The Programme

  • Major Research Themes
  • Scientific Departments.
  • Research Platforms
  • Operations
  • Research Projects

The KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme is a

world-renowned health research unit of excellence. The programme was formed in 1989 when the Kenya Medical Research Institute formed a partnership with the Wellcome Trust and the University of Oxford. The Programme has grown from a small group of 12 to a state of the art facility hosting over 100 research scientists and 700 support staff working across Kenya, Uganda and the region. We have over the years excelled in use of novel ideas working with local community’s to achieve better health for Africa while also developing African scientific leaders.

Executive Director KWTRP



Prevalence and correlates of paediatric guideline non-adherence for initial empirical care in six low and middle-income settings: a hospital-based cross-sectional study - 2024
Shawon, R. A., Denno, D., Tickell, K. D., Atuhairwe, M., Bandsma, R., Mupere, E., Voskuijl, W., Mbale, E., Ahmed, T., Chisti, M. J., Saleem, A. F., Ngari, M., Diallo, A. H., Berkley, J., Walson, J., Means, A. R.
Reducing transfusion utilization for children with sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa with hydroxyurea: Analysis from the phase I/II REACH trial - 2024
Power-Hays, A., Tomlinson, G. A., Tshilolo, L., Santos, B., Williams, T. N., Olupot-Olupot, P., Smart, L. R., Aygun, B., Lane, A., Stuber, S. E., Latham, T., Ware, R. E.
Health facility assessment of small and sick newborn care in low- and middle-income countries: systematic tool development and operationalisation with NEST360 and UNICEF - 2024
Penzias, R. E., Bohne, C., Ngwala, S. K., Zimba, E., Lufesi, N., Rashid, E., Gicheha, E., Odedere, O., Dosunmu, O., Tillya, R., Shabani, J., Cross, J. H., Liaghati-Mobarhan, S., Chiume, M., Banda, G., Chalira, A., Wainaina, J., Gathara, D., Irimu, G., Adudans, S., James, F., Tongo, O., Ezeaka, V. C., Msemo, G., Salim, N., Day, L. T., Powell-Jackson, T., Chandna, J., Majamanda, M., Molyneux, E. M., Oden, M., Richards-Kortum, R., Ohuma, E. O., Paton, C., Hailegabriel, T., Gupta, G., Lawn, J. E.


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Frequently Asked Questions .

The KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) is
based within the KEMRI Centre for Geographic Medical Research – (Coast). Our core activities are
funded by the Wellcome Trust.

KEMRI stands for Kenya Medical Research Institute and is a government institution, under the Ministry of Health, (MOH). It was established through the Science and Technology (Amendment) Act of 1979, which has since been amended to Science, Technology and Innovation Act 2013. The 1979 Act established KEMRI as a National body responsible for carrying out health research in Kenya. There are 12 KEMRI research centres in Kenya. Eight are in Nairobi while the other centres are in Kilifi, Kisumu, Kericho and Busia. The centre in Kilifi is called the Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Coast (CGMR-C) and also known us the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) due to the funding received from the Wellcome Trust see more

Conducting high quality research requires resources, including equipment, vehicles, drugs and highly qualified staff. As such, KEMRI Kilifi works with several international organisations that fund most of the ongoing research projects. In Kilifi, the main funding partner is a charitable UK-based organisation called Wellcome Trust. This is why the research programme in Kilifi is called the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme.

The first large research project at KEMRI Kilifi in 1989 looked at the problem of malaria. In Kenya, malaria is very common in the Coast, Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western parts of Kenya. From these possible sites, Kilifi was chosen because KEMRI already had some experience of running smaller research projects with the Wellcome Trust at Kilifi County Hospital (former Kilifi District Hospital), in addition to having a stable population i.e. minimal movement in and out of Kilifi was important to the studies. 

Currently, KWTRP has 3 main hubs in Kilifi, Nairobi and Mbale, but also works in collaborations with researchers in Harar in Ethiopia and Bagamoyo in Tanzania. In Kilifi the Programme conducts research in Kilifi County Hospital and nearby health facilities, such as Pingilikani, Ngerenya, Junju, Ganze Health Centre, Bamba sub county hospital, Dida, Madamani dispensaries, Mtwapa among others. The programme also hosts a comprehensive Health demographic surveillance system where KWTRP staff visit people in their homes and collects population-based data which is then used to support research work. The Programme has also established a clinical surveillance network with 17 hospitals across Kenya. This network collects routine hospital admission data that is used for decision making and for researchers. The hospital in the network include Coast General Hospital in Mombasa, Mbagathi, Machakos, Pumwani Hospitals in Nairobi etc. KEMRI Kilifi also works in other parts of Kenya and in other countries in Africa such as Mbale, Uganda.

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