Kenya: GEIS

Area of Research
Location

Nairobi
Kenya

Since 2010, HJFMRI has served as the managing partner for the US Government-funded, Overseas Support Activities for the United States (U.S.) Army Medical Research Directorate – Africa’s (USAMRD-A) Infectious Disease Surveillance Program in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In light of the challenges of conducting military-relevant medical research and surveillance in Africa, HJFMRI has assembled an excellent team of scientists, technicians, administrative, and logistical experts recruited from the host nations.

This program has implemented surveillance research and outbreak response activities in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya and across other Sub-Saharan African nations in collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Makerere University–Walter Reed Project (MUWRP), and Stichting PharmAccess International (PAI). Surveillance is performed using an extensive multi-site surveillance network in each country with clinicians and lab technicians trained on case recruitment and proper specimen handling. The health information provided by these programs are shared with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in each country and other in-country partners to inform medical and public health practice. This information also informs global health and soldier health by identifying health threats which may be encountered by visitors, as well as diseases which may be transmitted and spread outside these countries.

In Kenya, HJFMRI partners with KEMRI laboratories in Nairobi [AMR, STI and viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF)], Kisumu [acute febrile illness (AFI), malaria drug resistance (MDR), MDC and Entomology] and Kericho (Microbiology Hub) in execution of the GEIS program. HJFMRI’s work in Kenya, involves 160 staff with expertise in public health, research, lab science, microbiology, and management, who conduct biomedical research and population-based surveillance of emerging IDs, and strengthen KEMRI research sites. In Kenya, there are active surveillance sites located primarily in county and military hospitals in several regions and cover a broad range of Kenyan tribes/cultures and environments.

In the past 5 years, in addition to sensitizing and training the host country military partners to prepare for potential outbreak response, HJFMRI supported responses to numerous infectious disease outbreaks at the request of the Kenya MoH and/or the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF), or the World Health Organization (WHO).  This work succeeds as it is conducted as a collaborative effort with local and international stakeholders.