February 24-28, 2019
University of Nairobi, Kenya
Principal Investigators Kiros Berhane (University of Southern California – USC) and Jonathan Samet (Colorado School of Public Health) conducted a project initiation and implementation training workshop to the new GEOHealth Hub team from the Center for Advanced Studies for Environment Law and Policy (CASELAP) at the University of Nairobi. This started with an initial meeting with the core senior investigative team on Sunday (February 24, 2019) afternoon to discuss the objectives and deliverables of the training workshop as well as plans to engage University of Nairobi leaders and representative of governmental stakeholders. The four day training workshop (February 25-28) covered several topics including Hub overall objectives, basic lectures on environmental epidemiology and biostatistics, data management principles, and data collection and study implementation/management tools for the Children’s Health Study and the Hospital Mortality/Morbidity Study. This discussion included details on school and hospital selection criteria, conduct of school spirometry testing (including discussion and initial practice of spirometry testing), household questionnaire adoption process, REDCap data management setup and data analysis principles. Throughout the workshop, experiences from the Uganda team that recently completed the Children’s Health Study and initiation of the Hospital study were shared by Hub Scholar trainee Samuel Etajak. In addition to the training workshop, Principal Investigators Berhane and Samet also visited University of Nairobi leadership (Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, and Dean of the School of Public Health Prof. Mutuku Mwanthi), leadership of the Kenya National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and leadership of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). A discussion was also held with Prof. Elizabeth Obimbo, a professor of pediatrics at University of Nairobi, to discuss her potential involvement in the Kenya Hub to provide much needed expertise in spirometry training of the field team and also providing clinical expertise in children’s respiratory health. The three current Hub Junior Scholars (Dr. Abebe Hailu, Dr. Theoneste Ntakirutimana, and Mr. Samuel Etajak from Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda respectively – and a new addition from Kenya, Dr. Stephen Anyango) also attended the training workshop. Each day, separate sessions were held with the Hub scholars to discuss status of their mentoring process, structure of their training and mentoring activities as well as scheduling of their upcoming visit(s) to the USA sometime in summer, 2019.