Global WACh

February 27, 2024

Collaborators gather in Nairobi for annual meeting on STD, HIV, and SRH research in Kenya

In January, collaborators from Global WACh and its long-time partner institutions, the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta National Hospital, and Kenya Medical Research Institute, gathered at the Nairobi Serena Hotel in Kenya for an annual meeting centered on STD, HIV, and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) research. The week-long University of Nairobi STD/HIV/SRH Research Group Meeting provided an opportunity to learn about each other’s work and scientific findings, build community within study teams, meet new people across teams, and engage in meaningful discussions to steer future directions of this collaborative research.

Continue reading below for a few presentation highlights and photos.


Presentation given by Peninah Kithao, Kenyatta National Hospital. (Photo: Jenna Udren)

The randomized controlled trial, Mobile WACh NEO, seeks to understand whether our digital health strategy effectively tackles Kenya’s high rate of neonatal mortality. The study provided mothers with safe, free access to information and care-seeking guidance through an innovative SMS communication platform to support preparation for labor, early postpartum and neonatal care, and family planning. Read more about the project in a previous blog post.


Presentation given by Celestine Atieno, Kenyatta National Hospital. (Photo: Jenna Udren)

Mobile WACh Empower is a randomized clinical trial that aims to assess whether a digital, self-administered reproductive life planning counseling tool given to Kenyan women living with HIV at baseline and continued counseling support can reduce contraceptive discontinuation, improve dual contraceptive use, and help them plan for healthy pregnancies. Read more about the project in a previous blog post.


Presentation given by Dr. Nancy Ngumbao, Kenyatta National Hospital. (Photo: Jenna Udren)

The HerChoice study is developing a novel, person-centered, locally derived, comprehensive psychometric scale to improve the accuracy of fertility intentions measurement and utilize the novel scale to refine a reproductive life planning digital counseling tool. Feedback from an interdisciplinary group of clinicians, researchers, and measurement experts prepared the tool for pilot testing among a small group of study participants. The tool will be further refined by participants’ feedback to be administered with a larger participant group.


The “HEU outcomes: population-evaluation and screening strategies (HOPE)” study team at the Nairobi collaborative meeting: Martin Chege, Rhoda Oricho, Marion Agiza, Grace John-Stewart, Irene Njuguna, Florence Mumbua, Serah Ndegwa, Alvin Onyango, Kenneth Malavi. (Photo: Dr. Irene Njuguna)


The HOPE study team at Lumumba Health Center in Kisumu: Felix Abuna, Irene Njuguna, Grace John-Stewart, Harriet Cheruto, Rhoda Oricho, Calif Omoro. Read more about the project in a previous blog post. (Photo: Dr. Irene Njuguna)


Drs. Dickens Onyango, Dennis Odago, Gregory Ouma, Connie Ongeti, and Mr. Felix Abuna pictured with a Hyperfine MRI machine at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral Hospital in Kisumu. (Photo: Dr. Irene Njuguna)


Sikiliza Mama study team members: Mary Marwa, Joan Mutahi, Dr. Anna Larsen, Helen Moraa. Read more about the study in a previous blog post. (Photo: Dr. Irene Njuguna)


Collaborators enjoyed time together outside of meetings. For Global WACh team members from Seattle, being in Nairobi was an opportunity for sightseeing!

Dr. Michelle Bulterys, Ariana Magedson, Jenna Udren, Dr. Anna Larsen, Dr. Grace John-Stewart, Kellie List, Dr. Maureen King’e, and Kate Rankin visited Nairobi National Park. (Photo: Ariana Magedson)