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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.

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.