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Advances in Health Research Towards Kenya Vision 2030

Message from the Director KEMRI


On behalf of the KEMRI Annual Scientific and Health (KASH) Conference Organizing Committee and the entire KEMRI fraternity, I wish to warmly welcome you to KEMRI to be part of this inaugural KASH Conference that brings together scientists from diverse fields of research under the conference theme "Advances in health research towards Kenya Vision 2030". The conference provides an excellent forum for KEMRI Scientists to showcase their current research findings towards improvement of the overall health and livelihoods of Kenyans, and participate in discussions with peers in their areas of specialization. Scientific papers will cover a wide range of public health issues ranging from Infectious, parasitic as well as non-communicable diseases. Key speakers from various institutions such as the National Council for Science and Technology, the Consortium for National Health Research, the Vision 2030 secretariat, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, the World Bank (Nairobi office), among others, have been invited to participate. The conference covers various areas of R&D, parasitic diseases, public health and epidemiology, parasitic diseases, non communicable diseases, microbiology, entomology HIV We hope you will find the conference both stimulating and enjoyable, and that you take the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with fellow scientists.

Solomon Mpoke, PhD



Word from the Chair person of the KASH organizing committee

kemriLadies and Gentlemen,

On behalf the KEMRI Annual Scientific & Health (KASH) organizing committee and on my own behalf, I feel greatly honored to have been given the opportunity to Chair a great team of highly motivated and dedicated members who have worked relentlessly during the last three months to see the realization of this inaugural KASH Conference. The theme Advances in health research towards Kenya Vision 2030 is in line with the Kenya Vision 2030 and KEMRI Strategic plan. Secondly, wish to give thanks to the Hon. Minister for Public Health and Sanitation Hon. Beth Mugo, EGH, MP for agreeing to find time to grace us with her presence in KEMRI to commission the Production Unit and the Training Centre as well as to close the 1st KASH conference. We are proud of the Production Unit that provides KEMRI scientists with the opportunity for research and innovation that contributes towards the realization of the Kenya Vision 2030. Indeed we are also proud of the Conference center which has provided KEMRI with the capacity to host such a major scientific conference. We all thank the Government and people of Japan through JICA who have supported the development of KEMRI since its infancy into an international centre of excellence with stet-of-the art facilities with highly skilled research community.

This conference received Over 160 abstracts form scientists and researchers not only in KEMRI but also our sister institutions of higher learning and the organizing committee did their best to let Kenyans show case their bright ideas in both oral and poster presentation.
We are also most grateful to the government through NCST who started providing Kenyans with the opportunity of funds for research.
We are proud of the KEMRI management that has made it possible to facilitate the preparation and hosting of this inaugural conference.
Lastly I wish to thank all the scientists who showed enthusiasm in showcasing their research findings and wish that this continues in the future KASH conferences scheduled to be hosted every year in February with more pomp and glory.

Thank you

Jennifer Orwa, PhD, OGW


kemriKizito M. Lubano, MBCh,B, M.MED, MSc, DIPl

The 1st KEMRI Annual Scientific and Health (KASH) conference is being held as an inaugural Institutional platform for knowledge sharing, continuous professional development and fulfillment of the strategic objectives of  a) To disseminate and translate research findings for evidence-based policy formulation and implementation, and b) To strengthen research partnerships and relationships with other stakeholders.
The theme of the conference Advances in Health Research Towards Kenya Vision 2030 was carefully selected in line with the National aspirations and the KEMRI strategic plan 2009-2013 that aims to strike a balance between creating new knowledge and technology, and getting new and existing knowledge and technology into use.
The participant will include; Researchers, Policy makers, training Institutions (Universities), Private and non-governmental sectors, International development partners, members of the public and all other stakeholders.
The design of the conference is deliberately intended to fasten the process of translation of Research findings into policy and practice as well as to incorporate the resource mobilization and sustainability aspect. It is further intended to enhance ownership and to mobilize the full effort of the entire fabric of society to improve health towards achieving such global goals as the Millennium Development Goals and other regional health and socio-economic & cultural goals and above all the Kenya Vision 2030 objectives.
Vision 2030 proposes intensified application of science, technology and innovation to raise productivity and efficiency levels across the three pillars-thus Economic, Social and Political pillars. It recognizes the critical role played by research and development (R&D) in accelerating economic development in all the newly industrializing countries of the world.
Let us be optimistic that Kenya will indeed become A globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life by 2030.- and to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens by the year 2030. Shall we, as medical researchers, have contributed to this competitive and prosperous nation through our research efforts? Perhaps to answer this question one needs to look at the state of medical research in our Institution over the last 30+ years.
Health research has a key role in the development of low-income and middle-income countries. There are several current initiatives, partnerships and collaborations that have greatly contributed to capacity strengthening of health research in sub-Sahara. KEMRI is one of the leading Biomedical/Human health research Institutions in sub-Saharan Africa that has experienced tremendous growth over the past 30+ years of its existence.
The science system, essentially public research laboratories and institutes of higher education, carries out key functions in the knowledge-based economy, including knowledge production, transmission and transfer. But the science system is facing the challenge of reconciling its traditional functions of producing new knowledge through basic research and educating new generations of scientists and engineers with its newer role of collaborating with industry in the transfer of knowledge and technology. Research institutes and academia increasingly have industrial partners for financial as well as innovative purposes, but must combine this with their essential role in more generic research and education.
The dominance of donor funding is quite explicit in R&D funding. Government funding has been dominant in recurrent costs; whereas, donor funding and other forms of collaborative research have channeled their funds into R&D. However, donor funding has been associated with unpredictability, frequent changes in policies and priorities, and untimely disbursements. Donor influence on prioritization has raised concerns over ownership and undue influence on the development agenda. The predominance of donor/ international competitive grant funding leads to the perception that medical research in such situations seems more or less 'for sale'. Too heavy dependence on market oriented research leads to doubts regarding the independence of medical research. International observers have judged that the direct financing of research by governments is an enormous bonus since it leads to flexibility to start new topics and at the same time stability of positions.
As we deliberate in this conference, we look forward to addressing the challenges while taking advantage of the technological advances such as the Human Gene Dictionary and the Internet in order to find more innovative ways of reducing the disease burden among our population and contributing meaningfully to national development.
Quote "The application of science and technology is fundamental, and indeed indispensable, to the social and economic transformation of our countries& We in Africa must either begin to build up our scientific and technological training capabilities or remain an impoverished appendage to the global economy... There is no reason to believe that Africa cannot achieve what others have achieved in these fields."