Dons Appointed to the National COVID-19 Modelling Technical Committee

A section of the JKUAT COHES Team: (From left) Dr Thomas Ngigi, Dr. Joseph Mungatu, Prof Fred Wamunyokoli, Mr Charles Muriuki, Ms Esther Gichaiya, Dr. Jane Aduda, Prof Simon Karanja, Dr. Reuben Thuo and Dr. Henry Kissinger Athiany

Twenty four Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology dons, domiciled at the College of Health Sciences (COHES) have been appointed to the National COVID-19 Modelling Technical Committee by the Ministry of Health.

According to the Ministry of Health in a letter signed by the Director General for Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth, the dons “expertise in infectious disease modelling and data-driven approaches to addressing health is recognized and hereby appreciated as a crucial resource in informing the country’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.”

The team led by Principal COHES, Prof. Haroun Mengech, Dean, School of Medicine, Dr. Reuben Thou and Dean, School of Public Health, Prof. Simon Karanja are expected to provide to the National Task Force and Ministry of Health; critical review and improvement of the modelling approaches, assumption, results, and conclusions for Kenya’s COVID-19 transmission dynamics; modelling insight and consensus advisories on COVID-19; and data analytics and visualisation solutions on COVID-19 transmission, spread and control.

While appreciating the appointment and acknowledging JKUAT’s COHES team competence, Dr. Thuo said the COHES research team in collaboration with Palladium have been very proactive in the modelling of COVID-19 pandemic and providing other solutions such as data analytics, GIS and data visualisation solution.

The JKUAT Covid-19 Dashboard at Digital Health Applied Research Centre

He attests that the solutions have provided valuable information that has informed data-driven decision making by the Ministry of Health.

“We have always had a cordial working partnership with the Ministry of Health and these team of researchers have vowed to devote their time and efforts to provide the necessary support to the National Task Force and Ministry of Health,” said Dr. Thuo.

At the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, the COHES team developed a utilitarian web-based digital platform that provided diverse data that was key in predicting the COVID-19 disease infection trends in Kenya thus giving accurate prediction of the evolution of the pandemic and optimally disseminating information.

Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, while presenting the innovation to the public, May 2020, acknowledged that the innovation was a significant contribution by the University aimed at supporting government’s strategies in combating COVID-19 through prediction of coronavirus disease infection trends at national and county levels.

From right: Dr. Thuo, Prof. Mengech, HIGDA Chief of Party, Rose Nzyoka and Prof. Karanja at the Digital Health Applied Research Centre that hosts the Ministry of Health’s UHC Dashboard.

The research team include Prof. Haroun Mengech, Dr. Reuben Thuo, Prof. Simon Karanja, Dr. Jane Aduda, Prof. Fred Wamunyokoli, Dr. Joseph Mungátu, Dr. Henry Kissinger Athiany, Dr. John Gachohi, Dr. Joseph Machua, Dr. Thomas Ngigi, Ms. Carol Otiwa, Ms. Esther Gichaiya, Mr. Jonathan Mwai, Mr. Charles Muriuki, Ms. May Kitiyo, Dr. Joseph Matheri, Dr. Patrick Mburugu, Dr. Justus Simba, Prof. Hellen Mberia, Dr. Beatrice Kariuki, Ms. Rose Nzioka, Mr. Pascal Mwele, Dr. Jacob Odhiambo and Dr. Kennedy Muthoka.

The Ministry is looking forward to benefitting from the researchers knowledge and experience in the noble task of combating the pandemic that has ravaged the globe throughout 2020.

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