How Kitovu Mobile saw Henry Kayiira rise from  village boy   to a medical doctor

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Dr Kayiira in his office at Rakai Community School of Nursing where he works as the academic registrar

Dr Kayiira in his office at Rakai Community School of Nursing where he works as the academic registrar.

RAKAI.When HIV/Aids  robbed him of his father in 1995, sheer hopelessness engulfed  Kayiira, his siblings and their mother, who was a second wife.

The second born in the family of five recalls how they lived in a community house at Sesa Mirembe Village in Kyotera District.

“It  was not ours. We always had fear that at any one time the owners would evict us,”  Kayiira reminisces how life was hard

But at the back of his mind, the 32- year- old says he knew that education was the only way he would change their misery to rosy.

He kept telling this to his siblings, and their mother that their  sad story can only be changed attaining education.

However, despite banking on education, a cloud of uncertainty as to whether they would complete studies had already covered their skies.

Then in Primary Three at Ndoro Primary school, challenges of accessing scholastic materials started. They could hardly afford books,pens ,uniforms and other items .

Amidst this, he recalls that Ms Gertrude Nakintu, the then community assistant from Kitovu Mobile, got touched when she saw  how their mother was toiling look after them .

“Ms Nakintu   interacted with our mother, a conversation which seemed fruitful. She wanted us enrolled on the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)  programme” he says

However, he says Kitovu Mobile had moved to stop registering OVCs for sponsorship because then, the government had plans to roll out free primary education programme.

But much as that was the case, he says: “Our vulnerability could not see us get the basic scholastic materials. Thus, we were meant  to sit home”

He says his brilliance saw  Ms Nakintu doing all the best to ensure that the organization got him scholastic materials .

Later, one of the earlier registered OVC beneficiaries dropped out, seeing Ms Nakintu replacing the former with him.

This was my turning point that saw the beginning of my academic journey to become a medical doctor.

He started getting help from Kitovu Mobile right from Primary Three up to university.

But between these academic levels, was a hustle to get to another level. He would have been nicknamed Mr Maneuvering because that is what he did to sail through to another education level.

Say, after Primary Seven, Kitovu Mobile wanted him to join  farm school. This was because the donors were shifting from sponsoring   formal education.

But given his good performance in Primary Leaving Examination (aggregate 8), Kayiira says he insisted that he joins  Senior One.

But he had no money and Kitovu Mobile could only give him scholastic materials ,but not school fees.

Premises of the nursing school which Dr Kayiira heads.

Premises of the nursing school which Dr Kayiira heads.

He chose to compute these materials into money and paid it as school fees at Kabwoko Secondary school.”My hustle was now to look for the balance”

His mother, Kayiira recalls, went direct to Kitovu Mobile  and skipping  community coordinators.
She met Dr Carla  Simmons , who gave her Shs1,million and this was great relief to Kayiira and the rest of the children.

He managed to sit for Senior Four and went to Lubiri Secondary for Advanced level.

He still computed scholastic materials into money and paid for his school fees. He got a half bursary from Kabaka Education Fund and this pushed him and managed to  complete this level, doing Physics, Chemistry, Biology  and Math (PCB/M).

With such a humble background, Kayiira managed  to pass well and get a government sponsorship at university.

But he got 17  points  were not good enough to see him secure the  much deserved government university sponsorship.

Eventually, he was left  to go for private sponsorship ,but had no idea of where to get the Shs 900,000 that was needed for his medical course at Makeree University.

“I went back to Kitovu Mobile pleading for more assistance , but all I could get was Shs 250, 000, because of budget constraints,” He recalls, a development which saw  him consider doing medicine at  Mbarara University of Science and Technology  as this was relatively cheaper.

He got his 250,000 from Kitovu Mobile  per semester and another Good Samaritan topped the balance.

During holiday , Kayiira  says he could volunteer with Kitovu Mobile; working with  the home care programme team and  gardening. “I could get upkeep from this work”

And finally, Kayiira graduates as a medical doctor!

Tracing his working experience

The university sponsored him for a course in Sweden and upon his return; he was retained as teaching assistant.

Later, worked with Rakai Hospital, Kampala University School of Nursing before joining Rakai Community School of Nursing where he works as the Academic Registrar.

Dr Kayiira owns a pharmacy at the border town of  Mutukula.

Last year, he received a Masters Degree in Public Health from Mbarara University.