She navigates the world with the excitement and determination of a child. A resolve fostered in a small village in Gem, Siaya County, where Professor Emily Rogena had an early exposure to education from watching her father, Jason Ojwang’, host pupils from poor and distant backgrounds.
Today, Prof Rogena makes it happen for young avid learners at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She is a Professor of Human Pathology and Head, Thematic Unit, Anatomic Pathology, Department of Human pathology, School of Medicine. She also works as a private forensic pathologist handling death inquests and has also participated in various disasters investigations.
She holds on a PHD Biotechnology from the University of Siena Ital, a Master of Forensic Medicine (MFM): University of Dundee, UK, a Master of Medicine in Human Pathology (MMed Pathology) from the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB).
In November 2004, she was awarded the Japanese Amnesty International Award. A one-month speaking tour of 11 Japanese Cities presenting a paper on “Rape of Kenyan women in Laikipia and Samburu Districts of Kenya by UK Military personnel, a comparison with the Okinawa rapes of Japanese women by UK military personnel.”
She traces her passion for giving back to society to her parents, who at an early age sent her on an educational vacation in Nakuru at her aunty’s and only returned to the village during the school holidays to rejoin the many pupils under her father’s mentorship.
Professor Emily Rogena
In recent times, she was the family pathologist during the probe of the death of Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo, Senator Otieno Kajwang’ and CORD leader Raila Odinga’s eldest son Fidel Castro. Yet, this perpetual engagement involving both prominent and ordinary Kenyans has not only borne a woman tough and intricate in her job but one with a humble spirit too.
Her early years at Mount St. Mary’s Girls Primary School prepared her for multi-cultural engagements, which are pretty standard today in her practice as a lecturer, forensic pathologist, volunteer, wife and mother. Years later, a heart for science and an understanding of how the human body works revealed precise surgical operations during her training as a medical doctor at the University of Nairobi in 1984, nurturing her passion in a rare medical field. Her finger dexterity saw her through the subsequent pieces of training in human and forensic pathology. She is optimistic that determination and dedication to a particular field is the recipe for success for the modern woman.
As a forensic pathologist, she is tasked with performing postmortems, gathering evidence on a person’s cause of death by submitting samples of body tissues and fluids for laboratory examination and preparing detailed reports, signing death certificates and giving testimony at inquests and courts.
She was part of a national team tasked with setting up an efficient death investigation system, which are discussions in the National Coroner Service Act 2017. She believes we should have state-of-the-art forensic services, which will speed up investigations and lead to prosecution, thus delivering justice to persons and families afflicted.