Dr Matthew Kiptonui Koech, 37


Treating sick kidneys or transplanting healthy ones in ailing patients has been Dr Koech’s way of saving lives of patients in Rift Valley.

In the last two years alone, he has been part of a team that has carried out over 70 successful kidney transplants, medical procedures that previously forced Kenyans to travel abroad for treatment due lack of trained specialists.

Trained in Tygerberg Hospital/Stellenbosch University in South Africa as a nephrologist, Dr Matthew’s desire to treat kidney diseases was sparked by a paediatric nephrologist, Dr Grace Irimu.

“My work involves taking care of people with kidney problems; acute kidney injury, chronic kidney diseases and even those on dialysis. I have, in the last few years been very active in getting people with failed kidneys transplanted.

I prepare them for transplants; oversee the process and post-transplant care,” he says.

Dr Koech works as a consultant nephrologist, and a lecturer at the Department of Medicine, Moi University and Moi Teaching and Referral hospital. He also runs a kidney transplant programme
at Oak Tree Centre and St Lukeʼs hospital, Eldoret.

The journey has had its share of challenges but it has been mostly exciting.

“The two years I spent away from my family in South Africa were the toughest. I also had to take a significant pay cut and it was quite tough. On the brighter side, the lives that I have touched through my expertise makes this worthwhile,” he says.

His advice to the other men? “Have a dream, work on it daily and challenge yourself to get better every day. For the younger men, be willing to make sacrifices.”

–Lilys Njeru