The University of Nairobi, Kenya has joined the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine. Its top research scientists have been mobilized to approach discovery and development of vaccine prospects. A team at the university has generated a protocol for the research and have finalized COVID-19 case management guidelines and subsequently provided them to the Ministry of Health for Publication.
These guidelines will inform the country’s government how to proceed with mobilizing resources to support research.
The Research Team
The research team operates under the University of Nairobi, Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (Kavi) Institute of Clinical Research. Members include Dr. Loice Achieng’ Ombajo, infectious disease specialist, Professor Omu Anzala (team lead), Dr. Moses Masika and Dr. Marybeth Cherono Maritim.
The University of Nairobi, Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (Kavi) Institute of Clinical Research
The Kavi Institute of Clinical Research was established in 1998 as a research unit within the Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, with an initial mission to conduct basic research in epidemiology of HIV and to carry out HIV/AIDs vaccine trials.
Over the years, KAVI has grown tremendously as a result of sustained funding, hence the development of human capacity, infrastructure, and community mobilization catchment areas. By 2013, KAVI as a research unit had successfully undertaken eight HIV vaccine trials, two drug trial, thirteen epidemiological and basic research projects in addition to pioneering the development of mucosal sampling and standardization of mucosal immune assays.
KAVI has also greatly assisted in the development of human capacity within the East African Region by training various institutions Ethics boards and clinical research personnel on research ethics, Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Good Clinical and Laboratory Practice (GCLP). KAVI has also been actively involved in the strengthening of Laboratory management systems of various health institutions to prepare institutions for accreditation. This exceptional growth has brought about the transition from KAVI to KAVI Institute of Clinical Research. The proximity to the country’s largest referral hospital and access to well-established ethics and research committee are some of the additional advantages.