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Doctor’s Profile: Dr Maina Ngoigo

Journeying with women especially during their pregnancy journeys until they meet their new baby gifts remains one of the most miraculous adventures of medicine. I live for such moments.

Name: Dr Moses Maina Ngoigo
Occupation: Medical Doctor
Speciality: Pursuing a Masters Degree in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Place of work: Kenyatta National Hospital

Esther: Thank you so much Dr Maina for making time amidst your busy schedule to meet us and allow us to know you better. We must appreciate the much devotion you give your patients and the efforts you pull in ensuring your patients are up on their feet with celebration of holding their babies in their arms. Well done!

Who is Dr Maina?

Dr Maina: I am Moses Maina, a medical doctor practicing and pursuing a masters degree in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Nairobi. I am a father of two beautiful daughters, a lover of life
and generally an amiable person. I’m keen on preventive medicine and wellness.

Esther: Thank you so much for the brief introduction. Moving on, where did your motivation for pursuing medicine and especially Obs/Gyn come from?

Dr Maina: My motivation to practice obstetrics and gynaecology is driven by desire to practice medicine
that is laced with joy, more often than not. Journeying with women especially during their entire
pregnancy period until they meet their new baby gifts remains one of the most miraculous
adventures of medicine. I live for such moments. Importantly, Obs and Gyn is the most
unique intersect between the practice of medicine and the practice of surgery. With good
health frameworks, it offers the opportunity to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, a key
hindrance to achievement of the millennium goals and the SDGs, especially SDG 3.

Esther: That’s quite some motivation there. And from the sound of it, it is satisfying to you as well.

Testing my motivation

Dr Maina: I have tested my motivation for this pursuit over the years. Having worked since I qualified as
a medical doctor in 2016, it is the singular most career path that intertwines perfectly with my
personality, an A personality, a sanguine and an extrovert.

Esther: If you were not accepted at medical school, would you have an alternative career plan and still pursue your motivation?

Dr Maina: If I didn’t land in Medicine, I’d be a little stuck for a career choice. Most likely I would have
ended up as DJ, a comedian or a Professional MC. I thrive where happiness exists.

Esther: Haha! Amazing, I can even tell that with the little time that we’ve already spent with you, that indeed you thrive where happiness exists!

Tell us more about your Medical Education.

Dr Maina: My Obs/Gyn education is well on course, currently in my third year of study. I hope to
delve into the policy space to add a global perspective to my experience in Reproductive

Esther: Which other field would you want to pursue and why?

Dr Maina: I would love to pursue gender and development, then later policy and governance. I
would want to understand better how gender intersects with and influences reproductive health and how this forms a cog for gender-sensitive and equitable development. This will inform my ultimate goal to be a policy developer to support governance in healthcare. Health for all is not enough; Equitable and gender responsive healthcare is what we aspire for.

Allow us to know you more, Dr. Maina

Esther: How have you been able to handle work-related stress and time management considering that you’re balancing between family/individual and work?

Dr Maina: I prioritize my family always. They are the wind beneath my wings and the power behind my
sails. I keep a strict diary to help me balance work and other activities. Additionally, going to the
gym early in the morning shapes my day; it reinforces my discipline. I love hanging out with my
friends. I watch football too.

Esther: Family come first, amazing. So, what do you do for fun?

Dr. Maina: I watch football for fun, I love exploring new places. I enjoy the gym and swimming.

Esther: I bet you have a very supportive family system. What role has your family played to influence your decision in pursuing Medicine?

Dr. Maina: My family has been key in my pursuit of medicine. My mum consults me a lot about her own
health, and this keeps me focused and updated because I would never want to let her down,
health-wise. My late grandfather also made me his personal doctor so I somehow had to keep up
with new knowledge especially on management of hypertension, diabetes and arthritis which he
suffered from. Lastly, my wife, a doctor herself, looks up to me many times so I have to keep
pursuing excellence to be a good torch bearer so to say.

Esther: Aww, that’s a lovely family: What have you achieved in your career course?

Dr. Maina: I have achieved quite a number of things in this career course; I have interacted with hundreds of patients from different backgrounds which obviously helps me understand different cultures better. I have also interacted with great great networks and been in some high places that I would otherwise not have accessed. Obviously, a sense of self-worth and purpose. Work defines me to a large extent. It has also made me earn a living to support my family.

Esther: What are the experiences working with sick people?

Dr. Maina: The experiences working with sick people helps a lot in introspection, realising that we are all
human, all we need is Love. It awakens the humane neurones to offer empathy, realising that practicing medicine is akin to peddling hope; you offer light amidst darkness, hope amidst despair and happiness in times of sadness. Sometimes, it also helps you realize that we are not omnipotent, we have some limitations and we are actually truly mortals, mere mortals.

Tell us more about your speciality

Esther: What excites you about Obs/Gyn in general?

Dr. Maina: Obs/Gyn is an exciting field. Women are our key clients, women are expressive hence you are
able to connect and understand them better. Many times, the culmination is a joyous moment,
or should I call it a ‘happy ending’, especially in obstetrics after a pregnant woman delivers
successfully after a 9 month long journey; mother happy, baby happy, husband happy, society
happy and yes, as you guessed it: DOCTOR happy!

Esther: Do you keep yourself updated with current trends?

Dr. Maina: I keep myself updated always. You cannot practice medicine without continuous
improvement. Trainings, continuous medical education, adoption of technology, research and
mentorship helps me to be keep up with emerging trends and new evidence in medicine.

Esther: I couldn’t agree more! What do you see as challenges in the health sector in Kenya today?

Dr. Maina: The key challenge facing healthcare in Kenya is two pronged:

  1. Our health seeking patterns as a society are reactive rather than proactive. The disadvantage here is that we get patients with advanced disease states which renders it not only difficult to fully treat but also astronomically expensive to afford as quality a care as the constitution envisions.
  2. The other challenge is Healthcare funding. We are still miles from achieving the Abuja declaration of 2001 for a 15% budgetary allocation for health by African Governments. This renders quality healthcare inaccessible and is still a mirage to a majority of citizens, affecting human resource, healthcare cover and financing, infrastructural inadequacies and perennial stock-outs of hospital consumable

Esther: How do you think these challenges should be addressed?

These challenges should be addressed by concerted efforts by government, community leaders and healthcare champions to not only optimize. Healthcare financing but to also sensitize the Citizens on better healthcare seeking mannerisms. Health should be focused at the community level not only facility level.

Let’s talk future of healthcare in Kenya and East Africa

Esther: What is the vision of healthcare in Kenya?

Dr. Maina: The future of healthcare in Kenya is in preventive medicine at the community level. This averts
loss of productive years in disease, makes healthcare affordable and increases chances of a positive outcome. Increasing budgetary allocation for community sensitization as well as investing in technology to keep up with modern trends of health will give us a leap.

Esther: What is the vision of healthcare in East Africa?

Dr. Maina: The future of Healthcare in East Africa lies in broadened integration of the East African
administrative regions to ensure common sharing of knowledge and expertise without diplomatic
bottlenecks. More concerted and joint funding into research by member states will help leverage
on numbers, technology and expertise because we are the same people with likely same
determinants of health.

Esther: Thank you so much for your time Dr. Maina.

Written by Esther Mugo.

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I had a neighbour who was a doctor. We grew into good friends and every time we would meet, he would proudly share the experiences he had while practising medicine. Time by time, I grew fond of his devotion and passion towards his career. On realising how passionate and interested I had become, he slowly nurtured me and would invite me to his private clinic for simple medical procedures before I joined a medical school.