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The responsiveness of a health system is one of its goals, alongside fairness in financing and outcomes. Listening and responding to the public can make a health system stronger and fairer. However, responsiveness is likely to be undermined, especially for vulnerable and marginal populations, in periods of crises such as disease outbreaks. In the current COVID-19 crisis, there has been more focus on health system control interventions, with minimal consideration of community views. KWTRP colleagues in Kenya consider community engagement and citizens feedback channels, concerns raised by the public and how they were handled, and highlight lessons learned.

A community in Kenya

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VAnguard Launch

KWTRP hosted the launch of the VAnguard research project. The NIHR Funded Project Builds Knowledge-base on Factors Influencing Vaccine Impact among Communities in Kenya and Uganda. The project aims to strengthen collaborations between national and international stakeholders in the identification of social and biological factors that impair vaccine impact in African communities, to develop integrated strategies and recommendations to optimize vaccine impact, and to contribute to health equity in Africa. The launch concurrently took place in Kenya and Uganda from 28th – 30th November 2022.

Four CTMGH researchers awarded full professorships

We are delighted to announce that four of our researchers have been awarded the title of Professor, in recognition of their research achievements, contribution to teaching, and contribution to the general work of the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.

Quality of care, health workers’ well-being and COVID-19

Nurses are central players in the provision of quality health care globally. Although neonatal units have not been at the epicenter of the current COVID-19 pandemic, challenges have also been raised for neonatal nurses. KWTRP share their COVID-19 related experiences and challenges, highlight strategies they used to manage the challenges and show how elements of the communication skills and emotional competence course helped them cope.

High prevalence of antibodies against COVID-19 within the general population: Evidence from Nairobi and Kilifi

By May 2022, 69% of individuals residing within the Kilifi Health and Demographic System (HDSS) and 91% residing within the Nairobi Urban HDSS had evidence of an immune response to COVID-19 resulting from natural infection and/or vaccination, i.e., anti-spike IgG antibodies.

Taking relationships seriously

Community Engagement (CE) is a critical aspect of health research because of its potential to make research more ethical, relevant, and well implemented. Many research programmes now aim to incorporate CE activities at all stages of their work. This KWTRP brief summarises key findings from a malaria trials, and provides an illustration of how CE works more generally. It highlights facilitators and challenges to engagement, and the ethical issues that are particularly relevant in LMIC settings with under resourced health systems.

Congratulations to our new Associate Professors

Our heartfelt congratulations to Melissa Kapulu, Francis Ndungu and Emelda Okiro from KWTRP, and to Hoa Thi Ngo and Sophie Yacoub from OUCRU who have been awarded Associate Professorships