By Prudence Minayo
Dr. Robert Pukose is the Member of Parliament for Endebess Constituency. His story reads like a book. He went from an underprivileged young boy tending livestock with no hope for the future to an accomplished doctor and politician.
Here is the story of the legislator who conducts free surgeries to patients as told by WoK.
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Background and Education
The MP was brought up in Endebess. His first encounter with death was when his father was killed by thugs. Because of financial difficulties, the bright boy had to drop out of school and tend livestock in his village. He was burning with ambitions of a brighter future but all seemed lost. He often wondered if there was more to life than shepherding livestock.
His mother got money by selling illicit brew to locals. The money was barely enough to sustain all her ten children. Being the eldest, he felt the need to help his mother provide for the family.
Fortunes changed one day when an uncle who worked at the army came to visit. He was not happy that a bright boy was missing school to take care of animals. He ensured that Pukose got back to school. The determined Pukose worked hard, aced his exams and joined St. Joseph’s School through a Starehe Boys full scholarship.
Putting a lot of effort into his studies, he was later admitted to the University of Nairobi to pursue Medicine. Rather than take the course within six years as expected, he took nearly 10 years due to factors he had no control over. Thereafter, he enrolled for a Masters degree in Medicine at the same university.
Career and politics
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After practicing medicine in Eldama Ravine and Kabarnet Hospital in Baringo, the 50-year-old joined politics.
In 2013, Dr. Robert Pukose vied for the Endebess Constituency parliamentary seat under the URP party and won. He successfully defended his seat in 2017 under the Jubilee party.
While he loves medicine, he appreciated that politics would enable to impact the lives of locals more by offering bursaries.
He also offers free surgeries to people from his constituency. He began doing this way before joining politics. He especially works with patients suffering from fistulas.
Dr. Robert Pukose said many women who have gone through difficult births or FGM face this problem. The surgeon brings the colon outside the body and after the patient is healed, the colon is taken back inside the body. When patients are stranded, he would ferry them to Baringo in his car where the procedure was done.
He also performs free surgeries at Endebess District Hospital. The MP decided to keep his license even after joining politics.
Despite his success today, he has faced and lived through numerous challenges.
While carrying a sack of maize at Kwanza market at the age of 6, he was hit by a vehicle while crossing the road. Thankfully, he made it through the ordeal albeit having lost his left earlobe. Today, he wears a prosthetic.
He faced yet another tragedy when he lost his eldest child. He described this loss to The Standard as the saddest day of his life.
“The saddest moment of my life was in 2007 when I lost my daughter. The maid was giving her porridge and she choked to death. Her name was Audrey. She was 18 months old.”
The doctor is married to Aska Cheruto. The two got married in 2005 at a time when he had nothing. Her parents were not happy that their daughter was marrying a nobody.
They are blessed with two boys, Joe and Jose. He loves his children very much and wants them to remember him for being a good father and husband to their mother.
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