The Institute had a strong showing at the just concluded three-days 6th Kenya Lung Health conference held at the Pride Inn Paradise Resort & Spa in Mombasa from Wednesday 23rd, 2022.

The conference which was making a comeback following the Covid-19 pandemic, was praised by the organizers who included staff from KEMRI’s Centre for Respiratory Diseases Research (CRDR), as “hugely successful”.  CRDR who are part of the conference’s founding partners alongside, the Ministry of Health’s National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Disease Program (NLTD-P) and Respiratory Society of Kenya (ReSoK) provided the all-important technical support and a sizeable participation including chairing sessions, logistical and administrative support, oral and poster presentations among others.

A cocktail of scientific and academically stimulating and engaging presentations was delivered under the theme “Healthy Lungs for a Better Future” living up to its expectations of not just local and regional respiratory disease experts, but also a host of others from beyond the continent. Besides the official opening ceremony officiated by the National Assembly Member of Parliament from Matungulu Constituency, Hon. Stephen Mutinda Mule, Day One saw a total of six skills building pre-conference workshops including Theoracic Radiology, Operational Research and a Media Workshop.

Dr. Jane Rahedi Ong’ang’o, a medical doctor and Research Scientist at CRDR was one of the conveners of the Operational Research workshop tackling the topic “Protocol Development”. It is instructive to note that Dr. Ong’ang’o alongside colleagues, Asiko Ongaya, Teresiah Njoroge, Geoffrey Okallo and Research and Development Deputy Director, Evans Amukoye are members of the Organizing Committee while, Elizabeth Kendi alongside Okallo are members of the conference secretariat.

KEMRI participants of the 6th Kenya lung health conference held at Pride Inn Paradise Resort and Spa in Mombasa (23rd -25th November)
Participants of the 6th Kenya lung health conference

CRDR Director,Dr. Videlis Nduba led from the front at the conference by not only chairing sessions, but also made an oral presentation titled: “Getting to know the bug: TB microbiology and Immunology“. Colleagues, Asiko Ongaya and Olga Mashedi’s oral presentations were titled, “SARS-CoV-2 exposure in a TB and TB/HIV co-infected cohort through antibody assessment in Kenya” and “Fungal & Respiratory infections in Homes” respectively.

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust colleagues, Dr. Ambrose Agweyu’s presentation, “Pneumonia and Epidemiology of Childhood Pneumonia”and Dr. Anthony Etyang’s “Knowledge generation and use to enhance lung health in Kenya” also generated considerable interest at the conference.

Different specialized break-away sessions provided opportunities for shared experiences and networking especially for younger research scientists and lung health specialists that served from  a generous menu that included ongoing projects, new innovations and technologies assembled against Tuberculosis (TB) and other Lung diseases.

With very successful oral submissions in symposiums and specialized workshops, digital poster presentations provided the showstopper moment. The Institute’s Paul Mwangi, Jeremiah Ndeto, Fridah Njeru and Pascah Bulia Beti stood out and were counted, each giving a good account of the proceedings.

Asiko Ongaya makes her presentation at the 6th Kenya Lung Health Conference
Olga Mashedi and Dr. Jane Rahedi Ong’ang’o the 6th Kenya Lung Health Conference

The Knowledge Management (KM) team lead by Lillian Mayieka, Barba Miheso, Wambui Njonge and Edina Wanjiku were present advocating the place of evidence synthesis in the context of lung health in the country.

By Sharon Gitonga