Aster Guardians


Christine Mawia Sammy

Kitui County Referral Hospital,


With 27 years of experience, Christine exemplifies the dedication that neonatal nurses put forth to help improve survival of newborns. She established the first ever newborn unit in Kitui county in 2010 by transforming a single nursery room into an independent newborn unit at the hospital. By so doing, the neonatal mortality dropped drastically from above 50% to below 10% within a span of one year. During her role as a newborn health support supervisor in several health facilities, she noticed that most of the neonatal deaths were mostly due to birth asphyxia. In a bid to address the gap and promote newborn survival, Christine worked closely with decision makers and partners who supported her initiatives, despite facing many cultural and religious barriers. She coordinated newborn resuscitation mentorship across her County by moving from one Sub – County to the other in all the eight Sub – Counties of Kitui. These initiatives saw the infant mortality rate drop from 47/1000 live births to 24.9/1000 live births in Kitui. In 2021, she was awarded by HE Margaret Kenyatta for Nurse-led Initiative of the Year and in 2022 she was honoured by the President of Kenya as a Trailblazer in Reproductive Health.