Kenya Loses a Shining Young Epidemiologist in Ethiopian Airlines Crash

It is with great sadness that we share the news that recent Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) graduate Dr. Grace Kariuki was among the 150 passengers who died in the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash on March 10, 2019. She was traveling back to Kenya after attending a planning meeting for a pediatric oncology study.

Dr. Kariuki, who joined FELTP cohort 13 in 2016, finalized her two-year training in December 2018. She was passionate about the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases and as part of her program was assigned to the Kenyan Ministry of Health’s Division of Non-communicable Diseases (DNCD), where her dedicated support led to a permanent position upon completion of the training. She was then posted to the Kenya National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Kariuki was a brilliant resident, hardworking and committed. She led several investigations and projects during the two years of her training and always delivered high-quality work. True to the spirit of a field epidemiologist, she was always ready to go to the field and paid special attention to details. Her work has been presented locally and internationally at TEPHINET and AFENET conferences, including the 9th TEPHINET Global Scientific Conference in August 2017 and the 7th AFENET Scientific Conference in November 2018. Additionally, Dr. Kariuki was a recipient of a 2017-2018 TEPHINET NCD mini-grant for a project targeting smoking cessation among healthcare workers. Dr. Kariuki also served as mentor for the FELTP Frontline and Intermediate courses.

TEPHINET sends our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Kariuki, including our colleagues at the Kenya FELTP, CDC Kenya and AFENET.

Shared and edited with permission from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.