Monday, April 23, 2012

Dr. Margaret Atieno Ogola

Born June 2, 1958 the award winning author, human rights advocate, and medical doctor was a true
Kenyan heroine who was backed by faith and medical expertise to make the life of many poor and ailing
Kenyans bearable. From her writing prowess to her commitment to help the victims of HIV/AIDS, Dr.
Ogola was an angel sent to many.

She joined Thompson’s Falls High School, where she was the best O-level student and got a place
at Alliance Girls High School for her A-levels. In 1984, she attended the University of Nairobi for her
Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and in 1990; she earned her Master of Medicine in Paediatrics. In
2004, she took a Post Graduate Diploma on Planning and Management of Development Projects at the
Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

She had written three novels, a biography, and a handbook for parents. They include:

‘The River and the Source’ that has been set book for the Kenya Certificate of Secretary Education (KSCE)
it illustrates the change in life of 4 generations of Kenyan women.

‘I Swear by Apollo’, a sequel that revolves around medical ethics and issue on authentic identity.

‘Place of Destiny’ won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature (2007). The book is a semi-autobiography
narrating a story of a woman dying of cancer and identity of a street child.

‘Educating in Human Love: Parents Guiding Children on Sex’

In 1997, she co-authored with Margret Roche a biography on Cardinal Maurice Otunga, ‘Life of Grace’.

She had worked as a consultant Paeditrician at Kenyatta National Hospital up to 1994. She then became
the Medical Director of Cottolengo Hospice, a hospice for HIV and AIDS orphans.

1994 – 1998 She was Executive Director of the Family Life Counseling Association of Kenya (FLACK).

In 1995, ‘The River and the Source’ won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for the best book, African
region. The same year it won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature.

1998 – 2002 She was National Executive Secretary of the Commission for Health and Family Life for the
Catholic Bishops Conference.

In 1999 in Geneva, she received the Familias Award for Humanitarian Service of the World Congress of

In 2002, she became the Kenya coordinator of Hope for African Children Initiative (HACI), these
assembled NGOs like World Vision, Care, and Save the Children among others.

In 2004, she was part of those who set up the SOS HIV/AIDS Clinic on that served the slum dwellers of
Nairobi living with Aids.

Dr. Ogola has also been a director of Institute of Healthcare Management at the Strathmore Business
School (2009-2010). She was an advisor of family and health issues to the Kenyan Catholic bishops, and a
member of Opus Dei.

She had a long battle with cancer before dying on 22 September 2011 R.I.P.

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