Dr Andrew Nyaoncha, 35


Consolata Mathari Mission Hospital

Andrew is one of the two neurosurgeons that thousands of patients in central and northern Kenya rely on to save their lives when they suffer from brain anomalies.

Since September last year, he has performed over 300 brain procedures from removal of tumours, aneurysm surgery, spinal fusions, correcting congenital malfunctions in children, to cervical  pine surgeries to treat infections.

“Most of my high comes from patients, when I do a surgery and the patient lives,” he says.

Andrew started his career as a general surgeon but went back to university to study neurosurgery, partly because he would perform more brain procedures than he would any other form of surgery. His mentors, Dr Mahamood Qureshi and David Oluoch-Olunya, also always nudged him to become a neurosurgeon.

In 2016, he went to the Royal College of Surgeons in the UK and returned Kenya last year. Today, he sees patients from as far as Samburu, regions that have no access to brain experts.

He believes in service to humanity, saying that reward is not always money.

“If you are so good at what you do, you won’t have to look for money, money will look for you,” he says. “ When you open up someone’s brains, and see the beautiful creation and power therein, you realise you need to have faith and submit to a higher power.”

His daily motivation comes from his favourite movie “The 3 Idiots’’ which says: “Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down!”

His high moment in training was when he emerged top candidate in the region in a neurosurgery examination in Kigali, Rwanda last year.

–Irene Mugo