Working to Advance
Health Equity in Africa

Dr Carolien Aantjes

  • Senior Research fellow
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights

Carolien Aantjes (PhD, MPH) is a senior research fellow at HEARD with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights and health system strengthening, and leader of HEARD’s doctoral programme. Carolien has extensive, international experience in the field of HIV and AIDS and public health. She worked, among others, for the Ministry of Health in Namibia as a coordinator of a regional AIDS programme and as a public health nurse for the municipal health services of Amsterdam on HIV screening, detection and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. She undertook many short-term consultancy assignments in Africa and Asia, assisting national governments, funding agencies as well as local NGOs in the design or evaluation of their HIV interventions. Carolien previously worked as a post-doc researcher and lecturer in Global Health at the Athena Institute of the VU University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Carolien’s main research interests include sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and the deeper socio-cultural, legal, political and economic structures which lead to health inequities. Since 2015, she has been engaged in HEARD’s interdisciplinary research on unsafe abortion in Eastern and Southern Africa, and has served as both project leader and country PI in two large studies focussing on key populations in Africa and in Eastern Europe, Central and South-East Asia. She is currently engaged in conceptual research around SRHR and universal health coverage, and a needs assessment on the SRHR of adolescent boys and young men in five countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Latest Publications

Research outputs

Book contribution

Freedman, J. Crankshaw, T. Aantjes, C. Armstrong, R. Poku. N. 2020. Young Key Populations In Southern Africa: An Analysis of The Social determinants of HIV Risk and Barrier to SRH services. In Preventing HIV Among Young People in Southern and Eastern Africa: Emerging Evidence and Intervention Strategies. Routledge.

Journal article

Aantjes, C. Capurchande, R. Cuinhane, C. Muchanga, V. Munguambe, K. 2023. Binary Scripting, Disclosure Decisions, and Agency in Families of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Youth in Mozambique. LGBTQ+ Family: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Aantjes, C., Crankshaw, T. and Freedman, J. 2022. Impacts of Colonial Legacies on the Rights and Security of Sex Workers in Southern Africa International Journal of Gender, Sexuality and Law 2(1): 273-297.

Aantjes, C. Muchanga, V. Munguambe, K. 2022. Exposed and unprotected: Sex worker vulnerabilities during the COVID-19 health emergency in Mozambique. Global Public Health, 17(12):3568-3582.

Angwenyi, V. Bunders‐Aelen, J. Criel, B. Lazarus, J. Aantjes, C. 2021. An evaluation of self‐management outcomes among chronic care patients in community home‐based care programmes in rural Malawi: A 12‐month follow‐up study. Health & Social Care in the Community, 29(2),1-16.

Aantjes, C. Munguambe, K. Muchanga, V. Capurchande, R. Poku, N. 2021. Why Doesn't the Decriminalisation of Same-Sex Sexuality and Sex Work Ensure Rights? The Legality and Social Acceptance of Transgressive Sexualities in Urban Mozambique. Sexuality Research and Social Policy,1-16.

Angwenyi, V. , Aantjes, C. , Bunders‐Aelen, J. , Lazarus, J. V. and Criel, B. (2019), Patient‐Provider Perspectives on Self‐Management Support and Patient Empowerment in Chronic Care: A Mixed‐Methods Study in a Rural sub‐Saharan Setting. J Adv Nurs. doi:10.1111/jan.14116

Angwenyi, V., Aantjes, C., Kondowe, K., Zulu Mutchiyeni, J., Kajumi, M., Criel, B., Lazarus, J.V., Quinlan, T., Bunders-Aelen, J. (2018) Moving to a strong(er) community health system: analysing the role of community health volunteers in the new national community health strategy in Malawi BMJ Global Health, 3,(3)e000996

Angwenyi V, Aantjes C, Kajumi M, De Man J, Criel B, Bunders-Aelen J.(2018) Patients experiences of self-management and strategies for dealing with chronic conditions in rural Malawi. PLoS One. 2018 Jul 2;13(7):e0199977. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199977. eCollection 2018.

Aantjes, C.J., Gilmoor, A., Syurina, E.V., Crankshaw, T.L. (2018) The Status of Provision of Post Abortion Care Services for Women and Girls in Eastern and Southern Africa: A Systematic Review Contraception,

Aantjes, Carolien J., Joseph Simbaya and Tim K.C Quinlan (2016) From End of Life to Chronic Care: The Provision of Community Home-Based Care for HIV and the Adaptation to New Health Care Demands In Zambia Primary Health Care Research & Development, 17(6), pp 599-610

Aantjes, CJ., Quinlan, T and Bunders, J.(2016) Towards universal health coverage in Zambia: impediments and opportunities Development in Practice, 26(3), pp 298-307, DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2016.1148119

Aantjes,C. J., Quinlan, T., and Bunders, J. F. G. (2014) Practicalities and challenges in re-orienting the health system in Zambia for treating chronic conditions BMC Health Services Research, 14 (295), BioMed Central, doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-295

Aantjes, C., Quinlan, T., and Bunders, J. (2014) Integration of community home-based care programmes within national primary health care revitalisation strategies in Ethiopia, Malawi, South-Africa and Zambia: a comparative assessment Globalization and Health, 10 (85), BioMed Central, doi:10.1186/s12992-014-0085-5

Opinion piece

Poku, N.K., Crankshaw, T.L., and Aantjes, C. (2022) The recent US Supreme Court decision on abortion HEARD Commentary

Aantjes, C. 2019. International Day of Action for Women's Health. HEARD opinion piece