The University of Nairobi (UoN) in partnership with the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) received funding from the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) to build the capacity of newly established Research Ethics Committees (RECs) in a project titled “Strengthening Research Ethics Oversight in Kenya (STReK).”
One of the key activities was to conduct mentorship for members of accredited Research Ethics Committees. In this regard, UoN and NACOSTI developed a mentorship guide with tools and a mentorship logbook to be used by the selected mentees during the programme. This mentorship program was aimed at sharing experiences, knowledge sharing and building more capacity on research ethics. This was achieved through a number of consultative meetings and stakeholder forums. The mentorship guide also underwent review by NACOSTI National Bioethics Committee. The research ethics committee mentor institutions that were selected based on experience for this program were:
Once the mentorship guide was fully developed, research ethics committee mentee institutions were identified and invitations were sent out to proposed accredited REC institutions to nominate a mentee to participate in the program. Initially, it was proposed to mentor twenty-two (22) mentees from accredited institutions but on sending out invitations to the institutions, it was agreed to mentor up to 27 members. The selected mentee institutions include: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, AIC Kijabe Hospital, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Chuka University, Mount Kenya University, University of Kabianga, United States International University, Kabarak University, Great Lakes University of Kisumu, Gertrudes Children Hospital, Alupe University, Kenya Methodist University, Daystar University, Africa Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), Africa International University, Maseno University, Tenwek Hospital, Kenyatta University, St Paul's University, Technical University of Mombasa, Pwani University, Laikipia University, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching & Referral Hospital, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science & Technology, Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology and the University of Eastern Africa of Baraton.
STReK Project organized a mentors stakeholders’ forum on 20th September 2022 and the purpose was to meet all proposed mentors and to present the mentorship guide to them for their input. After this meeting, two other meetings were organized for mentors to meet with the mentees and to also take mentees through the mentorship guide and logbook. One of the meetings was held in Nairobi on 4th October 2022 while the other meeting was held in Kisumu on 7th October 2022 targeting RECs that are centered in that region. After these successful meetings, mentors have now been having virtual engagements with their mentees to take them through the mentorship programme. A mentorship stakeholder’s forum is also planned for to follow up on progress of the program.
This activity was supported by an EDCTP Grant (CSA2017ERC-1857) which is part of the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union