Varsity Commence Training of African Epidemiologists

Prof. Kinyua makes his remarks during the orientation

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has received fifteen (15) students drawn from Sub-Saharan African countries who are sponsored by the Second European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership to pursue Masters degree programmes in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

The scholarship beneficiaries comprised of seven (7) students from Kenya, three (3) from Malawi and one (1) each from Rwanda, Namibia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The postgraduate training initiative is aimed at building capacity for qualified epidemiologists across sub-Saharan Africa who will be tasked with leveraging on reliable epidemiological data to efficiently monitor, analyze and interpret data to inform policy and decision making in the fight against infectious diseases in Africa.

The project titled; Strengthening Capacity for Epidemics Preparedness and Response in sub-Saharan Africa (SCEPRESSA), has been funded under the Second European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2) programme which is supported by the EU.

Speaking during the orientation ceremony, Thursday, January 20, 2022, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua, urged the students to take full advantage of the scholarship programme and use the opportunity to be agents of change in their respective countries.

Mr. Ochieng gives security tips during the orientation

“Take this scholarship opportunity seriously and make use of your skills to be the change that your organization needs,” said Prof. Kinyua.

He reminded the students to prioritize their academics and avoid over-indulging in non-academic areas in order to complete their studies within the stipulated timeframe.

While welcoming the students to the University, Prof. Kinyua urged them to familiarize themselves with various Divisions of the University such as Research, Production and Extension that will be important in their research enterprise.

Charles Ochieng from the University’s Security Department, urged the students to closely work with his team to create a secure environment that will enable them to thrive in their studies.

He noted that a close working relationship will create a culture of safety among the university community.

Participants at the end of the orientation ceremony

Other speakers during the event were the Director, Board of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Turoop Losenge, Prof. Kamija Phiri of Malawi of University, Deputy Registrar, Academic Affairs, Dr. Aggrey Wanyama and, Department of Environmental Health and Disease Control, Dr. Susan Mambo and Dr. Charles Wafula of Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development among others.

The project is under the stewardship of Prof. Gideon Kikuvi (Principal Investigator) of JKUAT in collaboration with partners in the Ministry of Health (MoH), Kenya, Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development (TICH), Kenya and Kamuzu University of Health Science, Malawi.

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