Kenyatta University dons recently won a research grant on digital health. The grant amounting to about £140,000 (Ksh19.8M) was awarded to a team of researchers from Kenyatta University and Newcastle University to address ‘digital health for migrant mothers and maternal care in Dadaab refugee camps. The team comprises of Principal Investigator, Dr Jennifer Bagelman and co-principal investigatorProf. Rachel Pain from Newcastle University as well as Principal Investigator, Dr Josephine Gitome, supported by co-investigators; Dr Newton Kahumbi,; Dr Muthoni Maina, Ms Jacqueline Mutheu Ndambuki Kituku and Dr Teresa Mwoma, all from Kenyatta University.
The project is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) in collaboration with UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and is aimed at addressing the disproportionately high maternal and neonatal mortality rates for women living in refugee camps. The project proposes an innovative Network bringing together academics across Kenya and the UK, industry (Nairobi-based VR Company, ‘Black Rhino’ and practitioners (UNICEF) as well as midwives, to co-design a critical digital health response to the urgent challenges facing migrant mothers in emergency humanitarian settings. In keeping with GCRF’s vision, the project is collaborative in nature, employing participatory modes of research rather than imposing models from above.
Given the urgent need for midwives to have a more empowered role in the digital provision and education of maternal care the project develops an innovative Network to explore the possibilities of ‘training up’ midwives, enhancing their digital literacy to design digital ‘teaching toolkits’ for midwifery education supported by UNICEF. The tool kit is anticipated to eventually become a guiding tool to enhancing the curriculum for training midwives at higher education level.