Epidemiology and Demography


We aim to gather, analyse and share timely evidence to prevent and treat diseases of public health importance in Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa. Our research covers respiratory and enteric infections, malaria, hemoglobinopathies, other neonatal and childhood syndromes and, more recently, surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens of epidemic potential. Our population health portfolio has a focus on the changing epidemiology of conditions accounting for the largest burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa using hospitals as sentinel sites for monitoring coverage and impact of major public health interventions. We have developed analytical and computational capacity to investigate the social and epidemiological determinants of disease over time, access to services, and map these at fine levels of resolution.

Diverse research teams study areas spanning disease aetiology, disease burden, intervention coverage, factors determining infection dynamics in relation to host behaviour and demography, and pathogen strain structure. Projects make use of two major research platforms: a multi-disciplinary hospital-based clinical network involving County Hospitals in Kenya (Clinical Information Network) and a community-based surveillance platform in Kilifi County (Kilifi Health Demographic and Surveillance System). We collaborate with governments and multilateral partners such as World Health Organization, Africa CDC, and the Gavi Alliance to translate our research outputs into policy and practice.

Research Areas

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Malaria and Haemoglobinopathies

Malaria is a deadly disease caused by parasites transmitted through mosquito bites, leading to symptoms like fever and organ failure. Haemoglobinopathies, including sickle cell disease and thalassemia, are genetic disorders affecting hemoglobin production, causing anemia and other complications. Both conditions require ongoing management and significantly impact health.

Mortality Surveillance

This is the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data on deaths to monitor trends, identify patterns, and inform public health interventions. It plays a crucial role in understanding the impact of diseases like malaria and haemoglobinopathies on populations. By tracking mortality rates and causes of death, health authorities can identify high-risk groups, assess the effectiveness of interventions, and allocate resources effectively to reduce mortality and improve public health outcomes.

Neonatal child and adolescent health

Encompass the well-being of individuals from birth to adolescence. It involves ensuring proper growth, development, and protection from diseases and injuries during these crucial stages of life. Key focus areas include prenatal care for pregnant women, neonatal care for newborns, vaccinations, nutrition, and mental health support. Addressing health issues early in life can have long-term benefits, laying the foundation for a healthy adulthood. Effective healthcare interventions, education, and access to essential services are critical for improving outcomes in these populations.

Surveillance and modelling for public health security

This are critical for public health security. Surveillance involves monitoring the spread and impact of diseases like malaria and haemoglobinopathies to guide prevention and control efforts. Modeling uses data from surveillance and other sources to predict disease trends, assess interventions, and inform policy decisions. Together, these approaches help public health officials detect outbreaks early, allocate resources effectively, and implement strategies to protect communities from the spread of infectious diseases and the burden of genetic disorders.

Climate and Health

This Affects human health in various ways. Rising temperatures contribute to heat-related illnesses and deaths, especially in vulnerable populations. Changes in precipitation patterns can lead to water scarcity and alter the distribution of vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever. Extreme weather events, intensified by climate change, pose direct threats to health through injuries, displacement, and mental health issues. Additionally, climate change impacts air quality, increasing the prevalence of respiratory diseases. Addressing climate change is crucial to protect human health and requires global efforts to mitigate its effects and adapt to its consequences.


Kilifi Health and Demographic Surveillance System (KHDSS)

is a population-based research platform. It was established in the year 2000 to capture vital events and migration

The Clinical Information Network (CIN)

is a collaboration between KWTRP, Kenya Paediatric Association, Ministry of Health Kenya, and county public hospitals. It was initiated in 2013