Nursing professor Kafuli Agbemenu receives CTSI funding for family planning intervention for African refugees

Kafuli's headshot.

Published January 26, 2021


Kafuli Agbemenu, PhD, MPH, RN, CTN-A, School of Nursing assistant professor, has received researching funding from UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

The $40,375 award is for her one-year project titled “Development of a Smartphone-Based Family Planning Intervention for African Refugee Women with Low Literacy Levels."

“As a nurse scientist, my research focuses on giving a voice to the reproductive health status of women in vulnerable populations, such as in the Appalachians and African immigrants and refugees,” Agbemenu says. “Specifically, I examine reproductive health education, contraceptive use decision making, HIV stigma reduction and access to reproductive health care services. 

“In the past five years, we have conducted three community-based studies on the reproductive health of African refugee women in Buffalo,” she adds, “and we’ve identified a need for a culturally congruent family planning intervention. Unfortunately, we have found no interventions that meet these criteria, especially for women with low literacy levels, such as those found in our population.”

As such, this study aims to address an important gap in the health care environment by modifying an existing family planning intervention to be culturally congruent for African refugee women in Buffalo. The team will also conduct feasibility and usability testing of the developed educational intervention, which will be delivered by smartphone. 

“The CTSI funding will allow Dr. Agbemenu to conduct vital research that is helping to address health inequalities for a population that is often going overlooked in today’s society,” Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, FIAAN, associate dean for research and scholarship, says. “Her work will further our understanding regarding the impact of a smartphone-based culturally congruent family planning educational intervention for African refugee women.”

The research team includes Sonya Borrero, University of Pittsburgh Center For Women’s Health Research and Innovation; Gretchen Ely, UB School of Social Work; Helen (Hua) Wang, UB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Communication; Sondra Dawes, Jericho Road Community Health Center; and Francine Rwanika, Jericho Road Community Health Center.