The DNDi Africa Regional Support Office was set up in 2003 at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Complex Centre for Clinical Research (CCR) in Nairobi, Kenya. The office has developed a network of about 400 scientists and other people interested in neglected diseases and DNDi's activities. We are constantly in touch with this network, updating them on DNDi activities through newsletters and other documents as we receive them from Geneva. The Office continues to provide support to various DNDi projects in the region such as the LEAP and HAT Platforms and the FACT Project.
In the first quarter of 2008, the Office organised its main activities centred around Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training. In January, a course conducted by Clinical Trials Consultants (CTC) of Basel, Switzerland was held in Uganda for LEAP0104 Trial staff from the four participating countries of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan. A total of 15 doctors, laboratory technologists, and nurses were trained during this period. Another GCP refresher course was conducted at KEMRI in May 2008 by Apple Down UK, in which a total of 47 clinical trial staff (doctors, nurses, and laboratory technologists) were trained. The office also continued implementation of Good Financial Practice (GFP – a set of financial guidelines and procedures for the LEAP0104 Clinical Trial Project) with Trial partners to ensure proper management, utilisation, and reporting on project funds.
The Office participated at the 2nd East African Health and Scientific Conference (EAHSC) in Arusha, Tanzania which was attended by about 250 guests from the five East African countries of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda. The next EAHSC will be held in Nairobi from 25-27 March, 2009, and the Regional Office will take advantage of this opportunity to engage in more advocacy activities.
The Office is also currently occupied in the secretariat, organising the 5th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Conference to be organised by KEMRI and to be held in Nairobi from 2-6 November 2009. Two meetings have been held so far to discuss the logistics of organising the meeting and how to fundraise locally for the conference through KEMRI partners.
Furthermore, the Office is taking steps to circulate information on the activities of DNDi. Off-site, we will participate to the end in the 28th African Health and Scientific Conference, scheduled for 14-17 July 2008 in Mauritius. On-site, we usually provide a standard pack of DNDi documents to visiting staff and guests. Meetings have also been scheduled with donors in Geneva as well as with local European embassies in Nairobi supporting the project to continuously update them on the progress of our varied activities.