Lifetime Achievement Award Honourable Mention

Richard Gakunju - Kenya

Dr. Richard M. Gakunju is a holder of a Master’s degree in Clinical Pharmacy, a public health specialist, a NAADAC & KENYA certified addictions professional with over 16 years experience in substance use disorder prevention, management and treatment. Richard

Richard has made immense contributions in alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment programmes in public institutional awareness, development of national standards in addiction treatment, development of national treatment protocols for persons with substance use disorders, development of national workplace policy, development of certification criteria for addiction professionals and development of generic substance use disorders training materials and tools

Richard is the longest serving consultant to the Kenya Government in prevention and treatment through NACADA and has been instrumental in conceptualising, initiating and developing generic training materials for a wide range of audiences including parents, professionals, community and faith-based organisations, leaders, schools, government institutions and private sector employees among others. 

  • Chair, Global Centre for Certification and Credentialing (GCCC)
  • Key Consultant, Development of the Kenyan National Policy on Prevention, Treatment and Recovery for SUDs 
  • Trainer of Trainers, Global Master Trainer in the Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC 1) & Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC)
  • Chair, Kenya Certification Council for Addiction Professionals
  • Core Consultant: Development of national licensing regime for addiction treatment facilities in Kenya 
  • ChairNACADA Committee on Development of Certification Criteria for Practitioners in SUDs treatment and rehabilitation
  • Team leader: Research on Alcohol, Drug abuse and HIV, Central Province, Kenya
  • UNODC/GOK ConsultantDevelopment of workplace policy in Kenyan prisons 
  • Scientific Consultant: Development of National Treatment Protocol for persons with HIV and Substance Use Disorders
  • Team leader: National Fact Finding Mission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Kenya 
  • Daytop/NACADA training on Therapeutic Community and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers 
  • Resource person: Formulation of Kenya National Standards on Treatment and Rehabilitation for Persons with Substance Use Disorders
  • Consultant: Formulation of National Policy on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Key resource, Committee on Credentialing Drug Addiction Professionals
  • Accreditation as a NAADAC (Association of Addiction Professionals) National Addiction Counselor
  • Select member: NAADAC/NACADA Kenya Certification Programme
  • Consultant: National policy on Breathalyzer and drunken driving


  • Master in Public Health (MPH), Epidemiology - Kenyatta University
  • Master in Clinical Pharmacy (MSc) - Pyatgorsk Pharmacy Institute
  • Government Scholarship - Rostov Medical Institute