Hon. Robert Pukose, Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Health, led the Committee on the inspection tour at the Kenya Institute of Primate Research (KIPRE), formerly known as IPR, a biomedical research pioneer since 1958.
Aligned with the government’s Universal Health Coverage agenda, KIPRE focuses on drug and vaccine development, emphasizing domestic healthcare capacity.
During the visit, members of the Committee familiarized themselves with the laboratories, starting with the parasitology department.
Notable research includes malaria and pregnancy.
Department of Reproductive Health and Reproductive Biology
Utilizing a baboon model, the institute pioneers studies in reproductive health.
Recognized as the first lab established by WHO in this domain, it serves as a reference and collaborative center.
Research extends to contraceptive development with minimal side effects on both men and women, and thorough investigation of endometriosis using the baboon model.
Hon. Pukose commended the institute’s impactful work, emphasizing the importance of media coverage to inform the public. He proposed closer collaboration between KEMRI and KIPRE to achieve shared goals and urged participation in relevant conferences.
In response to Hon. Jaldesa Jaldesa’s inquiry about security and international collaborations, the CEO reassured that the institute’s land is secured with a title deed and highlighted partnerships with Western countries for research enhancement.
Addressing Hon. Sunkuli’s concern about agenda setting, the CEO cited financial constraints as a limiting factor. However, collaborations with organizations like the National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation help in agenda formulation.
Hon. Papela stressed the importance of branding and marketing to raise awareness about KIPRE’s impactful work among Kenyans.
Hon. Mary Maingi expressed appreciation for the institution’s contributions and sought ways for the Committee to support its operations.
The CEO highlighted the institute’s alignment with Universal Health Coverage through digitization efforts, aiming for closer collaboration.
The institute played a crucial role in COVID testing and screening for pathogens in the environment, providing early warnings to the government to prepare for potential outbreaks.
In conclusion, the Departmental Committee on Health recognized and applauded KIPRE’s significant contributions to biomedical research and healthcare, pledging support for its continued success.
Hon MP Mary Maingi (Mwea) is a member of that committee