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Aga Khan University Gets Sh. 39.7 Million Cash Windfall to study Kenya’s Aging Population

The Aga Khan University has received a Kshs. 39.7 million cash windfall for use in the study of the country’s population.

The institution revealed via a statement that it shall start working on the Study immediately while focusing on adults aged 45 years and above.

Among the major issues will be Alzheimer’s disease, mental health, economic impacts of climate change and air population and factors that influence late-life economic well-being.

“Over the next 30 years as Kenyans live longer and require different types of care, social structures will have to change,” said Dr Anthony Ngugi, the interim chairperson of the department of population health and the co-principal investigator of the study.

“It is important to start studying both population-level trends, disability, and the well-being in the Kenyan context.

The number of people who have attained the age of 60 in Africa is set to rise by 15% per cent from the current 5.6 % come the year 2050.

However, according to the university, there is little data that is available on the ageing population.

To be able to achieve this, Aga Khan University and the Center for Global Health Equity applied for and received a $ 338,000 (Kshs. 39.7) grant from the National Institutes of Health in the United States.

As the university revealed, the funds will be used to fund pilot research to lay the foundation for future grant applications that are intended to launch the full-scale Longitudinal Study of Health and Aging in Kenya (this is a cohort study of Kenyan adults who are aged 45 years and older).

The study is set to register thousands of people who shall then be monitored for some years to come.

The Kaloleni/Rabai Community Health and Demographic Surveillance System which is a population-based research platform having more than 14,000 people over the age of 45 and living in the Coastal area will be used in the study.

Dr Josh Ehrlich who is a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and the co-principal investigator said that their partners at the AKU have a closer attachment with communities in the coastal region and the trust and understanding that they have developed will make a huge difference in the quality of the research.

Dr Ehrlich and Dr Ngugi will use preliminary data and findings from this phase to improve the infrastructure of the study and then propose a larger rollout in Kenya to be able to present a sample that can be represented at the national level.

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