The University of Manitoba, from Canada and the University of Nairobi are celebrating 40 years of collaboration that started in 1980 and has since produced leading researchers, academicians, global health practitioners and led to the development of infrastructural facilities like UNITID and KAVI in the College of Health Sciences, UoN Medical School. This was revealed during the launch of a collaborative research group annual review meeting held in Mayfair Court, Southern Sun, Nairobi on January 27, 2020.
Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, H. E. Lisa Stadelbauer, challenged medical experts in the audience to discuss emerging health challenges facing the country. She praised the 40 year collaboration that has since played a leading role in eradicating poverty, eradicating HIV/AIDS, eradicating STDs and trained many health professionals.
President of the University of Manitoba Prof. David Barnard opined that the 40 year collaboration has been very successful and they have roped in other universities like the University of Gent, University of Toronto and they have established many partnerships. He pointed out the many health research contributions brought about by the team. “We have made significant contributions to HIV- AIDS like pushing for male circumcision that reduces HIV transmission by 60 percent; contributed significantly to the development of several clinics and education of sex workers on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, distribution of 7 million condoms, development of KAVI laboratories and bio-containment laboratories, joint research with universities in Kenya, Columbia and India among others,” he said. The collaboration has enabled many health professionals to be trained and they are now making significant contributions globally.
University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama took the opportunity to congratulate the two founders of the 40 year collaboration that has since been active in conducting research to find the cure to the various diseases plaguing our society. “I applaud this collaboration. I applaud the two founders. The results have been immense. Many students have graduated to be clinicians. Many students have gone to work with international organizations around the world. We have been able to build infrastructural facilities like UNITID, KAVI and laboratories. It has truly chartered the unbeaten path, “he said. The collaboration has seen thousands of research papers published, new knowledge developed, new innovations co-authored both in Kenya and Canada.
The annual celebration is marked by yearly review workshop where researchers from both countries present papers, research findings and add new knowledge on sexually transmitted infections (STI), human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV), sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Many institutions involved in HIV research were represented during the 5 days’ workshop which is supported by among others : Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Kenyan Government, Canadian Government, Canadian Institute of Health Research.