KENYA – FIND, the Global Alliance For Diagnostics, has launched its Kenyan office housed in the Nairobi headquarters of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the Kenyan State Corporation for science and technology that is now a regional leader in human health research.

FIND was first set up in 2003, as a product development partnership focused on filling diagnostic gaps that prevent access to testing.

The relationship with KEMRI began over a decade ago, with an initial Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations signed in 2015 and renewed in 2020.

The FIND Kenya office, commissioned by Ag. Director General of KEMRI, Professor Sam Kariuki, serves the East Africa region. Disease-focused work includes projects to expand access to tests for tuberculosis, COVID-19 and neglected tropical diseases such as human African trypanosomiasis (HAT, also known as sleeping sickness), visceral leishmaniasis, and schistosomiasis.

These are complemented by cross-cutting workstreams for diagnostic network optimization, biobanking, mobile labs and the use of digital tools.

Work on next-generation sequencing is also currently being explored. More than 10 FIND staff can be accommodated at the KEMRI facility.

“The FIND Kenya office is critical to our operations in this region, and we are extremely appreciative of our long-standing relationships with the Kenyan government, with KEMRI, and other partners here, as we work together to strengthen testing services as part of sustainable and resilient health systems.” Professor Ndung’u said.

The launch was attended by Professor Joseph Ndung’u, Executive Director of FIND in Kenya, as well as partners including the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT), and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi).

FIND secures US$3.5m

FIND and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust have announced that FIND has been awarded a 3-year grant of US$3.5 million by Helmsley to improve access to continuous glucose monitoring devices (CGMs) for effective diabetes management in Kenya and South Africa.

The project, dubbed ACCEDE (ACcess to CGMs for Equity in DiabEtes management), comprises interventions to boost the affordability of CGMs, to build capacity in diabetes management, and to generate supporting evidence for the use of CGMs across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Through the ACCEDE project, FIND will work to address this disparity, with partners including CGM manufacturers whose devices have been through stringent regulatory approval, and who have the willingness to offer their CGMs at accessible prices in both the public and private sectors worldwide.

Alongside these pricing interventions, the project will build capacity through dedicated training on the effective use of CGMs for healthcare providers and people living with diabetes.

Finally, by generating the clinical and health economic evidence that stakeholders in Kenya, South Africa, and other LMICs need to build investment cases for the sustainable financing of CGMs, the project will also lay the foundations for long-term expanded access to CGMs everywhere that health resources are limited but diabetes runs rampant.

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