Dr, Jessie N. Githanga
MBChB, MMed (Pathology), FCPath-ECSA.
Jessie Githanga is a senior member of the HEART Kenya Board of Trustees, she is married and has 3 children.
Jessie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Pathology, University of Nairobi, Kenya, and has an adjunct position as Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), USA. Her training background is in general pathology, haematology, and blood transfusion, and she has served as Chair of the Department of Human Pathology, University of Nairobi (2004 to 2011).
In her work at the Kenyatta National Hospital, she is part of the team that oversees children’s care with cancer. This aspect of her work has led to a compelling desire to improve the holistic care of children with cancer and their families in Kenya, given the numerous hurdles children with cancer, their parents and families, face during the cancer journey. Her experience motivated her and other like-minded individuals to establish the Kenya Childhood Cancer Trust (KeCCT), an NGO whose main aim is to improve children and adolescents’ outcomes with cancer. Prof Githanga is a member of several Technical Working Groups of the Ministry of Health, including the Childhood Cancer Technical Working Group and the Technical Advisory Group for the National Cancer Research Training Program dealing with cancer and research. She was involved in the writing up of several documents with the National Cancer Control Program, including the National Cancer Control Strategy, the Cancer Screening Guidelines, Cancer Treatment Guidelines, and was one of the team members involved in the writing up of the National Sickle Call Management Guidelines. She has raised funds for various initiatives for childhood cancer.
Prof Githanga has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences both locally and internationally. Her current research interests include various aspects of childhood cancer, sickle cell anaemia (she is currently a principal investigator in several multinational clinical trials in sickle cell disease), and biorepositories. She is a Founder Member of the College of Pathologists for East Central and Southern Africa (COPECSA), Kenya Association of Clinical Pathologists (KACP), Board member of the Kenya Childhood Cancer Trust (KeCCT), Kenya Network of Cancer Organizations (KENCO), Health Education for Africa Resource Team Trust (HEART) and Member of Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA), among others. In August 2015, CEO Global awarded her the Most Influential Women in Africa Regional Award (Kenya and East) and the Lifetime Achievement Regional Award for Education and Training.