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Dr. Laurence Banks, Director General of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in a discussion with Dr. Damaris Matoke from KEMRI’s Center for Biotechnology Research (CBRD) when he visited KEMRI on 5th, August 2019

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Director General, Prof. Yeri Kombe in an animated discussion National Commission for Science, Technology & Innovation (NACOSTI), Dr. Moses Rugutt and Dr. Laurence Banks, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)

The Institute is to work with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) to harness the benefits of biotechnology in the region.

Visiting Director General of ICGEB, Dr. Lawrence Banks said that KEMRI as a premier health research institution in Africa should take advantage of opportunities offered by ICGEB to address the many challenges facing not just Kenyans but humanity in general.

He also called on researchers to play their role towards the promotion of sustainable global development.

Dr. Banks said this to KEMRI scientists during his first-ever official sensitization visit to KEMRI on the afternoon of 5th, August 2019.

Headquartered in Trieste, Italy, the IGCEB is a United Nations centre of excellence for research, training and technology with biotech labs in Italy, India, and South Africa. It is a unique intergovernmental organisation that runs 46 state-of-the-art laboratories and forms an interactive network with over 65 Member States in Biotechnology worldwide to achieve sustainable global development within the United Nations System.

“The ICGEB provides a scientific environment of top in international standard for advance research and education and for development of biotechnology which KEMRI ought to be part of,” said Dr. Banks while addressing Virologists, Microbiologists and Biotechnologists from KEMRI.

His visit to the Institute and indeed, Kenya, is to sensitize the scientist about activities of the centre such as developing knowledge with a serious effort required to build human capacity.

He also spoke extensively about the ICGEB Research Grants, which is a dedicated source of funding aimed at financing projects addressing original scientific problems of particular relevance for the host country and of regional interest. Funding opportunities are made available through what is known as the Collaborative Research Programme (CRP).

In addition, the centre provides support for research projects in Basic Science, Human Healthcare, Industrial and Agricultural Biotechnology and Bioenergy. ICGEB champions scientific cooperation and advanced education in PhD and Post-doctoral fellowships for researchers in different medical research fields. Science in genetic engineering and possible collaboration with their laboratories was also a topic that was discussed with agreement on the need for further collaboration and benchmarking from the best in different scientific fields.

While in the country, Dr. Banks is also expected to grace a grants-writing workshop by the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation ( NACOSTI) later in the week.

Prof. Gibson Kibiki addressing the YEARS delegates at the KEMRI headquarters.

The Kenyan Chapter of the Young East African Research Scientists (YEARS), has been launched. The YEARS, an East African Health and Research Commission (EAHRC) initiative, was officially flagged off during a day long ceremony on 28th of June, 2019 at the Kenya Medical Research Institute’s Training Center.

The main objective of this initiative is to empower young researchers from the East African Community (EAC) to be activity involved in shaping the future of research for health in the region. YEARS forum was approved by the 15th EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers of Health in November 2017. The EAHRC Executive Secretary, Prof. Gibson Kibiki and Director General, Prof. Yeri Kombe officiated in the launch. Prof. Kombe is also an EAHRC commissioner.

Dr. Novat Twungubumwe from the EAHRC, Dr. Evans Amukoye, the EAHRC National Focal Point, Dayster University Don, Prof. Peter Ngure and his Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology counterpart, Prof. Harun Kimani and KEMRI Researcher, Dr. Steven Wandiga were some of the mentors that also attended and spoke during the launch.

“This forum is meant to help make and continually mould young scientists from the region for the future and I assure of our support in helping build this critical mass that will soon steer the health research agenda and find solutions to the many problems facing our people,” said Prof. Kombe. Prof. Yeri Kombe addressing the YEARS delegates at the KEMRI headquarters. His sentiments were shared by Prof. Kibiki, thus, “being a scientist has its own challenges and opportunities, yet we all need someone to hold your hand to walk through this long journey”.

Prof. Kibiki also challenged the young researchers to embrace the digital technology as a platform to address some of these challenges that remain unattended. “Through digital technology there is a lot we can do as youths without necessarily having any support, the best wealth any human being has is the knowledge which you get from the training and not the certificate you attain after the accomplishment of your studies. Are you able to notice the gaps and make correct recommendations?” challenged Prof. Kibiki.

He intimated that there are currently 20 YEARS drawn from the six EAC member states. Tanzania with six members has the highest number of representatives, followed by Kenya’s five, with three each from Burundi and Rwanda, while Uganda has two members and South Sudan one member. One of the YEARS from Kenya, who is also a KEMRI scientist, Dr. Judy Mwai recently attained her PhD degree, while her colleagues are at a different stages of their PhD studies. “The requirement is that each one of us has to mentor not less than five mentees who either new PhD or Masters students”, explains Dr. Mwai. The National Coordinator, Olipher Mwakwaga and her colleague, Ms. Asiko Ongaya, also made presentations during the launch. Prof. Gibson Kibiki addressing the YEARS delegates at the KEMRI headquarters

Prof. Yeri Kombe addressing the YEARS delegates at the KEMRI headquarters.
The Kenyan Chapter of the Young East African Research Scientists (YEARS), has been launched. The YEARS, an East African Health and Research Commission (EAHRC) initiative, was officially flagged off during a day long ceremony on 28th of June, 2019 at the Kenya Medical Research Institute’s Training Center.

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The Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture (CBEC), SIUT held a successful training on clinical ethics in Africa at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) that was attended by participants from Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya between 23rd April to 3rd May 2019.

Prof. Farhat Moazam, Prof. Aamir Jafarey from CBEC Pakistan, Dr. Evans Amukoye and Prof. Elizabeth Bukusi from KEMRI during the opening of the KEMRI CBEC Clinical Ethics training.

KEMRI team lead by Director General, Prof. Yeri Kombe, this weekend took part in the Beyond Zero Marathon. Beyond Zero is a call to action for policy prioritization and formulation, increased resource allocation, improved service delivery and better individual health seeking behaviors and practices.

Launched in January 2014 by Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Beyond Zero was inspired by the realization and knowledge that maternal and children deaths are preventable.

KEMRI is a government owned parastatal with a wide range of specialized laboratories offering diagnostic tests. Among these is the Human DNA identification laboratory that offers state of the art DNA testing services.

The Human DNA Identification Laboratory offers DNA testing services in the area of family relationship testing and Forensic DNA Testing.

Our facility meets international standards hence ensuring quality service.

The unit serves private clients as well as those referred from courts. The ultimate goal of the laboratory is to increase DNA testing capacity in Kenya.

KEMRI being primarily a research institute, the laboratory is keen at maintaining institutional mandate and is focused on initiating research programs in the area of forensics as well as in offering training modules to graduates as a way of contributing towards capacity building.

Ms Sicily Kariuki poses for a group photo with the KEMRI Top Management Team and the 8th KASH Organizing Committee

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Sicily Kariuki officially opened the 8th KEMRI Annual Scientific & Health (KASH) Conference this Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, 14th, February, 2018 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.

The Cabinet Secretary who is barely six days into her new job following her recent appointment to the position by President Uhuru Kenyetta, challenged researchers to redouble their efforts towards addressing the many health challenges facing Kenyans.

The 8th, KASH conference has attracted a very rich cocktail of scientific papers, presentations and is to be attended by over 400 participants with at least five parallel symposiums that seek to explore possible ways around the challenges of research on different diseases burden and their control.

The conference has over 143 oral and poster presentations reflecting research efforts covering eight different subthemes and at least 15 various exhibitors.

A different feature of the 8th KASH Conference whose theme is “Health Research for Sustainable Development”, is a parallel regional training for senior editors and science writers from Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya on solution journalism by ScienceAfrica from Kenya and the US-based Solution Journalism Network. This training that seeks to improve the quality and quantity of science reporting and science communication in the region is to run in conjunction with the KASH conference. Participants of the media training have real-time access to distinguished world class scientists with a wealth of knowledge on disease burden and practical knowledge of appropriate interventions.

Veteran medical research scientist and public health expert Dr. Yeri Israel Kombe has been appointed as the Acting Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

Dr. Kombe who takes over from Dr. Gerald Mkoji who has been acting in a similar position since December 2015.

In a letter dated 28th March 2017 addressed to Dr. Kombe, the Cabinet Secretary of Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu informed that the appointment was with effect from 1st April, 2017.

Dr. Kombe is not new in KEMRI. He is the immediate National Coordinator of the Food Handlers Programme and a former Center Director of the Center for Public Health Research (CPHR) where he served for over six years.

Dr. Kombe is also an accomplished researcher who has participated in a number studies that have contributed immensely to public health policies in the country. He is also a trainer and mentor of many young scientists not only in Kenya, but also throughout the region.

As he assumed his seat, Dr. Kombe was quick to thank his predecessor, Dr. Mkoji for “his selfless service and competent leadership he has offered to this Institute for the last one and half years” and wished him well as he proceeds for his leave and retirement.

Also joining KEMRI alongside Dr. Kombe is Mr. Kamau Mugenda as the Deputy Director in charge of Administration and Finance.

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Mr. Mugenda brings into KEMRI over 25 years work experience in Finance, Administration, Human Resource Management.

Before taking up his new position after a competitive recruitment process, Mugenda was working with the National Oil Corporation of Kenya as General Manager in charge of Finance and Administration under whose docket included Finance, Human Resources, Administration, ICT, Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Departments.

He previously he was the Finance Manager at the Corporation before being promoted the General Manager’s position. Other positions held include in the past were Group Internal Audit Manager, Head of Finance, Group Chief Accountant among other positions while at the Kenol Kobil Limited.

Mr. Mugenda holds a Master’s in Business Administration - (Finance option) from the University of Nairobi, Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration from the United States International University.

He is a Certified Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya and has attended many short courses on management, both locally and internationally.

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The Kenya Medical Research Institute has donated eight automatic soap dispensers and hand sanitizers to Nairobi Primary School as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility activities with the aim to reduce risks of infectious diseases among pupils.

Approximately 1,800 pupils will benefit from the hand sanitizers mounted at strategic places like the washrooms and dining hall areas in a bid to enhance personal hygiene and general sanitation within the school environment.

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The KEMRI Board of Management has appointed Dr. Yeri Kombe to the position of Director and Chief Executive Officer, of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) for a two years term with effect from 1st March 2018.

In a letter dated 6th March 2018 to all staff, the Board of Management Chairman, Dr. Naphtali Agata said “On my own behalf and on behalf of the KEMRI Board of Management, I take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Kombe on his appointment.

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The Corporate Affairs Department, together with the KEMRI Aids Control Unit (KACU), commemorated the World AIDS Day 2016 celebrations by having a sensitization exercise for staff, family members and the general community at the KEMRI’s, Centre for Public Health Research (CPHR) KNH grounds, on Thursday 1st December 2016.

The purpose of the sensitization exercise was to enhance total health and HIV/Aids Awareness promotions as well as achieve ultimate work place all round health promotion through giving health talks on the following issues:- HIV/AIDS awareness prevention; alcohol and drug abuse; voluntary counselling and testing;

Lack of effective HIV diagnosis has grossly hampered the fight against HIV, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Consequently, as the World Aids Day is observed today, the WHO, has released new guidelines on HIV self-testing aimed at improving access to and uptake of HIV diagnosis. In a special report released Tuesday, 29th November, 2016, reveals that more than 18 million people with HIV are currently taking ART, and a similar number is still unable to access treatment, the majority of which are unaware of their HIV positive status.

Today, 40% of all people with HIV (over 14 million) remain unaware of their status. Many of these are people at higher risk of HIV infection who often find it difficult to access existing testing services. "Millions of people with HIV are still missing out on life-saving treatment, which can also prevent HIV transmission to others," said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. "HIV self-testing should open the door for many more people to know their HIV status and find out how to get treatment and access prevention services." HIV self-testing means people can use oral fluid or blood- finger-pricks to discover their status in a private and convenient setting. Results are ready within 20 minutes or less. Those with positive results are advised to seek confirmatory tests at health clinics. WHO recommends they receive information and links to counselling as well as rapid referral to prevention, treatment and care services.

HIV self-testing is a way to reach more people with undiagnosed HIV and represents a step forward to empower individuals, diagnose people earlier before they become sick, bring services closer to where people live, and create demand for HIV testing. This is particularly important for those people facing barriers to accessing existing services. Between 2005 and 2015 the proportion of people with HIV learning of their status increased from 12% to 60% globally. This increase in HIV testing uptake worldwide has led to more than 80% of all people diagnosed with HIV receiving ART. Who misses out on HIV testing?

HIV testing coverage remains low among various population groups. For example, global coverage rates for all HIV testing, prevention, and treatment are lower among men than women. Men account for only 30% of people who have tested for HIV. As a result, men with HIV are less likely to be diagnosed and put on antiretroviral treatment and are more likely to die of HIV-related causes than women.

But some women miss out too. Adolescent girls and young women in East and Southern Africa experience infection rates up to eight times higher than among their male peers. Fewer than one in every five girls (15–19 years of age) are aware of their HIV status. Testing also remains low among "key populations" and their partners - particularly men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, people who inject drugs, and people in prisons - who comprise approximately 44% of the 1.9 million new adult HIV infections that occur each year.Up to 70 % of partners of people with HIV are also HIV positive. Many of those partners are not currently getting tested. The new WHO guidelines recommend ways to help HIV positive people notify their partners about their status, and also encourage them to get tested.

"By offering HIV self-testing, we can empower people to find out their own HIV status and also to notify their partners and encourage them to get tested as well," said Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of WHO’s Department of HIV. "This should lead to more people knowing their status and being able to act upon it. Self-testing will be particularly relevant for those people who may find it difficult to access testing in clinical settings and might prefer self-testing as their method of choice. "Self-testing has been shown to nearly double the frequency of HIV testing among men who have sex with men, and recent studies in Kenya found that male partners of pregnant women had twice the uptake of HIV testing when offered self-testing compared with standard testing.

Twenty three countries currently have national policies that support HIV self-testing. Many other countries are developing policies, but wide-scale implementation of HIV self-testing remains limited. WHO supports free distribution of HIV self-test kits and other approaches that allow self-test kits to be bought at affordable prices. WHO is also working to reduce costs further to increase access. The new guidance aims to help countries scale up implementation.

WHO is supporting three countries in southern Africa which have started large scale implementation of self-testing through the UNITAID-funded STAR project and many more countries are considering this innovative approach to reaching those who are being left behind.

Courtesy of WHO

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Lack of effective HIV diagnosis has grossly hampered the fight against HIV, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Consequently, as the World Aids Day is observed today, the WHO, has released new guidelines on HIV self-testing aimed at improving access to and uptake of HIV diagnosis.

In a special report released Tuesday, 29th November, 2016, reveals that more than 18 million people with HIV are currently taking ART, and a similar number is still unable to access treatment, the majority of which are unaware of their HIV positive status.

Former Chairlady, KEMRI Board of Management Dr Lilian Apadet (right) treats a jigger infested leg of a pupil from Alupe Primary School during a medical camp organized by Hon. Mary Emaase Otucho (right), MP for Teso South Constituency together with KEMRI, NSSF, Ahadi Kenya Trust among other partners.

KEMRI donated several cartons of Products including TBcides Decontaminants and KEMRI hand sanitizers during a medical camp in the area which saw over 3,000 patients treated for various ailments and several pupils from eight primary schools.

The former Chairlady Dr. Apadet said that KEMRI will soon begin a study on jiggers in western Kenya.

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Chairlady, KEMRI Board of Management Dr Lilian Apadet (right) treats a jigger infested leg of a pupil.

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Hon. Mary Emaase Otucho (right), MP for Teso South Constituency samples the KEMrub Hand Sanitizer, from Marketing Officer, Carolyne Wandera shortly after the Chairlady of the KEMRI Board of Management Dr. Lilian Apadet (left) donated several cartons of KEMRI Products including TBcides Decontaminants and hand sanitizers during a medical camp in the area. Looking on is Dr. Joanna Olalep

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Former chairlady, KEMRI Board of Management Dr Lilian Apadet (right) treats a jigger infested leg of a pupil from Alupe Primary School during a medical camp organized by Hon. Mary Emaase Otucho (right), MP for Teso South Constituency together with KEMRI, NSSF, Ahadi Kenya Trust among other partners.

KEMRI donated several cartons of Products including TBcides Decontaminants and KEMRI hand sanitizers during a medical camp in the area which saw over 3,000 patients treated for various ailments and several pupils from eight primary schools.

For over 20 years, KEMRI researchers have advocated the use of Insecticide treated bed nets in Malaria endemic areas as part of combined strategies in dealing with Malaria. This is with registered success in malaria reduction in Western and Coast regions among other areas in Kenya.

KEMRI is conducting a study seeking to improve the half-life of the natural pyrethrins using nanotechnology so that they can be used for bed nets instead of pyrethroids.

Most industrialized countries are phasing out the use of synthetic pyrethroids and replacing them with other alternatives including using natural pyrethrins.

The challenge is that pyrethrins have very short half-life hence has not been used in the insecticide treated nets.

It is against this background that we wish to clarify that although pyrethroids are generally known to be harmful, the levels of concentrations when used in manufacturing bed nets are completely safe and strictly adhere to World Health Organizations (WHO) guidelines.

We therefore wish to clarify that insecticide treated nets are safe for use and consequently allay any possible fears that may have been raised by the media.

Corporate Affairs Department

The KEMRI – Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)/Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) Collaborative Project was informed by an agreement signed during the visit to Kenya by the former United States of America (USA) President, Barack Obama, between his government and the Government of Kenya (GOK) concerning Cooperation in Threat Reduction Biological Engagement Programs.

This collaborative engagement will see the construction of a Sample Management and Receiving Facility (SMRF) building, the construction of a two-storey office connector building and the construction of two, two-story multi-purpose conference rooms.

It also involves the purchase, installation, and commissioning of two new biomedical waste incinerators; installation of three new insectaries; renovations of selected laboratory and office spaces; training and capacity building of KEMRI personnel in line with biosafety, biosecurity and the provision of Pathogen Asset Control System (PACS) and capacity building to operate and utilize the system for sample management.

As a national institution responsible for conducting human health research in Kenya and with a mandate to provide solutions for health problems affecting the Kenyan public, KEMRI’s mandate includes the isolation, handling, storage and discarding of proliferative dangerous pathogens (biological) and the handling of dangerous chemicals used in research affecting human life.

At the moment, preparations and designs of the agreed construction and renovations of the selected laboratory and office space is not only complete, but also agreed upon by the two parties; KEMRI and DTRA.

It is against this background that the DTRA team paid a courtesy call to Director KEMRI on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 to finalize on arrangements to begin the project, expected to begin before the end of this May 2017.

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The Director of the United States Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA),Dr. Elizabeth S. George,(seated,fourth from right) poses for a group photograph with KEMRI staff led by the then Deputy Director in charge of Research & Development ,Prof. Elizabeth Bukusi (seated, fourth from left) when she visited KEMRI on Monday, 25th, January, 2016.

The then Deputy Director Research and Training at KEMRI, Prof. Elizabeth Bukusi presents a certificate to a participant of the Bioinformatics and Genomics workshop as workshop coordinators Dr. Jim Kagai, Dr Sarah Schaack and Dr. Damaris Matoke-Muhia look on.

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Board of Management has announced the appointment of Dr. Gerald M. Mkoji as the acting Chief Executive Officer and Director, after Prof. Solomon Mpoke, the CEO was sent on compulsory leave on 18th December 2015.

It is not every day that one of the largest local banks joins hands with a leading research institute for the benefit of Kenyans. But this is precisely what Equity Bank Ltd and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is set to do.

The two have began discussions that will see a robust partnership on health research and mobile banking platform geared towards transforming the two sectors in the country. The Banks’ Chief Operating Officer Dr. Julius Kipn’getich and the then Director, KEMRI, Prof. Solomon Mpoke disclosed this recently. Although plans are still at advanced stage for their partnership, the Equity Bank Ltd will first start enrolling scientists and researchers on its mobile phone platform as soon as the service is rolled out.

The Bank, said Dr. Kipng’etich is eager to forge mutual beneficial partnerships with the Institute for the benefit of not just KEMRI, but all Kenyans because of the pivotal role of the institute in health research in Kenya and the region. “It would be a pleasure for the largest banks this region to join hands with the leading research institute for the benefit of humanity”, said Kipng’etich when he paid a courtesy call at Director, KEMRI, Prof. Solomon Mpoke recently.

He was accompanied to KEMRI by the bank’s General Manager, Ms. Agnes Wanjuki and Mr.Hezron Gikonyo, a Branch Manager, Equity Community Corporate Branch. Deputy Director in Charge of Administration & Finance, Ms. Linah Boit and Mr. Antony Wachira, Assistant Director in charge of Finance, were also present.

Dr. Kipng’etich and his team also took time to up-date the senior management in KEMRI on the progress towards their anticipated launch of their mobile phone and the opportunities the new network would present to KEMRI fraternity, as well as Kenyans.

Governor of Nairobi, H.E. Dr. Evans Kidero and with the then Director KEMRI Prof. Solomon Mpoke prepare to speak to the press shortly after the Institution signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Service Legal Agreement for Testing Food Handlers with the Nairobi City County. The two are flunked by Ms. Linah Boit, Deputy Director in charge of Administration and Finance (R) and Ms. Mercy Kamau, Acting County Executive Committee Member for Health Services (L).

The Governor of Nairobi City County, Dr. Evans Kidero and Director KEMRI,

Prof. Solomon Mpoke have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Service Legal Agreement for Testing Food Handlers that allows the two institutions to collaborate in the promotion of public health research and improve public health services and quality health for the people of Nairobi City County.

The signing ceremony took place on Friday, March 13th, 2015 at City Hall and was witnessed by senior officers from both sides among them, the Chief Secretary and Head of County Public Service, Ms. Lillian Ndegwa, Acting County Executive Committee Member for Health Services, Mercy Kamau, Chief Officer of Health Services, Dr. Robert Ayisi and Director of Public Health, Dr. Lucy Musyoka from the Nairobi County. While Deputy Director in charge of Finance and Administration, Linah Boit, Head of the Food Handlers Project, Dr. Yeri Kombe, Nairobi County Cluster Coordinator, Dr. Esther Matu, Head of Procurement, Nelson Langat, Head of Corporate, Davis Mkoji and James Wodera.

The MoU covers areas of collaboration mainly in the research, capacity building and service delivery. In research, the initial focus will be in the epidemiology of communicable and non communicable diseases including modifiable and re-emerging health conditions while in service delivery.

“Today marks a major milestone as the Nairobi City County and KEMRI sign a strategic and collaborative partnership agreement that will enhance service delivery to the public health facilities in Nairobi County”, Dr. Kidero said during the signing of the agreement. “I am more than confident that KEMRI has the capacity to facilitate the Nairobi County Health Department’s surveillance on health among food handlers as well and to deliver on this assignment that is critical for the people of Nairobi County”, he added.

The focus of the MoU is to strengthen disease surveillance for food contamination as well as medical examination for food handlers. The Service Legal Agreement in particular addresses these collaboration of medical examination of food handlers.

“This MoU commits us to work together more closely towards our common goal, of providing quality and efficient public health services to the entire City County” Prof. Mpoke said

KEMRI has established numerous modern medical laboratories (a minimum of two in each of its 12 centres across the country) with capacity to handle large volumes of bacteriological, parasitological, immunological as well as molecular investigations on regular basis. It has full time qualified and registered medical doctors, pharmacists, laboratory technologists, clinical officers and nurses as well as other support staff that can undertake most health related investigations.

The eagerly awaited KEMRI Annual Merit Awards lived-up to its bidding after seven members of staff among them distinguished scientists and astute administrators were declared winners of the inaugural 2014 awards at a colourful ceremony held towards the close of last year.

Excited members of staff nodded as the former Director KEMRI, Prof. Solomon Mpoke read out the names of Prof. Sam Kariuki as the recipient of the Institute’s highest Merit recognition – the KEMRI Batian/Platinum Award in “appreciation of Excellence, Commitment and Selfless dedication to research and service” at the institute in 2014.

Prof. Kariuki’s award is another feather to his decorated hat given that he is the 2012 Royal Society Pfizer Award for his outstanding research into invasive Non-Typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) infections in Kenya. He is the current Director for Centre for Microbiology Research (CMR).

Stranding the podium alongside Prof. Kariuki for the second highest institutional recognition (KEMRI Nelion /Gold Excellence Award) were also excellent scientists lead by Dr. Festus Tolo and Dr. Philip M Ngumbi each respectively awarded for remarkable scientific research that earned the respect of their peers in the research and academia.

Not to be left behind were the lady scientists represented by the ever green and jolly, Dr. Dr. Maricianah Onono and twin go-getters- Sophia Wanja Matu and Ann Rugutt Korir. The three tied in the KEMRI Lenana /Silver Excellence Award for outstanding in the respective scientific endeavours in 2014.

Pleasant surprises also awaited the administrative arm of the Institute, when Nathan Mauti was declared the Institute’s Nelion /Gold Award for his role in helping set up the Nairobi Cancer registry, while Pauline Ochami bagged KEMRI Lenana/Silver 2014 for her selfless and dedicated service to the Institute in 2014 among the administrative staff.

Please read respective citations of each of the 2014 KEMRI shinning stars below:







The Kenya Medical Research Institute has been voted the best overall state corporation among all parastatals within the Ministry of Health in the 2013 - 2014 Performance Contract.

The Institute attained an overall score of 2.7943 with a rating of “very good” registering an impressive performance a head of other prominent state corporations within the Health Ministry.

Outstanding achievements during the period include;

  • KEMRI’s ability to attract external research grants amounting to over Kshs 6 billion that enabled the Institute to carry out priority health research aimed at reducing the burden of disease in the Kenya
  • Specialized Laboratory Services offered to external clients
  • The Institute through its research activities realized 333 publications in peer-reviewed journals including abstracts presented in international scientific meetings and conferences. The publications and abstracts cumulatively increase the scientific knowledge base and serve as key reference materials for formulating evidence-based policies
  • In order to increase public awareness on health promotion, the Institute organized six open days in Nairobi, Kisumu, Busia and Kilifi. During the open days IEC materials with specific health promotion messages were distributed
  • KEMRI became ISO 9001:2008 Certified effectively improving service delivery. ISO 17043:2010 and ISO 13485:2003 for production unit were initiated during the period
  • As part of the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, KEMRI developed a framework that aims to serve the 47 counties through 7 clusters. For effectiveness in management of the clusters KEMRI appointed coordinators for the seven clusters.
  • Capacity Building through KEMRI University where 129 students were registered for Masters and PhD programmes in various disciplines
  • Compliance with 30% requirement in award of tenders to youth, women and persons with disabilities. During the period tenders worth Kshs 71M was awarded to the category.


Upcoming event

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KEMRI Breaking New Ground


KEMRI on Twitter

KEMRI on Facebook

Research Programmes

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KEMRI has six (6) Main Programmes aligned to the KEMRI Strategic Master plan and the Vision 2030.

Upcoming Events

Herbal Medicine vs Modern Medicine

Prof. Jennifer Orwa of Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research, KEMRI discussing on Herbal Medicine

DNA Testing Lab

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KEMRI Human DNA Identification Laboratory offers DNA testing services in the area of family relationship testing and Forensic DNA Testing. Read More