5th Annual Early-Career Health Researchers’ Symposium

Theme: Integrating ethical research into practice and policy​​

Thursday, November 25, 5:00​pm - 7:00pm

​Friday, November 26, 5:00pm - 8:00pm


Keynote speakers

Prof Akbar Waljee, MD
Professor of Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine

University Of Michigan

Akbar K. Waljee is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Waljee serves as the Associate Director of the Data and Methods Hub and the Director of the Michigan Integrated Center for Health Analytics and Medical P​rediction (MiCHAMP) both at the UM Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI). He also serves as the Director of the VA CCMR Prediction Modeling Unit (PMU) and, clinically, he is the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease clinic both at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Dr. Waljee was born in Kenya and moved to the United States to complete his undergraduate and medical degrees at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He then completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr. Waljee holds a Master's degree in Health Services Research from the University of Michigan and completed a heath care policy fellowship at the Center for Health and Research Transformation.

Dr. Waljee’s work is at the forefront of using machine learning and deep learning techniques to improve healthcare access, quality, and efficiency (high-value care) in resource constrained settings. He uses novel machine learning techniques to implement decision support systems and tools that facilitate more personalized care for disease management and healthcare utilization to ultimately deliver efficient, effective and equitable therapy for chronic diseases. To test and advance these principles, he built operational programs that are guiding—and improving—patient care in costly gastroenterology and liver disorders in under-resourced settings both domestically and abroad.

Dr. J. Mwikali Ndolo 
Consultant Radiologist, Radiology Of Huntsville

Dr. J. Mwikali Ndolo is a Consultant Radiologist currently working in a private practice group in Huntsville, Alabama USA. After completing her radiology residency at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, she attended Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA.  At Vanderbilt University, Dr. Ndolo obtained fellowships in Pediatric Radiology, Pediatric Neuroradiology, Nuclear Medicine and Adult Neuroradiology. 

Dr. Ndolo completed her medical degree at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She is a member of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), American College of Radiology (ACR), American Society of Pediatric Neuroradiology (ASPNR), American Society of Head and Neck Radiology (ASHNR) among others. She currently sits on the Learning Library Committee of the American Society of Pediatric Neuroradiology (ASPNR). 

​She has co-authored several publications in high impact journals and books, including a chapter in Caffey’s book of Pediatric Radiology. She is currently co-authoring a book titled ‘Key Differentials in Pediatric Neuroradiology’. Dr. Ndolo has presented at several international conferences including the American Roentgen Ray Society and Society of Pediatric Radiology meetings.


  1. High Patient Satisfaction and Acceptability of Tele-Neurology Consultations at a Regional Tertiary Referral Hospital in Kenya During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Dr Fazal Yakub, Aga Khan University 

  2. Pre-admission Testing for SARS COV-2 as a Screening Strategy for COVID-19: A retrospective Chart Review of Patients Admitted at Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi - David Odada, Aga Khan University

  3. A pilot phase IB/II study of Whole-Lung Low Dose Radiation Therapy (LDRT) in the treatment of severe COVID 19 pneumonia on (or requiring) mechanical ventilator support - Dr Karishma Sharma, Aga Khan University

  4. Knowledge and practice towards cardiovascular diseases prevention among residents of Ainamoi Constituency, Kericho County - Sharon Chepkemoi Sang, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa 

  5. Knowledge Attitude and Practice of Basic Trauma Life Support Among Boda Boda riders in Kilifi County, Kenya - Dr Faraj Alkizim, Centres for Health and Education Programmes
  6. A comparison of Intergrowth-21st method to Hadlock formula in estimating fetal weight in low-risk pregnancies. Dr Esther Simiyu, Aga Khan University 

  7. Planned delivery at 37 weeks gestation versus expectant management for non-severe chronic hypertension, A systematic review. - ​Dr Jackson Njuguna, Aga Khan University

  8. Decision to delivery interval of emergency caesarean section and the associated maternal and neonatal outcomes at Thika level five Hospital -Dr Machoka Kanario Penina, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

  9. Outcomes of neonates born through meconuim stained amniotic fluid at Thika 5 hospital, Kiambu county - Fedinand Nyabuto, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

  10. Prevalence of Antibiotics prescription among women during childbirth in Pumwani Maternity Hospital, Aga Khan University Hospital and Kihara Sub-County Hospital: A retrospective review - Dr George Ireri, Aga Khan University​
  11. Evaluation of prescribing practices at Thika Level 5 Hospital Outpatient Department using the World Health Organization Prescribing Indicators - Dr Allan Tulienge, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

  12. Comparative Evaluation of ADAGIO and VITEK Automated Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Platforms using a collection of Kenyan Clinical Isolates - Dr Justin Nyasinga, Aga Khan University

Poster Presentations

​Our Judges

Dr Rosalind Parkes-Ratanshi, MBBS MA PhD FFPH FRCP DipGUM DFSRH

Dr Rosalind combines her experience as a physician and a researcher to improve health systems with an emphasis on HIV and sexually transmitted infections in Uganda. She is the Founding Director of the Academy for Health Innovation, Uganda based at the Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University and is a Principal Research Associate at​​​ University of Cambridge, UK​. 

She is a principal investigator on various multi-disciplinary studies investigating the impact of digital technologies. She and her team developed the ARTAccess App tool which allows HIV drug delivery in private pharmacies which is being scaled nationwide in Uganda. Their Call for Life tool has supported the Ugandan Ministry of Health COVID-19 response through automated calls to COVID contacts and psycho-social support to those affected as well as those living with HIV and TB.​ Read more

Prof Julius Otieno Oyugi, MSc, PhD 

Prof Oyugi started his career as a researcher in 1989 working as a laboratory technician for the University of Nairobi/University of Manitoba HIV/AIDS research group. At the time, HIV/AIDS pandemic had just been around and there were no vaccines and effective treatment. The group was conducting serious research on HIV/AIDS with the view to getting information that could be used to either develop a vaccine or treatment for AIDS virus. 

It was during this period that Prof Oyugi developed interest in Virology and discovery research. He enrolled at the Kenya Polytechnic for a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Sciences, then Higher Diploma in Virology at Kenya Medical Training Institute. In 2003, Prof Oyugi joined Liverpool University in the UK to take a Masters degree in Medical Virology. Read more

Dr Unab Khan, MBBS, MSc 

Dr Unab Khan is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine. After returning to her alma mater as Chair of Family Medicine, Dr Khan has focused on improving quality of healthcare in primary care settings within and beyond AKU. Along with Family Medicine faculty and BDL-NET colleagues, they developed a blended-learning certification course for general practitioners. The modular course uses multiple online teaching and learning concepts that allow busy physicians to update their clinical knowledge and improve skills in an engaging and flexible manner. In 2020, FamMed Essentials was endorsed by the WHO as a Regional Diploma in Family Medicine. The course remains very popular, and to date, more than 150 participants have completed the course.

Welcome Addresses

​Dr Shahin Sayed​
Chair of the 5th Annual Early-Career Health Researchers’ Symposium Committee​

I am pleased to invite you to our 5th Annual Early-Career Health Researchers’ Symposium. This important scientific event will be addressed by two keynote speakers setting the stage for excellent learning opportunities for early career researchers in advancing their understanding of scientific research and encouraging scientific discourse. The symposium will also give those in their early part of their research journey an opportunity to hear from their experienced colleagues. ​Read more

Dr Eunice Ndirangu-Mugo
Dean, School of Nursing ​and Midwifery, East Africa

The Early-Career Health Researchers’ Symposium is happening at a time when the International Council of Nurses (ICN) code of ethics has put a spotlight on the role of nurses in global health and the ethical dilemmas the profession faces. This is why the theme this year, “Integrating ethical research into practice and policy” is very significant. The questions that we all have to face on a daily basis in practice, education and policy require that we come together, drawing on our respective expertise with the common goal of integrating ethical research in what we do. ​Read more

Prof Lukoye Atwoli, MBChB, MMed Psych, PhD
Dean, Medical College, East Africa

This year’s theme, “Integrating ethical research into practice and policy,” is in line with AKU’s vision to become a global research university through engaging in clinical practice, teaching and enhancing of our research programmes across our campuses. As an institution, we want to focus on high quality research with high impact on the population of East Africa and beyond that would be strongly aligned with national health research priorities for relevance and impact.​ Read more

Dr William M Macharia​
Associate Dean, Research​

The theme of the symposium this year is Integrating Ethical Research into Practice and Policy”. The choice enabled acceptance of a wide range of research topics cutting across basic, clinical and public health research. Conducting of ethical research, as we know, has been stretched to the limits by the covid-19 pandemic that exposed our systems to a conflict from urgent need for effective treatments over extremely tight time periods to save lives. I am also happy to announce that the proceedings of this particular symposium will now be published as a book by the AKU library for the first time. Read more