A Ksh 380 million research center for research on malaria that aims to eradicate the disease has been launched in Thika Kiambu County.
Funded by the Japanese government the project will be implemented by Mount Kenya University (MKU) in collaboration with Osaka City University, and the Homa Bay County Government.
The project involves the establishment of a cutting-edge molecular and immunology laboratory at MKU Thika campus in Kiambu County and a research station in Homa Bay.
It is also being supported by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and is touted to achieve significant milestones in the fight against malaria.
Speaking during the launch at the MKU main Thika campus, Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Ken Okaniwa said it is regrettable that malaria still remains a top killer disease on the African continent and whose fight continues to drain huge resources.
He added that one of the key accomplishments of the state-of-the-art facility is to provide advanced research and diagnostics for malaria.
The University Pro-Chancellor Dr Vincent Gaitho the Center for Malaria Elimination provides an opportunity for investors to develop medicine and vaccines by working with the research scientists.
According to Dr Njihia Gitaka the lead researcher said the center among others will be an incubation for innovative, cutting-edge research while also being a catalyst for collaboration, patents, interdisciplinary learning, and commercialization of human health-related services and products.
MKU Vice-Chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi says by generating robust data on best practices in malaria control and elimination, the institution has actively participated in policy discussions with national and county ministries of health.
He noted that beyond academic achievements, the project has played a pivotal role in policy development and evidence-based decision-making.
The researchers noted that the laboratory at Thika campus will continue to be a vital resource for capacity building and cutting-edge research.