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How gov't pathologist Johansen Oduor handles families that dispute his autopsy findings

Oduor revealed that the brutality and inhumanity of some cases left him shaken, reflecting on the darker aspects of human nature.

Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor

Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor has found himself at the centre of public attention due to his role in conducting autopsies, especially in high-profile or controversial cases.

Born and raised in Eastlands Nairobi, Oduor initially faced resistance from his father, who wanted him to become a teacher.

However, driven by the medical challenges in his community, he pursued a career in medicine instead.

Reflecting on his journey with NTV's Fridah Mwaka, Oduor admitted that he hadn't planned to specialize in post-mortem examinations initially.


The field was feared by many, but fate led him to City Mortuary in Nairobi, where he began his work in pathology.

His first day was daunting, and he contemplated not returning, but he felt a sense of duty to serve his community, particularly those from the slums where he grew up.

Oduor's appointment as Chief Government Pathologist came unexpectedly and brought its own set of challenges.


Pathology is fraught with controversies, and Oduor was initially unsure if he was up to the task.

His dedication to transparency extends to involving relatives in the autopsy process, allowing them to select a witness to ensure trust and accountability.

"Autopsies attract a lot of interest. Everyone has their own opinions, and sometimes there's criticism," he explained.

"That's why I always advocate for openness. We invite other doctors and even allow relatives to select a representative to witness the process, so they can have faith in the results," he added.


Recalling some of his most challenging cases, such as the Rita Waeni murder and the Shakahola deaths, Oduor admitted to being deeply affected.

The brutality and inhumanity of some cases left him shaken, reflecting on the darker aspects of human nature.

Despite the emotional toll of his work, Oduor remains humble and committed to his profession.

He acknowledges the universal fear of death and the inevitability of contemplating one's mortality. Yet, he finds solace in his accomplishments and remains focused on the task at hand.


"I have come a long way, and I am proud of what I have achieved," he said.

Despite the challenges, Oduor remains resolute and proud of his journey. His mantra? Simply, 'Just be humble.'


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