An international conference on Integration for Impact on Reproductive Health & HIV/Aids Services in Sub Saharan Africa is currently underway in Nairobi, Kenya.
The conference which is taking place at Safari Park Hotel, with more than 300 representatives from over 25 countries worldwide has been sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organization and Centre for Aids Research and hosted by The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).
The over 300 delegates attending the conference represent various stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as champion of Reproductive Health ranging from Non-Governmental organizations (NGO), Civil Society and Advocacy Organizations, Governments among others.
The country ended up being very embarrassed when the schedule Chief Guest at The Official Launch/Opening of the event, Public Health and Sanitation Minister Hon. Beth Mugo, decided not to show up at the last minute and instead send a representative.
Well, there is nothing wrong with government minsters sending representatives for meetings and such but the person sent to officiate the official launch of the conference is what raised eyebrows. In a Ministry that an Assistant Minister and Permanent Secretary, the Hon. Beth Mugo decided to send the Administrative Secretary Mr. Francis Musimi to represent her at the event… Well, the excuse was that Hon. Mugo had been summoned by a Parliamentary Committee and she could not miss the summon… The question is, where was the Assistant Minister and The Permanent Secretary???
What makes the matters worse is that Mr. Musimi arrived at the event a cool one (1) hour late armed with “Draft Speech Notes” by The Minister. Really??? A DRAFT SPEECH NOTES!!!!!
Well, Beth Mugo’s “Draft Speech Notes” was well read by her representative. She intimated that the “Kenyan Government is committed to making reproductive health a national priority not only through the health system, but through supportive laws, policies and actions in education, gender equality and social and political participation.”
With such an elaborate illusion sent out to the delegates, one is left wondering, why the entire government did not bother to send a substantial figure for the opening ceremony of this conference? It is a belief that matter health make a considerable portion of three (4) Ministries in Government i.e. The Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Ministry of Medical Services, Ministry of Planning and Vision 2030 and The Ministry of Gender, Children and Special Programs, why didn’t any of the Misters in those Ministries not given a chance to officiate at the event?