Dr. Jacqueline Kitulu has been appointed as the current National Chairperson Kenya Medical Association (KMA). Dr. Kitulu had previously served as the Assistant Treasurer and the Chairperson of the Kenya Women Medical Association before being appointed to sit at as the Secretary, and later on as the Vice Chair in the National Board of KMA. She succeeds Dr. Elly Nyaim as the current Chair in the recently concluded KMA elections.
Dr. Kitulu diligently pursued her Masters in Business Administration in Healthcare Management at Strathmore Business School where she currently awaits her graduation in June 2016. She has been a physician in a family private practice for twelve years, an experience she narrates as a journey guided by a leap of faith.
Dr. Kitulu’s appointment is as though inevitable, following her long array of leadership roles she has assumed. Just but to mention briefly, she sits on the National Economic and Social Council as an honorary presidential appointee representing professional associations. Amongst her many honorary awards, Dr. Kitulu is the recipient of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Woman of the year 2010 award and the Africa Most Outstanding Female Professional Award 2012 from the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development.
Leaving her job at the Nairobi National Hospital to take over a general pediatric family practice, Jamko Health Services was Dr. Kitulu’s pure exercise of confidence in her capabilities. “I had no business experience but I was eager to learn and seize the opportunity of running a private practice. As expected, I had qualms on whether I would sustain the practice, considering I had never ventured into business.”
Working at the National Economic and Social Council is when she realized how Health matters were not top priority. Bearing the task to ignite and make cognizant the importance of developmental policies in the Health Sector, she set out to redesign the landscape. “That context was what spurred me into the declaration; that if I was going to be in leadership, I needed to acquire sound training for it and I began to look for programs which had their main focus in developing leadership in healthcare. Coming at the optune moment was the Leading in High-Performing Healthcare Organisations (LeHHO) program at Strathmore Business School’s Institute of Healthcare Management, which opened my eyes to endless possibilities.”
Vibrant to take the bull by its horns, her analysis of the poor performing health sector was the ill representation of health policies during developmental agendas. “The reason why we do not make our contributions as effective is because we do not understand the language that gets things done. With that I understood that it was inevitable for me to learn the policy makers’ language.”
Dr. Kitulu designed the first Human Resource Policy framework for KMA as her final project during the LeHHO program, which got adopted by the association. “After the great success in working on a policy paper which communicated the significant need of a proper human resource structure, I knew I could achieve much more and that is when I enrolled for the Master in Business Administration in Healthcare Management to further my leadership development.
Her presence in the national board has had a significant influence on the gender balance in the board’s composition, a growing culture of proper communication, as well as a greater call for unity as an association.
Top on her list of priorities is to foster a deeper commitment, a vibrant and effective voice for all the doctors in better service to the public at large.