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Willis Simon Akhwale

Country Director I-TECH Kenya, University of Washington

Academic qualification

-1985-1991: University of Nairobi, College of Health Sciences. Undertook a bachelor’s degree in medicine. I graduated with a bachelor of medicine and surgery (MBChB).
-2000—2003: Appointed a long term research fellow with the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and awarded a scholarship to undertake doctoral studies in Tropical Medicine with emphasis on malaria epidemiology and control. I was admitted to Tokyo Women’s medical University, Tokyo, Japan. Awarded PhD in Tropical Medicine. (Malaria epidemiology and control). My thesis was on anemia and unstable malaria in the highlands of western Kenya.
-PhD in Tropical Medicine from Tokyo Women's Medical University in Japan.

Professional Qualification

June 2014 - to date

Country Director, International Training and Educational Center for Health, Department of Global Health, University of Washington

Duties and Responsibilities
• Advance the organization’s mission, vision and strategic priorities
• Leading productive working relationships with national government representatives, local and international non-governmental organizations and funders
• Promoting I-TECH’s sustainability through new business development, diversification of funding sources and development of I-TECH’s technical expertise
• Scanning the horizon strategically for opportunities to strengthen national health system
• Design, implement and evaluate programs to demonstrate impact
• Communicate outcomes to shape planning and policy
• Participate in faculty level work including supervising student research work and teaching programs
Operations, Fiscal and Human resources management:

• Oversee development, application and regular updating of written policies and procedures
• Lead the implementation of recommendations from operations assessments
• Oversee the development, implementation and monitoring of in-country contracts and vendor agreements
• Ensure the financial systems meet University of Washington requirements
• Provide oversight for all funds spent in-country and assure grant compliance
• In collaboration with country office staff, prepare and monitor internal budget reports, prepare forecasts and consider program implications
• Embody and engender qualities that support effective, efficient and inspired workplace
• Ensure that all contracts and employment packages are consistent with local practice and labor law
• Hire coach, evaluate, discipline and/or discharge employees as necessary
• Identify and lead staff professional development initiatives at individual and group levels

1. DeCock KM, Rutherford GW and Akhwale W. Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey 2012. JAIDS 2014 May; 66 Suppl 1:S1.
2. Maina WK, Kim AA, Rutherford GW, Harper M, K’Oyugi BO, et al. Kenya AIDS Indicator Surveys 2007 and 2012: implications for public health policies for HIV prevention and treatment. JAIDS 2014 66:S130-137.
3. Kriza C, Hanass-Hancock J, Odame EA, Deghaye N, Aman R, Wahlster P, Marin M, Gebe N, Akhwale W, Wachsmuth I, Kolominsky-Rabas PL.A systematic review of health technology tools in sub-Saharan Africa: methodological issues and implications. Health Res Policy Syst. 2014 Dec 2;12:66.
4. Zurovac D, Sudoi RK, Akhwale WS, Ndiritu M, Hamer DH, Rowe AK, Snow RW. The effect of mobile phone text-message reminders on Kenyan health workers' adherence to malaria treatment guidelines: a cluster randomised trial. Lancet 2011 378(9793):795.
5. Brooker S, Akhwale W, Pullan R, Estambale B, Clarke SE, Snow RW, Hotez PJ. Epidemiology of plasmodium-helminth co-infection in Africa: populations at risk, potential impact on anemia, and prospects for combining control. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2007 77(Suppl 6): 88-98.
6. Akhwale WS, Lum JK, Kaneko A, Eto H, Obonyo C, Bjorkman A, Kobayakawa T. Anemia and malaria at different altitudes in the western highlands of Kenya. 2004. 91(2): 167-175.

March 2006- 2008: Head Division of Malaria Control in the Ministry of Health, Kenya.
Duties and Responsibilities:
• Serve as the program manager for the National Malaria Control Program
• Use of evidence base for strategic plan development, development and review of policies, strategies and guidelines for malaria control in Kenya
• Coordination of partners and stakeholders including civil society, private sector NGOs in the development process of these strategic documents and implementation plans
• Management activities including annual work plans and budgets for the program at national and district levels
• Implementation and regular documentation of program achievements and reporting
• Resource mobilization and financial management of resources used in the implementation of interventions for malaria control


  • –present
    Clinical Instructor, Global Health, University of Washington


Moran of the Burning Spear