Nakhumicha's purge at Afya House affects 50 top officials

Most of Mutahi Kagwe’s appointees have been shoved away from their positions while some old guards have returned

In Summary

•Dr Mulwa’s position in the directorate of preventive and promotive health has been taken over by Dr Joseph Lenai.

•Such reshuffles are customary whenever a new CS or PS joins the ministry.   

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha.
Health CS Susan Nakhumicha.

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha has reorganised the Ministry of Health, purging many of former CS Mutahi Kagwe’s appointees away from Afya House.

She also named five directorates, each with several divisions under it.

About 54 top heads were affected. 

Only a few top officials under Kagwe have been retained.

Such reshuffles are customary whenever a new CS or Principal Secretary joins the ministry.   

Nakhumicha retained Patrick Amoth as director general of health, a position he has held in an acting capacity since 2019.

The CS assigned Dr Amoth two new deputies.

Dr Zainab Gura will be deputy director general in the state department of medical services, headed by PS Peter Tum.

Dr Sultani Matendechero will be the deputy director general under the department of public health and professional standards, which falls under PS Josephine Mburu.

Nakhumicha said the heads of the directorates and their divisions are all in acting capacity.

“The above officers assume office in acting position effective April 19, 2023,” the CS said in a memo to PS Tum and Mburu.

Dr Andrew Mulwa, the former acting director of medical services and head of preventive and promotive health was moved to the head directorate of family health.

Under it are nine divisions including tobacco control headed by globally renowned advocate Dorcas Kiptui, HIV-STI under Dr Rose Wafula, immunisation (Rose Jalang’o) and reproductive health division (Edward Serem).

Dr Mulwa’s position in the directorate of preventive and promotive health has been taken over by Dr Joseph Lenai.

Dr Lenai previously headed the directorate of intergovernmental relations, which is now headed by Dr Martin Sirengo.

Directorate of clinical services is now headed by Dr Irene Inwani, with four divisions under it, including that of pathology, headed by Dr Johansen Oduor.

The directorate of health planning, now headed by Dr Elizabeth Wangia, has three divisions.

There is also a new directorate of digital health, informatics, policy and research headed by Dr Bernard Langat and has three divisions.

Health products and technologies is headed by Dr Tom Menge, a former director at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Director of Public Health Dr Francis Kuria retained his position. Under him are the environmental health division headed by Susan Mutua, food safety Brenda Obura, national laboratory services Peter Lokamar, disease surveillance Daniel Langat and public health emergency operation Henry Limo.

A former Nascop boss, Dr Kigen Bartilol, is returning to head the directorate of health standards, regulations and quality assurance, previously headed by Kibias Simon.

It has four divisions.

Nutrition veteran Gladys Mugambi remains the head of health promotion directorate.

The Health CS also made changes in the semi-autonomous government agencies within the ministry.

The National Quality Control Laboratory will be headed by Dr Seru Muteru.

Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority will now be headed by Dr Morris Wakwabubi, a surgeon practising in Kitale.

Nakhumicha also dropped Dr Alfred Karagu, the founding director of the National Cancer Institute and appointed Prof Elias Melly, an Eldoret-based oncologist.

The National Spinal Injury Hospital will now be headed by Dr Peter Shikuku Kibet.

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