President Uhuru Kenyatta has decorated Director General-KEMRI, Prof. Yeri Kombe with the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear Medal (M.B.S) award for “his exemplary contribution in the medical research and public health fraternity.”
The state award is published in The Kenya Gazette Magazine, Issue No. 174 and dated 20th, December 2019 and celebrates Prof. Kombe’s accomplished contribution as a health research scientist, a medical doctor and a scholar.
“Prof. Kombe is an accomplished medical research scientist and public health expert. During his tenure as the Director General, Prof. Kombe has ensured that KEMRI maintains cutting edge and world class status through research output which saw it ranked as the Best Research Institution in Africa – 2019 by Scimago Inc (a world ranking organization), had the first DNA Forensic Facility open to the public and had the first Ever Regional Medical Culture Media Production Line established,” states the citation.
Prof. Yeri Kombe is a PhD (in Epidemiology) alumni of the prestigious London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and holds a first degree in Medicine and Surgery from University of Nairobi and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the same University. He has published more than 30 peer reviewed scientific publications in international journals.
Born on born in January, 5th, 1955, the Director General of the premier human health research institution in Africa boosts of over 30 years’ experience in research. He is credited with having led the Multi-Country and Multi Institutional Health System Research study that examined improving priority setting processes in government District Health facilities which led to reprioritization and improvement of service delivery process not just in Kenya but in East & Central Africa. He has also been instrumental in assessment of the use of population Home Based Management of Malaria in controlling morbidity in the region.
Through his leadership, the first ever Kenya National Micronutrient Survey was conducted; the results will forever inform health providers on the use of micronutrients in this country and beyond. The designed and implemented county engagement mechanism, now known as a cluster coordination system, revolutionized how all the 47 counties work with national institutions like KEMRI and others was made possible by him.
Previously, Prof. Kombe held various key administrative positions in the Institute such as the Director of the Centre for Public Health Research (CPHR), and headed, the National Food Handlers Program in Kenya prior to his appointment to his current position as the Director General and CEO of KEMRI.