KENYA—Dr. Ezekiel Onyonka Mecha, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Nairobi, has been appointed to the board of directors of the World Endometriosis Society.
Endometriosis, a disorder characterized by the presence of tissue identical to the uterine lining (endometrial) outside the uterus, triggers a chronic inflammatory response, potentially leading to scar tissue.
According to the World Endometriosis Society, approximately 1 in 10 women worldwide experience endometriosis during their reproductive years, primarily between the ages of 15 and 49, totaling around 176 million women.
Symptoms of endometriosis encompass painful periods, painful ovulation, discomfort during or after sexual intercourse, heavy bleeding, persistent pelvic pain, exhaustion, and infertility.
These symptoms can have a negative impact on general physical, emotional, and social well-being. Despite the availability of efficient medications for treating endometriosis, most treatments are not suitable for long-term use due to side effects.
Surgery, on the other hand, can be effective in eliminating endometriosis lesions and scar tissue, although the success rates vary based on the severity of the illness and the surgeon’s skill.
Dr. Mecha’s recent appointment to the World Endometriosis Society’s board positions him as the sole African representative and the first person from the continent to hold this post.
Having previously served a two-year term on the Global Liaison Committee (2023-2025), Dr. Mecha demonstrated his knowledge and dedication to advancing endometriosis awareness and research.
Notably, Dr. Mecha is the director of Endometriosis East Africa, an organization dedicated to promoting awareness campaigns and advancements in understanding endometriosis and related uterine illnesses in East Africa.
His research focuses on developing diagnostic biomarkers through metabolomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics, with a specific emphasis on the involvement of TGF betas/receptors superfamily compounds in endometriosis pathogenesis.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Mecha has been an associate editor of the Journal of Reproduction and Fertility since May 2021.
He has organized significant seminars and conferences, including the First East African Endometriosis Conference in May 2021, attracting international participants and speakers.
Dr. Mecha has established long-term research connections with renowned institutions in Germany and the United Kingdom.
His efforts have also led to a cooperation agreement between the Kenya Obstetrics and Gynecological Society and the European Endometriosis League, strengthening ties and facilitating knowledge exchange.
Dr. Mecha has been working towards raising endometriosis awareness in Africa by actively engaging with communities, patients, healthcare professionals, and governmental and non-governmental groups.
His initiatives include articles published in Kenyan newspapers, appearances on various television stations, and the ongoing formation of an African endometrial lobby to unify experts and enhance awareness campaigns across the continent.
Dr. Ezekiel Onyonka Mecha’s dual role as an endometriosis research scientist and advocate underscores the importance of global collaboration in advancing endometriosis research and developing successful therapeutic strategies.
The World Endometriosis Society, with its commitment to evidence-based standards and innovations, strives to improve the lives of all affected women and their families through education, advocacy, clinical care, and research in collaboration with stakeholders and global partners.