The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has been awarded the annual JICA President Award for its contribution to diagnostics and research in human health especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The award was presented to KEMRI by the Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Kenya Mr. Kastutoshi KOMORI, and received by the Chairman of the KEMRI Board of Management, Dr. Naphtali Agata and Director General, Prof. Yeri Kombe
“KEMRI has been nominated for its regional contributions through conducting research and human resource development in the field of human health,” says Mr. Komori.
The JICA President Award which is now in its 16th year is presented during the Annual commemoration of the International Cooperation Day in Japan. Eminent individuals and organizations are awarded for their significant contributions to human resource development and social and economic development in developing countries.
“We are humbled, delighted and honored to receive this award. It is a recognition of how hard our research scientists have toiled over the years to provide human health solutions for our people especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Prof. Yeri Kombe.
The Institute’s national response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been through supporting national testing, policy formulation and capacity building at both county and national government in the fight against COVID-19. KEMRI released various policy briefs and carried out whole genome sequencing of the virus that informed decisions at public and government levels. In addition, the Institute scaled up the production of inhouse products such as KEM-rub sanitizers and Virus Transport Media (VTM) and recently joining in the global effort to find a COVID-19 Vaccine.
KEMRI and JICA have shared a fruitful partnership since 1979 through grant aid, technical cooperation projects with collaboration from Japanese Universities such as Nagasaki University and Third Country Training Program for laboratory capacity development for Eastern African countries.
“Thank you for your continued and unconditional support through out the years. It is our hope that this relationship withstands the test of time so that we may continue to find human health solutions for our people,” says Dr. Naphtali Agata.
This year 48 individuals and Institutions have been awarded with KEMRI being one out of six overseas organization awardee.