In February 2022, the University of Washington (UW) Timothy A. DeRouen Center team travelled to Kenya as part of our National Institute of Health’s D71 Grant entitled “TABASAMU: A multidisciplinary collaboration on building up research capacity in oral health and HIV/AIDS.” The purpose of this interdisciplinary planning grant is to develop a training program with the ultimate goal of creating sustainable institutional capacity in research and training for oral health and HIV/AIDS.
Team members from UW (Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario, Dr. Matthew Saxton, and Sara Stanley), University of Nairobi (Dr. Arthur Kemoli), and Maseno University (Dr. Immaculate Opondo) visited with University, Hospital, County, and Federal representatives in four cities in Kenya – Kisumu, Eldoret, Mombasa, and Nairobi. We were grateful to be able to visit multiple areas of the country in order to help with cultural competency, meeting with various stakeholders, and get to know more about the strengths and challenges in different areas. We were able to gain a robust representation of future mentors and trainees from the whole country.
During the two-week trip, the team conducted 11 virtual and 15 in-person stakeholder interviews and conducted 33 informational meetings in preparation for writing and submitting an NIH D43 Training Grant in Summer, 2023. Our team was well-received, and we were also able to visit with our Global Innovation Fund grant students, and with the AMPATH group in Eldoret. This trip was a successful beginning to expanding oral health and HIV research capacity in Kenya, and we are excited about the next steps towards the NIH D43 5-year training grant to expand research capacity.