The Aga Khan University (AKU) is committed to the development of human capacities through the discovery and dissemination of knowledge, and application through service. It seeks to prepare individuals for constructive and exemplary leadership roles, and shaping public and private policies, through strength in research and excellence in education, all dedicated to providing meaningful contributions to society.
Established in 1958, Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, is a private, not-for-profit institution that provides tertiary and secondary level health care services. The decision to upgrade the Hospital to a tertiary level teaching hospital was taken in order to respond to the health care needs of the people of East Africa. AKUHN is a premier provider of ambulatory care and quality inpatient services, including critical care. The University Hospital plans to strengthen existing partnerships with the Ministry of Health and other universities offering health education, with an aim to share experiences, strengthen public sector delivery systems and collaborate on teaching and research (www.aku.edu/aboutaku/akuataglance/campusesandteachingsites/eastafrica/pages/kenya.aspx).
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) seeks to provide directly or indirectly or in collaboration with other institutions of higher learning, facilities for university education including agriculture, scientific, cultural, technological, and professional education, and integration of teaching, research and effective application of knowledge and skills to the life, work and welfare of citizens of Kenya. The university participates in the discovery, transmission and preservation and enhancement of knowledge and stimulates the intellectual participation of students in the economic, technological, agricultural, professional and cultural development of Kenya.
Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is a centre of excellence in the promotion of quality health. Their mission is to improve on the quality of health and human life through research. KEMRI provides research expertise and lab support to the Western Heads East program in Oyugis and Kabondo.
Womens’ groups are the cornerstones of the Western Heads East program. They are the basic building blocks of grassroots community kitchens that make the project viable in east Africa. Yogurt kitchens have empowered Yogurt Mama’s to foster change in their communities by helping them to contribute to the health of their communities and draw an income for their families whilst stimulating significant economic development. Through their dedication and hard work, yogurt kitchens have become an integral part of the community life wherein they also act as hubs of health information in the community. Womens' groups also receive training on nutrition, health information, HIV prevention, and violence and relationships which then is disseminated to the community. The Oygusis, Orande and Nyanam Womens' Group are responsible for the production and sales of the probiotic yogurt, as well as marketing and education about the health benefits. The Baraka Womens' Group and the Besigre Womens' Group are responsible for the production of the probiotic yogurt in Kabondo region together with marketing, sales, and health benefits education.
Rachuonyo District Hospital is located in one of 12 districts in Nyanza Province and serves a population of 350,000 with a high disease burden. TB cases increase annually, 80% of TB cases are co-infected with HIV, and the HIV infection rate is 25% in the area (The Power to End Hunger and Poverty, UK Parliamentary Delegation, 2005). Rachuonyo District Hospital and Western faculty are co-investigators on a research study of the program funded by World Bank. The hospital also functions as a distribution site for the probiotic yogurt and identification of candidates to participate in the World Bank study.