Founder & Principal
Tolullah Oni, the Principal of Oni et al and Founder of UrbanBetter

Tolullah Oni

Public Health Physician and Urban Epidemiologist, Principal of Oni et al. and Founder of UrbanBetter.

Born in Lagos, she completed her medical training at University College London, a Masters degree in Public Health at the University of Cape Town and a doctorate in Epidemiology at Imperial College London, UK.

Tolullah Oni is the Programme Lead of the Global Diet and Physical Activity Group and Network at the University of Cambridge MRC Epidemiology Unit and an Extraordinary Professor & Chair at Innovation Africa@UP, University of Pretoria, South Africa where she leads the Urban Better Satellite Studio. 

She is also an Honorary Associate Professor and Lead of the Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE) group at the University of Cape Town. 

Born in Lagos, she completed her medical training at University College London, a Masters degree in Public Health at the University of Cape Town and a doctorate in Epidemiology from Imperial College London, UK.

Profiled in the Lancet journal, Science magazine, and the British Medical Journal, she is a 2019 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, past co-chair of the Global Young Academy and the South African Young Academy of Science, 2015 Next Einstein Forum Fellow  and a 2020 Next Generation Foresight Practitioner Fellow.

Her global practice is grounded in a science-informed, Africa-led, health foresight approach to generating new knowledge that supports partnership between science, policy and societal role players. She is passionate about identifying creative strategies to address complex urban population health challenges in rapidly growing cities globally.

Spotlight Disruptor

Trish Muzenda

Trish is an urban health enthusiast, passionate about bridging the gap between academia, industry, and communities to shape Africa’s urban spaces for health.

Trish is a Vital Strategies Healthy Food Policy fellow currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Cambridge. She is focused on understanding the intersections between food policies and the lived realities of adolescents living in South African urban areas, with the goal of improving access to affordable healthy food alternatives across all socio-economic groups. She also holds a Master of Public Health (Epidemiology) from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa and a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from Rhodes University.

Prior to pursuing her PhD studies, Trish was a Junior Research Fellow at UCT’s Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE) where she most recently worked on a state-of-the art review of healthy green building initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa. The project explored the types of green building guidelines and certification systems in use, and the opportunities to leverage urban infrastructure and development initiatives for health creation.

Her previous research include a literature review of the tools and techniques used to map and characterise food and physical activity environments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), a synthesis of the epidemiological tools used in measuring LMIC adolescent food and physical activity behaviour, as well as an exploratory study on the experiences and potential for intersectoral collaboration in addressing health and housing issues in Doula, Cameroon. 

Trish’s work is motivated by the recognition that sub-Saharan Africa faces a myriad of interconnected and complex urban health challenges that require transdisciplinary and intersectoral efforts to understand their causes whilst simultaneously developing feasible solutions to address them.

Want to see more on the work of UrbanBetter and Oni et al.?