UNIT OF CLINICAL AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Thematic Unit of Clinical Infectious Disease

Thematic Head

Professor Godfrey Nsereko Lule

Faculty in thematic area

Faculty from within the Department of Clinical Medicine and Therapeutics

Additional faculty from supporting departments within University of Nairobi

Honorary faculty

  • Dr Robert Redfield - Institute of Human Virology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Professor Sylvia Ojoo - Institute of Human Virology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Dr Rohit Talwani - Institute of Human Virology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Dr Paul Saleeb - Institute of Human Virology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Dr Jeremy Penner - School of Medicine, University of British Colombia, Canada

Thematic area description

University of Nairobi, Department of Clinical Medicine and Therapeutics formally established a Unit of Clinical Infectious Disease in 2014 to spearhead Infectious Disease (ID) related training, research and policy development in Kenya.

The Unit of Clinical Infectious Disease (UCID) is the transition strategy for the high-level technical support that the Partnership for Advanced Clinical Education (PACE) Project provides in Kenya, which includes providing technical support at the national level for guideline and policy development, advanced clinical training, and technical direction for ID programs.  PACE project is a 6 year CDC funded program of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Nairobi which has provided significant technical support to the Kenya National AIDS &STI Control Programme (NASCOP) during its 6 year grant period (September 2009 to September 2016). As PACE project concludes, the Unit of Clinical ID at University of Nairobi will emerge as the focal point for local technical expertise in infectious diseases, and a key resource for the Ministry of Health.

Objectives of the Unit of Clinical Infectious Disease

Overall objective: To spearhead the development of high level technical capacity in the management of infectious diseases and guide policy development at the national level through research and technical support.

Specific objectives

  1. To develop a core faculty of at least 5 clinical infectious disease experts who will lead the unit’s activities within the next 2 years
  2. To develop and offer a post graduate Fellowship programme in Clinical Infectious Diseases to MMed or equivalent graduates pursuing sub-speciality infectious disease training
  3. To provide clinical infectious disease training to undergraduate and post graduate medical students
  4. To develop a prototype inpatient and outpatient infectious disease consultancy service at Kenyatta National Hospital
  5. To provide technical support to the Ministry of Health in regards to the national HIV programme and other priority infectious diseases
  6. To lead clinical and operational infectious disease research that informs local and international policies and guidelines

Programme/course

The thematic area is launching a sub-speciality fellowship training programme in clinical infectious disease for physicians and paediatricians.  The two year course will enrol the first intake of Fellows in the 2015/2016academic year.

On-going research projects of the thematic area

Faculty

  • A study to determine the incidence, microbial causes, antimicrobial sensitivity patterns, treatment and outcomes of infective endocarditis at KNH, AKUH and NH - Dr Emma Karari
  • A study to determine the prevalence, causes and impact of implementation of prompt 3hr sepsis bundle implementation on survival at KNH - Dr Loice Achieng
  • A study to define and characterize non-AIDS-defining cancers in HIV infected persons at Kenyatta National Hospital - Dr Andrew Odhiambo
  • A study on the prevalence of Hepatitis B among blood donations - Dr Adam Sheikh and Dr Syokau Ilovi

Career opportunities

Currently, there are no established clinical ID services in most of our referral hospitals. This is because there are only 3 adequately trained infectious disease specialists in Kenya serving a population of over 40 million. These ID specialists are all based in Nairobi county, with no representation in the rest of Kenya.  Whereas WHO recommends 1 specialist for every 200,000 persons Kenya currently has 1 specialist for every 13.3 million persons. The local need for infectious disease specialists is high.

Sub-specialty training in ID has traditionally been carried out in Europe and North America but because of stringent requirements for potential students and prohibitive costs which serve as a barrier to government sponsorship, there is a gross shortage of this specialist service.

Over and above provision of ID consultation services, ID experts steer antibiotic stewardship committees, track the emergence of resistance patterns, lead infection control teams and provide policy guidelines on management of infectious diseases. ID specialists assist in formulating national policy on management and control of infectious diseases by generating and updating relevant guidelines. Local capacity to provide this specialist service is lacking within the Kenyan health system.

Alumni

The programme to date has no graduates of the Fellowship programme.

Projects

The UCID antimicrobial and antimalarial resistance ID symposium will take place from June 18 to 19, 2015.

The National Advanced HIV Clinical Course (NAHCC) for in-service health care providers is to take place in 2015 through funding provided from the Partnership for Advanced Clinical Education grant. For more information on the 2015 NAHCC contact the department on dept-medtherapeutics@uonbi.ac.ke with the following information on the reference ‘ATTENTION: UCID symposium - Dr Jeanette Dawa’.

The UCID electronic discussion forum (e-forum) is to be launched in December 2014 as a platform for learning and discussion of complex ID cases. For further information on posting of cases on the discussion forum contact the department on dept-medtherapeutics@uonbi.ac.ke with the following information on the reference ‘ATTENTION: UCID electronic forum - Dr Jeanette Dawa’.

News/Events

UCID supported Kenyatta National Hospital’s Ebola Disaster Operations Committee in developing clinical guidelines and standard operating procedures for the management of Ebola Virus Disease at Kenyatta National Hospital. The guideline development workshop was held from 13 to 15 August 2014 at Hadassah Hotel, Nairobi.

As part of its activities, the Unit of Clinical Infectious Disease will host its first infectious disease symposium from June 18 - 19, 2015. Abstracts are invited in the fields of antibacterial and antimalarial resistance.The abstract submission deadline is 31 March 2015. For more information please visit our website: http://clinicalmed.uonbi.ac.ke/node/1328