Rosemary Kinuthia

Rosemary Kinuthia, 2019 Global Research Scholar

Research ProjectImpact of the Human Resources for Health on HIV Outcomes in Kenya

Research Location: Kenya

Majors: Nursing 

    I was very fortunate to be selected by the Halle Institute for Global Research to participate in their inaugural Graduate Global Research Fellowship Program during the Summer of 2019. My pre-dissertation research experience took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose of this experience was to explore the feasibility of conducting a mixed-methods study investigating the relationship between health outcomes and models of HIV care delivery implemented in high HIV burden areas in resource-limited settings. The proposed study also seeks to understand health workers’ perspectives on HIV care delivery models.

I arrived in May, just in time for the early stages of the Kenyan winter. Despite the fact that it was cold [for me] and I was missing the hot Atlanta Summer weather, I had a great experience. During my 4-month pre-dissertation research experience in Kenya, I had the opportunity to network and meet officials in the Ministry of Health, other local and international agencies, and peers involved in research that aligns with my interests. For the most part, the majority of the people I encountered in both casual and professional settings were very friendly, kind, and encouraging. As expected with most research and in general, I did encounter individuals who were not as collaborative as I had hoped, thus, I run into a few delays. However, those occurrences did not deter me from continuing to pursue my research. It was a valuable learning experience that encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. It also taught me how to deal with and navigate challenges often experienced while conducting global research. Fortunately, I was able to connect with other individuals and agencies who were supportive of my work and went above and beyond to guide me during my time there to make my experience successful.

Though the purpose of the trip was to conduct research, I did not shy away from doing all the touristy things that Kenya has to offer. Kenya is a beautiful, culture-rich, one of a kind place and I made sure to make time to explore the country and enjoy the local scenery; during the weekends and public holidays, I spent time visiting the national parks, markets, coffee shops, and restaurants. The cuisine is also very diverse and delicious, so I particularly enjoyed the food! I am a Kenyan native, therefore, this was a very exciting opportunity for me to conduct my research while giving back to the community that gave so much to me while I was growing up. Because of that community, I am was inspired to pursue research. The Kenyan community stimulated my passion for research that promotes health equity and eliminates disparities in healthcare. I am glad I was able to make the most of my time in Kenya by creating lasting friendships and wonderful memories. I am extremely grateful that the Halle Institute chose me and provided this experience. Because of the institute’s generosity and support, I am better prepared to conduct global health research and complete my dissertation research in Kenya.