Dr John Odero Ong’ech has been appointed by Safaricom as the company’s new Health Adviser. Ong’ech will also sit on Safaricom’s medical board.
Dr Ong’ech is an accomplished Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. The 54 year-old is the CEO at Nairobi Reproductive Health Services and has previously served as Deputy Director, Surgical Services at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
Ong’ech famously turned down an offer to take over as Acting CEO of KNH in 2018, highlighting the challenges that come with facing entrenched cartels in the region’s largest teaching and referral hospital.
In his new role, Ong’ech will be responsible for steering Safaricom’s health, safety and wellbeing experience. He takes over from Dr Paul Wangui who had been in charge since 2016.
“He will work in conjunction with the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team in providing support to our HSW strategies, compliance with occupational health and safety regulation, support staff with health concerns and act as a subject matter expert on all issues relating to the health and wellbeing of staff,” a memo from the company read in part.
Ong’ech is the holder of a Master of Medicine in Obstetrics/Gynecology from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He has another Masters in Public health (International health) from Tulane University, New Orleans.
He has taken on several consultancy roles across the continent and is also an author of research papers and books. Ong’ech is also a respected fertility doctor based in Nairobi known for helping women conceive.
“Indeed (I believe that God works through me). I have many women who come here unable to conceive but end up getting babies. I feel that it’s a calling and God has given me some special gift in my hands.”
“To prove that point, not that I judge women, but I won’t terminate a pregnancy. I’m pro-life but not in a dogmatic way. I mean, a woman would make their choices, but I would not use the same gifted hands to take away a life. My hands aren’t for destruction. That’s a decision I made a long time ago,” he told Business Daily in a February 2021 interview.