29 April 2022
The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme today released the results of its latest modelling on COVID-19 vaccine scale-up within the country. The analysis found that the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign can achieve greater value for money if it focuses on the elderly, rather than a strategy that pursues scaling up vaccines to the whole population.
19 April 2022
Dr Emelda Okiro has been awarded the prestigious Wellcome Senior Research Fellowship. Emelda’s fellowship is the first African Senior Research Fellowship awarded in the KEMRI-Wellcome Research Programme and among the less than five SRFs awarded to researchers in Africa.
Large African and South Asian research network finds half of deaths among children admitted to hospital happens after discharge
12 April 2022
Young children in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia who become sick or malnourished continue to have a high risk of death in the six months after being hospitalized, according to findings by researchers in the Childhood Acute Illness & Nutrition (CHAIN) Network. Appearing in The Lancet Global Health, the study of 3,101 acutely ill children at nine hospitals in six countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia found that 48% of the 350 deaths recorded occurred within six months after discharge from hospital.
8 February 2022
Results from a clinical trial completed in Kenya have determined that a safe dose of the antibiotic, fosfomycin, can be used to treat babies with neonatal sepsis. This is a significant development, as there are very few antibiotics specifically licensed to treat multidrug-resistant infections in babies. This research was lead by Dr Christina Obiero and Professor Jay Berkley.
19 January 2022
Royal Society 2021 Africa Prize lecture from Professor George Warimwe. More than 70% of emerging infectious diseases (including viruses) are zoonotic, meaning they are acquired from animals, with some causing serious illness and death in humans as well as the animal host. But, what if we could immunise both humans and animals with the same vaccine?
19 November 2021
A downloadable resource for educators, health & research professionals to help develop young peoples’ understanding of AMR and positive actions they can take to mitigate it.
12 October 2021
Peter Macharia is a spatial epidemiologist and a postdoc interested in disease mapping, healthcare access and mapping population vulnerabilities at KEMRI Wellcome. He received the RSTMH 2021 Emerging Leader Award, which recognises significant contributions in leadership, mentoring and capacity building in those who are early in their careers.
14 September 2021
Following the meeting of the Medical Sciences Divisional Committee to consider applications for the conferral of the title of Associate Professor, we are pleased to announce that Rashan Haniffa, Dorcas Kamuya, Isabella Oyier, Le Van Tan and Timothy Walker have been awarded the title Associate Professor
Reducing children’s exposure to malaria in their early years substantially cuts the risk of hospitalisation.
2 September 2021
For the first time in more than two decades, a team from the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and University of Oxford have quantified the risk of children suffering severe outcomes from malaria - which can have a devastating impact on tens of thousands of children who are admitted to hospital with severe malaria every year.
24 August 2021
The Royal Society Africa Prize 2021 is awarded to Professor George Warimwe for his work on zoonoses vaccine development, capacity building in Africa, and his innovative research proposal. This Prize recognises research scientists based in Africa who are making an innovative contribution to the sciences.
17 August 2021
A team of KWTRP scientists carried out a major genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Kenya during the early phase of the epidemic (March – July 2020). Researchers provide evidence for at least 35-40 unique introductions of the virus in the coast region – specifically the epidemic that was largely observed in Mombasa County.
8 July 2021
About one-third of children diagnosed with severe malaria may instead have an alternative cause of illness, but simple blood tests could help researchers distinguish between the two and speed up research on new treatments.
5 May 2021
Although improvements in child survival globally have been remarkable, 5.2 million children still died in 2019, over half of these in sub-Saharan Africa. A range of factors likely include disparities in childhood immunisations, supplements and breastfeeding practices, antenatal care, skilled birth attendants working in healthcare facilities. Kenya needs to prioritise its child care plans, based on localities and populations with the greatest need. Two KWTRP studies give granular insights into the situation in regions across Kenya.
4 May 2021
Interview with KWTRP Malaria immunologist Dr Francis Ndungu. Francis grew up in central Kenya where malaria is not prevalent but is interested in understanding of how semi-immune individuals control malaria parasite growth and the associated inflammation symptoms. His current work is in understanding how we develop immunity to Malaria. He is also interested in the potential translation of that knowledge in the development of effective malaria vaccines.
27 April 2021
The International Girl’s in ICT day is commemorated to create awareness on the critical need for more girls and women in the ICT sector, encourage and inspire young girls to actively pursue careers in STEM as well as engage the community to promote collaboration through partnerships. Kathreen Wafula, an ICT Support Technician in Kilifi, joins a strong team of techies and is one of the 4 women in the department.
28 January 2021
KWTRP initial community and public engagement strategy was developed in 2005 with three goals: build understanding and trust between researchers and communities, enhance ethical conduct of research, and disseminate research findings to promote uptake into policy. Our programme has since developed and now includes engagement with media, radio programme, media engagement workshops, various meetings and forums, and a fully-fledged school engagement programme that was awarded the 2019 Oxford VC Public Engagement with Research Award.
18 December 2020
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.
8 December 2020
The World Health Organization and partners including the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme launched AHOP (African Health Observatory Platform), an online platform to promote the exchange of evidence and experience across countries in the African region. By working to foster evidence-informed decision-making in an endeavor to re-engineer health service delivery, the initiative is expected to drive countries’ health system resilience efforts.
30 October 2020
Kenya has joined the global efforts in search of an effective vaccine for COVID-19 with the start of a trial evaluating the ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019 Oxford coronavirus vaccine. Following the necessary approvals from regulators, as well as the national ministry of health, and Kilifi county, the first volunteers for the trial have recently received their vaccinations.
23 October 2020
Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. To showcase our global research, the University launched a Global Research Map, highlighting areas of research we are conducting overseas.
9 October 2020
Africa accounts for 17% of the global population but only 3.5% of the reported global COVID-19 deaths. In many African countries, transmission has been higher but severity and mortality much lower than originally predicted based on experience in China and Europe. Kevin Marsh and Moses Alobo argue that Africa’s much younger population explains a very large part of the apparent difference. Some of the remaining gap is probably due to under reporting of events but there are a number of other plausible explanations, ranging from climatic differences, pre-existing immunity, genetic factors to behavioural differences.
6 July 2020
Oxford University’s LIFE project has launched a new set of app-based training scenarios that help healthcare workers in Africa safely manage and treat cases of children with suspected COVID-19
19 June 2020
Epidemics and pandemics disproportionately affect populations with greater impacts on the most vulnerable and less resilient communities. Hence Kenya’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic calls for more context adapted public health measures reflecting our improved understanding of who is the most vulnerable and their geographical location. This policy brief presents evidence on localized vulnerability indices to identify areas and people who require greater support while highlighting inequities to inform the COVID-19 response in Kenya.
3 June 2020
What are the health and socio-economic impacts of physical distancing in African countries and how can they be mitigated? This work by Edwine Barasa and colleagues reviews the effects of physical distancing restrictions and recommends that African countries need to consider the broader net benefit of measures that they choose to implement and to adapt and localize their response to align with the contextual realities of the continent, and to optimize expected benefits of physical distancing, while minimizing the undesired impacts.
30 January 2020
Policy makers are interested in practical steps to a more gender-equitable and transformative health system. A guide published by Research in Gender & Ethics aims to help policy makers adopt a gender lens in policy deliberations on health systems. In order to prompt reflections on how gender affects health systems, we include case studies from Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
26 November 2019
Convened by the International Budget Partnership, Equity Week brings together stakeholders from national and county government, community groups and other agencies to reflect on equity and equality issues particularly in resource mobilization and distribution in the country. KWTRP highlighted issues of disability, access to healthcare, financial risk protection, mapping variations and vulnerabilities in young children
14 November 2019
Life-saving Instruction for Emergences (LIFE), a virtual reality (VR) medical training platform developed by doctors, nurses and researchers at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in Kenya and Oxford University with support from HTC, has officially launched today. This new virtual reality medical training app uses HTC VIVE Focus Plus for training doctors and nurses to save lives.
5 November 2019
Women continue to be under-represented in leadership positions across a range of sectors and geographic regions. In the health sector specifically, women comprise a substantial proportion of the global health workforce but are over-represented in lower-paying, lower-status occupations. The role of gender in healthcare leadership in LMIC settings remains under-researched. KWTRP undertook a study to understand and explore career progression and experiences of healthcare leaders at sub-national level in Kenya.
9 October 2019
Oxford Medical Sciences Divisional Panel has conferred the title of Professor on three members of our Centre. Ben Cooper - Professor of Epidemiology, Sassy Molyneux - Professor of Global Health and Piero Olliaro - Professor of Poverty Related Infectious Diseases were awarded these titles in recognition of their distinction in their respective fields and contributions to the research, teaching and administration of the Department and we congratulate them on their success!
4 October 2019
The Oxford based OHSCAR team is delighted to be a partner the NEST360 project working with KEMRI-Wellcome and the Kenya Paediatric Research Consortium in Kenya to support this effort to improve care care of the sick newborn and save lives
17 September 2019
Two researchers from the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health were awarded medals by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at the 2019 European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health. Professor David Warrell was awarded the Sir Patrick Manson Medal, and Dr Samson Kinyanjui the Chalmers Medal.
13 September 2019
In Kenya, the poorest of the poor carry the highest burden of disease. From locally-made, low-cost herbal remedies to affordable hard floors for households, researchers and communities are developing new ways to deal with jiggers in Kenya. Lynne Elson, a research fellow at KEMRI Wellcome Trust, lead a study to determine whether neem and coconut oil reduce inflammation, pain and itching better than the standard treatment in seven days.
8 September 2019
Human trials of new antimalarial drugs are in the pipeline after KEMRI scientists successfully used bacteria to kill the parasite that causes the disease. Trials in Burkina Faso showed that Ivermectin, a conventional drug used for parasitic diseases including river blindness and elephantiasis, reduced transmission rates. The medication worked by making the blood of people who were repeatedly vaccinated lethal to mosquitoes. The study also found that Ivermectin can kill plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite carried by female mosquitoes, when administered to humans.
26 August 2019
The provision of high-quality care to sick newborns presents challenges in any health system. International guidelines suggest that even for babies who do not require intensive care, there should be one nurse for every 2 – 4 sick babies. However, recent studies conducted in Nairobi show that one nurse takes care of between 20 – 40 newborns. In a recently published policy brief the KEMRI Wellcome Trust programme highlights the experience of nurses in Nairobi’s New Born Units.
1 August 2019
The Nairobi Programme at KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme hosts over 17 principal researchers, 15 PhD fellows and a dedicated team of over 40 research assistants spanning clinical research, health services research, population health research, and health systems and economics research. Learn more about the ongoing research and the principal researchers behind the work.
25 July 2019
KWTRP has launched a dataset of comprehensive public health facilities from 50 countries in sub- Saharan Africa. This new dataset locates health facilities in relation to the communities they are intended to serve, to help ensure that services are accessible to the right populations and that no one is geographically marginalized from essential services. This is critical for attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 3 on good health and wellbeing.
Bringing science and health research to Kenyan schools project wins University Public Engagement with Research Award
10 July 2019
A project bringing science to Kenyan schools, led by Dr Alun Davis from Kemri Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya and Nuffield Department of Medicine, has won a Project Award in this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards.
7 May 2019
Rift Valley Fever, one of WHO priority diseases, causes abortion and malformation in livestock, as well as occasionally severe symptoms in humans. George Warimwe and colleagues at KWTRP are developing a vaccine suitable for both humans and livestock. This cross-species approach, known as “One Health”, might in the long term accelerate the design and development of vaccines, protecting human health and biodiversity too.
30 April 2019
The attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a policy priority at both global and national levels. The Sustainable Development Goals underscore the importance of health and wellbeing for all with three main objectives: equity in access to health services, access to quality health services, and protection from financial risk. In Kenya, although the government has installed UHC as a policy priority, it is still marred in misconstruction and often reduced to health financing. Researchers at KEMRI-Wellcome tracked Kenya’s progress towards UHC between 2003 and 2014 and set out recommendations to support policy makers in designing a body of UHC policy.
30 April 2019
Malaria is a leading cause of death and illness around the world. Over 200 million cases are reported every year, and more than 400 000 people die. More than 90% of cases are reported in sub-Saharan Africa. Scientists have spent decades searching for an effective vaccine. Hence the recent excitement when Malawi’s government announced it had launched a pilot programme for the world’s first malaria vaccine, RTS,S (also known as Mosquirix©), produced by the pharmaceutical company, GSK. It’s the first vaccine to demonstrate significant reduction in malaria in children. The Conversation Africa’s Ina Skosana asked immunologist Faith Osier about RTS,S.
11 April 2019
The Life-saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE) is a 3D simulation training app for smartphones that teaches healthcare workers how to manage medical emergencies. LIFE is a scenario-based mobile and virtual reality (VR) gaming platform that teaches healthcare workers to identify and manage medical emergencies using game-like training techniques to reinforce the key steps that need to be performed in order to save lives.
6 March 2019
Global efforts to fight malaria have hit a plateau and new tools are needed to achieve global goals. In this context, a consortium led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health was awarded $25.3m from Unitaid (unitaid.org) to evaluate mass drug administration of ivermectin to humans and livestock in Tanzania and Mozambique, to kill the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. KWTRP Marta Maia will contribute as lead entomologist to BOHEMIA.
5 February 2019
A new project at KEMRI Wellcome aims to bring high throughput pathogen sequencing and predictive models in East Africa. GeMVI plans to engage health authorities and institutes, identify priority questions and fund 20 Research Fellows on locally relevant projects. GeMVI will transfer sequencing technologies, share bioinformatic methods and develop modelling capacity, as well as generate new understanding through predictive modelling and virus sequence data.
1 February 2019
In this background report for the Pathways to Prosperity Commission, Chris Paton and Naomi Muinga describe the implementation of the new OpenMRS-based system called Afya (Swahili for ‘health’) Electronic Health Management System in Machakos County in Kenya. They assess the challenges associated with implementation, and suggest some recommendations for rolling out digital methods to keep clinical records in developing countries.
12 December 2018
This article, written by Professor Nick Day at MORU and published in the November 2018 issue of the Oxford Alumni Newsletter, describes in a nutshell all the good work our Centre is doing to promote Global Oxford.
20 November 2018
Congratulations to Bob Snow, Oxford Professor of Malaria Epidemiology, elected this month Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. The AAS nominates and elects individuals who have excelled in their fields of expertise as fellows and gives prizes to recognise scientists who have contributed to developing their fields in Africa.
17 October 2018
Professor Faith Osier's TED talk, accepted in April 2018, is now published as one of few by the TED Fellows Talks. The malaria vaccine was invented more than a century ago, yet each year hundreds of thousands of people still die from the disease. How can we improve this vital vaccine? In this informative talk, Faith shows how she combines cutting-edge technology with century-old insights in the hopes of creating a new vaccine that would eradicate malaria once and for all.
10 July 2018
KWTRP Community Liaison Group is working with the Jukwaa Arts Productions using a magnet theatre model to sensitize the communities/publics within Kilifi County about the Research work undertaken at the programme, and to learn about community/public concerns.