Moi University wins grant to foster innovation in health Science departments of African Varsities

Anne O. - Communications & Marketing | 23 November, 2020

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Moi University in partnership with Makerere University (Uganda), University of Cape Coast (Ghana), Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and Linköping University (Sweden) has been selected for the European Union (EU) co-funding for the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme – a scheme that supports higher education cooperation between countries in Africa.

The Kenyan institution is among six other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) which have successfully been selected for funding and will receive grants of up to 1.4 million euros.

I am pleased to inform you that your application has been selected for EU co-funding. It received 87/100 points, which is above the minimum threshold for funding of 50/100 points given the available budget. The maximum amount of funding to be awarded to your project is 1,399,025.00 Euro.” The confirmation letter from the EU’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency reads in part.

For your information, out of the 142 eligible applications, 7 have been selected for funding and 3 have been placed on a reserve list.” The letter continues.

The project titled Partnering for Health Professional Training in African Universities is set to start in January 2021 and is projected to end in December 2025, and will catapult innovation in the Health Science departments of the selected Higher Education Institutions in the African region.

Motivated by the young and vibrant African population that faces several challenges often amplified by the demographic explosion; youth unemployment, climate change, food crisis and poor health systems, the project seeks to foster collaboration and harmonization of higher education health professional training to produce quality (skilled and competent) graduates for efficient health systems on the continent, thereby increasing the employability of graduates, improving the quality of higher education and strengthening the modernization and internationalization of African Higher Education Institutions.

Conversely, the project seeks to alleviate the infrastructural deficiencies within the Health Science departments of the partner African Higher Learning Institutions.

Additional challenges that face healthcare human development in Africa focus on physical infrastructure, accreditation systems and faculty recruitment. These challenges are as a result of differences in training approaches and lack of mobility in student/staff in the African continent. To address these challenges, deliberate efforts should be focused on upgrading the skills and mobility of student/staff in healthcare at a regional level. Collaboration amongst African Institutions and partnerships with technically apt institutions is required to systematically address the challenges and result in sustainable solutions that will have impact on the individual, institutional and regional level health professional training has a particularly important role to play in addressing the health workforce shortage.” The project proposal reads in part.

This project will see training of at least 42 postgraduate students (30 Masters and 12 PhD students) in various but complementary health subjects, strengthening of human and research capacity in health science in the selected HEIs in Africa, Improvement in quality and relevance of higher education in Africa through academic collaboration and staff exchange in selected HEIs; and Improving internationalisation and visibility of selected academic programmes in Africa hence strengthening capacity of the Health Sector in Africa to respond to existing and emerging medical health challenges and thus, contribute to achieving European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) vision on health care and SDGs 3 and 17 which Kenya is a signatory.

The project which will be headed by Immunology Professor, Simeon Mining is targeting twelve academic programmes; Master of Science in Clinical Psychology, Master of Science in Field Epidemiology, and PhD in Immunology for Moi University. Master of Public Health and PhD in Health Sciences for Makerere University, M. Phil Drug Discovery and Development, M. Phil Infection and Immunity, PhD. Drug Discovery and Development for the University of Cape Coast and Masters in Nursing, MSc. Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, MSc. Medical Micro Biology, PhD Molecular Biology and Human Genetics for Stellenbosch University.

Prof. Simeon Mining, the project's Principal Investigator and KeNIA Board Member