The Germany-based University of Paderborn’s (UPB) Department of Exercise and Health and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology’s Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, have jointly underscored the need to develop a scientific and educational collaboration in order to equip learners with a broad scope of knowledge.
This was revealed during a recent visit to JKUAT by a team from Paderborn, led by Prof. Jochen Baumeister and Katrin Hemschmeier.
The discussion focused on how the two institutions could establish exchange programmes in teaching and research in the Rehabilitation Sciences (Sports science, Physiotherapy, among other areas).
The collaboration aims at developing students’ general knowledge, skills and problem-solving abilities at undergraduate to postgraduate levels.
This would further “prepare students pursuing Sports science, Physiotherapy, applied neuroscience in sports and exercise as well as physical education for relevant future fields in application and research of exercise and health.”
The parties noted that Epidemiological data and health surveys detected specific health profiles and physical function of African people (e.g. spinal health problems, disabilities), which lead to health-related concepts and interventions to facilitate disease prevention, management and rehabilitation.
The research collaboration is geared towards developing a feasible multi-user disciplinary facility for screening and precision of overlapping clinical profiles. This is aimed at facilitating the development of patient-centered rehabilitation interventions and thus improve outcomes and reduce disability. Other parameters to be undertaken under the collaboration being pursued by the parties include possible joint postgraduate supervision, international grant application and proposal writing for flagship projects in Rehabilitation.
The JKUAT team present during the discussions included and was led by Dr Nassib Tawa (the convener) who is a Senior Lecturer and Lead Researcher at the Centre for Research in Spinal Health & Rehabilitation Medicine, and Dr. Joseph Matheri, Chairperson, Department of Rehabilitative Sciences, College of Health Sciences. Also, in attendance were: Dr Wallace Karuguti, Mr George Muli and Mr Daniel Kariuki.
According to Dr Tawa, “JKUAT plays a lead role in the training of Physiotherapists and other Rehabilitation professionals in the greater East African region, and therefore the planned bilateral collaboration with UPB is our deliberate response to the WHO call for action dubbed “Rehabilitation 2030” and is in line with our strategic direction towards fostering capacity for rehabilitation sciences in research, training and policy guidance.”
It is envisaged that the staff and student exchange programme under the JKUAT-UPB collaboration will further expand tacit knowledge through intercultural environments in both countries, thus providing a resourceful pool of young academics and research.