Research Fellow

Walter Nyagah

Based in Kenya

I am a pharmacist with a strong interest in promoting good health and prioritizing the well-being of patients. Additionally, I am passionate about extracting value from data, utilizing it to make informed decisions, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the field. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Nairobi. While undertaking my internship, I worked in various settings, including clinical, community, and industrial pharmacy, where I gained practical experience. During my clinical rotations, I had the opportunity to interact with patients at Kenyatta National Hospital and the University of Nairobi Health Services, where I witnessed first-hand the challenges faced by patients and healthcare providers in the Kenyan healthcare system. These experiences fueled my passion for improving the accessibility and quality of healthcare services in Kenya and beyond.

Improving the accessibility, quality, and efficiency of healthcare services in Kenya is a complex and ongoing challenge that requires the concerted efforts of researchers, policymakers, healthcare providers, and community members. The Kenyan healthcare system faces significant obstacles, including inadequate funding, a shortage of healthcare professionals, and insufficient infrastructure. These challenges have resulted in poor health outcomes and limited access to essential healthcare services for many Kenyans. As a research fellow in the Health Tech Lab at Equitech Futures, I work with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, skill sets, and locations to develop innovative and effective solutions that can be implemented at a local, national, and even global level. By leveraging the power of data, we aim to identify key areas for improvement, develop evidence-based strategies, and monitor the impact of these interventions to ensure they are making a positive difference in the lives of many.

During the final year of my Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy, I conducted research on breast cancer patients at a renowned teaching and referral hospital in Kenya. The objective of my research was to evaluate the effectiveness of the control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), the most intense and feared side effect experienced by cancer patients. I had the privilege of presenting the results of my research at two conferences, specifically the MASCC/ISOO 2022 Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer in Toronto, Canada, and the 17th Hospital Pharmacists Association of Kenya (HOPAK) annual symposium in Eldoret, Kenya. This research experience further solidified my passion for working in the intersection of healthcare and data, as I gained valuable insights into the complexities of patient care and the potential for data-driven solutions to improve health outcomes. Additionally, as an alumnus of the Equitech Applied Data Institute (Class of Spring 2022), I had the unique opportunity to learn how to come up with effective solutions through a data-centric approach, and this transformed my perspective on healthcare challenges.

Beyond Equitech Futures, I am the finance manager of Generous Palms, a youth-led charity group in Nairobi, Kenya, and a former Teaching Assistant with PaceMaker International Organization, a non-governmental organization that works to create equitable learning opportunities for students in rural and slum areas of Africa. I am also a poet, and a lover of film, theatre, and art.