RACT Development of research training networks is a successful method of stimulating research output and collaborations between institutions in developing and developed countries . In the year 2010 University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenya and University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) signed a memorandum of understanding to support collaborations between the two universities in the area of training and research in infectious disease. The outcome of this collaboration has led to significant improvements in infectious disease capacity, research and training opportunities in Kenya. Currently, the adult national HIV prevalence is 5.6%; only 63% of patients eligible for anti- retroviral therapy (ART) are on treatment, and only 78% of these patients have achieved virological suppression . Although there have been numerous achievements in the scale up of HIV prevention, care and treatment services in Kenya, there are still significant gaps in provision of care. Local government funding and international donor aid provided to support HIV service provision and research over the past three decades, has placed considerably less emphasis on HIV co-infections. As a result of the shortcomings in infectious disease research training, doctors in Kenya are usually consumers rather than discoverers of new knowledge. This is a state not only witnessed in Kenya, but replicated in most countries throughout Africa. We propose 3 tracks of doctoral level training to support human resource capacity for research in HIV con-infections: i. PhD training for the current infectious disease faculty at the Unit of Clinical Infectious Disease, UoN. This first phase of the training will focus on developing faculty to supervise future trainees The faculty will provide future supervision to students enrolled into the other PhD programs. The ID faculty include infectious disease physicians, infectious disease paediatricians, microbiologists, epidemiologists and pathologists. ii. An Infectious disease intercalated Fellowship/PhD program. Fellows will be offered an additional 2 years of research leading up to a PhD. Fellows will not only act as future ID faculty but will also be deployed to Ministry of Health facilities where they will provide leadership in infectious disease management and research iii. As an add on to the current Master of Medicine degree courses offered at the University of Nairobi leading to a combined Master of Medicine/PhD intercalated program (MMed/PhD). The proposed training programs combine the strengths of clinical training at University of Nairobi with PhD training at University of Maryland. In order to build a curriculum appropriate to the Kenyan student, a period of assessment of teaching and learning resources, logistics, feasibility and faculty available at both institutions is required. The planning grant wll have three distinct aims essential to the development of the PhD training programs;
AIM 1 : To establish the need for and structure of the advanced research training programs at the School of Medicine, University of Nairobi AIM 2: To establish the available training environment at the collaborating institutions and additional resources needed to establish the advanced research program at the School of Medicine, University of Nairobi AIM 3: To develop and implement a framework for the establishment of the advanced research training programs at the School of Medicine, University of Nairobi.
The prevalence of HIV in Kenya is 5.6%. HIV co-infections remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. The HIV co-infection planning grant will support the development of advanced research training programs for doctors within Kenya. The strategy to support the development of physician scientists through PhD training will allow doctors in Kenya to be at the forefront of medical research in HIV co-infection.