College Hall Meeting

A Case for eHealth in Strengthening Kenyan Healthcare System

The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), College of Health Sciences (COHES) Research Team held a college Hall meeting on 31st March, 2022 at the Sino Africa Joint Research Center (SARJOREC) in JKUAT, Juja.

Dr. Amoth interacts with COHES faculty after opening the College Hall Meeting

“The purpose of this meeting was to sensitize students and faculty on the importance of eHealth and how through partnerships and collaborations we can develop viable solutions that will augment efforts towards strengthening of access to quality health services,” said Dr. Thuo.

The aim of the meeting was to sensitize and create awareness among students and faculty on emerging challenges in the use of eHealth products to enhance decision making for public health good in Kenya. Participants had the opportunity to learn both entrepreneurial and research opportunities available within the e-Health space and familiarize with themselves with the new innovations in HIV prevention and care.

A cross section of the participants during the meeting

The students from the various colleges that attended the meeting will be involved in a multi-disciplinary hackathon and bootcamp in a bid to diversify the solutions to the challenges in health care delivery.

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Utilization of digital tools to enhance COVID-19 and TB testing and linkage to care among Boda Boda riders

The FIND Executive Team joins the JKUAT COHES Research Team and the Kajiado CHMT Team in the use of digital tools to collect Boda-Boda Study data Collection At Ngong

The FIND Executive visited on on Friday 5th November at the Ngong bus stop and Central Market in Ngong Sub-County, Kajiado County

The FIND Team. From Left to Right. Prof. Mathu Ndung’u (Executive Director, FIND Kenya), Emma Hannay ( Access Officer, FIND) and Dr. Sanjay Sarin (Executive Director, FIND India).

The Executive team from the Foundation of Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND), Geneva, Switzerland, comprising of Emma Hannay (Chief Access Officer, FIND), Dr. Sanjay Sarin (Executive Director, FIND India) and Prof. Mathu Ndung’u (Executive Director, FIND Kenya) joined the JKUAT COHES Research team members and the Kajiado County CHMT members during a data collection exercise for the study “Utilization of digital tools to enhance COVID-19 and TB testing and linkage to care among Boda Boda riders in the Nairobi metropolis”.

They were received by Prof Simon Karanja the JKUAT COHES Research Project lead, Dr. John Gachohi and Dr. Thomas Ngigi (The Kajiado study Coordinators for Kajiado Sub-Counties).

The FIND team were taken through the study camp and briefed on the various camp stations (the participant consenting process, medical check, COVID-19 and TB screening, COVID-19 sampling, COVID-19 AgRDT testing, receiving of the TB sample station and finally the communication of Covid 19 results station) that a participant has to visit while in the camp.

During their tour, the FIND team members had an opportunity to interview and discuss with the members of the CHMT and the data clerks of the Kajiado County study team on a wide range of issues.  They were able to get first-hand information on the roles and experiences of the officers at each station.  In addition, the FIND team were able to get insights about COVID-19 and TB screening, testing and vaccination in the County.

The team held a brief discussion with Mr. Gitau, the Chair Boda boda Safety Association (BAK) Ngong Sub-County, on the mobilization of his members to attend the medical camp, the views of BAK members on the screening, testing and vaccination against COVID 19. Further, the FIND team held informal discussions on a wide range of issues concerning the study and related health concerns in the Kajiado County and Kenya with members of the JKUAT COHES Research team. They reiterated the importance of getting feedback from the participants of the study. They applauded the study team members for their efforts to collect data. They looked forward to receiving the analyzed data in not the distant future.

The JKUAT COHES Research team members present included Prof. Simon Karanja, Prof. Fred Wamunyokoli, Dr. John Gachohi, Dr. Thomas Ngigi and Dr. Jane Aduda.

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Boda- Boda Study Assessment

Ms. Paula Akugizibwe of FIND -Switzerland Visits the JKUAT-COHES Research Team

From left to right: Mr. Phillip Oyier, Prof. Simon Karanja, Ms. Paula Akugizibwe, Dr. Reuben Thuo, Dr. Thomas Ngigi, Dr. Joseph Matheri and Dr. Jane Aduda

Ms. Paula Akugizibwe joins JKUAT-COHES Research Team and the Kajiado CHMT Team in Data collection

Thursday 28th October at the Chap Chap Boda Boda pick up point in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County

Ms. Paula Akugizibwe, a consultant for the Foundation of Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND), Geneva, Switzerland, joined the JKUAT COHES Research team members and the Kajiado County CHMT members during a data collection exercise for the study “Utilization of digital tools to enhance COVID-19 and TB testing and linkage to care among Boda Boda riders in the Nairobi metropolis”.

She was received by Prof Simon Karanja the JKUAT COHES Research team lead, Dr. John Gachohi, the JKUAT COHES Research team Coordinator for Kajiado County, Mr. Samson Saigelo, the Kajiado County Director of Public Health and the Chairman of the boda boda Chap chap pick point.

From Left to right: Mr Samson Saigilu, Prof Simon Karanja, Ms. Paula Akugizibwe and Dr. Jane Aduda.

Ms. Akugizibwe was taken round the camp and briefed on the various work stations the participants of the study would visit. She applauded the study team members for their dedication and efforts to collect data. She reiterated the importance of the study to FIND and its partners and looked forward to the receiving the final study report from the JKUAT team.

She said the report would form an important basis for further financial investment by the FIND partners in the use of digital tools in health.

The Kajiado County Health team responsible for COVID-19 and TB sample collection and COVID-19 testing using AgRDT Testing at the Chap Chap data collection study site.

Mr. Saigilu appraised Ms. Akugizibwe on the health challenges and opportunities in Kajiado County and emphasized on the need for public-private partnership to mitigate some of the health challenges the county faced.

Mr. Saigelo appraised Ms. Akugizibwe on the health challenges and opportunities in Kajiado County and emphasized on the need for public-private partnership to mitigate some of the health challenges the county faced. Later in the afternoon, Ms. Akugizibwe later held fruitful and insightful discussions with the JKUAT COHES Research team in the DHARC, JKUAT.

A bodaboda participant (seated) undergoes a medical checkup. The Chap chap pickup stage bodaboda Chairman Looks on. Standing on the right is Dr. John Gachohi.

The team briefed her on their field experiences on this study. They also discussed a wide range of opportunities that the JKUAT team can consider going forward. Ms. Akugizibwe promised to share some of the feedback, experiences and requests made by the JKUAT team with the FIND headquarters in Geneva.

She praised the team for their exemplary work on the just concluded digital end to end study. She pledged to continue supporting the team and looking out for possible joint opportunities to carry out research between FIND and JKUAT.

The meeting was attend by Prof. Simon Karanja, Dr. Reuben Thuo, Prof. Fred Wamunyokoli, Dr. Jane Aduda, Dr. Thomas Ngigi, Dr. Joseph Matheri and Mr. Phillip Oyier.

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The MoH representatives and the JKUAT COHES Research Team sets for the Boda Boda Study Planning

From left to right: Prof Simon Karanja, Dr. Denver Mariga, Prof Gideon Kikuvi, Dr. Thomas Ngigi, Ms Wairimu Gichaiya, Dr. Susan Mwelu, Dr. Jane Aduda, Dr Ejersa Waqo and Dr. Reuben Thuo.

A collaborative five Day Boda Boda study Planning Workshop

Held on 5th – 10th September, 2021 at Gelian Hotel, Machakos

The JKUAT COHES Research team led by Prof Simon Karanja, held a 5 day workshop at the Gelian Hotel to develop the work plan for the study  “Utilization of digital tools to enhance COVID-19 and TB testing and linkage to care among Boda Boda riders in the Nairobi metropolis”. This is a collaborative study between JKUAT COHES Research team, Ministry of Health (MOH), Foundation of Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND) and the County Governments that compose the Nairobi Metropolis, namely, Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu and Kajiado. This study is funded by FIND.

The objectives of the study are;

  • To create awareness and demand for COVID-19 and TB testing among Boda Boda riders using digital messaging.
  • To use digital solutions (COVID-19 Tracker, KenyaEMR, Jitenge, LIMS and TIBU) in conjunction with AgRDTs  to support decentralized COVID-19 and TB screening, testing, contact tracing and linkage to care of Boda Boda riders in the Nairobi metropolis.
  • To determine the COVID-19 and TB positivity and co-infection rates among the Boda Boda riders and lastly determine the accuracy / reliability of the AgRDT against the PCR (gold standard).

The workshop was attended by the MOH representative, Dr. Denver Mariga and Dr. Ejersa Waqo, the Director of the National TB, Leprosy and Lung Disease Program of Kenya and 10 members of the Research team.   The workshop successfully developed the draft study work plan, training materials, operational model of the study and completed the clinical trials assessment kit.

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Strengthening and Expanding community testing of COVID-19

Director General of Health holds talks with CEO of FIND and the JKUAT-COHES Research Team

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From Left to right: Dr. Jane Aduda, Dr. Reuben Thuo, Prof. Simon Karanja, Dr. Patrick Amoth, Dr. Bill Rodriguez, Dr. Sergio Carmona and Prof Mathu Ndung’u  

CEO FIND Dr. Bill Rodriguez Research expressed his interest in working with the Ministry of Health to strengthen and expand community testing of COVID-19

Held on 15th of September, 2021 at Afya House Nairobi

The Director General (DG) of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth held talks with the Chief Executive Officer of Foundation of Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND), Dr Bill Rodriguez in his office at Afya House.  Dr. Rodriquez briefly explained the mandate of FIND in the areas of COVID-19 and neglected tropical diseases. He expressed his interest in working with the Ministry of Health to strengthen and expand community testing of COVID-19 so as to identify hotspots and secondly, to increase the local capacity to produce vaccines and diagnostic kits. He also briefed the DG on some of the efforts his organization was undertaking with regard to testing of Leishmania using rapid kits.

This is a study that is jointly being undertaken by KEMRI and FIND in Gilgil area of Nakuru County. He observed that the COVID-19 pandemic had led to a resurgence of neglected tropical disease.

 The DG appreciated the work FIND was undertaking in Kenya. He briefed the CEO of FIND on the efforts his ministry was undertaking in the diagnosis and treatment of Schistosomiasis in Kenyan School Children. He state that he was expected to officiate at the launch of the Schistosomiasis Children-treatment program. He further explained the efforts his ministry was undertaking in the sequencing of the COVID-19 variant strains in Kenya and disclosed that Kenya was the COVID-19 sequencing hub for Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi, the Comoros among other countries in East and Central Africa. He praised the collaboration and funding given to the JKUAT-COHES Research team by FIND for the Digital end to end study and Diagnostic Network Optimization studies. He disclosed that the MOH was working closely with JKUAT as a partner which has provided the much needed technical support in the disease modelling of COVID-19 since 2020. He reiterated that the projects undertaken by JKUAT were authorized and undertaken on behalf of MOH.  He welcomed FIND to work with MOH and expand its collaboration with JKUAT and other research institutions such as KEMRI, which houses FIND Kenya. Dr. Bill Rodriguez was accompanied by the Chief Medical Officer of FIND, Dr. Sergio Carmona and the CEO of FIND–Kenya Prof Mathu Ndung’u.

The JKUAT COHES Research group was represented by Prof Simon Karanja, Dr Reuben Thuo, Dr. Jane Aduda, and Prof. Fred Wamunyokoli. Also in attendance was Dr. Denver Mariga of MOH.     

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JKUAT COHES Research Team meets the Kajiado CHMT on the Bodaboda study

From left to right: Dr. Reuben Thuo, Director of Public Health, County TB Program Coordinator, County Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jane Aduda, Prof Simon Karanja.

JKUAT COHES Research team hold discussions with the Kajiado County Health Management Team

Held on 1st September, 2021 at Gelian Hotel Machakos

The JKUAT COHES Research team held discussions with the Kajiado CHMT led by the Director of Medical Services of Kajiado County at the Gelian Hotel in Machakos town. Prof Simon Karanja on behalf of the JKUAT COHES Research team briefed the Kajiado team on the upcoming study on “Utilization of digital tools to enhance COVID-19 and TB testing and linkage to care among Boda Boda riders in the Nairobi metropolis”. He outlined the objectives of the study and explained why the project primarily targets the Bodaboda riders in the Kajiado Sub-counties within the Nairobi Metropolis. Prof.  Karanja further stated that this was a collaborative study between the MOH and the Foundation of Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND). He reassured the CHMT team that the

JKUAT is more than ready to work with the county to make this study a success. On behalf of the CHMT team, the Director of Health welcomed the timeliness of the study and the impact it would have on the bodaboda sector. He noted that the bodaboda group is a high risk group that needs to be prioritized for vaccination against COVID-19.  He also noted the high disease burden of TB in the county and the importance of this study in revealing the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the prevalence and management of TB in the county. He welcomed the JKUAT to work with his officers. He requested JKUAT team to write and introduction letter to the CEC Health, Kajiado to facilitate the entry into the county and access to the health facilities in the county. He suggested that going forward this new found collaboration can best be anchored in the development and signing of an MOU betwwen the County and the university.

The Kajiado CHMT team consisted of County Director of Public Health, Deputy Director of Medical Services, In charge of Laboratory Services and the County TB Program Coordinator .

The JKUAT COHES Research team included Prof Simon Karanja, Dr Reuben Thuo, Prof Fred Wamunyokoli and Dr. Jane Aduda.

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JKUAT COHES Research Team meets the Bodaboda leadership of Kajiado and Machakos Counties

From Left to right: Dr. Jane Aduda, Prof. Simon Karanja, Mr. Joel Mwenda, Dr. Reuben Thuo and Mr. Stephen Mutiso

JKUAT COHES Research team hold discussions with Boda Boda leadership

Held on 1st September, 2021 at Gelian Hotel in Machakos

The Bodaboda leadership of Kajiado and Machakos Counties held discussions with the JKUAT COHES Research team at the Gelian Hotel in Machakos town . Kajiado County was represented by Mr. Steven Mutiso who is the Secretary General of the Bodaboda Safety Association of Kenya (BAK) in Kajiado County, while Mr. Joel Mwenda, who is the BAK Chairman of Machakos County represented Machakos County.

Prof Simon Karanja on behalf of the JKUAT team gave a brief background on the upcoming study on “Utilization of digital tools to enhance COVID-19 and TB testing and linkage to care among Boda Boda riders in the Nairobi metropolis. He explained why this group was targeted as it has been largely neglected compared to the distant truckers with regards to COVID-19 and TB testing and vaccination against COVID-19. He further noted some of the challenges the riders face in accessing quality and cost-effective health care and lack of entrepreneurial skills. He reiterated the benefits of this study to the riders, their families and customers and suggested further collaborative activities that can be jointly undertaken by the two institutions.

The county BAK leadership explained their organizational hierarchy, membership and mobilization potentials. They pledged their full cooperation and support in publicizing and mobilizing their members to fully participate in the study.

In attendance from the JKUAT COHES Research team were Dr Reuben Thuo, Prof Fred Wamunyokoli and Dr. Jane Aduda.

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Foundation of Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND) Gives JKUAT COHES Research Team the nod to Proceed with Data collection for the BODABODA Study

JKUAT COHES Research Team gets the go ahead to conduct data collection for the clinical trials

Courtesy call made on Thursday 23rd September, 2021

Foundation of Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND) gave the JKUAT COHES Research Team the green light to proceed with data collection for the clinical trials study“Utilization of digital tools to enhance COVID-19 and TB testing and linkage to care among Boda Boda riders in the Nairobi metropolis”.

The study which is funded by FIND is a collaborative study between JKUAT COHES Research Team, MOH and the County Governments of Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos. In order to proceed with the data collection, the JKUAT institution, team and stakeholders in the study were required to undergo an assessment to establish their readiness and compliance to the FIND code of ethics.

The assessment was undertaken by Prof. Mathu Ndung’u the CEO FIND-Kenya. He commended the team for the good preparations and compliance with FINDS regulations, expectations and guidelines governing clinical trials. Prof Mathu Ndung’u paid a courtesy call to JKUATES (local administrators of the study). He noted with appreciation the mechanisms JKUATES has in place to ensure the smooth implementation of the study. He lauded the accounting and oversight procedures that JKUATES has in place to facilitate the successful undertaking of the study.

The JKUAT presentation for assessment was made by Prof. Gideon Kikuvi. Other team members included Prof Simon Karanja, Dr. Reuben Thuo, Prof. Fred Wamunyokoli and Dr. Jane Aduda.

The JKUATES team was led by the  Senior General Manager, Erastus Mvuria;  Head of Support Services and Logistics, Eric Nguru; Deputy Procurement Manager, Lincoln Chomba; Deputy Finance Manager, Stephen Muange

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The Mombasa County CHMT Team meets JKUAT COHES Research Team on the Piloting of the Mobile Laboratory (CAREPOD) to support Diagnostic Services in Mombasa County

Front row from Left to right: Dr. Reuben Thuo, Dr. Esha Yahya, Ms. Saida Said, Ms. Pauline Oginga, Prof Simon Karanja, Prof. Fred Wamunyokoli, Dr. Jane Aduda.

Held on on 19th August 2021 at Mwembe Tayari, Mombasa.

The Mombasa County Health Management Team (CHMT) led by the Chief Officer of Public Health, Ms. Pauline Oginga met the JKUAT COHES Research Team at her office in Mwembe Tayari, Mombasa. The JKUAT team lead, Prof. Simon Karanja gave a brief background on the existing relationship between the JKUAT team and Mombasa County CHMT. He thanked the Mombasa County CHMT for their continued support. He singled out the successful partnership between the Mombasa County Department of Health Services and JKUAT research team on the recently concluded “Digital end to end” study. 

Dr. Jane Aduda made a presentation on the upcoming project which is due to commence in January 2022 and is funded by The Praesens Foundation.

Left row to back:Dr. Reuben Thuo, Prof. Fred Wamunyokoli, Dr. Jane Aduda
Right row to back: Mr. Ferdinand Kai and Mr. Raphael Mwanyamwawi, Prof Simon Karanja

The presentation highlighted the importance of accurate and timely diagnosis in enhancing disease management. It outlined the key disease diagnosis tests that would be carried out by the Carepod. She highlighted the key interior and external features of the vehicle that provide adequate infrastructural support to the medical laboratory test environment and data transmission of the test results. The members discussed the menu of tests offered by the carepod and suggested additional tests that could be included in the menu.

The Chief Officer on behalf of the County team pledged her support for the study. She thanked JKUAT for considering Mombasa County for the piloting of the study. She observed that the mobile laboratory would greatly complement the efforts of the “Beyond zero” initiative of the first lady of Kenya.

In addition, the mobile laboratory would greatly enhance the medical diagnostic capacity of the County and capacity build the laboratory staff of the county through training. She said the County Department of Health Services will be more than willing to second its staff to the project. She requested the JKUAT team to develop an MOU that anchors the various collaborative activities that are being jointly undertaken by JKUAT and Mombasa Health Department. In addition the MOU would provide a framework for future opportunities to work together.

Left row to back: Prof Simon Karanja, Mr. Raphael Mwanyamwawi, Mr. Ferdinand Kai, Dr. Esha Yahya,
Right row to back: Dr. Jane Aduda, Dr. Reuben Thuo, Ms. Saida Said
At the center back: Ms. Pauline Oginga.

The meeting was attended by the Mombasa County CHMT officials; Esha Yahya, Head Clinical Services; Saida Said, SCMIC; Ferdinand Kai, Clinical Officer and Raphael Mwanyamwawi, County Disease Surveillance Coordinator and Pauline Oginga.

JKUAT team members included, Prof Simon Karanja Dr. Reuben Thuo Prof. Fred Wamunyokoli and Dr. Jane Aduda.

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The President of the BODABODA Safety Association of Kenya (BAK) Meets the JKUAT COHES Research Team

From Left to Right: Dr. Jane Aduda, Prof. Fred Wamunyokoli, Mr. Kevin Mubade, Prof Simon Karanja and Dr. Reuben Thuo

Held on 30th August, 2021 at Bruce house office, Nairobi

The President of the Bodaboda Safety Association of Kenya (BAK), Mr. Kevin Mubade held discussions with the JKUAT COHES Research Team at his Bruce house office in Nairobi on 30th August 2021. Mr. Mubade gave a detailed background of how BAK was established, the organizational structure, activities of the association and the existing collaboration between the association and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and the Office of the President. 

Prof Simon Karanja, briefed the President on purpose of the meeting. He outlined the objectives of the upcoming study on “Utilization of digital tools to enhance COVID-19 and TB testing and linkage to care among Boda Boda riders in the Nairobi metropolis” which is funded byFoundation of Innovative and New Diagnostics (FIND). He stated that the study is a collaboration between JKUAT, MOH and the County Governments of Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado and MachakosMr Mubade welcomed the study. He said the study would not have come at a better time as the association forges ties with other organizations to enhance the welfare of its members. He stated that BAK has previously responded to calls from various organizations to participate in their activities. An example was the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service to donate blood. He pledged his support for the study and promised to mobilize his members to participate and support the study unconditionally.

Mr Mubabe further hoped that the working relationship between BAK and JKUAT would be strengthened through an MOU. This would ease access of his members to various university products such as training in highly needed areas such as entrepreneurial skills, health-care and financial management. 

In attendance was also Dr. Reuben Thuo, Prof Fred Wamunyokoli and Dr. Jane Aduda.

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