Mombasa, Kenya, 15 March 2017 - The Aga Khan University (AKU) has launched a research office in Mombasa to improve health and education in the coastal region, working closely with local government to define priority areas of focus.
The research office will help address many health-related challenges that have led to high morbidity and mortality from preventable illness in the region.
One such research initiative is the Access to Quality Care through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems , a four-year CAD$ 7.5 million (Ksh750 million) project led by Professor Marleen Temmerman, Director, Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at AKU in East Africa, in collaboration with county governments, the Aga Khan Foundation and Aga Khan Health Services. The AQCESS initiative seeks to accelerate improvements in health outcomes for over 130,000 women, girls and boys under the age of five in Kaloleni, Bomachoge and Borabu sub-counties of Kilifi County, Coast Province and Kisii County, Nyanza Province, respectively.
“AKU sees research and data as a means of drawing solutions towards addressing healthcare challenges and, ultimately, improving the society. The University has a mandate not just to teach, train and offer healthcare services, but to perform all of these supported by research as a core element of day-to-day practice – and that is what this office is about,” said Professor Robert Armstrong, Dean, Medical College during the launch.
Professor William Macharia, Associate Dean, Research said that the research office is also aimed at improving the operations of the University in the Coast region and facilitating collaborative research.
“The office will conduct research that contributes to the global body of knowledge and which advances public policy in response to the real needs of communities and people,” he added.
The office is expected to attract investment in projects, which will lead to positive behavior change and improve the quality of people’s lives in the region. It will also provide a platform for networking among various partners engaged in development initiatives in the Coast region.
The main beneficiaries will be local communities who will benefit from the various programmes and research projects implemented by the University, and the County Governments whose efforts the programmes will supplement.
The launch was attended by officials from Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale county governments, AKU and the Aga Khan Development Network representatives in Mombasa.
AKU and other AKDN agencies have worked in partnership with the county governments, the coastal communities and various stakeholders for several years, implementing programmes aimed at improving education levels and the health of families and communities.
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Chartered in 1983, the Aga Khan University (AKU) is a private, autonomous university that promotes human welfare through research, teaching and community service initiatives. Based on the principles of quality, access, impact and relevance, the university has campuses and programmes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its facilities include teaching hospitals, Faculties of Health Sciences with Schools of Nursing and Midwifery and Medical Colleges, Institutes for Educational Development, an Examination Board and an Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations. A Graduate School of Media and Communications, an East African Institute and an Institute for Human Development are under development while Faculties of Arts and Sciences are to be set up in Pakistan and East Africa. Through its needs-blind admissions policy, the University imbues the most promising leaders and thinkers of tomorrow with an ethic of service and the skills to help communities solve their most pressing challenges.
The Aga Khan University is one of nine agencies in the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of private development agencies with mandates ranging from health and education to architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities. www.aku.edu