Mount Kenya University Support to The SDG10 on Reduced Inequalities
- Mount Kenya University was certified as the United Nations Academic Impact Member University in 2018.
- In 2021, MKU received the internationally renowned award of being the United Nations Academic Hub for SDG 10 on Reduced Inequalities for a renewable 3 years period (1st June 2021 to 31st May 2024).
- In separate ways, the MKU Founders, the Vice-Chancellor, students and staff have separately in their actions and verbally been in support of the University’s initiatives as the SDG10 hub on Reduced Inequalities.
While making a presentation on Monday 3rd April, 2023 during the 1st Public Health International Conference in Mombasa, Kenya, MKU’s Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Prof. Simon Gicharu (CBS) explained how the Mount Kenya University since its early years even before its award with a Charter has strategically worked towards uplifting communities’ social-economic empowerment through education and community outreach. More specifically, Prof. Gicharu singled out the current Government policy towards provision of access to the Universal Health care for all Kenyans, and MKU’s commitment towards supporting the Kenyan Government in this endeavor through deliberate engagements with local and international development partners. He said, MKU’s support to the Governments initiative in health support has, been possible due to the partners’ strategic support as well as the university’s use of the internally generated funds channeled through the University’s 3 mandates of Teaching, Research and Community outreach.
In his presentation entitled “The Public Health Training in the Private Sector – Challenges and Opportunities – The Case of Mount Kenya University”, Prof Gicharu said that, the mitigating factors against the challenges that the University faces in supporting the health sector include an open policy to partnerships and collaborations that have seen MKU’s research and development portfolio get support from a number of international partners including Osaka Metropolitan University, Japan International Cooperative Agency (JIKA), African Academy of Sciences, The Royal Society (UK), The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials partnerships, The National Institutes of Health (USA), The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Science Foundation for Africa among others. Locally, the National Research Fund (NRF) coupled with the internally generated funds and support by other local players are notable funding support. He cited COVID 19 adverse experiences and climate change as well as the limited pool of PhD holders in the country as some of the challenges affecting the country’s efforts towards human health support.
It was against this background that the founder appreciated the recognition by United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) office in New York who have awarded the University an opportunity to serve as the UNAI SDG10 Hub on Reduced Inequalities for 3 years. In similar and related presentations but in different forums, the MKU Co-Founder, Dr. Jane Nyutu and the University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi have summed MKU’s contributions to teaching, research and community outreach as strong avenues of contributing to the Global need for Reduced Inequalities. Dr. Jane Nyutu, who is the MKU Co-Founder runs an outreach Mental Health Program called “Mind and Beyond”. She informed delegates attending the 8th International, Interdisciplinary and Inter-universities Research Conference hosted by MKU between 29th and 31st March 2023 that, the University is committed towards contributing to the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals (2023) in all its endavours. Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi, the Vice-Chancellor, is on record to have offered support towards the Diabetic Management and Information Centre (DMIC), the Dyslexia Organization Kenya (DOK), the persons abled differently at MKU and outside the University, the Samburu Rescue Girls School and many other initiatives that bear strong evidence of MKU’s unreserved effort in contributing towards reduced inequalities.
The students at MKU both local and international as well as the partners have been urged to pay individual and collective efforts towards creating a world of reduced inequalities in all their activities. In an exemplary effort by students and staff, a new partnership between the local LIONs Club International, the Thika Kilimambogo lions Club, a student-driven initiative has led to the establishment of the MKU LEO Club which receives all the mentoring and support from the Thika Kilimambogo Lions Club. The MKU LEOs have so far visited the Thika Women Prison and have offered support, have visited the Joy Town School of Physically Challenged in Thika among other activities. On the overall, the students and staff have combined their effort and have gone out of their way at MKU to support the students who are abled differently at the university. In a strong way, the spirit of contributing towards reduced inequalities remains all time high at the university.