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Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi opens up on job pressure

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi has opened up on job pressure when Covid-19 pandemic emerged.

According to the 34-year-old during the first months when the virus hit Kenya of she was under pressure from her bosses.

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Speaking at an interview, Mwangangi revealed that at that time they hardly slept because they could received texts from Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe even at the wee hours of the night.

We hardly slept during this past year. The minister, Mutahi Kagwe, often joked that he was able to send texts at 2 am, 3 am, 4 am, 5 am and to his surprise, most times, we would reply to him almost immediately,” she disclosed.

She also opened up that being part of the team that developed Covid-19 protocols the had to work for long hours leaving them exhausted.

Were there effects of no sleep? Of course yes, there are times we really struggled because of the exhaustion.

Mercy Mwangangi and Mutahi Kagwe
Mercy Mwangangi said that Mutahi Kagwe could send texts at 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am. Photo courtesy

You felt exhausted, but then the country was in a crisis, and we needed to brace ourselves and fight the pandemic,” she said.

Mwangangi further said that when the first case of covid-19 was reported in the country on March there was a lot of pressure and confusing.

There was a lot of pressure. Before you saw us on the TV screen, there was a lot going on in the background to ensure we have the commodities and our testing capacity is as it should be. Dealing with the public apprehension and allaying fears, particularly for a disease we knew very little about,” she said

The senior official said that they also had to consult other country to understand how they do the activities to handle the pandemic.

I came into the position fired up, ready to pour my energies into the Universal Healthcare programme and reproductive and maternal health services, but what ended up happening is that in the past one year it does feel like I’ve been going through a PhD in leadership, in crisis management and in multi-sectoral collaborations.

She also revealed that during the pandemic period she has learnt a lot making her hit the next level.

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“And this has taught me that there is never space when you’ve learnt enough,” she stated.

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