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Dr. Philip Kirwa: The Inspiring Story of New MTRH CEO Who Joined the Hospital as an Intern

Dr. Philip Kirwa is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), replacing Dr. Wilson Aruasa.

Kirwa was appointed CEO of MTRH on Friday, May 17, after Aruasa’s term officially ended in December 2023.

Aruasa is credited with far-reaching reforms and development of MTRH as an International & National Referral Hospital that saw it expanded in several spheres including immense Infrastructural development, modernization of equipment and number of patients being attended to.

But who is Kirwa? Here is history as told by WoK.

Kirwa was born and raised in a remote village in Nandi County.

In an interview with Standard, he recalled his early days in primary school when he had to walk long distance to access education.

“In the 1970s and early 1980s when I was in primary school, the nearest school, Terige Primary School was six kilometres and one had to run there barefooted,” he said.

During the rainy season, Kirwa noted that they were forced to run through forests while going to school and coming back home.

He got a chance to attend a boarding school when he joined high school.

After completing his primary school education, Kirwa performed well and joined Mother of Apostles Seminary School in Eldoret.

After spending four years at the school, he proceeded to join Kabarak High School for his A levels which he completed in 1988.

Kirwa performed well earning himself a place at the University of Nairobi (UoN) where he studied Bachelor of Medicine (Surgery) and graduated in 1995.

“We were at the university for a long time because of many strikes and unrests those days, occasioned by the structural adjustments programmes of the World Bank around 1992 and 1993. There were a lot of challenges at the university,” he said.

Outgoing MTRH CEO Dr. Wilson Aruasa handing over to Dr. Philip Kirwa PHOTO/MTRH

Following his graduation, Kirwa joined MTRH which was then a district hospital, now equivalent to a county referral hospital, as an intern.

Two years later, he became a medical officer before he moved to Nakuru Provincial General Hospital, and later Valley Hospital.

In 2000, Kirwa went back to the United of Nairobi (UoN) to do a Master’s in Obstetrics and Gynaecology which he completed in 2004.

He then returned to MTRH where he has served since.

“I have also done some management training. We look forward to the day when we will not have patients sharing a bed, especially with the support of the government building a new hospital in Kiplombe,” he said.

As he assumes his new role as the CEO, Kirwa said training and retraining of specialists would be crucial under his management.

He also noted that he will be working on increasing ICU bed capacity and enabling MTRH to handle kidney and bone marrow transplants.

Additionally, Kirwa said he would continuously work with workers’ unions to ensure strikes do not occur to disrupt services.

“I value staff and will consider myself first among equals because I will not succeed without them,” he said.