“The changes that have taken place in the last five years are remarkable demonstrating that with proper funding and sound management residents can have the best healthcare that they have been dreaming of,” County Chief Officer for Health Dr Khadijah Shikelly.
THE enormous challenges facing the health sector means that it needs great leaders, outstanding innovators and trailblazer who have the ability to shape the future.
Dr. Khadijah Shikelly, Mombasa County’s Chief Officer Health, is a9 truly dynamic and talented individual.
She is the ‘cream de la cream’ in the health sector. She represents the category of women leaders working in the field, playing her part in answering the big questions of the 21st century healthcare- with dedication, diligence and new ways of thinking and working!.
She continues to break out of the mould, taking new approaches to old problems.
For her type, it is about skills, talent and equity of attributes.
Her focus is results, our (CCW) focus is what drives those results and what competences and attributes that are needed to achieve those results.
To succeed in today’s transformative environment, leadership talents are critically necessary, and especially, the ‘who best brings those skills and abilities’ and Dr. Shikelly, a celebrated top achiever, fits the bill. Dr. Shikelly is shattering the glass ceiling!.
Ordinarily, all health systems have the same purpose- trying to provide better results for patients, communities and leaders.
A Chief Officer of Health is the influencer in Chief, functioning to facilitate change and build resilience. To be effective, Shikelly understands only too well, that she must not only perform as a leader, but also mentor leadership capacity among the staff.
Her drive, insights and positive energy is infectious, perhaps the reason why ever goal or project she puts her mind, turns out successful.
Over the years, she has managed to remove barriers to practice efficacy, drive, cultural change and reconnect the work force to their passion for practice.
Today, Mombasa County is celebrating a major breakthrough in the accelerated ‘Beyond Zero campaign. A record 350 babies born negative! .
A determined and sustained effort to address the High maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates.
Mombasa county seems to be achieving faster reductions in both maternal and child mortality rates since tthe conception of the campaign.
It is good news for mothers and children in Mombasa County, thanks to the fact that the department of health has continued to prioritize maternal and New born survival by mobilizing resources at all levels, even with constrained budget allocations.
As other Counties grapple with the increasing and terrifying rise in the number of Maternal deaths, backward traditions bring followed to date and poor infrastructure in the health sector, Mombasa County seems to be doing far above average!
Under the leadership of Health department in charge, Dr. Khadija Shikelly, there has been a deliberate effort to strengthen the health systems, including improving infrastructure and enhancing the capacity of healthcare to deal effectively with maternal, neotanal and child survival at all levels.
The launch of the Beyond Zero campaign in 2013, was the beginning of an accelerated attainment of all maternal and child health targets including HIV prevention, treatment and care goals.
Shikelly has taken the front row, spearheading a worthy campaign, to mobilize support to promote maternal and child survival.
She has through her passion and as the County Chief Medical Officer, continued to amplify her voice towards a concerted effort of elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV.
It is gratifying to note that Mombasa County’s health chief’s campaign on accelerated reduction of Maternal mortality, through targeted actions to delver on commitments, is paying off…big time!
The huge loss of lives occasioned by poor access to life saving healthcare is of great concern to Shikelly, and should be same to all persons of good will.
When she took over office, she stated that it was possible to make progress through strategic and co-ordinates efforts and working together.
And even as she led celebrations to mark a record 350 babies born negative, Shikelly says there is still need to ‘re assess challenges and redouble efforts to ensure that collective aspirations become a reality!
For Shikelly, the Beyond Zero campaign goes beyond the mobile trucks. It is a campaign that has stimulated social dialogue and promoted political and social accountability for the health of mothers and children. That is what I (this writer) call true passion.
It goes without saying that women’ and children’s health is vital for sustainable economic and social development. Healthy women and children, contribute to healthy economies, political stability and shared prosperity, a fact that Shikelly understands that, only too well.
In Mombasa, the Beyond Zero campaign has become well known and thanks to Shikelly’s strategic leadership, medical staff see it as an inspiration for action and change.
Thanks to the campaign, more women are aware of the importance of delivering in health facilities. The increased awareness and social accountability which are seeing more HIV positive pregnant women access medical care.
A record 350 babies have been born negative under the ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign in Mombasa County.
Dr. Shikelly says the initiative has reduced maternal deaths drastically and has tremendously Improved child survival chances.
A well deserved graduation ceremony revealed that mother to child HIS transmission has significantly dropped since 2015 when the launch took effect in Mombasa.
Official statistics indicate that Prevention from Mother to child transmissions (PMTCT), Elimination from Mother to Child (EMTCT) has reduced HIV transmissions has gone down from 18 percent to a record 3.4 percent!
“To mothers, please visit hospitals as soon as you conceive because you will be able to access the much needed health support, care and health education on various preventive measures.
Shikelly says although not all affected mothers gave birth to HIV negative babies, only a few babies were infected.
The graduation was marked to reflect the strides taken by the county government in enhancing the ‘Beyond zero’ campaign in all the six Sub-counties of Likoni, Nyali, Kisauni, Changamwe, Jomvu and Mvita.
How Dr. Shikelly does it...
LEADERS are people with vision- they see a future different than the status quo. They have the influence to drive change -they are able to communicate their vision and win others over to embrace and implement it.
In addition, leaders are grounded in values which provide a foundation for vision and a passion to achieve personal and organizational missions. These essentials gave characterized leaders for generations, and Dr. Shikelly is one of those outstanding leaders.
Above defines her journey, strength by strength, massive achievements right from when she was the chief administrator of the now transformed referral hospital, that too, being her effort and ability to transform vision into reality.
Shikelly’s influence in her field has been essential to achieving wide spread change and transformation of the health sector in Mombasa County.
It is about the knowledge, which she has gained through a rich educational background and expertise gained through involvement with a broad range of people and institutions, based upon the accomplishments that has brought her recognition and respect.
She has embraced very well, the concept of servant leadership, putting collective well being ahead of her personal gains. It is a priority that accounts for the kind of transformation we witness in Mombasa County today, on matters health.
Her guiding principles?- a willingness to change, to collaborate and to be a central player in the health system of the future.
She has the passion to transform Mombasa’s health care delivery system into a more effective health system for the future.
In the health sector, leaders of the future must have a vision that maximizes contributions of public and individual health, as well as management approaches. Values that drive passion to create and continuously improve the health of citizens, critically require the courage to push for change, decision making and skills for a better health system.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero Campaign has brought hope to thousands of women and children.
Launched in January 2014 with the aim to reduce maternal and child deaths, it has put Kenya on the global map as a country committed to the realisation of UN Millennium Development Goals four and five (reduce child mortality and improve maternal health respectively).
Rather than ride on the clout that comes with the title First Lady, Margaret’s ingenuity has injected new impetus to the office, complementing the presidency in a colossal way.
The First Lady has demonstrated her ability to identify a pertinent problem, prescribe feasible solution and tenaciously pursue the cause to give mothers and children a chance in life.
Margaret opted for a simple and straightforward model to tackle the problem. Sensitise and rally the world together on maternal health; purchase mobile clinics; take the equipment to the counties and save lives.
The initiative has equally galvanised goodwill from international organisations, including the World Bank and United Nations among other institutions and organizations.
“The impact on the ground is truly amazing. You can feel it and you can see it,” said the First Lady
Beyond the success that Margaret has achieved for herself and for the country and they include prioritization.
Whereas the First Lady could have focused on many other things. By picking HIV control, maternal and child health, she delved into a problem that knows no ethnic, racial, class or regional boundaries. Her achievements dwarf performance of several Cabinet Secretaries.
The First Lady has no doubt consolidated an enviable fodder for history writers. Her generosity and practical knack will flavour conversations for generations. But even as we celebrate her achievements, how many of us are ready to extrapolate the values and principles that she embodies?
Well, for Dr. Shikelly, maternal health and well being remain a central goal, an investment priority in the sustainable development to ensure that progress continues and accelerates.
The County government of Mombasa has also displayed its determination to see that they play their part to agreed health policies for which they pledge commitment.
Mombasa County is not only celebrating the remarkable achievement in the ‘Beyond Zero campaign’…in fact, that is just a tip of the iceberg…
Incidents of women in labour and in need of surgical delivery from Likoni enduring the ordeal of crossing the ferry as they were being rushed to the Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH) were a common occurrences in the past.
Some mothers ended up losing their babies or even losing their lives during the process of transferring them to the referral hospital for a procedure that would easily be done if the local hospitals were equipped with proper facilities and theatre to handle such operations as caesarean section.
Such was the situation in Mombasa before devolution. Besides, many other major operations like open heart surgeries were being referred to Kenyatta National Hospital because the CPGH was not adequately equipped to handle such procedures.
But today, thanks to devolution, the health sector in Mombasa County has undergone major transformation that can be seen all the way from the sub county to the main referral hospital, the CPGH where complex operation procedures are being carried out by highly qualified and professional medical personnel.
The County Government took over from the national government when they were three different ministries – medical services, public health and local government. Hospitals then were just normal public health facilities but nothing special.
CPGH was a referral hospital but nothing very special apart from a few occasional refurbishments. Areas like Likoni, all women who required caesareans section had to cross the ferry for surgery at the CPGH. There was no theatre at all in Likoni while in Port Reitz, the theatre was on and off hence a lot of pressure was brought to bear on the CPGH.
“Merging all the three ministries into a department of health for the County was not easy but we were able to amicably constitute one vibrant health department that has overseen massive transformation of the health sector in Mombasa,
the first major boost came from none other than the Governor (Hassan Ali Joho) through the Joho Foundation who together with other well-wishers undertook the refurbishment of one of the decrepit wards-ward 8. The orthopaedic ward was a total mess but was reorganized and refurbished into a clean, modern facility,”
This turned around the hospital and through budgetary allocations, charity and funds from coast-sharing the process to modernize the hospital started in earnest and today nearly all the wards have been refurbished, giving them, a brand new look..
Modern equipment for procedures such as endoscopy laparoscopy, dialysis and oncology are now available and manned by highly professional staff most of whom have been trained and re-trained by the County Government.
The hospital had between three to four dialysis machines but now the renal unit has been expanded with 16 dialysis machines making it one of the biggest units in Kenya. Dr Shikelly says that out of these there are two machines in the ICU, meaning that patients who require dialysis do not have to be taken to the renal unit and brought back to the ICU after the procedure.
This period has seen CPGH conduct complex open- heart surgeries which were never done before. Currently, the hospital performs open-heart surgeries after every three months. “We got a specialist from the national government but we have also managed to train nurses and other personnel to help in the surgeries.
“The Cancer centre is another milestone that has been achieved during this period. It has been set up with the support from well-wishers among them the Bamburi Cement,”-Dr. Shikelly.
Today, Likoni Sub County hospital has a theatre and so is Mrima hospital which through the support from the Swiss MSF is offering complete maternity services including caesarean section.
Likoni is being expanded to have a 46 bed capacity for maternity. The County is therefore building two sub county hospitals in Likoni that will be able to handle minor surgeries.
To address the chronic drugs problem in Mombasa, the County health department has set up a methadone programme for the drug addicts and to date there are over 800 people on this programme at CPGH and Kisauni. The County Government is planning to establish more methadone centres in Port Reitz, Mwembe Tayari and Likoni.
Health remains one of the sectors that the County Government of Mombasa has immensely invested in with the realisation that a well-functioning and sustainable health system is vital to improving the health status of the people.
“Currently we are directing our energies and resources towards better planning, managing and financing quality health services to meet local needs. Among the projects in the pipeline include the introduction of a SMART CARD that targets a cover for the elderly as a first phase and later funds allowing scale it up to include women and the poor who lack access to care,”-Dr.Shikelly.
Some of the milestones include the Construction of five level four hospitals – Chaani, Vikwatani, Marimani, Shika Adabu and Mtongwe.
The County has also procured portable Ultra Sound machine for Tudor, Port Reitz District hospital and 6 health centres (Tudor, Mlaleo, Bokole, Annex, Miritini CDF and Mikindani) which has improved obstetric care.
The Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH) remains an important referral health facility prompting the County Government to undertake massive investment to provide services that were previously out of reach to many.
These specialised services include:
Oncology centre for cancer patients
Neurosurgery programme started with first neurosurgeon camps done at the hospital
Casecsa (Surgical) training –the third cohort taken for training
Open heart surgery
Renovation of wards
The City of Mombasa has twinned with Megallore in India and already a team from Governor’s office, health and investment travelled to India for international medical tourism. Other benefits from this partnership include training of doctors and a partnership for investment on health, agriculture, industry and water.
The Port Reitz Sub County Hospital has also witnessed development including the renovation of the theatre with surgical, orthopaedic and maternity equipment worth Sh25million. An Obstetrician/Gynaecologist has been posted there thus reducing referral cases to CPGH.
Another first, courtesy of Dr. Shikelly…
“The County health department has embraced automation with the County referral now fully automated to M-pesa raising the collection from Shs17million to Shs25million. Other facilities that have fully automated their collection include Mvita Health Centre and Kaderbhouy and we are in the process of rolling out to high volume facilities,’ said Dr Shikely.
Recently, the County bought state of the art flogging machines worth Shs15million procured specifically to fight Chikungunya outbreak which has since been contained.