Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya - (KEMRI)


Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is a state corporation established through the Science and Technology (Amendment) Act of 1979, as the national body responsible for carrying out health research in Kenya. KEMRI has grown to become a regional leader in human health research, and currently ranks as one of the leading centres of excellence in health research both in Africa as well as globally. In its commitment to meeting the health challenges KEMRI has consolidated its research activities into four main programmes: infectious diseases; parasitic diseases; epidemiology, public health and health systems research; and biotechnology and non-communicable diseases. Its mandates include among others to liaise with relevant bodies within and outside Kenya to carry out research.

Eastern & Southern Africa Centre of International Parasite Control (ESACIPAC) was established within KEMRI with the assistance of the Japanese government, through JICA, under the Global Parasite Control Initiative. ESACIPAC's mission is to undertake human resource development to strengthen research and control programmes on parasitic diseases in the eastern and southern Africa region. The Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR) has a long history of malaria research spanning over a period of 30 years. The centre has the state-of-the-art facilities.

Sammy M. Njenga holds a PhD from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK. He is a Principal Research Scientist in KEMRI and the acting Director of the Eastern and Southern Africa Centre of International Parasite Control (ESACIPAC). His research interests are in the area of neglected tropical diseases (NTD) including, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis.

Andrew Githeko PhD is a Medical entomologist trained at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He has been working on malaria for the last 28 years and has focused on the ecology of the vectors and the disease. In recent years he has focused on the effects of climate and environmental change on malaria in the Western Kenya Highlands. He has established a Climate and Human Health Research Unit which has received funding from NIH, IDRC, USAID, WHO and several other funding agencies. Dr. Githeko has been a UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientist since 1998 and has co-authored three of its reports. He was an expert and reviewer for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA). His current work includes modeling malaria epidemics, changing immune response to malaria, effects of topography and hydrology to malaria epidemiology, effects of land use change on malaria, control of malaria vectors by house modification and ecological modification of swamps. He is also identifying barriers and gaps in the national malaria control programs.

Diana Karanja is based at the CGHR. Schistosomiasis Research has been ongoing in KEMRI since its inception, and at CGHR, headed by Dr. Karanja, since 1994. Dr. Karanja has worked extensively on schistosomiasis geographic distribution, immunology, diagnostics and mass drug administration. Her  laboratory has received funding from WHO, NIH, CDC collaboration, United Nations University collaboration.

KEMRI-based researchers will mainly be involved in examining the effects of environmental changes on emergence and spread of malaria and schistosomiasis in eastern Africa (WP3). Sammy co-leads WP3.

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