The month of June every year is marked as a World Wide Blood Donor Day for volunteers to donate blood. The blood donor day theme for this year was “Thank You for Saving My life” with an aim to appreciate all the individuals who donate blood to save lives, and also to encourage more people around the world to develop a culture of donating blood. This year’s event was celebrated at Nyayo Gardens in Nakuru County on the 15th of June, and was attended by the Nakuru County Health Executive Dr. Daniel Mungai Kabii, the WHO Country Representative to Kenya Dr. Custodia Mandlhate, the CEO of mHealth Kenya Dr. Cathy Mwangi, the CEO of St. John Ambulance Mr. Joseph Wang’endo, and the Director of Kenya National Blood Transfusion Services Dr. Margaret Oduor among others.
The spirit of giving back to the community is a noble cause that should be embraced and engaged in by organizations as it’s about making a difference in the society and in people’s lives without focusing on the monetary potential of the supporting entities. In November, 2014, the same concept was hatched to organize a football tournament dubbed Dr. Cathy Kamanze 7-Aside Cup held in Jericho, Nairobi within the Eastland’s suburban. The function saw different neighborhood teams register for the competition, of which they were not regular or usual national football clubs in the country. Loaded with the knowledge of the area and the modus operandi, she made a decision to not follow the conventional way of doing things and decided to adjust the norm by making the day livelier for the attendees in a much different way. The tournament and the cup brought many players and spectators together. This event provided an opportunity to encourage the youth to shun criminal activities that may land them in trouble, but try to manage time by doing beneficial and constructive activities. With her dedicated support, Dr. Cathy hopes to do more for the community in the coming years as a way of giving back through sports that bring people together despite cultural backgrounds differences which she termed as a tool for development and peace. Such activities help the youth realize their talents, identify their strengths and weakness in the games and also extend the same worthy cause to others in the community.
By BRIGID CHEMWENO
A National Crime Forensic Laboratory at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) has been commissioned in Nairobi. James Kimotho, who heads the Production Department at Kemri, said the facility which cost Sh1 billion will support and strengthen Government institutions like the Ministry of Health and the Criminal Investigations Department. CID Director Ndegwa Muhoro said the laboratory will supplement the current national capacity to conduct human DNA identification, adding that the country has in some occasions been forced to send DNA samples abroad. “With the challenges of crimes in the country, a modern and scientific method of investigations is useful. We are dealing with a liberal society where witness protection is not very strong and therefore we should present a case using scientific efforts,” said Mr Muhoro. The two spoke during the official opening of Kemri DNA facilities and the commissioning of the Medical Culture Media Production Line in addition to celebrating the attainment of ISO international quality standards. Muhoro said the facility will boost disaster victim identification, adding that after the Westgate terror attack, they were forced to take some samples overseas for forensic analysis. “Taking DNA samples to foreign countries for forensic analysis is usually expensive, time wasting and affects the country’s reputation in development of science and technology,” said Dr Kimotho. He said medical laboratories in Kenya and the region in general lack adequate equipment and systems to prepare the much needed ready-touse culture media for diagnosis of infectious diseases and testing for microbial drug resistance. As a result, he said the need for manufacturing it is enhanced by the short shelf-lives nature of the readyto- use culture media that are usual ly imported from developed countries as they often expire shortly after being received by laboratories. “This among other factors makes them very expensive and inaccessible to most laboratories, leading to under- diagnosis or mis-diagnosis of infectious diseases that could result in loss of lives or poor health,” he said. In a speech which was presented by the Secretary of Administration in the Ministry of Health Francis Musyimi, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the new project would improve the turnaround time for accurate laboratory diagnosis of infectious agents hence improving the overall quality of healthcare in the country. “Many laboratories in Kenya lack adequate equipment and quality management system to guarantee quality results. As a result, various infectious diseases such as typhoid are not diagnosed early enough as prescribed by good clinical practice requirements,” he said. Muhoro said the facility will boost the services of criminal investigations by helping resolve crime faster.
Source: Standard Newspaper of 25th February, 2015