Nairobi Programme


David holds a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD from the University of Amsterdam. Since joining KWTRP in August 2008, his research work has spanned a range of disciplines including, clinical trials, evaluation of quality of care within hospitals and exploration of the application of various statistical methods (propensity score analysis, multi-level models and statistical process control) to routine data. David played a key role in development, database design and setting up the Clinical Information Network - a pragmatic research database collecting patient level data from all paediatric admissions from 14 county referral hospitals and aims at improving use of information in policy and practice. He has broad interests’ in the use of epidemiology to monitor disease trends, interventions effects, identify quality of care gaps and the use of this data for effective decision making although with a bias on how human resources for health more specifically the nursing workforce influences the quality of care provided. His future work aims at developing human resource interventions as well as optimising approaches for nursing care provision.

Current Work

David is a health systems researcher currently leading work on nursing services research aimed at developing indicators, tools and approches for evaluating the quality of nursing care delivered in hospitals. He also co-leads the Health Services that Deliver for Newborns programme of work whose focus is understanding the burden, need and access of newborn care services as well as evaluating the quality of newborn care services.


No active details yet

Project Research

No active details yet


Quantifying health facility service readiness for small and sick newborn care: comparing standards-based and WHO level-2 + scoring for 64 hospitals implementing with NEST360 in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
Penzias, R. E., Bohne, C., Gicheha, E., Molyneux, E. M., Gathara, D., Ngwala, S. K., Zimba, E., Rashid, E., Odedere, O., Dosunmu, O., Tillya, R., Shabani, J., Cross, J. H., Ochieng, C., Webster, H. H., Chiume, M., Dube, Q., Wainaina, J., Kassim, I., Irimu, G., Adudans, S., James, F., Tongo, O., Ezeaka, V. C., Salim, N., Masanja, H., Oden, M., Richards-Kortum, R., Hailegabriel, T., Gupta, G., Cousens, S., Lawn, J. E., Ohuma, E. O.
BMC Pediatr, (2024). 23:656

Health facility assessment of small and sick newborn care in low- and middle-income countries: systematic tool development and operationalisation with NEST360 and UNICEF.
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.
BMC Pediatr, (2024). 23:655

Awareness and experiences on core outcome set development and use amongst stakeholders from low- and middle- income countries: An online survey.
Karumbi, J., Gorst, S., Gathara, D., Young, B., Williamson, P.
PLOS Glob Public Health, (2023). 3:e0002574

To adopt or adapt an existing neonatal core outcome set in Kenya: a study protocol.
Karumbi, J., Gathara, D., Young, B., Williamson, P.
Trials, (2023). 24:806

Characterising support and care assistants in formal hospital settings: a scoping review.
Kagonya, V. A., Onyango, O. O., Maina, M., Gathara, D., English, M., Imam, A.
Hum Resour Health, (2023). 21:90