Strengthening Medical Education for Improved Health Outcomes in Kenya

Programmatic: Strengthening Medical Education for Improved Health Outcomes in Kenya

 Contact Principal Investigator: KIARIE, JAMES NJOGU, jkiarie@swiftkenya.com

 Project Title: PROGRAMATIC-STRENGTHENING MEDICAL EDUCATION FOR IMPROVED HEALTH OUTCOMES IN KENYA

 Awardee Organization: UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI

 Partner Organizations: University of Washington; University of Maryland – Baltimore, Kenyatta University

The University of Nairobi (UON) has formed the Partnership for Innovative Medical Education (PRIME) in collaboration with two of its longstanding training partners, the University of Washington (UW) and the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB). The primary goal of the PRIME application is to strengthen and build clinical and research capacity in the UON School of Medicine for HIV and HIV-related conditions. Because the UON trains more than half of all Kenyan doctors entering the workforce each year, a program improving the quality of medical education (Aim 1), extending the reach of medical training outside Nairobi (Aim 2), and increasing retention of UON faculty (Aim 3) has potential to have a major impact on improving human resource capacity for health and health outcomes long-term in Kenya. PRIME will also seek to support the UON research administration and oversight (Aim 4) to streamline the processes for conducting research. This will be done by directly supporting the Office of Grant Management and Institutional Review Board to increase efficiency of operations and management to the standards of USG funding regulations. To improve the quality of medical education at UON, we propose a combination of strategies, including the use of an innovative "skills lab" that will allow students to have hands-on clinical experiences using expert patients and simulation models. In addition, faculty will be trained in clinical teaching using HIV as a platform, and new educational approaches will be rigorously evaluated to allow promotion of the most effective methods university-wide. To extend the reach of the clinical training described above, PRIME will develop and implement a decentralized, community-based program that optimizes training in primary care and preventive medicine around HIV/AIDS. This will be done by training and accrediting local medical doctors and specialists at 12 district hospitals outside Nairobi which will become rotation sites for medical students, interns, and postgraduates. Distance learning and mobile phone applications will also be introduced for training and care at these decentralized sites to ensure sustainability of training over time. In the third aim, PRIME will promote faculty development by providing opportunities for UON postgraduates and faculty to pursue clinical or applied research. This will be accomplished through three different mechanisms: 1) a one-year mentored fellowship in implementation science, 2) a career development award in clinical research, and 3) a seed grant program. Together, these strategies will result in creation of an enabling academic environment which will encourage locally driven research and a sustainable increase in the recruitment and retention of academic faculty.

 PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This application builds on the strengths of three partnering universities (UON, UW and UMB) to address the current medical education challenges faced by UON, with the ultimate goal of improving healthcare delivery across Kenya. As UON is the largest medical school in Kenya and one of the largest in East Africa, improving quality of training around HIV and related conditions at the institutional level and extending this into communities could have a profound effect on HIV-specific and overall health outcomes.



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