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Seasonal influenza is a serious public health problem. Shutterstock

Jeanette Dawa, University of Nairobi

Each year the World Health Organisation gathers data on influenza strains and recommends which strains countries should include in formulating vaccines for the next year.

Many countries around the world administer these vaccines because the influenza virus – known as the flu virus – is a significant contributor to respiratory illness.

In Africa only a few countries issue the vaccine annually: Ivory Coast, Egypt, Libya, Mauritius, Tunisia and South Africa.

Kenya is one of the countries on the continent that doesn’t have a flu vaccination programme. The vaccine is available in the private sector but isn’t affordable for most Kenyans. Because there is no national programme, children also don’t receive it as part of their regular immunisation schedule in public hospitals. This is despite the fact that a quarter of Kenyan patients who seek medical care for respiratory symptoms have the flu virus in their systems.

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Eunice Anyango Owino, University of Nairobi

In the past 15 years the Kenyan government has made great strides in preventing and controlling malaria. It has issued insecticide treated bed nets, sprayed people’s homes with insecticides and ensured that there is widespread diagnostic testing. These efforts have resulted in a significant drop in transmission rates.

But progress has not been uniform. Parts of Kenya – particularly the counties in the west of the country along the Rift Valley – are still plagued by serious seasonal cases of the deadly disease.

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The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) is a fellowship program for African institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda to host an African-born scholar to work in projects in research collaboration, graduate student teaching/mentoring and curriculum co-development.

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program is open to all disciplines. However, projects in Priority Themes in each cycle will be given preference. The current cycle themes are:

  • Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM)
  • Sustainable cities and communities

Faculty can submit a project request to host an African-born scholar currently living in the United States or Canada to work on projects in research collaboration, graduate student teaching/mentoring and curriculum co-development. The host institution can collaborate with a specific scholar on the project request or submit without naming a scholar. If the host submits without naming a scholar, IIE will search their Roster of qualified candidates to be matched to the request.

For more information, visit Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program

Deadline for submission: Friday July 6, 2018

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Africa needs engineers, but its engineering students often end up working at auditing firms and banks.

Why? Kamau Gachigi, former Director, Science and Technology Park suspects it's because they don't have the spaces and materials needed to test their ideas and start businesses.

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