• CAS Mwangangi had been through a lot before she became one of the most prominent health experts in the country.
• CAS Mwangangi was a guest at the women leaders in Kenya’s health sector roundtable that took place on March 31st.
Last week, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi, revealed a lot of information about her journey to becoming one of Kenya's most recognisable people.
Mercy was speaking at the Nairobi Hospital CEO’s roundtable meeting with women leaders in Kenya’s health sector.
She admitted that it hadn't been easy for her and started by detailing some of the tough spots she had been posted to since her graduation from medical school in 2009.
She explained that some of the difficulties she faced were due to biases that some of her patients had concerning her gender and age. She said,
"I would be attending to an old Kamba grandfather man who would decline to enter my consultation room because of my age. And since there was no adequate manpower, I’ll be forced to try all the techniques to convince him to allow me to attend to him."
But that wasn't all, her next posting at Tharaka Nithi was terrible as snakes were ever-present in both the offices and hospital premises.
But the most interesting tidbit in her narration was how a careless mistake by one of her colleagues had landed her the CAS job.
It happened during a meeting where they were trying to sell president Uhuru on their UHC (Universal Health Coverage) agenda.
"During the meetings, I was the ‘mtu wa mkono’. I was always the one with the laptop at the corner near the pots with the flowers. I was moving slides and we were really nervous because it was the last meeting, it was the last chance we had to sell the UHC agenda and everyone was nervous."
"So we were going through the presentations and there was one slide that had been copy-pasted from past slides so it didn’t quite make sense. It was the minister who was presenting. There was silence because it didn’t make sense… She also stuttered and everyone was quiet."
That irritated the president who hit the table demanding an explanation. Mercy then took the bulls by the horn when the head of state urged her to speak as he saw that she had something to say.
"At this point, I was trying to tell the presenter to go to the next point. I was unable to speak up but kept on shaking my head and that’s when the President told me to say something and I did. That is the story of how I ended up where I am now as a CAS. It is a story that many people don’t know."