A dedicated Institute to help the country and the region manage the burden of chronic diseases is to be established at JKUAT. When operational, the Non Communicable Diseases Institute will immensely contribute to Kenya’s efforts to stem the high human cost of chronic diseases. Data from the Ministry of Health indicates that up to 67% of all deaths in the country are a result of non-communicable diseases.
JKUAT is leveraging its long standing tradition of applied teaching and research to amplify the utility of the KSh. 6 billion Institute to drive the country’s realization of universal health coverage.
The facility will also be instrumental in promoting multidisciplinary teaching and research in under-served yet critical areas such as medical engineering; medical physics; and forensic medicine.
The establishment of the specialized institute will be supported by the government of Japan through JICA and the Japan based Association of African Economy and Development (AFRECO).
Speaking during a consultative forum at JKUAT on Wednesday March 20, 2019, Dr. Frank Ndakala from State Department of University Education welcomed the partnership which he said was aligned to the goal 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
He added that Kenya had placed emphasis on an innovation led development programme anchored on research.
Rika Karikomi who represented the Embassy of Japan in Kenya said Japan had over the years supported Kenya’s healthcare agenda. The initiative to actualize the Institute, he added, would significantly support government’s decision to afford all Kenyans affordable, quality and accessible health services.
AFRECO Secretary General Kyoko Hasegawa said her organization was keen to ensure the establishment of the Institute at JKUAT; a move she said, would further cement strong ties between Kenya and Japan.
Addressing the forum, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said the Institute will be a key national resource in catalyzing teaching and research in the thematic areas such as; cardiovascular and respiratory diseases; hematology and oncology; kidney diseases; and diabetes
“We hope to reposition the Institute as the go to place for health innovation outputs; effective teaching and applied research. This will enable us to support the realization of the Kenya’s priority targets regarding universal healthcare for our populations,” Prof. Ngumi said in a speech delivered by DVC Administration, Prof. Bernard Ikua.
Through the Institute, JKUAT will also undertake student and staff exchanges with Japanese universities. The University has already set aside 100 acres where the facility will be constructed. Key units to be constructed in the Institute include oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, trauma research, and medical engineering.
The consultative forum was also attended by the JICA Kenya Chief, Keiko Sano; Principal College of Health Sciences, Prof. Haroun Mengech; David Gatuthu from Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the Dean School of Medicine, Dr. Reuben Thuo, among others.