19th August 2018
On the loss of the global statesman: Koffi Annan
Association of Physicians and Medical Workers for Social Responsibility (APMS-IPPNW Kenya) joins Kenyans and the world in mourning the fall of a great hero- Koffi Annan whose demise was pronounced earlier today. It is wisely said that when a great tree falls, its birds are shaken. Koffi Annan’s loss will be forever remembered in the minds of Kenyans, especially for his exceptional role in mediating the peace deal between retired President Kibaki and retired right honorable Raila Odinga. As the health community we will be eternally indebted to his efforts during our country’s trying time
APMS acknowledges that peace and health are completely intertwined. We believe that the best way to achieve health is through peace; where there is no peace, there can be no hope for a healthy people. In 2007/2008 Post Election Violence, Kenya witnessed one of the worst atrocities against humanity. Unimaginable physical, psychological and mental suffering was inflicted upon citizens by a breakdown of peace countrywide. Effects of which are still being felt to date, unfortunately. Families were burnt, women were raped, and men were tortured and killed. Roads leading to hospitals were blocked by protesters and hostile tensions. Access to healthcare was severely hampered further causing untold suffering. Many citizens lost their livelihoods and were pushed into Internally Displaced Camps further worsening their mental and psychological suffering-let alone financial suffering. In addition, living in camps always brings its own challenges-nutritional, security and instability. APMS continues to remember every form of suffering regrettably so.
Koffi Annan led the Panel of Eminent Persons sent by the African Union. He worked tirelessly for months bridging the political divide on whose ruins we lain as a country. When the three persons finally emerged on February 2008 we were delighted as a country. The medical fraternity felt and still do feel incredibly grateful that the suffering of citizens was alleviated. We will continue to stand as the medical community in solidarity with those whose moments from 2007/2008 are still deeply ripe and gnaw at their memories.
On this saddening day, APMS thanks Koffi Annan in spirit for his unwavering support and courage during our country’s toughest time. We will nurture our youth in peaceful ways and follow in your footsteps of peaceful activism. Indeed, we shall not forget that Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of mutual understanding and cooperation.
For clarification, please contact APMS Chair