On Monday 17th July 2017, the PhD and MSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Students visited The Nagasaki University Institute of Tropical Medicine (NUITM) – KEMRI Project Research Station at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi Kenya.
Led by the Coordinator Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, the visiting group was welcomed by the Chief Representative of NUITM-KEMRI Research Station, Prof Yoshio Ichinose. In his welcome remarks, Prof Yoshio emphasized the importance of scientific research in the neglected tropical disease (NTDs) area and notified the group about the mandate of the Institute in line with NTDs research. He further noted the relevance of NUITM in postgraduate training in line with JICA’s contribution in the promotion of academic excellence and was delighted to receive the PAUSTI delegation. He gave a brief outline on the different research areas undertaken by NUITM and wished the delegation a great day where he wished that the visit would open up more frontiers into new research questions and solutions among the group. He promised to be available throughout the day, a word he kept!
Prof. Naomi Maina, the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Program Coordinator gave a brief introduction about The Pan African University and The PAU Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation. She emphasized the founding mission of PAU and gave an insight on how the graduates from the University would play an important role in transforming Africa by providing an indigenously trained pool of young Africans who would solve the continent’s world’s problems using home build approaches. With relation to NUITM’s core mandate, she highlighted how Japan and JICA continue to play a role in PAUSTI as their Lead Thematic Partners (LTPs), and therefore establishing a direct link. Upon notifying the NUITM’s management that the vising students were from various countries in Africa and yet to start their research work, she called on the students to introduce themselves, and wished everyone a fruitful day.
Some of the activities of the day included diverse presentations on NUITM-KEMRI Projects by various researchers which spanned different fields including Health and Demographic Surveillance systems, Entomology, School health projects, Malaria Vaccine development, Use of Imaging satellite for household registration and community sampling, Multiplex Laboratory research for multiple diseases investigations, as well as various question and answer sessions. The presentations and discussions were followed by lunch, a group photo and a visit to the different laboratories which ranged from P2 to P3 biosafety levels.
In the closing session, a vote of thanks was given by Baziki Jean de Dieu, the PhD group class representative on behalf of the visitors, who expressed his thanks to the NUITM for the most gracious opportunity accorded by hosting the students as well as sharing their transformative research work. He also thanked the PAUSTI management for the initiative to take the students to such Institutes and looked forward to more of the same.
Dr. Muuo Nzou, gave the closing remarks on behalf of NUITM in which he narrated a brief introduction on how he came to learn about PAUSTI through collaborative linkages with some students, and noted that after which his relationship with the Institute continued to grow. He gave a promise for NUITM’s willingness to continue collaborating with PAUSTI, in order to build Africa’s Research base.