KMWA has a long and storied history in the healthcare provision for the women of Kenya. We have been pioneers in the health industry for many years and are known for taking innovative steps.
Kenya Medical Women’s Association was founded in 1983 as a nongovernmental, not for profit membership organisation for Kenyan female medical doctors and dentists. Its initial membership was 12. Some of the founding members were:
i. Dr Anuja Kapila
ii. Dr Christine Sadia
iii. Dr Jane Miano
iv. Prof Gladys Opinya
v. Dr Florence Manguyu
vi. Dr Mary Chore
vii. Dr Jela Ojwang’
viii. Prof Miriam Were
ix. Dr Catherine Lore
x. Dr Betty Gikonyo??
xi. Dr Onyango Akena
It’s main aim is to uplift the health status of women, adolescents and children in Kenya by enhancing the capacity and potential of medical women to respond through
Well Woman Clinic
KMWA decided that it was better to provide all these services under one roof to improve access and hence the Supermarket Approach. This is how the WWC was born in 1990, with the first centre at Nairobi West: a one stop shop to provide health care for women by women at a pace just right for women.
KMWA has since expanded these services by going into partnership with Gertrude’s Garden Childrens’ hospital to set up WWCs in their various centres in Nairobi such as Doonholm , Embakasi etc. Currently, this concept of WWCs has been replicated in many private hospitals in Kenya.
Cyto Rich Project
This project was funded by Roche Image Analysis Systems in 1993. Its main objective was to compare the results of the conventional smear with a new method of collecting a cervical sample in a fluid medium. This would also enable more studies to be done on the collected sample and also reduce the number of unsatisfactory smears hence saving on resources.
6000 samples were collected from various centres throughout the country and many women benefited as they were able to get free pap smears.
Adolescent Reproductive Health
KMWA recognised that being leaders in the provision of RH services, it was strategically positioned to influence formulation of policies that promoted provision of youth friendly RH services.
Between 1994 and 1996, KMWA spearheaded research into adolescent reproductive health in Kenya delving into issues such as teenage sexual activity, pregnancy and abortion as cause of mortality among teenage mothers. Other issues that were looked into were STIs, including HIV/AIDS and harmful practices affecting teenage reproductive health. This culminated in a one-day sensitization workshop in 1995 to help physicians engage in advocacy on adolescents RH. Policies affecting adolescent health in general but with a focus on RH were discussed.
KMWA solely provided the services for a long time before other organisations such as PATH started doing the same. Some KMWA members and the KMWA secretariat also assisted in the feasibility and pilot of the study “The Western Kenya Cervical Cancer Prevention Project (WKCCPP)”, which was implemented from 2000 to 2004. This was a collaborative project to develop and evaluate a model cervical cancer prevention programme suitable for rural, low-resource settings in Africa between the Ministry of Health (MOH), Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation (MYWO) and the Kenya Cancer Association (KECANSA).