Dr. Mercy Mwangangi

Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for Health, Ministry of Health

Fanatically positive and militantly optimistic, Dr. Mwangangi works in the Ministry of Health, Kenya as the newly appointed Chief Administrative Secretary. In this role, she supports the Cabinet Secretary in providing oversight and stewardship in the implementation of Health Sector policies and in building collaborative partnerships with a diverse range of sector stakeholders. Dr. Mwangangi believes in the crucial and catalytic role that health plays in the social and economic development of Kenya, and it is with this affirmation that she put down her stethoscope and pursued a master’s degree in Health Economics and Policy at the University of Adelaide in South Australia in 2015. In addition, Mercy received the Australian Leadership Award, a supplementary fellowship offered to applicants who demonstrate leadership skills and the potential to influence development outcomes in their home country. Dr. Mwangangi, contributed to the design, and implementation of the Universal Health Coverage Pilot program, that form part of the Presidential Big Four Agenda. Having previously worked as the head of the Health Financing Division in the Ministry of Health, her focus in the design of the UHC Program has centered on the health financing architecture of the program and its alignment to intergovernmental service delivery priorities. With an indulgence for analytics and design thinking, Mercy has also contributed to the development of an array of policy frameworks in the health sector, including the Primary Health Care Strategy. She also served as the joint secretary of the Health Benefits Advisory Panel that was commissioned with the design of the Essential Health Benefit Package for Kenya. She is also a member of African Women in Leadership Network (WILN), a forum that offers Australia Awards female alumni a platform to engage in discussions on issues affecting women and to share valuable insights for the advancement of African women. In her role as part of the stewards of the Kenya’s risk communication strategy in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, and an emerging face of solace and resilience, Dr Mwangangi has gained an appreciation for the role that the youth can play in public service as communication and behavior change champions. Using this lived experience, she is in the processes of setting up a platform for the participation of young people in health promotion. Mercy is an adrenaline sport enthusiast having taken to Sky diving and now setting her sights on shark cage diving in Australia. She is also a novice salsa dancer and in her younger days was an amateur diving medalist. She escapes it all by retreating to her tiny-home office, which houses her diverse collection of books ranging from Ganong’s review of Medical Physiology, speeches by Eisenhower, to African Architecture and her favorite, melancholic poetry by Mary Oliver.

3:15pm – 4:15pm EAT

Tuesday, 9 March 2021 Day 2

Zero Malaria Starts with Me - Draw the Line Against Malaria

Hosted by Malaria No More UK

Draw the Line Against Malaria campaign is a new youth chapter of the pan-African Zero Malaria Starts With Me campaign that calls on young people across Africa to unite and fight malaria by driving more action, more innovation, more funding and more leadership to end this disease within a generation and save lives.

This session will discuss at length the role young people can play in the fight against malaria in Africa while also looking at the global progress on malaria, African governments commitments on malaria and finally dissemination of the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign.

Insufficient investment in the health sector or in actions to tackle the environmental and social determinants of health is a serious obstacle to improving health outcomes in Africa, particularly considering that the continent bears the bulk of the global morbidity and mortality burden of priority diseases like Malaria.  We acknowledge that active engagement of the youth in Africa towards the fight against malaria is now even more important at a time when Africa’s attention and effort is drawn towards achieving UHC.