HERstory: Meet Ruth, An Amref “Flying Doctor”

Dr. Ruth travels with Amref Health Africa to remote communities to provide essential health services:

Dr. Ruth at a health facility. (Photo: Amref Health Africa/Gregg Telussa).

As a young girl I couldn’t imagine I would become a doctor. I’m from a remote area in Kenya and it wasn’t obvious that I would get the opportunity to study.

But with the support of my family I did, and now I’m the first and only doctor from the village I grew up in. Nowadays I travel to local hospitals which are difficult to reach. In Kenya there’s only one doctor for over 5,000 people.

When I’m on the road and I see kids walking to school on bare feet, it reminds me of my own youth. I grew up without electricity and sometimes even no food. For me it is such a privilege to be a part of the Amref Health Africa team. As a specialized doctor I give medical support to hospitals that are in need, especially in these remote areas. At the same time, we educate the local medical staff.

Dr. Ruth comforts a patient. (Photo: Amref Health Africa/Gregg Telussa).

I love what I do every day, even when it’s very challenging. During the visits we try to see everyone, because we know it took them much effort to get here. Sometimes they walk for hours.

I’m most proud of the person I’ve become and how I’m able to help people from all these different communities. It’s beautiful that I can make a change in a person’s life, young or old. Even when we don’t speak the same language, I feel the appreciation in the sparkle in their eyes.

But above all I hope I can be a role model to the girls and the boys who grow up in remote areas like I did. That they know dreams can come true, even when it’s a bumpy ride. That you CAN become a doctor, no matter where you come from…dare to dream.

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