Prof Nelson Awori, The First African, To Perform A Kidney Transplant

Prof Nelson Awori hails from a family of firsts. A family that crossed the border to give Museveni a ran for his money. It also produced one of the most celebrated former vice president of Kenya.  From influential politicians, Olympians, educators, engineers, doctors, to boardroom warriors, the Awori name is synonymous to eliteness.

The late Prof Nelson was the son of Canon Jeremiah Awori, an Anglican clergyman who planted over 100 churches in the Western region. Nelson and his 16 siblings have dominated the Ugandan and Kenyan elite scene for close to a century [1].

To date, the Awori’s influence is still felt and is not about to fade away any time soon. Some of his siblings include:

  • The cool, calm, and collected ‘Uncle’ Moody Awori; a former vice president for the Republic of Kenya.
  • Aggrey Awori an economics Havard graduate, and a successful Olympian. He is also a politician who was daring enough to pit against Yoweri Museveni in 2001 for the presidential race.
  • The late Wycliffe Works Wasia (WWW): A fiery and articulate politician, a pioneering trade unionist, and an editor.
  • The late Hannington Awori: a corporate warrior.
  • Dr Mary Okello; the founder of Makini Schools and is Kenya’s first female bank manager.
  • His other siblings are MIT graduate engineers, corporate directors, scientists, educators and successful entrepreneurs.

Prof Nelson Awori’s Medical Excellence!

True to his family roots of excellence, the late Prof Nelson Awori is a widely celebrated medical doctor, educator and a researcher.

He was the first African doctor to perform a kidney transplant in 1978. He led a team of doctors that carried out the surgery on a young Turkana girl named Kokoin at Kenyatta National Hospital [2].

Professor Nelson also pioneered the Department of Urology at the University of Nairobi. Urology is a branch of medicine that focuses on medical and surgical treatment of male and female urinary-tract system, and the male reproductive organs [3].

A fatal car crash claimed his life in 1986. His legacy, however, lives on with an ultra-modern complex in Upper Hill Nairobi named after him.

At Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral, and Research Hospital (KUTRRH), we recognise Prof Nelson Awori as a medical hero. This is mainly because he pioneered the fight against the kidney disease which we have pledged to carry on by having 20 renal dialysis units in our hospital.

Sources
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moody_Awori
2. https://surgery.uonbi.ac.ke/thematic-units/urology
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urology

ICT officer, content development and digital media at Kenyatta University Teaching Referral & Research Hospital.

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