Full Name: Dr. Ogolla Don Sunday (MBChB UON)
Date of birth: 13th October 1988
Current employer: Kisumu County, JOOTRH
Spouse: Beth Akumu Sunday
Residence: Kisumu Kenya
ONE ON ONE, WITH Dr. OGOLLA DON SUNDAY: THE YOUNG CEO
One of the bravest things any young person can do is to throw in the towel on employment and take the bold step to start your own business and be your own boss. There is always great comfort in being an employee somewhere.
However, that has not been the case for one Dr. Ogolla Don Sunday.
Dr. Ogolla is currently a Medical Officer in Obama pediatric ward at JOOTRH working for the county government of Kisumu. But that is not all. At only 30 years of age, and having been an MO for barely 3 years, Dr. Ogolla is the lead doctor and CEO at Bethlehem Home Hospital at Nyabondo, Nyakatch sub- county in the great County of Kisumu.
theDoctor had a chance to take a ride around Kisumu town with the young, brilliant, rapidly rising doctor, in His Toyota Premio and had one of the most exclusive and inspiring chats.
As the tall, chocolate skinned, easy going doctor sat in the driver’s seat, he couldn’t hide his passion towards his rapidly growing Bethlehem Hospital and his love for pediatrics.
This is how it went down:
theDoctor: Please, Dr. Ogolla shed some more light on your hospital.
Dr. Ogolla: (laughing) you just went direct. OK, my small “kiosk” is called Bethlehem Home hospital. It is located down in my village in Nyakatch. Nyabondo Plateau to be specific.theDoctor: How did that start?
Dr. Ogolla: actually the hospital was started by an American organization on 20th October 2015, who saw the need for a hospital in the area. Since I’m the doctor there, I joined them on and I have been with them since then. It was an opportunity for me to serve my people back home and I could not resist it.
theDoctor: what’s your capacity?
Dr. Ogolla: At Bethlehem Home, we have a bed capacity of 20, I am the lead doctor, but we also have 2 clinical officers, 6 nurses, 1 lab technician, 1 pharmacist, 3 Security guards, 3 cleaners and 2 Kitchen staff. We have ultrasound but we still do not have X-ray.
theDoctor: And you are Mr. CEO
Dr. Ogolla: (laughing) yes I am the CEO of Bethlehem Home, but I have a board of governors whom I work with.
theDoctor: any expansion plans?
Dr. Ogolla: yes, by the end of next year (2019) I would like us to have our own theater because most of my referrals are for surgical procedures. But once we have a theater, then surgeons can locum at Bethlehem Home hospital. we also need to get an X-ray machine as soon as possible because, referring a patient to JOOTRH just for X-ray never augurs well with me.
theDoctor: where do you see Bethlehem Home in say, 5 years?
Dr. Ogolla: aah! In 5 years we should be somewhere reasonable. By then we should be able to do most diagnostic tests, and the theater be fully functional. I would say, a fully-fledged hospital in the region.
theDoctor: How is your clientele?
Dr. Ogolla: As at now I don’t see very many patients, on average I see about 10 patients in a day. Most of them are NHIF patients but a few come with cash. So It’s not very busy but we plan to grow. And I work closely with other doctors: like Dr. Ongong’a of Oasis, I refer most of my surgical patients there.
theDoctor: do you do locums in other hospitals in town?
Dr. Ogolla: No. I don’t. I tried to do some, initially, but later I stopped because I wanted to focus on Bethlehem Home. I also realized that I don’t really like to be bossed around. I like to work with my own rules and my own schedule.
theDoctor: how do you balance?
Dr. Ogolla: As I’ve said, Bethlehem Home is not very busy, and I also have very good staff. After my daily round at JOOTRH, then I can rush there and do a round or if there’s a patient I have to see. Plus, I don’t do locums, so I have some time.
theDoctor: How is pediatrics for you?
Dr. Ogolla: Amazing. I really enjoy dealing with children.
theDoctor: so is that the path you are taking?
Dr. Ogolla: Definitely, I am going to do pediatrics. And specifically pediatric Oncology. I have already applied for masters, in UON and Makerere and I’m waiting for feedback. But I really would love it if Maseno started offering masters in pediatrics, I would love to be in the pioneer class. I really want to finish that chapter while I’m still young so that my studies do not interfere with family and other things.
theDoctor: why pediatrics?
Dr. Ogolla: (smiling) I remember for a long time I didn’t know what I wanted to do; then while in my fourth year I presented my long case exam question to one of our professors at UON, the late Prof. Nimrode Bwibo, and I really passed. So he said to me, “That was really good, I’d like to see you as a pediatrician in future.”http://thedoctor.co.ke/pryamax-the-new-antimalarial-drug/
In fact, when I went for Electives, in Homa Bay, I decided to go to pediatric Unit. So that was how I developed my passion for pediatrics. And right now at JOOTRH I am interacting with Dr. Walter and Dr. Nalwa grace and they are a great inspiration.
theDoctor: why oncology?
Dr. Ogolla: I have done quite some work with AMPATH in MTRH and they have shaped my ambition to become an oncologist.
PERSONAL LIFE OF Dr. OGOLLA
theDoctor: where were you born, daktari?
Dr. Ogolla: I was born in Nyakatch sub-county, on 13nd October 1988. I am the 5th born in a family of 6: our first born is a medical engineer at JOOTRH, the second, third and fourth are all high school teachers and our last born is an actuarial scientist.
theDoctor: where did you go to school?
Dr. Ogolla: I went to school a local primary school in my village called Ndori BC, then I went to high school in Siaya at Chianda then Orero secondary school in Homabay in 2006.
theDoctor: what happened? Why did you transfer? Were you expelled?
Dr. Ogolla: (laughing) No no! I wasn’t expelled. I did not do as well as I expected in my final exam. So I decided to repeat in Orero.
theDoctor: so you so much wanted to become a doctor?
Dr. Ogolla: no, not really, I wanted to become an electrical engineer, but my father insisted he wanted a doctor in the family.
theDoctor: Is he a doctor too?
Dr. Ogolla: No, he was a lab technician, but you see, in the village, anybody who works at the hospital is a doctor. So he insisted that there was some medicine going on around the home and he wanted to make it real. So I weighed my two options, I didn’t know anything in either field, and I ended up taking medicine.
theDoctor: how was med school for you?
Dr. Ogolla: first year is always a disaster. I managed quite ok though I always had the fear of failing. That never goes away until you graduate.
OUTSIDE THE WARDS!
theDoctor: What else do you do besides saving lives?
Dr. Ogolla: when I’m not at JOOTRH or Bethlehem home, I do large scale maize farming. And you know a farmer is better than a doctor (chuckling). I also teach pediatrics to clinical officers at Great Lakes University Collage.
theDoctor: any Hobbies?
Dr. Ogolla: yeah! Though I have not done it for quite some time now, I am a very good footballer. I play defense. Back in collage we used to play it competitively with the likes of Dr. Onyango, he was a striker.
theDoctor: maybe we should organize a tournament one of these days. We can even dedicate it, say, to kids with cancer.
Dr. Ogolla: I totally agree. Dr. Onyango and I are always talking about doing something of the sort. But sometimes logistics are hard. But it would be a great initiative because some of those patients need a lot of social support.
theDoctor: you recently tied the knot.
Dr. Ogolla: Yes, I’m now married, (displaying his ring). My wedding was on 14th April this year. Her name is Beth Akumu Sunday and we’re pushing life together and we’re happy so far. We live in Lolwe, in the Afya Sacco housing Dr. Omoto is my landlord by the way.http://thedoctor.co.ke/one-on-one-dr-omoto-jacktone-the-gynecologist/
theDoctor: Congratulation! Is Beth a doctor too?
Dr. Ogolla. Thank you! No, she’s a criminologist.
Dr. Ogolla: I’m also a church person by the way, I cannot fail to mention that. I go to AIC Mamboleo on Sundays where I sing in the Choir and I’m the current assistant chairperson.
theDoctor: Ooh! you sing!
Dr. Ogolla: yes, I do and it’s very fulfilling as well.
As we drove through town chatting, Dr. Ogolla Don, came out as a compassionate doctor, a loving husband, a family man, and a visionary doctor. Seated in the backseat was his niece, Jannet, who described Dr. Ogolla to theDoctor as a generous, caring man who was very easy to talk to.
theDoctor dearly thanks Dr. Ogolla for his contribution to healthcare in the country. We recognize and applaud his efforts an encourage him to go even further. theDoctor wishes Dr. Ogolla the best of luck and that the almighty grants him all his hearts desires.
By Nyadimu Festo