SPEED Project impacting at the Regional Level: An Interview with Prof Elizeus Rutebemberwa– Co Principal Investigator SPEED Project on the seminar delivered at KEMRI Wellcome Trust-Nairobi

  • What are your names and position at SPEED?

I am called Elizeus Rutebemberwa, one of the investigators on the SPEED project.

  • You gave a seminar at KEMRI Wellcome trust in Nairobi on 29th March 2019, what was it all about? What were its objectives and theme?

The Seminar was about increasing access to quality health care in medical pluralism. The objectives were to describe how patients get clogged within multiple health providers some of whom are not able to provide quality care. Secondly, it was to demonstrate that different health care providers enter the health care provision with different interests and sometimes these interests are not to enable the patient access the best possible health care available and lastly, it was to demonstrate that in order for patients to access quality health care, it requires more that interventions at the facility which is the point of health care delivery. Some of the interventions needs to be instituted upstream at district and central level for they also have a role to play in provision of quality health care.

  • Who were the organisers of the workshop?

The workshop was organized by the KEMRI Wellcome Trust scientists who were at the same time the majority of the audience. The rest of the audience were the visitors to the research institute who had come to attend the seminar.

  • What in particular did you present about?

I presented about four studies I have been involved in. Two of the studies were endeavouring to increase access to quality care for children with febrile illness. The third study was on access to care for patients with diabetes and the fourth study was on how the service delivery of different health care programs is affected by downstream but also upstream functionalities of the policy implementations.


Prof Elizeus Rutebemberwa presenting at KEMRI Wellcome Trust-Nairobi

  • How was the meeting related to the goal of attaining UHC and SPEED’s objectives?

Attaining UHC entails provision of quality care for different illnesses to more populations at a cost they can afford. The presentation focussed on how more children with febrile illnesses as well as patients with diabetes can access quality care.

In terms of relevance to SPEED objectives, one of the objectives of SPEED is to engage with policy makers and other stakeholders in interrogating how policies are implemented and how they can be improved. This was such an engagement attended by policy makers and other stakeholders who have a direct impact on the quality care given to the population.

  • How can SPEED benefit from such workshops at national and global level in future?

SPEED can benefit from the workshops directly or indirectly. The direct benefit would be the feedback that these national and global workshops give to SPEED. These workshops are characterized by candid discussions, interrogating the evidence and assessing the gaps that remain. Such deliberations would feed back into the agenda of SPEED. Indirectly, the participants at these discussions continue to discuss these issues either as institutions or on person-to-person level. The contribution to such subsequent discussions is something SPEED would be happy to have contributed to.

  • What other information would you wish to share about this workshop?

Different providers are capable of treating acute illnesses like malaria and pneumonia adequately and provide quality care. However, chronic illnesses like diabetes cannot be easily handled by the majority of the providers at the community level hence these patients need to be rapidly referred to higher level facilities for quality care. By enabling patients with different illnesses get managed at the levels where they can access quality care, this will be a contribution to the realization of UHC in developing countries.