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Tenure Comes to an end after 13 years at IRDO

After serving as the Programs Manager (PM) and Deputy Director for Impact, Research and Development Organisation (IRDO), Dr Spala Ohaga bids farewell with his head high as he joins another NGO, North Star Alliance-East Africa.

As the PM of the IRDO, a national NGO with its headquarters in Kisumu, Ohaga dedicated his 13 years of service to oversee the organization’s programs across the 9-implementing counties including Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira,Vihiga, Busia, Nandi and Homabay.

Speaking during the farewell party organised in his honor alongside three other colleagues in Kisumu over the weekend, Ohaga said IRDO has been implementing prevention programs and conducting research around 3 main areas: HIV, TB and Malaria disease prevention and comprehensive health care.

Under his tenure, Dr. Ohaga is proud to have been part of the team that rolled out the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) with over 600,000 circumcised since 2008.

“We are the leading organisation who has conducted the highest number of circumcisions in less than 15 years. With the help of our partners, we recognize the importance of this milestone in HIV prevention especially among teenagers and youths,” Ohaga noted.

He also facilitated the Health Education Program while partnering with National and County Government health departments to train HIV Testing Services (HTS) counselors spread across the counties.

“Through this program, we provided testing and comprehensive care to over 2 million people, constructed 9 Drop-in Centres and made HIV care and treatment available to 15,000 sex workers across the counties,” he explained.

To help in the fight against HIV, the outgoing programs manager said he implemented ‘The Dreams’ program in Siaya aimed at highlighting programs and projects in prevention of HIV among adolescents between ages 9-24.

“We piloted this program in Siaya where at that time, there was a spike in the cases recorded. About 40,000 girls received comprehensive packages through the support of 350 mentors,” Ohaga added.

He revealed that IRDO together with its partners has been able to train and support 1100 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to help in TB prevention, screening and referrals for further diagnosis and treatment.

The CHVs have been trained to detect TB symptoms, conduct testing using rapid test kits and do referrals for diagnosis for subsequent medical action. Through this, 2000 referrals are done yearly.

Dr. Ohaga commended his colleagues for enabling his work and ensuring that they implemented programs run successfully across the piloting 9 counties.

Asked to state which organization he was set to join, Ohaga stated that he embraces change and therefore would be moving to North Star Alliance East Africa, which provides quality healthcare through mobile clinics and programs across the East African Region.

“I’m moving to a new environment in order to give my colleagues a chance to also shine in the betterment of the organisation’s missions and visions. My new job also encompasses health as a main agenda and I hope to continue working and partnering with IRDO,” he stated.

During his speech at the farewell party, IRDO Director Dr Kawango Ogot applauded Dr Ohaga for the tremendous work done and the big legacy he leaves behind.

He noted that Dr. Ohaga has made a huge impact on the organisation and wished him well in his new endeavour with the East Africa Alliance.

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