Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology’s School of Pharmacy and the Africa Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) conducted a training for academic staff on the techniques of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, February 6 – 10, 2023.
The seminar aimed to improve research capabilities of JKUAT staff and lead to production of more evidence-based and informed research outputs from the university.
Dr. Julia Kimondo, Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy, noted that the training will be instrumental in building crucial skills among JKUAT staff to evaluate evidence and enhance the quality of their research output.
The Lead Trainer at the seminar, Dr. Leyla Abdullahi, who is a Senior Research and Policy Analyst at Africa Institute for Development Policy, noted that systematic reviews offer a reliable, transparent, explicit and reproducible way of collating, appraising, analyzing and interpreting existing evidence especially in health care decisions.
“Knowing how to conduct a systematic review offers numerous professional benefits including the ability to critically search for, appraise and synthesize evidence.
Moreover, systematic reviews are published by a number of high-impact factor journals as original research,” said, Dr. Abdullahi.
Dr. Godfrey Mayoka, a Pharmacy Lecturer at JKUAT and also a training participant, termed the training timely for academics and researchers across multiple disciplines.
He said the training will equip researchers with the ability to identify and synthesize available information in the field of interest as well as recognize gaps for further primary research.
Dr. Mayoka revealed that he plans to utilize the skills not only to benefit his research exploits but also impart the knowledge to his students.
“I am greatly motivated, through this training, to incorporate systematic review research in my work and student supervision. I intend to roll out a customized mentorship to train interested senior undergraduate students on undertaking systematic reviews in advance of possible primary research that I anticipate to mentor them,” said, Dr. Mayoka.
The seminar provided a rare opportunity to participants to further hone their research skills, demonstrating JKUAT’s commitment and dedication to provide staff with requisite tools and resources that are key in realizing success in research activities.