From Directors Corner

From Directors Corner

IPR Participation inthe National Research and Development Agenda: As a public institution, NMK-IPR is expected to play its rightful role of knowledge creation through research, and translation of research results into products and policies. As the second largest biomedical facility in the country (after KEMRI), and the only preclinical testing facility that has access to small and large animal models of human diseases in the country and region, we are uniquely suited to influence current and future medical practice, or the management and conservation of non-human primates, by generating research data that contributes to evidence-based policies and practice. So how is IPR contributing to the national research agenda in the country? We are represented and participate in many forums within and...

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The Non- Communicable Diseases Department

A new Department of Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) was created early this year, 2009,after management and NMK Board approval. This department joins four existing ones at Institute ofPrimate Research. NCD is headed by Dr. Mbaruk Suleman, formerly head of Ecology and Conservation Department. Dr. Mbaruk has always had a keen interest in stress related studies and diabetes. Some of his insightful publications are summarized in his PhD thesis ‘Studies on stress in African Green Monkeys’ from Uppsala University, Sweden.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are oftencalled ‘diseases of affluence’. They include cancer,heart disease, stroke, and diabetes and lung disease

- all frequently linked in popular perception to a wealthier ‘Western’ lifestyle. But are NCDs restricted to the rich? The global trend of non-communicable diseases and current data from varied sources suggests that developing countries are bearing the brunt of rapid increase in prevalence of syndromes over and above infectious diseases.


According to Dr. Suleman, NCDs will soon exert a heavy toll on Kenya’s health budget and shortly the number of patients suffering from NCD will rival those with infectious diseases.Studies in Kenya already show rising incidences of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension largely due of widespread change in lifestyle;unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and cigarette smoking. Recent reports estimate that more than 350 million people Worldwide and about 3.3 million Kenyans are diabetic.Chronic heart diseases were rare in Kenya until recently.Often there were reports of congenital heart conditions affecting young children.

More recently increasing numbers of teenagers have been diagnosed with pathological changes in heart valves largely resulting