By The Coast Newspaper
The Aga Khan University (AKU) has launched a research office in Mombasa to improve health and education in the coastal region.
The research office will be working closely with government to define priority areas of focus and help address many health related challenges which have led to high morbidity and mortality from preventable illness in the Coast region.
The launch held on Wednesday was attended by officials from Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale County Governments, AKU and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) representatives in Mombasa.
AKU and other AKDN agencies have for several years worked with governments, stakeholders and the communities to invest in the Coast by implementing programs aimed at improving education levels and the health of families and communities.
“The mandate of a University includes teaching and training, service delivery and research, and AKU realizes the importance of research and the use of data as a means of coming up with solutions to people’s health challenges and for improving society” said Professor Robert Armstrong, Dean Medical College during the launch.
Professor Macharia, Associated Dean Research at AKU said the research office is also aimed at improving the operations of the University in the Coast region and facilitating collaborative research.
“The research office will contribute to the overall vision of the University by conducting research that contributes to the global body of knowledge and advances public policy in response to the real needs of communities and people,” said Professor Macharia.
AKU's research initiatives focus on some of the world's most pressing problems and aims to deliver real benefits to the local communities, in collaboration with the local government, stakeholders and partners.
Currently, the University is implementing a four year Access to Quality Care through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems (AQCESS) project worth $7.5 million (Ksh750 million) CAD.
The Project is led by Professor Marleen Temmerman, Director Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health AKU in East-Africa, in collaboration with Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan Health Services and the County governments.
AQCESS initiative seeks to accelerate improvements in health outcomes for over 130,000 women, girls and boys under the age of 5 in Kaloleni and Bomachoge Borabu sub-counties of Kilifi county (Coast Province) and Kisii County (Nyanza province), respectively.
The main beneficiaries of the University’s research initiatives on the Coast will be local communities who will benefit from the various programmes and research projects implemented by the University, and the county governments.
The research office will also provide a platform for networking among various partners engaged in development initiatives at the Coast.