Research Care and Training Program (RCTP)
Research Care and Training Program (RCTP)


The Research Care and Training Program (RCTP) is a program within the Centre for Microbiology Research (CMR) at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). RCTP has the goal of conducting research, providing care and creating and supporting treatment with an emphasis on infectious diseases and with a bias towards sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. RCTP has been responsible for the conduct of a number of Research Trials, Capacity building by training for research and care, and for the implementation of an HIV care program- the Family AIDS Care and Education Services (FACES). The RCTP is headed by two Directors namely Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi of KEMRI and Dr. Craig Cohen of University of California San Francisco (UCSF) (for further information look at Prof King Holmes, the Head of the Global Health Department and the Center for AIDS and STD Research ( of the University of Washington (, a mentor to both Drs Bukusi and Cohen is one of the main collaborators from the University of Washington. This program however includes collaboration between the Center for Microbiology Research (KEMRI), the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), the University of Nairobi (UON) ( and University of Washington (UW).

Locations and setup

The Nairobi Offices are housed at the Medical Microbiology Annexe building section of the Infectious Disease Center managed by the University of Nairobi Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute (UNITID) at University of Nairobi, College of Health Sciences. A unique Anaerobe laboratory is housed at the Center for Microbiology Research laboratories, within the Kenyatta Hospital complex, opposite the National Public Health laboratories. The Kisumu site is based at the Lumumba Health Centre on Agoi Road and the Vivagel Clinic behind Arya Primary School. The Suba care sites with offices and laboratory based at the Suba District Hospital in Sindo, Suba District supports provision of HIV at 13 health facilities within Suba District including Mbita sub District hospital and Senna health center and a mobile clinic at Ringiti Island. The Migori care is provided from a hub located at the Migori District Hospital in Migori, and will support the expansion of care and PMTCT services throughout Migori District.

RCTP has a workforce of approximately 220 individuals in various capacities. Of these 220, three (3) are permanent and pensionable employees while the rest are staff hired on temporary renewable annual contracts, depending on the length of the particular project for which they were hired. The RCTP Program has several administrative offices including a data office within the IDC at UNITID. The program has two well-equipped buildings in Kisumu at the Lumumba Health Centre. One primarily hosts research projects while the second which was recently completed will house the HIV/AIDS care program. We are currently building a comprehensive care center at the Suba District hospital. In Kisumu we also rent two other buildings, one that houses couples HIV counseling and testing center at Ondiek estate and a clinical site for our phase I clinical trial of a female microbicide on Vivagel behind Arya Primary School in Kisumu.


  • Family planning
  • Reproductive tract infections
  • Behavior change
  • STI/HIV prevention including microbicides and barrier methods
  • Infectious diseases (including STI and HIV)
  • HIV care/treatment
  • Operations research


HIV Shedding Study:

This was a study on the pathogenesis of HIV disease in women assessing the local factors that influence the shedding of HIV including Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STI's). The study was funded by NIH via the University of Washington. This study was conducted in collaboration with the Center for Respiratory Disease Research (CRDR), KEMRI.

Diaphragm Acceptability among Sex Workers, their Clients and Partners in Nairobi:

This project supported a two part study including formative research to understand the concerns and willingness to use the diaphragm for HIV prevention among sex workers in Kibera, Nairobi and following that an acceptability trial of diaphragm use for six months. The study was funded by CONRAD via the University of Washington and included collaboration between the University of Nairobi Departments of Medical Microbiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, and CMR-KEMRI.

Male Microbicides, Genital Hygiene and HIV Risk behavior:

This study sought to determine the acceptability of the topical Microbicides and to understand male genital hygiene practices, and to document HIV risk behavior among men visiting STD clinics in Nairobi. This study was funded by NIH via a supplementary grant to the University of Washington's Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).

BV: Randomized Trial to Reduce Recurrence of Bacterial Vaginosis

This was randomized clinical trial evaluating the use of ethanol alcohol antiseptic gel (62%) for improved male genital hygiene and its impact on the recurrence of BV among women diagnosed and treated for the condition. The study also sought to evaluate both male and female risk factors for BV. This study was funded by NIH through a FIRCA grant.


  1. HIV/HSV 2 (CIS) Study
  3. Uliza! Clinicians' HIV Hotline
  4. VivaGel Study
  5. Male Microbicide (Fishermen) Study
  6. Antiretroviral Therapy Impact Study (ARTIS)
  7. HIV Incidence Study
  8. Other Projects

Awards of Excellence / Recognition:

  • International recognition – ICMDA Elizabeth Bukusi Runner up for the Dignity award for those working in HIV/AIDS.
  • ONDIEK Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Centre-Given Accreditation by NASCOP.
  • HIV/HSV-2 Study for being the highest monthly average enrolling site among all the Partners in Prevention (PIP) participating sites.-Was given award of excellence by PIP Coordinating team.
  • Dr Elizabeth Bukusi serves on the Infectious Disease Research Control Program committee and also serves as the Secretary since January 2006
  • Dr Elizabeth has served on the WHO country development program panel, Department of Reproductive Health since 2003


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"To improve human health and quality of life through research, capacity building, innovation and service delivery."




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