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The Cambridge Global Health Partnerships brings together Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH), Kakamega County General Teaching and Referral Hospital (KCTRH) and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST). This is an ongoing research partnership project steered by MMUST’s prolific researcher and scholar, Dr. Anthony Sifuna who is the Principal Investigator (PI). The workshop was aimed at sensitizing participants about the effects of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

CAMBRIDGE82Researchers, participants and the Cambridge team during the workshop

The team, which included the project leader representing the Principal Investigator, Dr. Anthony Sifuna – Mr. Peter Nyongesa, Director of Cambridge Global Health Partnerships International Development, Dr. Evelyne Brealy, Lead Pharmacist Kakamega-Cambridge AMS Partnership, Dr. Lindsay Olima, Antimicrobial Pharmacist- Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, Dr. Christiano Serra, paid a courtesy call to the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Hussein Golicha who was representing the Vice Chancellor Prof. Solomon Shibairo. Other members of the team are, the Medical Superintendent, Kakamega County General Teaching and Referral Hospital (KCTRH)- Dr. Boniface Nyumbile, Dr. Bernard Wambulwa, Dr. Robin Omedo (MMUST), Deputy Director, Institute of Indigenous knowledge and Cultural Studies (MMUST)- Dr. Lucy Mandilla, Ms. Roselyn Abwalaba (MMUST), Ms. Fridah Njeru (MMUST), Lab Technologist (KCTRH)-Ms. Rose Malaba and Ms. Celestine Gwaji and MMUST’s Masters student attached to the program, Mr. Nicholas Mugoi. 

The workshop was officially opened by the Dean School of Public Health, Prof. Edwin Wamukoya who was representing the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo at the workshop. In his address, Prof. Wamukoya encouraged the team to strengthen the partnership between the three (3) entities, adding that the information derived from the workshop should be used to teach and answer questions related to Anti-Microbial Surveillance (AMS).

“We need to educate our people about how to solve the problem of Antimicrobial Resistance. There is a need for a clear memorandum that will bring on board other relevant players,” he said.


Dr. Christiano Serra receiving a gift at MMUST


The Director Research and Postgraduate studies, Prof. Peter Bukhala appreciated the organization for choosing MMUST as a center for the research project. “As an institution that supports research, my directorate has available infrastructure that enables researchers to work on research within and without the University.  We are ready to support the collaboration and work on any research and ensure timely results.”

He urged the participants to address the situation of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) by sensitizing communities who are generally uninformed regarding the danger of antibiotics.

In his presentation, ‘Anti-Microbial Resistance’ MMUST’s lecturer Dr. Robin Omedo (Department of Medical laboratory) discussed the causes and implications of AMR.  He noted that AMR is caused by increased use of antibiotics, poor hygiene, drinking contaminated water and food, contact with animals and touching contaminated surfaces.

“I urge all participants to improve awareness and understanding of AMR.  This can be done through effective communication, education and training.  We must strengthen the knowledge and evidence base while at the same time improving surveillance,” said Dr. Omedo.

CAMBRIDGE202Dr. Evelyne Brealy and Dr. Lindsay Olima receiving a gift at MMUST

 Speaking at the event, the Director of Cambridge Global Health Partnerships International Development, Dr. Evelyne Brealy explained that the Commonwealth Pharmacist Association is interested in this project and in the development of strong partnerships with pharmacists in this region. “I commend the efforts of the researchers whose findings are being discussed in this workshop. I am aware that the Common Wealth Pharmacist Association will be the outcome of this very interesting and informative workshop. There is a need for us to work together,” she said.

The lead Pharmacist Kakamega-Cambridge AMS Partnership, Dr. Lindsay Olima, who presented on ‘Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and Anti-Microbial Surveillance (AMS) Experiences’ pointed out that AMR is threatening healthcare systems worldwide. “AMR is responsible for over 1.27million deaths per year,” he stated.

Concurring with Dr. Olima, Dr. Christiano Serra who presented on ‘Strengthening Antimicrobial Stewardship’ said that if no action is taken, AMR infections may kill up to 10 million people by the year 2050.

Mr. Nicholas Mogoi, a Masters student in the department of Biological Sciences, was among the scholars who made a presentation during the workshop.  His study, ‘Anti-Microbial Profiles for pathogenic bacteria recovered from surgical wards in KCTRH’ disclosed a high incidence of bacterial pathogens in surgical wards which calls for immediate action.

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Researchers folllowing presentations

Other notable personalities present were; Ag. Dean School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedical Sciences (SoNMAPS)- Prof. Mary Kipmorewo, Director, Corporate Communications and Marketing (DCCM)- Dr. Lydia Anyonje, Chairperson Department of Education, Planning and Management (EPM)- Dr. Pamela Buhere, MMUST’s Pharmacist- Mr. Ken Wendo and Mr. Nerman Monari. The workshop was also attended by a significant number of other MMUST staff and students.

The workshop participants came up with several recommendations including, continuous education for prescribers of antibiotics and community members, equipping laboratories, limiting instances of polypharmacy and involving nutritionists, lab technicians and public health officers in training. We should ensure sustainable production, distribution and use of antibiotics to promote a healthy life. This means ensuring stringent environmental standards and supporting the implementation of plans that come from such a workshop.

 By: Dr. Lydia Anyonje and Charity Idaya 

Photos by Wilberforce Shiundu

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