Strathmore Business School’s Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have won the highly competitive MRC/UKAID /ESRC/ Welcome Trust – Health Systems Research Initiative grant worth 500,000$ USD.
The grant will fund a study to investigate mechanisms through which innovative regulatory reforms by Kenyan health regulatory bodies are working and the cost implications. This is a companion study to the Ministry of Health and World Bank implemented Kenyan Patients Safety -Impact Evaluation (KePSIE), which is testing the effectiveness of different ways of implementing health facility regulations and their impact on patient safety.
“The regulation of the health sector has been too fragmented and poorly coordinated, hence the inadequacies seen in practice. Patient safety is suboptimal and is deteriorating at an alarming rate. We hope that this work will generate evidence to help provide practical and implementable policies.,” remarked Dr. Wafula, the overall lead on the project.
Dr. Francis Wafula from IHM and Dr Catherine Goodman from LSHTM are the joint lead investigators, supported by Prof Gilbert Kokwaro – Director, IHM and Dr Njeri Mwaura from the World Bank Group. The other partner institution is the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Wafula also works as a health specialist for the World Bank Group. He has been working for the past five years with colleagues in the government and the World Bank to support the development and implementation of regulatory reforms that include:
1.) Development and Gazettement of a joint health inspection checklist, which carries minimum requirements that health facilities need to comply with for patient safety.
2) Development of a risk-based inspection mechanism that puts inspected facilities in different risk categories based on their performance on patient safety. The risk categorization determines subsequent actions, including frequency of future inspections and sanctions.
3) Training, Assessment and Gazettement of the first ever pool of joint health inspectors for the country. The inspectors are now implementing inspections in three counties: Meru, Kilifi and Kakamega, under the KePSIE pilot project.
The cost-efficiency and practicalities of these reforms will be determined by funding from this grant. Findings will inform the nationwide scale-up of the reforms, slated to start at the end of 2017, with funding from the World Bank.
What does this mean for Strathmore?
Through the grant, a PhD studentship will be competitively awarded, jointly supervised by Dr. Wafula and Dr. Goodman. In addition, research assistants will be hired to support the project, with opportunity for furthering their research interests. Those working under the project will also have the opportunity to attend targeted training courses at both Strathmore Business School and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.