The University of Eldoret through the Directorate of Research and Innovation and Department of Biological Sciences housed at the School of Science held a two-day Workshop on 30 – 31 October 2023 at the Forestry Building. The Research workshop which was organized by the Kenya-UK-LMIC Networking and Collaborative Research Partnership on leveraging fish microbial genomics to enhance food hygiene and reduce antibiotic resistance spread along the food supply chain was officially opened by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (PRE) Prof. Phillip Raburu representing the Vice-Chancellor.
In his opening remarks, he informed the participants that the University of Eldoret is the home of Fish and Aquatic Sciences and that other universities have borrowed from our curriculum. He welcomed all the participants and mentioned that the partnership brings together experts from various fields who can collaborate to provide multidisciplinary solutions to the challenge of antimicrobial resistance spread through aquaculture, food fish trade, and fish consumption. He stated that research findings from this research should be used in shaping policies in the country and beyond.
The workshop themed ‘Strengthening Global Partnership and Collaborative Research for Sustainable Development' saw keynote presentations from various experts who included:
- Dr. Jennifer Cole (Royal Holloway University of London)
- Dr. Mahmoud El Tholth (Royal Holloway University of London)
- Dr. Mary Opiyo (Kenya Marine Fisheries)
- Dr. Domitila Kyule (Kenya Marine Fisheries)
- Prof. Hermine Mkrytchan (University of West London)
- Prof. Samuel Lutta (Collaborative Research in Post Graduate Studies-UoE)
- Dr. Davies Makilla (Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and blue Economy, GoK)
The key aims of the workshop were to:
- Create a strong and sustainable international Network of researchers (including Early Career Researchers and PhDs) to address the challenges of antimicrobial resistance spread through aquaculture, food fish and fish consumption.
- Support and capacity build Global North and LMIC researchers working on fish genomics and genetics, in particular in Whole Genome Sequencing.
- Promote novel scientific research to unravel the links between fish consumption, nutritional outcomes and foodborne diseases.
- Enhance the capacity of Global North and LMIC researchers to evidence hotspots of emergence and transmission risk of antibiotic resistance (AMR) in aquaculture. Food fish trade and fish consumption.
- Build consortia to bid for UKRI, GCRF, and other international funding calls throughout 2023-2024 to maintain the Network beyond the current funding.
The lead researchers and organizers of the workshop were Dr. Salina Rono and Dr. Emily Chemoiwa from the Department of Biological Sciences. Other external collaborators included; the University of Machakos, Uasin Gishu Director of Aquaculture and Livestock, and officers from KMFI Sagana.
Also present at the workshop were; PhD and Masters students from the Schools of Science, Environmental and Natural Resource Management; Director Research and Innovation Prof. Lizzy Mwamburi, Director Board of Post Graduate Studies Prof. Samuel Lutta, Dean School of Science Prof. Donald Otieno, Director Quality Assurance Dr. Gertrude Were, Director Gender, Equity and Diversity Dr. Judith Makwali, Prof. Moses Ngeiwa, Prof. David Litti, Dr. James Wanga. Dr. Samuel Kariuki, Dr. James Barasa, Dr. Becky Aloo, Ms. Mwikali, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Manager Dr. Wambui Ng’ang’a among others.