ARUA Mini Grant Presentations 

The ARUA Centre of Excellence for Non-communicable diseases held a second session on 15th September 2022. The objective of this session was to have the remaining two mini-grant presentations. The second mini-grant presentation was made by Dr Habil Otanga of the University of Nairobi and Dr Adebolajo Adeyemo of the University of Ibadan made the third mini-grant presentation. Dr Otanga presented on “Use and Efficacy of Peer Support and Social Networking in Diabetes Management in Kenya and Uganda” whereas Dr Adeyemo presented on “Auditory Evaluation of Stroke Survivors: Validating A Low-Cost Screening Protocol”.

In attendance was the Centre director, Dr Fred Bukachi, Centre Deputy director, Dr Anne Kamau, Centre Manager, Ms Paschalin Basil, and the University of Nairobi Associate Vice Chancellor Research, Innovation and Enterprise Prof. Margaret Jesang Hutchinson. From Kenya, we also had Prof. Charles Nzioka, Prof. Tom Ondicho, Dr Mercy Mugo, Dr Peter Mwangi, Dr Moses Muriithi and Dr Tom Olewe. Dr Damalie Nakanjako represented Makerere University, Uganda, while Prof. Maria Papathanasopoulos represented the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Ezinne Uvere and Dr Mayowa Owolabi from Nigeria were present for the discussions. Other attendees included Olayinka Joseph Adebajo, Adeniyi Sunday, Daniel Arhinful, Dr Aderonke Samuel, and Phillip Ibinaiye.

Dr Habil Otanga is an early career researcher and lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Nairobi. He teaches and conducts research in aspects of social and health psychology, among others. In “armchair mode”, he prefers Philosophy, Russian literature, and music from Armenian duduk to Tchaikovsky to DRC rumba. He is learning how to play the guitar without ever knowing how to ride a bicycle. His presentation can be accessed here, and the full proceedings for the meeting here.

Dr Adeyemo is a Senior Medical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant ENT Surgeon. He is the head of Ear and Hearing Disorders Research Group. Dr Adeyemo was awarded a European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Short Term Fellowship; he was also awarded European and Developing Countries Trials Partnership Scholarship to complete a Masters course in Clinical Trials at the University of London. He subsequently won a Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa Doctoral Fellowship and Robert McNamara World Bank Fellowship to pursue a doctoral program on Epidemiology of Streptomycin induced Ototoxicity. He is the current Postgraduate Coordinator in ICH. He has supervised twenty postgraduate students and five Postgraduate Medical Fellowships. He was honoured with the 2012 Richard Seewald Award by the Hear the World Foundation. His presentation can be accessed here, and the full proceedings can be found here.

Concluding remarks by Dr Anne Kamau, Deputy Centre Director

The two areas that we focus on one is prevention. I think the first presenter focused a lot on the issue of how we prevent even the second one when you were talking about control. So, we would wish to strongly encourage the universities and everyone who is here to also really think about areas they can focus on and the centre will be willing to help and to support one is prevention and the other one is early detection and control. So, we have 6 systematic areas and that includes multi morbidity, disease mechanism. I think this is best understood from those who are medics, bio banking the university of Ibadan came out quite strongly on issues of bio banking population data and bio markers, models of care and big data so these are areas that we are still keen on developing of course looking again broadly on many issues like alcohol, tobacco and mental health and of course issues of pollution were also brought in because these at some point interact with NCDs.

Hopefully we also intend to really develop a strong NCD prevention focusing on the adolescents, these are young population so again these are areas that we are keen to develop and to work on. So, our plea again is for the presenters the ones who presented today we are hoping that you are now members of the NCD network and we also look forward to the final outputs as already mentioned by Dr Bukachi we would be quite happy and ready to support you where we can. I see that we are running out of time so I want to say thank you very much but I would wish to acknowledge all the participants. I want to thank them but again Professor Hutchinson, Associate vice chancellor we would be happy if you could say a word to us as we close so that we also hear from the University of Nairobi management and I know she is also a strong researcher. Thank you.

Prof. Margaret Hutchinson thanked the ARUA Centre of Excellence for noncommunicable diseases team for a job well done, and lauded their efforts in getting the Centre to a better standing. Prof. urged the attendees of the meeting to be more innovative, and think of other outputs from the work that the Centre does. The meeting was by a vote of thanks from Dr Anne Kamau.


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