Despite efforts to improve oral health, low- and middle-income countries such as Kenya often lack the resources necessary to build research and health system capacity. University of Washington and University of Nairobi were awarded an NIH D71 planning grant entitled “TABASAMU: A multidisciplinary collaboration on building up research capacity in oral health and HIV/AIDS”, in June 2021. This innovative D71 award will provide the basis for developing a training program with the goal of creating sustainable institutional capacity in research and training for oral health and HIV/AIDS.
As part of this two-year planning, we will interview stakeholders and key investigators in Kenya, identifying oral health champions and potential researchers who will play a pivotal role in defining an organizational structure to support a future HIV research training program in oral health. We have partnered with experts in qualitative analysis, Dr. Matthew Saxton and Dr. David Hendry, at the University of Washington’s Information School, and are finalizing the instruments and will conduct our interviews September 2021 to February 2022. Drs. Saxton and Seminario both serve on the University of Washington’s Advisory Committee for the Office of Global Affairs and look forward to continued collaboration in global health research in Kenya and other DeRouen Center sites around the world.
From these interviews, we will identify key stakeholders and discuss current oral health research capacity and needs, identify potential mentors and trainees and gather data on access and barriers to research, and finalize our NIH D43 grant application which will pave the way to implementing a comprehensive oral health research training program across Kenya. This project will conduct the stakeholder analysis in several areas, including Nairobi, and in Western (Kisumu) and Eastern (Mombasa) cities where the prevalence of HIV is highest.