The Kenya Association of Physicians and Medical Workers for Social Responsibility (APMS)

[Posted April 26, 2011]

About the kenyan affiliate

The Kenya Association of Physicians and Medical Workers for Social Responsibility was registered as a non-governmental organization in Kenya on 20 July 1992. Prior to this the organization existed as the Social Responsibility Committee of the Kenya Medical Association. Professor William Lore was the founding chairman of the KMA committee, followed by Dr. Richard Muigai. In its early formative years, the association was largely focused on issues of human rights abuse and the regional refugee crises. Members participated in researching and reporting on the impact of these violations on health. The association’s main objectives are to improve the quality of human life through the provision of good health based on the understanding that its members’ responsibility as medical workers goes beyond treating patients in hospitals and include tackling the primary causes of human suffering. IPPNW-Kenya’s Dr. Walter Odhiambo conceived and developed the ‘One Bullet Story’ advocacy tool capturing in pictorial and textual form the human dimension of small arms violence. IPPNW – Kenya actively participated in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) which culminated in the signing of the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty. In recent years the organization has focused its research and advocacy activities on the campaign against the proliferation and abuse of firearms. These activities are carried out in partnership with like-minded NGOs. IPPNW- Kenya was the main convener of the All Africa Peace Conference in 1999, here in Nairobi; this was a pre-Hague appeal for peace conference that was celebrated worldwide to mark 100 years since the signing of peace treaty between the Queen of Netherlands and the Tsar of Russia . IPPNW – Kenya members are also regular participants in national and international meetings, workshops and seminars, including IPPNW’s World Congresses.

Recent Activities: Focusing on small arms and light weapons (SALW) violence, IPPNW-Kenya has been involved in research and advocacy work in the hope of reducing the number of SALW in circulation. IPPNW-Kenya’s Dr. Walter Odhiambo conceived of and developed the One Bullet Story advocacy tool that captures in pictures and text the human dimension of small arms violence. Dr. Odhiambo is currently helping to oversee the development of similar stories by affiliates in Uganda, Zambia, El Salvador and India. Once completed, these stories will be featured in an IPPNW public health and small arms advocacy training manual. Members of IPPNW-Kenya are also collaborating with the Kenya Medical Association and The East African Medical Journal to encourage health professionals to document and publish cases of firearms injuries that can help influence Kenya’s national gun policy. Kenyan medical students involved with the organization continue to be active in the struggle against firearms proliferation. They are currently engaged in various humanitarian activities like follow-up work on the rehabilitation of the survivors of SALW violence, as well as on the impact of fatalities on the lives of the dependents left behind. Finally, IPPNW-Kenya members remain frequent participants in national and international meetings, workshops and seminars. In April 2005 Dr. Odhiambo attended the Arms Trade Treaty conference held in Nairobi, Kenya. Coordinating with several other IPPNW members from Zambia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and El Salvador, he brought to the attention of the nearly 200 participating delegates from over 75 countries the public health aspect of firearm violence.

How can locals get involved with the affiliate today?

Membership is open to any health professionals that are interested in issues of social responsibility that impact negatively on health. The Association's main objective is to improve the quality of human life through the provision of good health, based on the understanding that its members' responsibility as medical workers goes beyond treating patients in hospitals and includes tackling the primary causes of human suffering.