Safaricom Plc #ticker:SCOM has appointed Dr John Odero Ong’ech, an obstetrician and gynaecologist as its company health advisor and a member of its medical board.
Through a memo, the company stated that Dr Ong’ech will be working in conjunction with the health, safety and wellbeing team.
"He will work in conjunction with the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team in providing support to our HSW strategies, compliance with occupational health and safety regulation, support staff with health concerns and act as a subject matter expert on all issues relating to the health and wellbeing of staff," the memo stated.
The 54-year-old medic takes over from Dr Paul Wangui who had been with the company since 2016.
Dr Ong’ech is a well-respected fertility doctor, having worked extensively in the public sector, with his last posting being at the Kenyatta National Hospital as a deputy director, surgical services, and chief medical specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology.
He has worked in dozens of missions in Africa as a consultant, authored books as well as research papers on maternal and child health.
He has two Master's degrees in public health (international health), Tulane University, New Orleans and in obstetrics and gynaecology from the University of Nairobi.
In 2018, Dr Ong’ech was picked to act as chief executive of the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) but declined the role for fear that standing up against cartels blamed for plunder of the referral facility could ruin his career and endanger his life.
He said there are cartels of ‘tenderpreneurs’ interested in controlling the institution’s budget that runs into billions of shillings.
Safaricom’s health adviser role is part of the company’s efforts to boost employee welfare.
Many companies state that employees are one of their most valuable resources and have taken steps to enable their workers to perform well.
Companies in industries characterised by rapid change and innovation are particularly reliant on ideas generated and implemented by their workforce.