University of Nairobi
University of Maryland/Washington
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The PRIME-K Program

Following a successful application for the National Institutes of Health  (NIH) grant - Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) in 2010, University of Nairobi (UON) formed the Partnership for Innovative Medical Education in Kenya (PRIME-K) in collaboration with two of its longstanding training partners, the University of Washington (UW) and the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB).

The overarching goal of PRIME-K is to strengthen and build the clinical and research capacity at the University of Nairobi’s College of Health Sciences which is the largest medical school in Kenya and thereby improve human resource capacity for health and health outcomes in Kenya.

The UON College of Health Sciences was established in 1968, and served for more than two decades as the only medical school in Kenya. This college currently has over 300 faculty, and annually graduates 280 doctors — more than half of all Kenyan doctors introduced into the workforce each year — and 61 pharmacists, 30 dentists and 38 nurses. The college also graduates more than 145 postgraduates from these disciplines every year.

The program aims are to:

  • Improve the quality of medical education
  • Extend the reach of medical training outside Nairobi
  • Increase retention of UON faculty by providing opportunities for UON postgraduates and  faculty to pursue clinical or applied research
  • Support for the UON Research Structures

The UON was also awarded a linked grant on neonatal, child and maternal health. The UoN working with colleagues at the UW, will also establish a Collaborative Center of Excellence in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH) at the UoN which will build research capacity and provide outstanding training in implementation science and applied research, health metrics and evaluation, and program leadership relevant to achieving Kenya’s health development goals. This project aims for the linked award are:

Build implementation science capacity in MNCH that translates into policy and practice: To build capacity to conduct multidisciplinary implementation science research that translates into policy and practice, a training program consisting of short-, medium- and long-term training will be implemented for medical faculty and post-graduates in Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology and Community Health. Training in applied research methods and health metrics will be coupled with integrated MNCH clinical and program management training in order to optimize delivery of appropriate, high-impact services to women, infants and children in Kenya.

Launch implementation science research that strengthens MNCH at community level: To promote implementation science research that strengthens MNCH efforts at the community level in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, we will provide opportunities for teams of medical faculty and/or post- graduates from at least two different disciplines to compete for MNCH projects based at decentralized clinical training sites supported by the UON-UW mentorship program, and facility and community-based data collection and evaluation systems developed through the PRIME-Kenya programmatic award.

Enhance MNCH leadership capacity to harness emerging implementation science strengths: To enhance MNCH program leadership capacity and build bridges between the UON and the Kenya Ministries of Health (MOH) programs in MNCH, the project will collaborate with the Afya Bora Consortium to offer a 9- month Leadership Fellowship and a 5-week Certificate program in leadership, public health policy, program management, monitoring and evaluation and relevant research methodology that utilizes participatory learning, extended field visits and clinical or research attachments.