Joyful graduates celebrated their academic achievements with family and friends at Amref Health Africa’s 29th graduation ceremony in Nairobi on Wednesday this week. Pomp and merriment marked the colourful event, held at Amref International Training Centre in Nairobi as 286 health and development workers from various African countries were conferred with degrees, diplomas and short course certificates.
Chase Bank’s Group Managing Director Mr Duncan Kabui was the chief guest at the event, which was attended by various partners and stakeholders who have supported Amref Health Africa in its relentless quest to build capacity of health workers across the African continent. The theme for this year’s graduation was ‘Lasting health change through higher education, training, innovation and technology’.
Mr Kabui commended Amref Health Africa for its work in training health workers, and particularly its efforts to transform the lives of women and children through the Stand Up for Africa Mothers campaign, which trains midwives to provide skilled care and delivery to mothers. ‘’Our wives, mothers, sisters and daughters should not die while bringing life into this world, which is why we at Chase Bank are totally committed to supporting this worthy cause,” said Mr Kabui.
The Chief Guest noted that to date, Chase Bank had given a total of Ksh69 million for training of midwives by Amref Health Africa. So far, a total of 7,000 midwives had been trained through the campaign, out of which 369 in Kenya were directly supported by funding from Chase Bank. “Chase Bank will continue to support the campaign so that we are able to deliver the target of 15,000 midwives,” he promised.
Chase Bank had given a total of Ksh69 million for training of midwives by Amref Health Africa.
Amref Health Africa Group CEO Dr Githinji Gitahi lauded the partnership between Amref Health Africa and Chase Bank especially in equipping health workers with critical life-saving midwifery skills. He announced that Amref Health Africa is now on the brink of an exciting new era of transitioning its training programmes into a full-fledged university focusing on public health ‘’This for us is a very natural progression as we will use our existing courses to grow the various programmes that we will offer at the Amref Intenational University,’’ Dr Gitahi added, amid cheers from the crowd.
On Amref Health Africa’s relationship with Chase Bank, Dr Gitahi said: “We would now like to move our partnership with Chase Bank to a new, more strategic level, and to cultivate a business relationship that creates shared value for both organisations.” The graduating students were from various countries including Cameroun, the Gambia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. Of the 286 graduates, a total of 144 were Kenya Registered Community Health Nurses who completed an upgrading course via the Amref Virtual Training School. The Registrar of the Nursing Council of Kenya, Mrs Edna Tallam, led the nurses in a candle-lighting ceremony to make their professional vows. Another 24 graduates received Higher National Diplomas in Comprehensive Reproductive Health, 21 graduated with Bachelor of Science degreees in Community Health, and 19 with Diplomas in Community Health through eLearning.
The Director of Capacity Building at Amref Health Africa, Dr Peter Ngatia said that the organisation continued to be a leader for training health workers from across the continent and had fully embraced technology in delivery of quality education and training. He said that Amref Health Africa had teamed up with various partners in the public and private sector in its efforts to mitigate the current shortage of health workers, including GSK, USAID, Moi University, Nairobi University, Kenya Methodist University, USIU, Johnson&Johnson, Philips, Bayer and Heineken.