Ruguru Kimani Wins Youth of the Year Health Services Award

The excited Joan Ruguru couldn’t hide her joy after bagging the Excellence Award in the Health Services Category / Photo:Courtesy

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has won the Top35Under35Youth of the Year Health Services Category Award.  

Joan Ruguru Kimani, an articulate fifth year medical student in the School of Medicine, has won the Top35Under35Youth of the Year Award in the Health Category for her compelling phenomenal youth engagement accomplishments, particularly her exquisite exposition of child health and parenting issues.

The Top 35Under35 Awards & Expo is a Youth Agenda’s annual initiative focused on three main program areas of Youth Engagement in Leadership and Governance, Youth Economic Empowerment, and Gender Development and Advocacy.

Speaking after receiving the excellence award and certificate from Youth Agenda CEO, Kelly Keya, Miss Kimani described the recognition as the best sweet moment of her life: “My passion is to ensure every child has access to quality healthcare and each of them transitions from childhood through good parenting.”

What does she feel about her latest achievement? “I am excited to have come this far. What gives me most satisfaction is the inspiration that it has given my fellow youth, who have vowed to do more with their time and skills. It has also enabled me impact on lives of parents and their children through my published content,” Kimani explains.

Ruguru Kimani (left) receives her award from the CEO of Youth Agenda, Kelly Keya at the organization’s offices / Picture: Courtesy.

Besides clinching the Health Category Award, Kimani, whose future dream is to “hold a position at the World Health Organization focusing on improving the lives of children” and ensure her passion in Child health is achieved, also bagged a one-year leadership program to mentor and inspire other youth, as a way of harnessing and nurturing them through informed, innovative and value-driven approaches for personal, community and national development.

The awards are a culmination of weeklong activities and campaigns proceeding the International Youth Day, marked on August 12. The day, celebrated since 2000, is recognized by the United Nations.

This year, State Department of Youth Affairs in partnership with key stakeholders committed to the youth agenda, organized the National Youth Week and the International Youth Day whose theme was: “Youth Engagement for Global Action.”

Kimani, who is passionate about writing on child health issues, going by several media articles and reviews from her funs, runs a blog (www.excitingparenting.com), a vibrant dedicated platform where she articulates and shares useful information on children and parenting issues.

“My blog that has been running for the last three years has attracted over 230,000 readers in more than 10 countries globally.” This, she confides, greatly contributed to her nomination and subsequent winning.

“I have received feedback indicating that I have been able to impact lives of young parents through creating skills and knowledge on important parenting and healthcare topics such as danger signs of illnesses, essential First Aid skills and management of bed-wetting in children, ” she adds.

Kimani believes her meticulous writing skills were instrumental in her nomination as well as handling a technical niche of parenting and child healthcare, without the real practical experience of being a parent has been viewed as an outstanding achievement by many.

The competition targets participants under the age of 35, with compelling ideas in the areas of youth leadership, governance, economic empowerment and gender development.

Ruguru Kimani (left) receives her Certificate award  from the CEO of Youth Agenda, Mr. Keya in Nairobi / Courtesy

In the next five years, Kimani, has clear plans: “to become a prolific writer with an expansion of my blog platform to print media and create employment for people who have a passion to write when it comes to Parenting and Child Healthcare. I hope to be a successful medical doctor and later, specialize in Paediatrics and Child Health.”

JKUAT School of Medicine, she says “Given me the conducive environment to grow as a writer and medical student, my mentors: Dr. Simba and Dr. Mburugu, and my parents for playing an enormous role in my success.”

Ruguru Kimani, an alumna of Maryhill Girls who scored mean grade “A” of 84 points in KCSE, advises her peers “to work hard and believe in themselves. Good things take time and so consistency and perseverance are required for good results to come.”

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