Jessie Githanga 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. In her work at the Kenyatta National Hospital, she is part of the team that oversees the care of children 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 that children with cancer, their parents and families, face during the cancer journey. This motivated her, together with other like-minded individuals, to establish the Kenya Childhood Cancer Trust (KeCCT), an NGO whose main aim is to improve outcomes for children and adolescents with cancer. She is a member of the Technical Advisory Group for the National Cancer Research Training Program (NCRTP) and the Childhood Cancer Technical Working Group. 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. She was one of the members of a team involved in the writing up of the National Sickle Call Management Guidelines.
Prof Githanga has published widely in journals and presented at conferences both locally and internationally. Her current research interests include various aspects of childhood cancer, sickle cell anaemia, and biorepositories. She is currently involved in several clinical trials in sickle cell disease at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital. She is a Board member of the Kenya Network of Cancer Organizations (KENCO), Health Education for Africa Resource Team Trust (HEART), Founder Member of the College of Pathologists for East Central and Southern Africa (COPECSA), Member of Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) and of the Kenya Association of Clinical Pathologists (KACP), 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.