•During his studies in February 2017, he was jailed for leading a 100-day nationwide strike over a labour dispute between doctors and the government.
•Internists are required to have good leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, physical stamina, and communication skills.
Long-serving unionist Ouma Oluga will now return to the wards to treat adults when he finally graduates from the University of Nairobi in December.
Oluga is among three doctors set to become Kenya’s newest internists after completing masters in internal medicine, according to a list released by the university on Monday.
Internists deal with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and even cancers.
“Internal medicine represents the expertise of putting together different parts of a puzzle to come up with one solution. It is the best way I wanted to help patients,” Oluga said yesterday.
He has been studying and practising at the Kenyatta National Hospital since 2014. He took five years to complete the post-graduate studies, which often take about three to four years.
“Most of the studies are clinical work and I also had other union engagements, so it took long,” he said yesterday.
Oluga is the current secretary general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union.
During his studies in February 2017, he was jailed for leading a 100-day nationwide strike over a labour dispute between doctors and the government.
He later signed the first-ever public health sector agreement between the doctors union and the 47 devolved governments and the national government.
In February this year, he was voted the president of the Health Workers 4 All Coalition, a global lobby of medical workers formed last year during the 71st World Health Assembly.
Oluga, who is employed by the ministry of health, said he will devote at least 16 hours seeing patients, while the rest will be divided between KMPDU and his presidency at the Netherlands-based Coalition.
Internists are required to have good leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, physical stamina, and communication skills.
“Because often a patient presents with many issues that often require an understanding of how all the systems in the body work, to piece it all together by combining laboratory and imaging science with the individualized and detailed examination of adult medicine,” Oluga added.
According to the list released by the University of Nairobi, 18 other doctors will graduate with masters in obstetrics and gynaecology.