Center for Public Health Research(CPHR)

ABOUT US

Before a formal transfer to KEMRI, CPHR operated by the name of Medical Research Centre (MRC), which was managed by the Royal Tropical Institute of Amsterdam (KIT) until 1987. In 1995, KEMRI undertook a re-alignment exercise of its research mandates / Programmes and renamed its centers to reflect the new corporate identity. In this regard, MRC remained the official name of the center until 1997 when all tittles of centers  were changed to start with CENTRE and MRC renamed the “Centre for Public Health Research”.

ADMINISTRATION

The Administration has 12 sections as detailed in the table below that support all the research units and the director in executing their mandates at the center. All the administrative units link to their respective departments at the KEMRI headquarters. Their services range from, secretarial, accounting (important to support handle accounts of scientists’ funded projects); procurement section that supports both the administrative needs on procurement as well as individual scientists with regards to their projects; telephone operators, drivers, workshop and garage sections that support the Centre manage minor repairs of facilities and vehicles. In addition, librarian supports the Centre in collating of relevant documentation and proposals for referencing while the registry supports on centralized filing of all documents and files of the Center.

CPHR MANDATES

CPHR operations are guided by the following mandates

  1. To conduct research aimed at providing solutions for reduction of diseases of public health importance
  2. To undertake innovations in products formulation and provision of specialized service delivery for promotion of public health
  3. To strengthen capacity in public health research through training, supervision and mentorship
  4. To translate and disseminate health research findings for evidence-based policy formulation and implementation for improved public health.
  5. To provide leadership in public health research in Kenya and beyond

Public Health Nutrition and Maternal and Child Health

Nutrition studies and survey:

  1. Conduct of national nutrition surveys and studies on Maternal Child Health and Public Nutrition.
  2. Undertake clinical trials and studies on innovative nutritional preparations/formulations to address disease conditions
  • Conduct studies on nutrition and lifestyle diseases including but not limited to cardiovascular health research, diabetes and cancer.

Wellness promotion: Provision of wellness promotion services at worksite for different institutions in the country

Capacity building: Offer training on various nutrition aspects including on nutrition assessments, food science, nutrition biochemistry and offer laboratory services

  1. Collaborate with other ministries, departments and sectors involved in nutrition and contribute towards evidence-based policy formulation
  2. To enhance capacity building of staff through continuous educational programs of both graduate and student on attachment by conducting proficiency assessments quarterly.

Health Systems Research (HSR)

To conduct research that will identify effective and efficient ways to organize, manage, and deliver high quality, equitable and responsive health care within the areas of: health services, health information systems, health financing, medicines and technologies, health work force, and leadership and governance in Kenya.

Functions of HSR

Research – the Unit promotes, initiate and coordinate health systems research initiatives based on WHO six-pillars of health systems.

Training and Capacity building – the Unit facilitates capacity building activities through post-graduate training and short-term training for health workers.

Public Engagement – We engage the public in some cases during proposal development and dissemination of our research findings through forums such as conferences, workshops and community meetings; offer advisory on national health policy; producing peer reviewed publications in scientific journals.

Epidemiology UNIT

Research in this unit focus on epidemiologic research to health-related knowledge by engaging in high quality independent and collaborative scientific investigation within and outside Kenya.

FUNCTIONS

  1. Undertake research and surveillance of communicable and non-communicable diseases
  2. Provide training to health workers on surveillance and data management
  • Outbreak investigation and response in collaboration with the other relevant institutions,
  1. Conduct HIV drug resistance surveys,
  2. Supports disease programs in conducting national surveys

Bio-statistics UNIT

Biostatistics is the application of statistics to a variety of topical issues in health. Biostatistics and bioinformatics and Computing research- provides the essential methodological and quantitative underpinning necessary for much of public health, Epidemiological and medical research in general including quantitative oriented procedures. It supports the other units of CPHR and as well as other centers of KEMRI.

Functions

The unit undertakes the following functions:

Collaborative Research:  To establish collaborations with experts in the biological and health sciences in which Biostatisticians make substantial contributions in providing statistical input in planning (like Sample survey designs) of studies, analysis of data and interpretation of results.

Training:  Educating and mentoring students in graduate school (ITROMID) and mentorship programmes (industrial attachments) on theoretical and practical approaches to problem solving using Biostatistics tools.

Methodological Research:  To enhance the existing bodies of knowledge in theoretical and applied statistics.

Service:  Provision of statistical support for research projects outside the Institute that are limited in time, nature, and scope.  Participation in local and national committees or other “citizenship” responsibilities.

Computing: To ensure access to members and students to a variety of utilities such as workstations with Pentium personal computers, central servers running on Windows 2003 and other operating systems.

Population and Behavioral Sciences UNIT

This Unit focuses on research that affects Kenya population as well as behavioral sciences with sole aim of promoting optimal physical, social and emotional wellness

Functions

TO:     

  1. Determine relevant research objectives and prepare research proposals
  2. Identify sources of funding and oversee the process of securing funds
  • Establish community entry points for research activities
  1. Carry out mappings and community mobilization
  2. Manage research activities in the field through planning, organizing and directing of data collection
  3. Promote independent research in the relevant areas
  • Seek practical applications of research findings and provide guidance in policy making
  • Publish or disseminate research findings through conferences, workshops, media and in the community
  1. Update knowledge and understanding in field of specialization.
  2. Collaborate with other relevant institutions in proposal development
  3. Publish as co-author with other scientists

Environmental, Occupational and Industrial Health UNIT

Biostatistics is the application of statistics to a variety of topical issues in health. Biostatistics and bioinformatics and Computing research- provides the essential methodological and quantitative underpinning necessary for much of public health, Epidemiological and medical research in general including quantitative oriented procedures. It supports the other units of CPHR and as well as other centers of KEMRI.

Functions

The unit undertakes the following functions:

Collaborative Research:  To establish collaborations with experts in the biological and health sciences in which Biostatisticians make substantial contributions in providing statistical input in planning (like Sample survey designs) of studies, analysis of data and interpretation of results.

Training:  Educating and mentoring students in graduate school (ITROMID) and mentorship programmes (industrial attachments) on theoretical and practical approaches to problem solving using Biostatistics tools.

Methodological Research:  To enhance the existing bodies of knowledge in theoretical and applied statistics.

Service:  Provision of statistical support for research projects outside the Institute that are limited in time, nature, and scope.  Participation in local and national committees or other “citizenship” responsibilities.

Computing: To ensure access to members and students to a variety of utilities such as workstations with Pentium personal computers, central servers running on Windows 2003 and other operating systems.

Oral health UNIT

This unit focus on the assessment of oral health needs. Carries out critical evaluations, derivation of appropriate indicators oral health, commissioning and evaluation of dental health services. Research and development in oral health.

Functions

  1. Assess oral health status and implement an oral health surveillance system
  2. Analyze determinants of oral health and respond to health hazards
  • Assess public perceptions about oral health issues and educate/empower people to achieve and maintain optimal oral health
  1. Mobilize community partners to leverage resources and advocate for/act on oral health issues
  2. Develop and implement policies and systematic plans that support state and community oral health efforts
  3. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based oral health promotion activities and oral health services
  • Research for new insights and innovative solutions to oral health problems

Social Sciences Research

Introduction

Social Sciences Research  arm  is an independent Unit in the Centre for Public Health Research, KEMRI that provides broad research endeavors in the social sciences, along with research skills related to health, illness and health care. The research in this discipline is conducted by social scientists following a systematic plan that utilizes both quantitative and qualitative designs. Quantitative design approach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence, and often rely on statistical analysis of many cases (or across intentionally designed treatments in an experiment) to create valid and reliable general claims related to quantity. Qualitative design, on the other hand, emphasize understanding of social phenomena through direct observation, communication with participants, or analysis of texts, and may stress contextual subjective accuracy over generality. Reasons for social research ankers on identifying general patterns and relationship, testing and refining theory, making prediction, interpreting significance, exploring diversity, giving voice and advancing new theories. The Social Science Unit comprises of various skills visa vis Medical Sociology, Sociology, Anthropology, Demography and Psychology. Its functions include   carrying out research that ensures excellence in research and innovation for human health, strengthening disease based research, enhancing dissemination and translation of research findings for evidence based policy formulation and implementation and mentoring programmes.

Introduction

Social Sciences Research  arm  is an independent Unit in the Centre for Public Health Research, KEMRI that provides broad research endeavors in the social sciences, along with research skills related to health, illness and health care. The research in this discipline is conducted by social scientists following a systematic plan that utilizes both quantitative and qualitative designs. Quantitative design approach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence, and often rely on statistical analysis of many cases (or across intentionally designed treatments in an experiment) to create valid and reliable general claims related to quantity. Qualitative design, on the other hand, emphasize understanding of social phenomena through direct observation, communication with participants, or analysis of texts, and may stress contextual subjective accuracy over generality. Reasons for social research ankers on identifying general patterns and relationship, testing and refining theory, making prediction, interpreting significance, exploring diversity, giving voice and advancing new theories. The Social Science Unit comprises of various skills visa vis Medical Sociology, Sociology, Anthropology, Demography and Psychology. Its functions include   carrying out research that ensures excellence in research and innovation for human health, strengthening disease based research, enhancing dissemination and translation of research findings for evidence based policy formulation and implementation and mentoring programmes.

ACHIEVEMENTS

YEAR PROJECT TITLES   OUT PUTS / OUTCOMES
1983 Kakamega ORS and social marketing Charcoal based water filter (Bone-char)
1985 Development of non-fluoride tooth paste for children Non fluoride toothpaste; Changed utilization of fluoride toothpaste by children; Fluorosis in children reduced
1987 Effectiveness of Bone-char in water de-fluoridation

Small scale de- fluoridation of water treatment plants;

Reduction of fluoride levels in water and prevalence of fluorosis

1993 KIDICO – Oral rehydration salts -Adopted for management of diarrheal in children, That  Reduced incidences of Diarrheal in children
1995 Determination of early manifestation of HIV in oral cavity WHO clinical staging of HIV; Informed the development of WHO guidelines on clinical staging of HIV ; Early detection HIV and prompt management
2003 Decentralization of TB Manyattas  TB manyattas; Reduction of distance to access to treatment through decentralization of TB manyattas ; Improved  access to more TB patients
2004 Salt iodization

Standard that reviewed iodization with PI from 100ppm to 30-50ppm which is currently in enforcement by government

Adopted by government and legislated into law. Reduced iodine deficiency in the population

2006

Study on Mother offspring vitamin A transfer

Findings show that vitamin A concentration in breast milk reduces as the child grows older and vitamin A partitioning to ensure mothers survival and further off springs

Supplementation of vitamin A from months is useful in ensuring the children get optimal vitamin A

Confirms the interventions by government on the importance of Vitamin A interventions to children from the age NIL6 months

Reduced vitamin A deficiencies in the population

2008 Developed the methodology for determining conformity to vitamin A fortification standards

Vitamin A Fats and oils analysis

This was used to build capacity in KEBS and is currently in use for the national and regional food fortification monitoring

KEBS is able monitor and report on fortification compliance by national and regional industries

 

2013 KARI/McGill Project: Innovations for Resilient Farming Agriculture and nutrition dialogue cards

Dialogue cards for training communities on nutrition practices

Improved knowledge on dietary diversity

     

 

Hematology Laboratory

Hematology is concerned with diagnosis of diseases related to blood.

The laboratory work that goes into the study of blood is frequently performed by a medical technologist or medical laboratory scientist. Including analysis of factors concerned with oncology,

Parasitology Laboratory

Parasitology laboratory offers a referral service for the identification of a wide range of human parasites from clinical specimens

Clinical Chemistry Laboratory

Clinical Chemistry (also known as chemical pathology, clinical biochemistry or medical biochemistry) is the area of clinical pathology that is generally concerned with analysis of bodily fluids for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes as well assessment of toxicology

Food Science Laboratory

The Food Science laboratory uses the application of basic sciences and engineering to study the physical, chemical, and biochemical nature of foods and the principles of food processing including the study of microorganisms causing food spoilage.

Dr. Zipporah Bukania

DEPUTY DIRECTOR CPHR

Contacts

Centre for Public Health Research

P.O. BOX 20752-00202, KNH Nairobi, Kenya

Email: directorcphr@kemri.org

zbukania@kemri.org

Tel: +254 020 2721915

Academic Qualifications

PhD Human Nutrition and Dietetics –Kenyatta University, Nairobi

M.Sc. Applied Human Nutrition -University of Nairobi

B.Sc. Major: Foods and Nutrition Minor:

Business Management (minor)-University of Eastern Africa, Baraton

 Research interests

  1. Applied Human Nutrition and food and nutrition policy
  2. Micronutrients in health, nutrition in non-communicable diseases, food security
  3. Technical Assistance: Strategy development; Review and development of action plans, Budgeting, M and E frameworks, Policy formulation