When Susan Nakhumicha, the nominee for Health CS, appears before the vetting panel today, she will bank her hopes on her over 20 years of cumulative experience in health management.
Yesterday, Nakhumicha told The Standard that she has a combination of skills that make her suitable for the tasks awaiting her, should she get the MPs’ nod.
“I have the technical requirements acquired from my pharmaceutical training and management skills that I have gained over time in terms of supply chain training and work experience,” she said.
Asked why the president found her fit for the job, the nominee said he could have looked at her mix of skills that cut across healthcare training and medical supplies.
She acknowledged that the task of managing the ministry is huge because of the many health challenges facing the country, but promised to give it her best shot to ensure Universal Health Care (UHC) is achieved.
“We made promises to the people through the Kenya Kwanza manifesto and that will be my guiding framework as I dedicate myself to the assigned responsibilities,” she said.
Having grown up in rural Kenya, Nakhumicha, said she understands the huge responsibility of ensuring that the country achieves universal healthcare to meet the many needs facing people.
Not much was known about her before the nomination apart from the fact that she ran for Trans Nzoia woman representative seat on a Ford Kenya ticket and lost to Lilian Siyoi of UDA.
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During the recent campaigns, she was part of the Kenya Kwanza team that campaigned for the alliance in Trans Nzoia where President William Ruto split the vote almost by half with Azimio candidate Raila Odinga.
“I’m proud that I have risen through the ranks in my career, and also played my part in the victory that we achieved. The president has given me a huge task but my training, leadership and managerial skills will help in handling it and delivering UHC,” she said.
Nakhumicha currently works for Global Programmes for Research and Training, an affiliate of University of California, San Francisco, which is involved in health care research.
Her duties include managing the supply chain. She also does consultancy for international companies on supply chain managment.
Global Programmes for Research and Training deals with the control of infectious diseases like HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis, where it partners with institutions across the region.
Currently, she is consulting for 54Gene Research, a company that is seeking to set up a big genomics laboratory in Kenya, on issues linked to supply chain needs.
Between 2014 and 2016, she worked for Nairobi Women Hospital, as the procurement and distribution manager.
She had earlier worked as the Operations and Supply Chain Officer for Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS) for seven years.
The mother of two is married and lives in Nairobi but she was born in Sikhendu, Kiminini constituency, Trans Nzoia County.
Nakhumicha was the best pupil in the then Trans Nzoia District when she sat her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam in 1992.
She joined Mary Hill Girls in Thika where she sat her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam in 1996. She later joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
She has a master’s degree in supply chain management from the same university.
She later studied Pharmacy and has a diploma and a degree.
“I was a leader from my younger days, I did a lot of work as a youth leader in the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret,” she says.
In primary school, she was a prefect and then became a captain when she joined high school. She remained in leadership positions even at the campus.