Prof. HO Oburra, 2006 - 2012
Prof. HO Oburra, 2006 - 2012

Prof.H.O.Obura was born in 1951 and he started school at Maseno Primary School proceeding to Kenyatta College. The college was previously a military barrack for colonial officers before being made a secondary school and teacher trainng college before being phased out eight years later to eventually become the current Kenyatta University.  The headmaster, Mr.J.E.S.Jones, being liberal gave most of the power to the school head boy and the prefects.  

On completing secondary school he applied to study medicine at the University of Nairobi (UoN).  Thereafter he was posted to Coast General Hospital forinternship, proceeding to work in Kinango District Hospital in Kwale a year later.  He returned to the University of Nairobi in 1978 for post-graduate training in General Surgery qualifing in 1982 after which he joined the cardiothoracic unit. He however transferred to Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) Department after one year because of his interest and having noted that there was a paucity of ENT surgeons in Kenya. The ENT surgeons at the time were Prof.Bal, Dr.Rupani and Dr.Okoko. He recalls that HIV patients started being seen in Kenya for the first time around that time. He shortly after got a scholarship to study ENT in the United Kindom (UK) and trained at the Kings College Hospital in South East London near Brixton - a constituent hospital of the University of London from 1984 -1987. He was a beneficieciary of Association of Commonwealth Universities through the Kenya Ministry of Education.  In 1987 he got his Fellowship in Otorhinolaryngology in the Edinburg College.

He was employed by KNH as a consultant ENT surgeon in 1987. The country had very few ENT surgeons at the time and he joined the Department of Surgery as a senior lecturer in October 1988, promoted to associate professor in 2001, professor 2014.

He was the ENT thematic unit head from 2001-06, appointed Chairman of Department of Surgery in 2006 to 2012.

He has contributed a lot in the growth of the speciality from the time he returned from Britain, the number of specialists growning from less than 10 to about 50 in 2013. About 60 ENT specialists have been trained including those from Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Rwanda and South Africa. He has been a key player in this growth being a senior member of the ENT thematic area.

During his tenure as chairman of the department of surgery curricula were reviewed and benchmarked to curricula in other reputable world instituions. New curricula were developed for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Paediatrics and Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery. Prof.Oburra is still a very active member of the ENT thematic area and the Department of Surgery.