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First Lady Mama Priscilla Oparanya vitalizes the fight against Sickle Cell Anaemia amidst Covid-19 pandemic

Kakamega County First Lady Her Excellency Mama Priscilla Oparanya has upscaled her support to MMUST in the fight against the deadly Sickle Cell Anemia, which is endemic in the malaria-prone western Kenya region. This was during a courtesy call by the University Council to the Governor of the County Government of Kakamega, in Butere Sub-county, on Friday 31st July 2020. While addressing the MMUST delegation led by the Council Chairperson, Dr. Musangi J. Mutua, Mrs. Oparanya expressed her willingness to continue collaborating with the University Council and its Management Board in seeing MMUST achieve in all its plans.
 
Mrs. Oparanya articulated her gratitude to the University for upholding her as the Sickle Cell Anaemia goodwill ambassador. Already, MMUST in collaboration with Ball State University (USA) through their visiting scientist, Prof. Wilfridah Mucherah, are in the process of establishing a specialized Sickle Cell Centre to serve Eastern and Central Africa. While appreciating other research and innovation activities, the First Lady said “There are so many good things happening in MMUST. We need to see some of the products from MMUST moving to shelves in retail shops and supermarkets. Our people will be so much happy to consume MMUST medicinal and nutritional products. We need to taste the stingless bee honey and the medicinal Artemisia annua tea” 
 
In a rejoinder, Dr. Mutua assured the First Lady that the University will continue collaborating with the County Government of Kakamega to ensure mutual growth. She was impressed with the First Lady’s deep interest in solving various problems that affect the community and the nation at large. On the other hand, MMUST’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo expressed his appreciation to the First Lady for assuring her support to University activities. He was particularly moved by the efforts to create awareness and find solutions to the devastating Sickle Cell Anaemia, which greatly increases vulnerability of the patients to Covid-19. Covid-19 is a global threat that has already robbed Kenya of many lives, including key personalities like Dr. Ken Ouko of the University of Nairobi, and the TV celebrity Mr. Charles Bukeko ‘Papa Shirandula’. Prof. Shibairo said that the effects of Sickle Cell Anaemia are a big issue in the community. “There is need for the County Government of Kakamega and MMUST to join efforts in addressing this menace. The University appreciates the support accorded by theCounty Government ininfrastructural development especially the School of Medicine, and I will jointly steer this institution towards increasing collaborative efforts in research,while protectingchildren, especially the highly vulnerable girl child” said the Vice Chancellor.
 
Other members of the delegation included the Representative of the Principal Secretary, State Department of University Education, Ms.Lucy Mugwe, Members of University Council, Dr.Ahmed Mohamed Diriye, Mr. Gad Gathu Kiragu, and Mr. Joshua Onyango Ogango;the Deputy Vice Chancellors,Prof. Charles Mutai (Administration and Finance), Prof. Judith Achoka (Planning, Research and Innovation), and Prof. Peter Odera (Academic and Student Affairs); the Deans,Dr.Bernadette Sabuni (School of Engineering and Built Environment) andProf. Kennedy Bota (School of Education) and the Senior University Administrative Officers, Ms. Immerqulate Ayodo and Mr. Oscar Waswa

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