DOCTOR VITALIS OGOLLA, THE KISUMU DENTIST
Name: Vitalis Onyango Ogolla
current residence: Kisumu
current employer: Self Employed @ Royal Dental Clinic
After I saw him on TV talking about dentistry in the country, I knew for a fact that I wanted to have at least a chat with him. Dr. Vitalis Onyango Ogolla is one of the few dentists we have in the Kisumu and in the entire country. He is the founder, owner and CEO at the Royal Dental clinic in Kisumu.
The Royal Dental Clinic Kisumu is based in Town on the 3rd floor of Alpha house along Oginga Odinga street just opposite University of Nairobi plaza. There is a branch of the same at Avenue Hospital Kisumu and another in Nairobi.
theDoctor had a chance to talk to the young doctor in his main clinic in town, and this is how it went down.
theDoctor: Hello Doctor Vitalis, it’s nice to meet you.
Dr. Vitalis: hello, it’s nice to meet you too.
theDoctor: why don’t you tell me about this place.
Dr. Vitalis: well, the royal dental clinic was started right here in Kisumu in August of 2012 by two recently graduated dentists at the time; Dr. Vitalis Onyango Ogolla and Dr. Elistone Muuo
We were initially based at Mega plaza before we relocated to this place in 2016. We also have a branch at avenue hospital.
theDoctor: Are the two of you still working together?
Dr. Vitalis: yes, we are, but not in the same building. We decided to try and expand out of Kisumu and opened a branch in Nairobi, in 2016, where he now practices from.
theDoctor: How big is this place? Are there any limitations to what you can or cannot do for your patients?
Dr. Vitalis: There are very few procedures we are unable to perform at the moment. For example, implants. We are currently not able to put implants but the problem is that some of those things are not a joke in terms of purchasing them. Like for us to be able to start implants we need more than 1m ksh.
We also needed a digital X-ray, which we now have. So soon we’ll have that installed.
theDoctor: how big are you? Currently.
Dr. Vitalis: (laughing) I don’t know how to compare that, but I think we’re ok, we have at least two active dental chairs at and given time, with at least two dentists at any one time.
theDoctor: How is your clientele like?
Dr. Vitalis: It’s ok so far, we get an average of 30 patients in a day. On a very slow day we get at least 20. And normally I report at around 9 and stay until 5 in the evening
theDoctor: that sounds quit impressive. Do you accept insurance.
Dr. Vitalis: Of course we accept almost all insurance covers at royal dental clinic.
theDoctor: All the best in that. What’s the future like for Royal Dental clinic?
Dr. Vitalis: well, I look forward to having a fully-fledged self-reliant dental hospital with all the infrastructure, equipment and human resource needed for such.
theDoctor: Do you work in any public facilities?
Dr. Vitalis: No, I quit government. After my graduation I applied to be posted in Bondo and I was, then a few months later I opened this clinic. So, after sometime, I weighed the benefit of travelling all the way to Bondo every now and hen and realized it wasn’t adding much value.
Plus, you just know how our Kenyan health system is, they want you to work but there’s no equipment, they don’t even provide a dental chair. That was very frustrating.
theDoctor: where did you grow up daktari?
Dr. Vitalis: I was born and raised in Bondo, Siaya county. I went to Bondo township primary school then went to Maranda high school and finished in 2004 and joined UON in 2006.
theDoctor: Did you always want to become a dentist? Was this always your dream?
Dr. Vitalis: No, absolutely not, in fact, my high school friends would be surprised to find me not practicing law. I always wanted to become a lawyer, my entire life.
theDoctor: what changed all that?
Dr. Vitalis: My high school teachers. You see, during my time in Maranda, if you were seen capable of passing highly (getting an A) you were mentored towards medicine and made to apply for medicine. So I applied for medicine and it so happened that I qualified. So I was called to do medicine in UON.
theDoctor: But medicine and dentistry are offered as separate courses, aren’t they?
Dr. Vitalis: ye,s they are. I changed from medicine to dentistry.
theDoctor: Why? Passion?
Dr. Vitalis: No, not really. You see after high school I secured a job with the CDC, now joining campus I was used to having my own money, so I really didn’t want to stay in school for long. And you see medicine, six years was just too long.
Initially, I wanted to change back to my passion, law. But then I thought of all the time I had to spend in school then after that again go to kenya school of law, and I ruled it out.
I had two options remaining, either Pharmacy or dentistry?
theDoctor: so how did you break the tie?
Dr. Vitalis: Well, a friend of mine was taking Pharmacy at the time and when I consulted him, he told me, if you want to become a shopkeeper, then take pharmacy.” And that’s how I made my decision.
theDoctor: would you make the same decision if you were to go back in time?
Dr. Vitalis: Totally. Starting out into dentistry I never thought I’d come to love it as much as I do. It’s very fulfilling to me I think it’s the best decision I made back then.
theDoctor: What do you do outside medicine and dentistry?
Dr. Vitalis: I like to do motivational speaking. Just as a person. I go to these so called “small” schools and just talk to the kids and give them hope. You know you can never become what you have never imagined. So I talk to them and just let them know that they can make it.
Last week I was in Maranda though, just trying to talk them out of the strike trends.
theDoctor: That’s quite good of you. Anything else you do?
Dr. Vitalis: I’m into business and entrepreneurship, I have opened quit a number of businesses around town and back home in Bondo, and others are still underway being developed. I have also been in leadership at some points.
theDoctor: Really! How was that?
Dr. Vitalis: well I was among the team that started the KMPDU as the vice chairperson before we handed over to the Dr. Oluga lead team.
theDoctor: Oooh! That is awesome. So is politics an option for you?
Dr. Vitalis: No not really, there was a time I considered it but no, I think I would do better in entrepreneurship and business.
theDoctor: I see. Hobbies?
Dr. Vitalis: (laughing) do I have any hobbies really? You know, sometimes we are so busy for such things but let me see (thinking) mmmmh I guess I like to travel, I travel a lot. There’s no week I that goes without me at least being away. I also like spending time with my family. That’s always very fulfilling.
theDoctor: Tell me about them.
Dr. Vitalis: well I have two sons 4 and 2 and I’m married. I met my wife right here in Kisumu, she’s an event organizer and also into pageantry.
Dr. Vitalis: Thank you, and congratulations to you too for what you are doing. I think it’s a brilliant idea and very helpful to the medical family. We should at least know about each other. Keep it up
theDoctor: I’m humbled.
theDoctor had a great time hanging out with Dr. Vitalis the Dentist. His words of encouragement and pieces of advice were to say the least very helpful to me. Though young, he portrays a fatherly figure, tough but easy going. His employees at Royal Dental Clinic Kisumu described him as a straight forward man who respects everybody regardless of their rank and position.
theDoctor wishes Dr. Vitalis the best of luck and prosperity in all his endeavors even as he attends to our teeth.
By Nyadimu Festo