Tuesday, 17 February 2015

ALL MEPI (Kenya) Meeting

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(College of Health Sciences Principal Prof. Isaac Kibwage giving a speech during the meeting)
All MEPI (Kenya) meeting is a biannual forum intended to bring all the members from the PRIME K board, Program staff and Aim members including the four collaborating institutions to share the progress of the program. The first one this year was held on February 28, 2014 at the Central Catering Unit (CCU) in the main campus.
This biannual review meeting was held at the Heron Court Hotel; 16th July 2014. A preliminary report was presented by the consultant on qualitative assessment carried out about two months ago.
The meeting saw all the consortium partners for the MEPI-Kenya grant come together to discuss the current status of the program. (University of Nairobi, University of Washington, University of Maryland Baltimore, Kenyatta University and Maseno University)
Speaking during the event, the Program’s Principal Investigator, Prof. James Kiare reflected on the wonderful four years and support of all key stakeholders as MEPI-Kenya strives to achieve its main goal to strengthen health care outcomes and training for better health outcomes for Kenyans through improving medical education, extending reach of medical outside Nairobi, supporting faculty and the university to improve research.
“Since MEPI-Kenya was formed, it’s been an incredible journey for the University as the program sort to implement its objectives. We have integrated the use of technology to enhance learning, the Nursing Upgrading program an example.” He stated.
“We have also been able to successfully decentralized medical training by sending our students for rotations in established 17 decentralized sites country wide. This would not have been possible were it not for your support and collaboration.” He added.
The event was also graced by the Principal, UoN College of Health Sciences, Prof. Isaac Kibwage. In his speech, the Principal highlighted the impact that MEPI-Kenya has had on college in terms of innovating new ways to offer medical training.
“It’s impressive how this program has innovated teaching methodologies like the Nurses upgrading program from a diploma to degree level by use of E-learning platform. It is my hope that through this program continues to positively impact teaching methods and henceforth help improve health outcomes in our country.” He stated.
He also added that the program has not only had an impact on ways the college offer training but has had an immense influence on the faculty as well. He urged all the key players in MEPI-Kenya to press on to not only achieve the programs’ goals but to even further surpass them. This will place the program in a better position for the next phase of funding and eventually the walk towards sustainability.
The standout outcome from the meeting after the presentations by all the programs’ stakeholders was that MEPI-Kenya had achieved majority of the goals albeit the challenges along the way which were dealt with efficiently and served as learning lessons as the years progressed.
As the program enters its fifth and final year, the team braces itself to attain excellence for better health outcomes in Kenya.

“Improving health outcomes through training and research”


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(The Principal College of Health Sciences Prof. Isaac Kibwage giving a speech at the event)
This was a five (5) day intensive training workshop fully sponsored by PRIME-K, a NIH Grant to the University of Nairobi (UoN). The training was organized by College of Health Sciences, UoN, in collaboration with National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and Kenyatta National Referral and Teaching Hospital (KNH). There were a total of 45 participants from 19 accredited Ethics and Research Committees (ERCs) in Kenya representing twelve (12) public and private universities, four (4) research institutes and four (4) public national hospitals. The training was held from 16-20 June, 2014 at the Silver Springs Hotel, Nairobi.
By way of objectives, by the end of the workshop participants were expected to:
  1. Articulate the role, mandate and  National Guidelines of Institutional Ethics and Research Committee for Kenya
  2. Conduct critical review of qualitative and quantitative research proposals
  3. Build capacity of other researchers and postgraduate students in the writing and review of research proposals
  4. Analyze the implications of emerging issues in research ethics
  5. Observe animal rights in research
  6. Observe the rights of vulnerable groups
  7. Adhere to the guidelines of management of samples
  8. Adhere to quality assurance standards in qualitative and quantitative research
The chief guest during the opening ceremony was the acting Chief Executive Officer, NACOSTI, Dr. Moses Rugut who was represented by Dr. Simon Langat, the Chief Science Secretary, NACOSTI. In his message, the CEO pointed out that education and research are important determinants of the ability to create a knowledge-based economy and research cannot grow without strong and empowered ERCs.
He also noted that the workshop will go a long way in providing the requisite knowledge and skills of ERC members in reviewing the science of the proposals submitted to them and how that links up with ethical issues so that at the end, the approval given is comprehensive enough to ensure that the research conducted, the analysis of the data and the conclusions made meets the highest standards possible.
Also present during the opening ceremony was the Principal, College of Health Sciences, Prof. Isaac O. Kibwage who emphasized the critical role played by ERCs in maintaining highest standards possible in the conduct of research and hence the importance of the training workshop which was the first ever to be conducted in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
The participants highly rated the workshop and suggested that it should be offered regularly and strongly recommended that other ERC members should benefit from similar training.
During the closing ceremony, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Production and Extension, UoN (DVC RPE), Prof. Lucy Irungu thanked the three institutions led by College of Health Sciences, UoN who made this long overdue training workshop a reality. She emphasized the critical role played by research as the pillar and driving force behind the knowledge economy for any country and particulary in our setup.
For this to be fully realized, ERC members who are charged with the sole mandate of providing the requisite ethical and scientfic review and approval must have the required competencies hence the need for strategies to ensure that the training workshop is offered regurlarly.


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A total of six participants from PRIME- K presented abstracts at the Eastern Africa Health Professional Educators’ Association (EAHPEA) held in Kampala on June 11-13, 2014 at Africana Hotel.
The six participants were the 5 PRIME – K participants (Dr. Minnie Kibore, Collins Owek, Raphael Kinuthia Wycliffe Ndege and Susan Wanja) and a seed recipient from Kenyatta University, Mary Mururi.
The theme of conference of the conference was "Strengthening Systems for Health Professionals' Education. "
All the six prime-k members who participated in the conference registered as members of the EAHPEA. Two of the PRIME-K members, Dr. Minnie Kibore and Mr. Collins Owek chaired sessions in day two and three of conference respectively.
The objective of the PRIME – K team was to disseminate PRIME-K program outcomes to the rest of the world.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Mary Muiruri wins AstraZeneca Research Grant award.

PRIME-K is delighted to inform you that Mary Muiruri won the AstraZeneca Research Grant award.
Mary Muiruri is a recipient of tremendous support from MEPI-Kenya in many areas of her research and this award highlights the direct impact of the capacity building by the MEPI grant.
We are proud to share our success with you - the MEPI family.This is what Mary had to say
“I kindly wish to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for the immense support that MEPI-Kenya has given me for the past two years since December 2012 when I applied for the PRIME-K seed grant.  I have benefited a great deal through this project. First it was the seed grant which funded part of my PhD research, then the sponsorship to attend the EAPHEA conference in Kampala this year June, and two trainings in between. It's also through PRIME-K that I got to know Dr. Titus Kahiga* who has become my mentor in research.”
“I also would like to say thank you for the sponsorship to attend the SARETI modules in South Africa from 25th Aug - 6th Sept this year. I'm really grateful. I learnt a lot on ethical issues in HIV clinical trials and in research generally. It was both an opportunity for learning and exposure. Out of it I've now even began to get involved in training here at Kenyatta University.”
“It's my prayer that God richly bless you and the MEPI family, to which I now feel I belong. I look forward to participating more and more in MEPI's future activities. Thank you. ”

Mary Muiruri.
Kenyatta University.
*Dr. Titus Kahiga, is the Kenyatta University representative for MEPI-Kenya.

Mary at the EAPHEA conference in Kampala, Uganda

Thursday, 19 June 2014

E-Content writing/Conversion

PRIME-K continues its commitment in the promotion of new teaching methodologies in the University of Nairobi, College of Health Sciences. The program does this by facilitating the university’s faculty to develop their lectures into modules which can then be hosted on an E-platform with the main aim of enabling accessibility of the materials to students at all times.
Mr. Orina, the facilitator assiting faculty
Thus the program held a 4 day workshop June 17-20, 2014 for the Department of Psychiatry (CHS), to develop E-content materials. The workshop attracted 18 participants who were taken through the crucial steps of writing, developing and converting E-content that is user oriented.
Speaking during the event, Dr. Mary Kuria, Chair Department of Psychiatry, pointed out that the workshop was imperative considering the current world we are living in with the rapid technological advancements. That the workshop brings a fresh dimension for teaching. “This is an significant step in teaching, use of e-content brings a new and exciting way of teaching and also very convenient because the faculty are few, and this method offers a wider reach.” She states
This sentiments are echoed by Dr. John Mburu, a lecturer at the university who says they should have done E-conversion earlier owing to its reach and incredible efficiency in teaching. “E-content offers us lecturers an easy way of teaching and students can learn better as the content is there and they can revisit anytime.” He attests.

“Improving health outcomes through training and research”


This training was held with the intention of preparing the healthcare workers who will be directly responsible for University of Nairobi's undergraduate students when they are sent to their facilities for rotation.
After this training, learners will be able to handle medical students when they are sent to their facilities for clinical rotations. The training had 23 participants. This included health records officers, clinical officers, nurses, doctors, medical specialists and other administrators.
The training was conducted in sessions of three (3) days trainings on the site at Utalii Hotel in Nairobi on data collection, utilization and management. The facilitators used power point presentations and Group discussions. Each of the participants was given a Pre and Post self-assessment to fill out and turn in.
Participants were introduced to Learning methods, Bedside teaching, integrated learning, Microteaching and Mentorship. The facilitators covered the Principles of Learning, Specific Learning Objectives and Mentorship process.
The participants were split into four (4) groups and asked to come up with case studies and offer possible solutions.
Day 1
Participants were introduced to PRIME-K Program, educational needs, principles of learning, taxonomy and domain.
Day 2
The facilitators introduced learning methods, bedside teaching, integrated learning and microteaching.
Day 3
The participants were introduced to the rationale of mentorship, roles and characteristics of an effective mentor, basic knowledge and skills in mentorship and mentorship process.

Mentorship Faculty Workshop 7th-9th April, 2014

The Mentorship Workshop for faculty and staff at the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences (CHS) was held on 7th-9th April, 2014 at the Lake Naivasha Panorama Hotel, Kenya.
The purpose of the workshop was  to train members of faculty and staff  on mentoring  .The training was based on the  mentorship  Guidelines  developed by PRIME-K aim 3.The overall objective of the workshop was to train  faculty on the implementation of the mentorship program at University of Nairobi.
There were a total of 24 participants from the six Schools and administrative offices at the College of Health Sciences.
Content Covered
The   mentorship guidelines   content covered the following areas:
  • Introduction and rationale of mentorship
  • Roles and characteristics of mentors
  • Benefits of mentoring to mentee, mentor and the institution
  • functions of a mentor
  • Attributes of a good mentor
  • Types of mentoring
  • Identifiction,screening and selection of mentors
  • Incentives for participation in mentoring
  • Mentoring strategies
  • Establishing mentorship programs and Mentorship skills and processes.