductive health care services; the politics of global health policymaking; and the impact of non-state service providers on state capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.


  • University of California Berkeley: Ph.D. in Health Policy, May 2014
  • The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University: Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, May 1997
  • University of California at Santa Cruz: Bachelor of Arts, Politics, June 1995

Honors and Awards

  • Mentored Research Award, UC Berkeley, 2011-2012 ($14,000)
  • Chancellor’s Fellowship for Graduate Study, UC Berkeley, 2007-2009


Co-Principal Investigator: Co-Principal Investigator: Understanding Barriers to Family Planning in Youth in Nakaseke District; Nakaseke, Uganda, 2021

Co-Principal Investigator: Understanding Barriers to Family Planning in Youth in Nakaseke District; Nakaseke, Uganda, 2019

Co-Principal Investigator: Experience from Western Uganda with Community Health Workers and Performance-Based Incentives, Kasese, Uganda, 2019

Investigator: Connecting Ethiopian Woman to Innovative Patient-Centered Cervical Cancer Care; Gondar, Ethiopia, 2018  

Co-Principal Investigator:  Predictors of midwives’ willingness to provide stigmatized reproductive health services in public health facilities; Nationwide, Ethiopia, 2017

Investigator: A Sweet Deal?: The Diffusion of Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax Policy Across Latin America; Chile and Mexico,  2017

Principal Investigator: A Qualitative Assessment of Cervical Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Services in Debre Markos, Ethiopia; Debre Markos, Ethiopia, 2016

Principal Investigator: Debre Markos University Women-Centered Midwifery Pilot Study, Debre Markos, Ethiopia; 2014

Principal Investigator: Mapping of Health and HIV/AIDS Community-Based Organizations Project; Berkeley, CA, 2014

Recent Publications

Fekadua, A., Berhe A., Belgua, B., Yimera, I., Tesfayea Y., Jane Holcombe, S.J., Burrowes, S.  Professionalism, stigma and willingness to provide patient-centered safe abortion counseling and care:  A mixed-methods study of midwives in Ethiopia’s five most populous regions. Reproductive Health (In Press)

Dessie, G., Burrowes, S., Mulugeta, H. et al. Effect of a self-care educational intervention to improve self-care adherence among patients with chronic heart failure: a clustered randomized controlled trial in Northwest Ethiopia. BMC Cardiovasc Disord 21, 374 (2021).

Kalyesubula, R., Pardo, J.M., Yeh, S., Munana, R., Weswa, I.,  Adducci, J., Nassali, R., Tefferi, M., Mundaka, J.,  Burrowes, S. Youths’ perceptions of community health workers’ delivery of family planning services: a cross-sectional, mixed-methods study in Nakaseke District, Uganda. BMC Public Health 21, 666 (2021).

Fuster M, Burrowes S, Cuadrado C, Velasco Bernal A, Lewis S, McCarthy B, et al. Understanding policy change for obesity prevention: learning from sugar-sweetened beverages taxes in Mexico and Chile. Health Promot Int [

Perry S, Fair C, Burrowes S, Holcombe SJ, Kalyesubula R. Outsiders, Insiders, and Intermediaries: Village Health Teams’ negotiation of roles to provide high quality sexual, reproductive and HIV care in Nakaseke, Uganda. BMC Health Services Research 19 (1), 1-12. 

Dessie G, Amare D, Dagnew AB, Mulugeta H, Kassa DH, Negesse A, Kassa GM, Wagnew F, Islam SM & Burrowes S. Prevalence of goiter among children in Ethiopia and associated factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health 19 (1), 1-13. 

Dessie G, Fasil Wagnew F, Mulugeta H, Amare D,  Jara D, Tesema CL, Negesse A,  Rayasam S, Burrowes S. The effect of disclosure on adherence to antiretroviral therapy among adults living with HIV in Ethiopia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2019; 19(1), 528.

Chukwuocha UM, Iwuoha GN, Nwakwuo GC, Egbe PK, Ezeihekaibe CD, Ekiyor CP, Dozie IN, Burrowes S. Malaria care-seeking behaviour among HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral treatment in South-Eastern Nigeria: A cross-sectional study. PLoS ONE. 2019;14(5):e0213742.

Dessie G, Mulugeta H, Leshargie CT, Wagnew F, Burrowes S. Depression among epileptic patients and its association with drug therapy in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 2019; 14(3): e0202613. 

Negessie A, Jara D, Taddele M, Burrowes S. Determinants of undernutrition among adult patients receiving antiretroviral therapy at Debre Markos referral hospital, Northwest Ethiopia: a case-control study design. BMC Nutrition 2019; 5 (1)

Holcombe SJ, Burrowes S, Hailu D, Scott R, Berhe A. Professional pragmatism and abortion stigma: Assessing the performance of the Stigmatizing Attitudes, Beliefs and Actions Scale (SABAS) among Ethiopian midwives. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 2018; 22:2, 26-39.  

Burrowes S. Katangale or kuba?: development assistance and the experiences and perceptions of local corruption in Malawi. Development Studies Research, 2018; 5:1, 37-49.

Doroudgar S, Chuang HM, Bohnert K, Canedo J, Burrowes S, Perry PJ. Effects of chronic marijuana use on driving performance. Traffic Injury Prevention, 19:7, 680-686, DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2018.1501800

Adamu W, Jara D, Alemayehu M, Burrowes S. Risk factors associated with poor health outcomes for children under the age of 5 with moderate acute malnutrition in rural Fagita Lekoma District, Awi Zone, Amhara, Ethiopia, 2016. BMC Nutr. 2017;3:88.

Burrowes S, Holcombe SJ, Jara D, Carter D, Smith K. Midwives’ and patients’ perspectives on disrespect and abuse during labor and delivery care in Ethiopia: a qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2017;17:263.

Raboteau S, Magan Y, Sisay A, Mahmoud E, Burrowes S. What do healthcare providers know about human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer? a cross-sectional knowledge assessment in Debre Markos, Ethiopia. Annals of Global Health. 2016;82:344. 

Keller AC, Ansell CK, Reingold AL, Bourrier M, Hunter MD, Burrowes S, et al. Improving Pandemic Response: A Sensemaking Perspective on the Spring 2009 H1N1 Pandemic. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy. 2012;3:1–37.

Memberships and Affiliations

AidData Research Consortium (ARC), African Studies Association (ASA), American Public Health Association (APHA)

Teaching Responsibilities

I coordinate the sub-Saharan African MPH field study sites and teach courses in research methods and health policy.