August 04

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Karibu

Karibu means Welcome in Sawahili (local kenyan language), and it was the first word I heard at the airport

It has been two weeks here in Nairobi. I have tried to define exactly how I feel but it was a bit challenging, maybe because during these couple of weeks I have felt everything a man could feel. Starting from the goodbye tears of my family and friends. Then the excitement that was increasing hour after hour during the long flight to Nairobi. Later some fear at the airport especially after I remembered all the stories shared at the security brief. I was soon relieved after realising how simple and warm the Kenyan people are. The most dominant feeling is the pride which I felt when I got introduced to more than a hundred employees at Amref Health Africa, briefing them about my assignment, the pulse program, and the GSK 20% reinvestment program here.

Mentioning my assignment, I can’t describe the enthusiasm and sense of mission that I currently have. Amref has a great focus on improving the health of women & children through five projects, namely: Making pregnancy safer, reducing morbidity and mortality among children, scaling up HIV,TB and malaria response, prevention of diseases related to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and increasing access to quality medical services for disadvantaged people and communities.

20 mothers die every day in Kenya due to pregnancy and child birth. Amref stands for the african mothers. By educating the midwives the number is decreasing significantly

My role is to help the program development department in making Amref Health Africa more focused and efficient in getting the needed donations from donors by increasing the strategic alignment between the HQ and the countries offices, and improve their resource mobilization strategies. In the coming blogs I will be discussing more about my assignment and the change that I am trying to embed in the organisation.

Alicia and I had the chance to visit GSK’s site in Nairobi. Security manager Elizabeth arranged a warm welcome for us. It is always good to be home 🙂

GSK-Kenya site