Highlight: Kenya selects first research chair on health systems

April 14, 2016

The Kenya National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), in collaboration with IDRC, launched Kenya’s first Research Chair on March 31, 2015 in Nairobi. Professor Fabian Omoding Esamai, the current Principal of Moi University’s College of Health Sciences, has been selected as the Health Systems Chair. Research will focus on a systems approach to improving maternal and child healthcare delivery in Kenya, specifically within primary care facilities.

Professor Esamai will play a crucial role in improving research capacity in this field, and at the same time, endeavour to bridge the gap between universities and industries working in health systems.

Speaking about the Research Chair program, Dr Moses Rugutt, NACOSTI’s Director General said, “Kenya, like many other African countries, suffers brain drain as professionals seek better remuneration and research facilities as well as funding opportunities abroad. This program is hinged on providing a conducive environment that facilitates research and innovation within our universities and will enhance the capacity of our local universities to attract and retain top-notch researchers.

Dr Simon Carter, IDRC's Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa, lauded the launch of the Chair as a significant step forward in the field of health systems in Kenya. “The Research Chair will call for increasing relevance and utility of health systems research by making it more demand driven. It will suggest options for action by stakeholders including government, to embed research into decision-making to ensure that health systems research is grounded in political realities and have real positive impact on the lives of many Kenyans and beyond,” said Carter.

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