LSTM welcomes Kenya’s Ministry of Health and National Assembly Departmental Committee on Health to strengthen research collaborations

News article 16 May 2024

A delegation from Kenya’s Ministry of Health and National Assembly Departmental Committee visited Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to deepen collaborations in treating the deadly effects of snakebite and other tropical diseases.

LSTM works closely with partners in Kenya on snakebite and antivenom research, and it has supported the development and capacity building of the Kenya Snakebite Research and Intervention Centre (K-SRIC), based at KIPRE, which has recently been integrated into the Ministry of Health.

The new African Snakebite Alliance further strengthens LSTM’s relationships with research partners in Kenya, alongside those in Ghana, Rwanda and Eswatini to improve policymaking and practice for the treatment of snakebite.

The visit was led by Ms Mary Muthoni Muriuki, CBS - the Principal Secretary, State Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health, and Hon. Dr. Robert Pukose, EGH - Chairperson Departmental Committee on Health, Kenya National Assembly. Others visiting were Members of the Kenya National Assembly in the Departmental Committee on Health and KIPRE’s senior scientists.

The group met with LSTM Director Professor David Lalloo, before presenting the work of the Ministry of Health, National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Health and KIPRE, the research institution that hosts K-SRIC.

The delegation from Kenya's Ministry of Health and National Assembly Departmental Committee on Health

Professor Nick Casewell, head of LSTM’s Centre for Snakebite Research & Interventions, then spoke about his team’s history of working in partnership with African research institutions and policymakers, as well as giving an overview of current research projects.

The guests also toured LSTM’s Herpetarium, before joining discussions on how both partners could collaborate further on work to develop an East African antivenom.

LSTM’s cutting-edge research in a range of other disease areas was also presented to the Ministry of Health delegation during the two-day visit, including Professor Feiko ter Kuile’s research on preventing malaria during pregnancy in Kenya which it is hoped will inform WHO guidelines.

The Kenyan delegation was given a tour of LSTM’s state-of-the-art teaching facilities at Pembroke House and the Accelerator, which will soon be home to the largest Human Challenge Facility in the UK.

The delegation visited LSTM's Herpetarium

Professor David Lalloo, Director of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said: “International collaboration is at the heart of our mission to improve health outcomes in disadvantaged populations globally. By working in equitable partnership with research colleagues in Kenya, we have been able to make substantial breakthroughs in the fight against diseases like malaria and the burden of tropical snakebite. This week’s visit from the Kenyan Ministry of Health and National Assembly Departmental Committee on Health shows our shared commitment to developing this vital relationship even further.”

Ms Mary Muthoni Muriuki, CBS, the Principal Secretary State Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health reiterated the commitment of the Kenya government in achieving Universal Health Coverage for the Kenyan people by supporting initiatives like the African Snakebite Alliance and others that aim to prevent and control snakebite in Africa. She lauded KIPRE’s efforts, led by Professor Josephat Mulimba, Chair Board of Directors and Dr Peter Mwethera on leading snakebite research and intervention activities in Kenya, while congratulating LSTM for its 125th Anniversary of global health impact through breaking the cycle of poor health and poverty.