The University of Nairobi has launched a new approach to managing HIV/AIDS in the country. This follows concerns among professionals and researchers that majority of the current approaches are not sustainable. The university in collaboration with the University of Washington (UW) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has introduced a HIV Fellowship programme that will help build the capacity of health professionals to provide effective leadership and management of the public and private health sectors.
“In-order to effectively manage research grants and continue seeing the growth in the research, it is imperative that we have well-trained manpower in program management, grants management and administration,” said Prof George Magoha, University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor.
Speaking during the 1st graduation ceremony of the UoN HIV Fellowship Program, Prof Magoha said the fellowship program was initiated to improve Kenya’s response to HIV by ensuring only sustainable interventions are employed. “Through this training program we will strengthen the institutional and management capacity of organizations delivering and overseeing HIV care. This will enable the organizations utilize funds as well as new knowledge and technologies to create a sustainable Kenyan response to the HIV,” he said.
The Fellowship Program is hosted in the College of Health Sciences by the University of Nairobi Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (UNITID) in collaboration with the University of Washington (UW). It combines class-based training with experiential learning and mentorship. To date the program has trained a total of 30 fellows with another 1,200 participants across the country being trained on various short courses.
Early this year, researchers expressed fears that lack of a standardized training approach is impacting negatively on efforts to provide quality health care for HIV/AIDS patients. The researchers warned that whereas a lot of time and funds have been dedicated to research, policy makers should now start focusing on the quality of health care provided by various institutions. The researchers drawn from academic institutions in Kenya and USA were meeting at the University Of Nairobi College Of Health Sciences to review the advances made in training and service delivery in the health sector.