The dream to put-up a unique Institute of Infectious Diseases at the University of Nairobi that resembles those in Europe and North America went all the way back to the mid-1990s. If done as envisaged in the dream, the Institute was going to be a home to one of the only three high level laboratory (enhanced level 3) in the whole of Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa has a level 4 laboratory and Gabon in West Africa has enhanced level 3 laboratory). Dr. Francis Plummer, a Canadian researcher from University of Manitoba who came to Kenya in early 1980s as part of the collaboration between University of Manitoba and University of Nairobi was the one who envisaged the dream. In 1980, the Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Nairobi and Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba had started a collaboration to study Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Nairobi. By early 1990s the collaboration had grown to include other international Universities from Europe and America and the research work involved had become extensive and complex that it was felt that the work could no longer be handled at the Departmental level. Hence the need to create an Institute of Tropical and Infectious diseases that could handle research on diseases people in Kenya, East Africa and the region.
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