Dr. Monique WasunnaDirector, DNDi Africa regional Office
Dr Wasunna joined DNDi in 2003 and is the Director of the DNDi Africa regional Office. She has been supervising and leading DNDi's activities in Eastern Africa since 2003. She is a founding member and former Chair of the Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP), promoting clinical research for leishmaniasis and capacity building in the region. Dr Wasunna is a physician and an infectious disease and tropical medicine specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of Nairobi. Her postgraduate training in medicine was sponsored by WHO-TDR at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, where she obtained an MSc and a PhD in medicine and a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Royal College of Physicians of London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a member of the Kenya Medical Association and Kenya Association of Physicians. Dr Wasunna was the Chief Research Officer and Assistant Director of Research at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). She has served as the Director, Centre for Clinical Research, KEMRI, and subsequently served as the Acting Director KEMRI. She is currently a member of the Kenya National Bioethics Committee, the Kenyatta National Hospital and University of Nairobi Scientific and Research Ethics committee, and the Expert Committee of Clinical Trials of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, Kenya. Dr Wasunna’s research interests are primarily focused on neglected diseases such as leishmaniasis and mycetoma with special focus on clinical trials in visceral leishmaniasis, malaria, and HIV. She has been a principal investigator in many clinical trials that have attracted funding from WHO and other international organizations. She is well published in peer reviewed journals. Recently, she was awarded the rank of the prestigious French National Order of Merit (Ordre national du Mérite) by the French government for her exemplary contribution to research and development work in neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), advocating for, and delivering better treatments for neglected patients in Africa. Since 2007 to date, at least 8 new treatments have so far been delivered by DNDi. DNDi is now aiming at a 25 patient-friendly treatments by 2028. By 2025-2027 the target is a radically improved treatment with new chemical entities, all oral for a treatment shift.
Dr. Millicent Otienolecturer, Rongo University, Kenya.
Dr . Millicent Awuor Otieno is a lecturer of Communication Studies in the department of Communication,Media and Journalism at Rongo University, Kenya.She holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Communication Studies with a bias to Development Communication. She has published several papers on gender and development communication.She hopes to link her works in development communication to Solutions Journalism.She has an eight year experience in teaching and research.Dr. Millicent also serves as the head of department of Communication, Journalism and Media Studies at Rongo University.As a head of department, she spearheads the development and review of the curricula to align them to the market and industry needs.She also strives to establish linkages and collaborations that have the potential to strengthen the academic programmes. Dr. Millicent vision is to apply the theories of communication to the resolution of societal problems.
Dr. John Masasabi WekesaChief Medical and Health Systems Specialist
Dr Masasabi is a Chief Medical and Health Systems Specialist with over 35 years of experience in the health sector management. He is Kenya’s first Acting Director General for Health, Ministry of Health, where he previously served as the Head of the Directorate of Policy, Planning, and as Acting Chief Executive Officer at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH). Dr Masasabi is a former member of the Executive Board of the Geneva-based WHO and a member of the Covid-19 National Taskforce. He is an alumnus of the University of Nairobi’s School of Medicine. John is currently pursuing a PhD in health Systems Management at the Kenya Methodist University.