Straight from the mouths of leaders, celebrities and ordinary people, good quotes can add context, provoke thought, and inspire in equal measure. The following health quotes are from women who have made considerable accomplishments in their own lives and affected positive change through their campaigns and inspirational health stories.
This quote was made at the backdrop of the 9th Stop Cervical, Breast & Prostate Cancer In Africa Conference (SCCA) held in Nairobi 2015. The Forum which is an annual event was initiated by Princess Nikky Onyeri for African First Ladies to create awareness about cancer in the continent. First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero initiative, is a flagship initiative that addresses itself to the challenges of HIV/Aids, maternal health of mothers and child mortality through the distribution of mobile clinics to all underserved areas across the 47 counties in Kenya. Mrs Kenyatta has been using half marathons to raise funds for this cause. She is expanding her initiatives to cover cancer and fistula for the remainder of her husbands term.
This was a quote from former prime minister and National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga’s wife, Ida Odinga who was concerned about the safety of girls aged between 15 to 17 in Siaya county. She said these girls were victims of early pregnancies, fistula disease as well as school dropouts by the time they reached standard six.
Michelle Obama, wife of then-President Barack Obama had a public health campaign in the United States called Let’s Move! The campaign was an initiative to raise public awareness on obesity and the problems associated with it. It was aimed at reducing childhood obesity and encouraging a healthy lifestyle so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight. Part of the plan was to encourage healthier food in schools, better food labeling and more physical activity for children. While pundits have mixed reactions on whether the campaign worked, it certainly got the country talking about healthy eating at that time.
Lebogang Brenda Motsumi was infected with HIV by a kwaito star who has since passed on. At that time, she was a fun-loving but naive 17-year-old who wanted fame and was prepared to do anything to get it, even have unprotected sex with the star who was her sugar daddy or, in local parlance, a “blesser”. In Kenya they are known as “sponsors” who often provide for a younger, often poorer girl with money and gifts in return for sex. It wasn’t until two years later that Motsumi found out that the man she had been sleeping with was HIV positive. She eventually faced her fears and got tested. She too was HIV positive. Now 29 years old, Motsumi is a HIV activist, coach and public speaker in South Africa where she advocates for women’s empowerment, sexual and reproductive health.
Actress Kerry Washington, a star in “Scandal” one of television’s most popular and acclaimed dramas “Scandal,” has struggled with depression. Much of her college experience revolved around a depression that including an “abusive relationship with food and exercise.” Besides the eating disorder, Kerry had fear as well as stress and anxiety due to her mother’s battle with breast cancer.It was only when a dance teacher intervened that Washington began what would become years of therapy, meditation and seeing a nutritionist regularly for support. Her quote was made in the backdrop of the stigma associated with seeing a therapist.
Kenyan media personality Njambi Koikai known from her reggae shows and The Trend talk is battling thoracic endometriosis, a condition where bits of the tissue that lines the uterus grow on other pelvic organs, such as the ovaries or Fallopian tubes. This condition has seen her in and out of hospital due tothr collapse of her lungs severally. Njambi has since sought funds to enable her undergo lung surgery before seeking treatment for the Endometriosis. She wants the government to look into health issues affecting women.