It's like having 15 husbands - how Uhuru's healthcare adviser describes her delicate job

Tough balancing act for Dr Wangari Ng'ang'a

Dr Wangari Ng'ang'a [Photo: Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta's healthcare adviser Dr Wangari Ng'ang'a spoke on what it means for a young professional woman to work at the highest office in the land.

Dr Ng'anga, who is only 33 years old, said her job often meant placing the country's weight on her shoulders as she struggles to help the President achieve the Universal Health Coverage.

Despite being an academic high-achiever, she said the biggest frustration serving as the President's adviser was the number of soft skills that are required to get things done - which she compared to have 15 different husbands.

"It’s like having 15 husbands. The process can be painful. It’s not enough to be qualified, have the right papers, be good at your job, you also have to have great social skills to deal with people, to walk the process. And that takes time.

"I’m also more aware of how relationships are at such a high level, trust and not merely on facts or technical capacity. It’s not enough that you know the technical, you must be trustworthy. That they don’t teach you in school," Dr Ng'ang'a told a local daily in April 2020.

At the time, the country had just declared Covid-19 a national pandemic and stringent measures had been announced by the Head of State to contain the virus.

As the lead healthcare technical adviser at the Presidential Policy and Strategy Unit, she stated that her job is often to translate the challenges Kenyans face to the President and in turn translate the President's dream for better healthcare into a reality.

Dr Ng'ang'a is one of the youngest intellectuals who are helping the Kenyan government deal with the healthcare challenges which include the Covid-19 pandemic.

She holds a Master’s degree in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Economics and Political Science and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a bachelor's degree in medicine from the University of Nairobi.

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