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Clinical research is in many senses the “engine room” of the overall programme, with bed side and clinic based research linking into epidemiological surveillance, basic science and health systems research as well as research on ethics and communication. Clinical surveillance over 20 years at Kilifi District Hospital (KDH) has generated a unique database of around 80,000 consecutive paediatric admissions. Having such a comprehensive data source led naturally to the recognition that children entering hospital often have multiple interacting pathologies and that a focus on the severely ill patient was more appropriate than on any single disease entity.
A key aim of clinical research is to provide the evidence base for prevention and treatment. We have identified key clinical correlates with poor outcome across a range of clinical syndromes and helped refine and develop existing national and international guidelines. Alongside the clinical epidemiology and pathophysiological research at Kilifi we have conducted large numbers of clinical trials in Kenya and beyond, in both in patients and out patients. Our clinical trials facility (CTF) provides cross programme support and coordination to ensure the highest possible compliance with national and international regulatory requirements and ethical standards.