The changing conceptions and focus of health research in East Africa

Perceptions in health research are a product of the circumstances within the society, where the research activities are situated. In East Africa there has been a change in conceptualization over a period of time from an elitist de-linked status to the present, which has evolved to embrace the local community. Here we trace the changes and highlight some occurrences that exerted the greatest influence in shaping the notions that currently dominate in research. We conclude that the paradigm shift is a positive development and that the present conception is suitable for heath research at this point in time.