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Investing in infrastructure increases research capacity in Kenya

Maseno University Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital

The University of Washington’s DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health has submitted another NIH grant entitled, “Tabamasu-EHR: Integrating dental records within an existing HIV electronic health system.” This proposal aims to strengthen the scientific capacity for interdisciplinary research in Kenya involving the University of Washington (Seattle, USA), the Maseno University Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (Kisumu, Kenya), and the University of Nairobi (Nairobi, Kenya). The Tabasamu-EHR application complements our existing D71 Tabasamu grant. Our overarching goal is to develop a robust infrastructure that provides support and training for conducting oral HIV research in Kenya utilizing existing resources based on the JOOTRH HIV electronic health records (EHR) system.

Our aims for this project are to: 1) Ensure adequate computer hardware infrastructure for integration of the dental and HIV clinic EHR systems, 2) Integrate dental electronic records within existing HIV EHR software, and 3) Generate a cadre of oral HIV researchers with expertise in the retrieval of electronic health records, health statistics, management of large databases, and epidemiologic research, while making JOOTRH a model for oral health integration into the national HIV HER for other large institutions in Kenya.

On this project we are excited to partner on UW’s International Training and Education Center for Health (iTECH) who has vast experience in EHR. This project will provide training opportunities in research areas that will be needed to conduct research utilizing EHRs. If funded, Tabamasu-EHR will provide the foundational basis for a future medium- or long-term program aimed at mastering clinical and health service research, strengthen inter-professional collaborations, decrease Kenyan geographical research inequalities, and increase capacities in oral HIV research.

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