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Why 3rd best 2016 KCSE candidate has taken to the streets

Shirley Ogallo, who was named the 3rd best candidate in the 2016 explains why she has taken to the streets

Shirley Ogallo
  • Shirley Ogallo career dreams on hold & decision to join protests
  • Importance of Internship for Medical Professionals
  • KMPDU Protest

Shirley Ogallo sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 2016 and emerged as one of the top three candidates nationally with an A score of 83 points.

She opted to pursue dental surgery and enrolled in university in 2017.

After completing her studies in July 2023, she officially graduated in December of the same year.

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However, to date, she has yet to be assigned an internship by the Ministry of Health, delaying the commencement of her desired career path.

Frustrated by this prolonged delay, Shirley has taken to the streets, joining protests to advocate for her and her peers' rights.

Internship is a mandatory requirement for doctors and dental practitioners, as stipulated by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Council (KMPDC).

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Graduates must undergo a supervised internship lasting approximately 13 months before they are deemed eligible to practice independently.

This hands-on training is essential for acquiring practical skills that cannot be fully obtained within the confines of a lecture hall.

The absence of an internship opportunity means Shirley's aspiration to become a dental surgeon remains on hold.

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“Ideally we should have been posted within three months of completion of studies, but it didn't happen. So most of the time, I'd be home helping mom out or I'd be in Nairobi just doing nothing. You sleep, you wake up you eat and that is just the cycle of life.

“The frustration got worse after graduating and we thought we would be posted in February (2024) so we were all excitedly waiting for February and then things just took a dive again. So that's when we started going out for demonstrations. And yeah as it is, we're still demonstrating to be posted,” she said.

The KMPDU, in response to the delayed hiring of 1,000 interns, organised a protest on February 29 to express their discontent.

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Tragically, the peaceful protest turned violent when KMPDU Secretary General Dr. Davji Bhimji Atellah sustained head injuries from a teargas canister fired by the police.

Dr. Atellah required urgent medical attention and was initially treated at a nearby hospital before being transferred to Nairobi Hospital.

In a statement, the KMPDU condemned the use of force against their members and declared a nationwide strike in solidarity.

On Monday, March 4, medical professionals reiterated their plea to Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, urging immediate action to assign interns to their respective posts.

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They emphasized that the prolonged delay is adversely affecting the delivery of services in public hospitals nationwide.

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