Towett Ng’etich: ‘Redefining access to healthcare using technology.’

Towett Ng’etich who has ticketed himself with an undying zeal for entrepreneurship schooled in Kericho Primary School and later proceeded to the Nairobi School, famously known as ‘Patch’ where he cleared high school in 2009. Currently, he is a fourth year student in Moi University in Eldoret. He says that given the fact that his mother is a public servant, he grew up between Nairobi, Nakuru, Kericho, Vihiga and Kakamega in Kenya.

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”Seeing my mother provide for her two sons was always a motivation. She scripted our success stories without her knowledge. She taught us the basics of life and discipline.  There’s a tree back at home that never grew because she’d always use its small branches to discipline us,” he quips. ”Respect in her house was paramount; the use of courteous words: thank you, please – all that. Virtues of religion that moulded us to be better men. These have been our utmost motivation to date,” Towett reflects. 

Towett describes his journey into social entrepreneurship as a long one, forget the fact that he didn’t know what it was when he began. He just wanted to see change in his society and remain sustainable in creating a ripple effect. He acknowledges that his brother, Taita Ng’etich who is an entrepreneur groomed him towards making the right business decision. He helped him focus on the problem of counterfeit drugs in Kenya. With a couple of trainings and conferences such as Social Entrepreneurship forum accelerator and Global Education in Amman, Jordan, he was fully prepared to shape his business solution to solving a social problem in Kenya.

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”Uthabiti is basically a network of registered and certified pharmacies and Doctors who have an online presence and are willing to engage their products and services through an E -commerce platform.You order your product online, and we deliver.  I always wondered every time I walked into my hood, village or estate pharmacy, clinic, what would stop me from acquiring fake medicine or medical consultancy – and the answer was always, nothing. To make it worse what were the effects of fake medicine and medical consultancy? – well, many, including the loss of life.That’s why we sought to create a network of safe and certified drug stores and medical consultants,” he elaborates. 

The project has an able team with Everlyne Achieng as the Vice President, Natalie Sang  as the Lead Pharmacist and Andrew Owino as the Lead Technician. Its essence is to to create increased access to safe medicines and medical consultancy through mobile technology.

Article 43 of the constitution provides for to access healthcare and the goal of Uthabiti is to not only live up to our national laws but also targets the Sustainable Development Goals with a clear focus on SDG 3 on health living and well being. This explains why they have a project called Uthabiti Mtaani which aims to reach the patient at their nearest convenience. They are currently setting up  portable drug stores around crowded urban and rural spaces like busy petrol stations, market places and  busy highways. These stores are made of cargo containers and
basically need a space of 10 meters by 10 meters to be set up, more so offering safe and affordable medicines.

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On asking him whether he expected to win the Queens Young Leaders Award, he laughs. ”Well not really, I mean it’s not every day you receive a call from Buckingham palace telling you you’re a Queen’s Young Leader Award winner. I’m just a young guy from Moi University who seeks to defy the odds by building a safe haven of safe medicines. In most of my engagements, no one really ever took me seriously. It always looked like I was working on a very unworkable project. However, the winning of this award made me meet people I never thought I’d meet – David Beckham, Liam Payne, Mo Farah, Sir John Major (Former U.K Prime Minister), Baroness Patricia Scotland (The 1st Lady Commonwealth Sec Gen), Lord Tony Hall – BBC Director General,  Prince Harry – I mean name them. By creating this network, it has created a gate to better and more meaningful connections that not only benefit me but Uthabiti as a Company.”

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Ralph Waldo emphasizes on where a man of rare intellect would derive his wit. Undoubtedly, Towett loves to read any book that builds an edge on creating a disruptive thinking in running a business coupled with financial and economy books. He is also a fan of blogs that constantly keep him up to date.His advice to small and medium sized entrepreneurs is to seek funding from savings,friends and family,prize competitions and foundation call outs such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation of which he is a beneficiary.There are also a number of government programs like the Youth Enterprise Development Fund.

”Never give up on the fight until you get it and never let finances be an excuse as to why you have not started anything,” concludes the zealous reformer. 

2017 Queens Young Leaders Award recipients
2017 Queens Young Leaders Award recipients

 

 

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