2011/2012 Yearbook Health

Innovations and recognitions

Various scientists, individuals and institutions were in 2011 recognised for their numerous innovations in their fields. Kenya was in 2011 honoured with the inaugural South-South Award for its contribution in the development e-health services in all parts of the country. Kenya was also recognised for establishing robust and sustainable human resource information at the Second Global Forum in Bangkok. The Kenya Health Workforce Information System represents one of the longest running and comprehensive human resources information systems in sub- Saharan Africa. Using health workforce information collated in electronically-linked databases, it has successfully informed workforce planning and management in various contexts. Other activities recognised and honoured in 2011 included development of herbal remedies collapsable syringes and helping mother deliver safely.

Prof Julius Wanjohi Mwangi

The University of Nairobi’s Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy don and researcher has earned recognition for his work in traditional/alternative medicine and acupuncture. He started working on traditional health practioners in the early 1980s. In 1987, he developed MUPAL®, a herbal medicine for duodenal and stomach ulcers. Prof Mwangi has worked on several herbal remedies for many conditions, such as noncancerous prostate enlargement (beneign prostate hyperplasia) developed from prunus africana (commonly known as red stinkwood or muiri), diabetes and fibroids.

He has also been recognised by Ministry of State on National Heritage for his herbal remedy on disc prolapsed and helping in the development of laws that would govern traditional medicine. In 2011, he was awarded a State honour, Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear. Dr Fredros Okumu He is based at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania and is a recipient of a $775,000 (Sh66 million) grant from Grand Challenges to help him further develop his 2009 innovative device, which uses smelly socks to lure mosquitoes to their death. The device is placed outside the house as an outdoor complement to mosquito nets and sprays.

Dr Abdisalan Mohamed Noor

A Wellcome Trust-funded scientist at Kemri’s Centre for Geographic Medicine Research- Coast is the 2011 winner of African Union Young Scientist National Award for Life and Earth Sciences. This prestigious award is part of the African Union Scientific Awards Programme initiated in 2007 by the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Governments, with support from key development partners. Dr Noor, 33, was honoured for his extensive and significant contribution to providing the research-based evidence necessary to develop new maps of malaria risk and intervention coverage to guide control policies in Kenya and African He is an honorary Fellow of Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.

Aga Khan University Hospital

The hospital was recognised by the 2030 ICT Innovation Awards for using a combination of health management information systems and mobile telephony to manage its service delivery and monitor patients.

Pamela Achieng’ Sombe

A nurse at Duru Kadero dispensary in Nyanza, she is the 2011 UN Person of the Year Award winner. Sombe was recognised for going out of her way to help mothers deliver safely. Armed only with basic equipment and supplies, Pamela has assisted many mothers who went to the dispensary in advanced stages of labour.

Harrysone Atieli

He was the Kemri recipient of the POSTER award for the best innovative vector-control alternative for DDT in 2011. Atieli earned recognition for his two year study in Ahero, Nyanza, showed that houses that had ceilings made of papyrus reeds reduced mosquitoes by 76-80 per cent.

Collapsable syringes

A Mombasa-based company, Revital, was recognised for their innovation on syringes. The firm makes syringes which collapse after a single. The syringes have the potential to reduce transmission of HIV.