There is a popular saying, “Your background should not put your back on the ground”. This is the summary of the story of Kenyan born Titus Kipruto who now works as an expatriate in Spain. Pursuing a career in medicine has always been his dream. However, he failed to make the cut off for medicine. This did not deter him from touching lives through the provision of healthcare solutions.
The 27-year-old Moi University graduate of Informatics is now a software developer. He is also a trainer at Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). Inasmuch as his success story now reverberates, it was not all rosy along the way. Talking about his background and motivation, Titus Kipruto said,
“I grew up in a remote village in Keiyo in Elgeyo Marakwet County. I wanted to become a doctor so that I could save my community from the agony of walking for long distances in search of healthcare services. My uncle was a doctor, which further fuelled my desire. I wanted to emulate him. In my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, I fell slightly short of the cut-off points needed to pursue a degree in medicine. I was devastated.”
A different path to the same goal
There is another saying that goes thus, “There are a thousand ways to catch a mouse”. However, many times, we focus on one way and neglect the other possible paths to our goal. Titus Kipruto did not dwell on his inability to study medicine. Rather, his fascination for computers led him to enroll in Information Technology at Moi University. However, he later switched to the study of Informatics. Consequently, he channeled his skills into developing digital health solutions and medical apps. Kipruto said,
“My most memorable app was Diabetes Pro, a tracking tool custom made for diabetes patients. I developed this app as part of my course project. It was a support tool to remind diabetes patients when to take their pills.”
As a student, Titus Kipruto was able to design Health Information Management Systems (HIMS) for different health facilities in Kenya. After his graduation in 2015, he worked for a short time with local health organizations. When MSF advertised for a job opening in his area of expertise, he decided to give it a shot. MSF is an independent international medical humanitarian organization. Their focus is delivering emergency aid to people in war-torn areas. Titus Kipruto said,
“For many years, I had imagined that job opportunities within international organizations were preserved for certain individuals. As a humble boy from a family of peasants, I had only my hard work and determination to count on.”
Titus Kipruto’s journey around the world
Titus Kipruto got the job. After several months of training in Kenya, he was posted to Ethiopia, Nigeria, and then South Sudan. Consequently, he spent two years in South Sudan. However, towards the last year, he was posted to Barcelona, Spain. Inasmuch as Kipruto’s work is exciting, it is also challenging. He explains,
“As an e-Learning specialist, my job is to develop personalized e-Learning and health innovation tools for MSF staff in Africa, Asia, South America and other parts of the world. I also test the functionality and track the performance of the different apps and software that we use in our work. Besides software development, I am involved in providing workers with training to ensure that the emergency medical aid we deliver to different parts of the world is of high standards.”
Titus Kipruto still hopes to one day pursue his dream of becoming a medical doctor. However, he is happy to impact lives and give back to his community. He also hopes to inspire school children and youths in Kenya to believe they can be whatever they want irrespective of the obstacles on their way. His advice is,
“You can work for any organization in any part of the world as long as you have good work ethics and the right attitude. The prestigious jobs out there are open to whoever is most qualified for them, irrespective of nationality, gender or background.”
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