KENYA—The Kenya Institute of Primate Research (KIPRE) has inaugurated its Board of Directors, marking a significant milestone for the institute.

The inauguration took place on January 23, 2024, in the presence of Nakhumicha S. Wafula, EGH, the Cabinet Secretary of the Health Ministry.

KIPRE, formerly known as the Institute of Primate Research (IPR), has been a pioneer in biomedical research since 1958, operating under the Ministry of Health’s State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards.

The transition from IPR to KIPRE was initiated by legal notice Number 273 of 2017 and executive order Number 1 of 2023, reaffirming the government’s commitment to developing domestic capacity for healthcare security in line with the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) plan.

During the inauguration, CS Nakhumicha expressed her satisfaction in establishing the Board of Directors that will oversee activities at the KIPRE, a body that will play a crucial role in preparing for emerging diseases and pathogens in East Africa and Africa as a whole.

She also highlighted the institution’s human capabilities and research milestones, mentioning that this biomedical research facility has focused on medicine and vaccine development since its inception.

KIPRE’s R&D teams have made significant contributions to Africa’s body of knowledge in reproductive health, including their well-known contributions to snake venom research, according to the CS.

According to her, the institution is conducting vital research to develop pharmaceuticals and vaccines in accordance with the Kenya Kwanza Bottom-Up Economic Agenda (Beta) health priority of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

She emphasized the benefits of the forthcoming Social Health Authority (SHA), which would address hospital bills and funeral expenses for Kenyan citizens, while also drawing attention to the impact of non-communicable diseases on hospital bed occupancy and recovery time, calling for lifestyle and dietary changes.

She commended KIPRE’s authorized HR tools and advised prompt action in hiring the necessary personnel to ensure optimal functionality.

The CS met with approximately 100 employees, toured the facility, and praised KIPRE’s efforts, including their work on reproductive health and preparedness for emerging diseases.

The emphasis was placed on KIPRE’s involvement in developing locally sourced snake anti-venom to combat the widespread problem of snakebites throughout East Africa and beyond.

This visit serves as motivation for KIPRE workers to continue working tirelessly to advance the Universal Health Coverage Agenda.

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