WiRED Salutes George Orlale

College Graduate and WiRED IT Expert


In 2003 a 22-year-old George Orlale started work as a security guard at Kisumu Urban Apostolate Programmes (KUAP) Pandipieri Center in Kisumu, Kenya. Today he is a proud college graduate on the road to his master’s degree in data management. Mr. Orlale works as an information technology (IT) expert at Pandipieri, where WiRED operates a Health Learning Center.


George Orlale

Mr. Orlale is part of the WiRED team that has developed an electronic medical record (EMR) system for clinic operations at Pandipieri. He is working with WiRED volunteer Brian Columbe, in the U.S., who handcrafted the comprehensive database and with WiRED board member Sameer Verma, Ph.D., a professor at San Francisco State University, who provided the software tools to back up and preserve the important medical data.


WiRED Director, Gary Selnow, Ph.D., said, “It’s rewarding to observe our technology experts in the U.S. and in Kenya working together to set up an EMR system at Pandipieri. This is a remarkable team — especially given that the guys have been working 10,000 miles apart. George’s role was central from the start. He is not only competent but he’s terrific to work with.”


Dr. Selnow went on to say: “George is smart, dedicated to the EMR project, and has a great sense of humor! He continues to be central in the EMR operation at Pandipieri. Brian, Sameer and I congratulate George for this latest academic accomplishment as a college graduate.”


Mr. Orlale said, “Malcolm X once stated that education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. Therefore, I see myself having a brighter future full of blessings. Thanks to KUAP Pandipieri for having faith in me and in my work and for supporting my education at Great Lakes University, and thanks to WiRED for trusting me and believing in whatever I do.”



In His Own Words


I started working in Pandipieri in the year 2003 as a watchman [security guard]. By this time I had a secondary school education, but couldn’t pursue my studies because of our family’s economic situation. My mama had lost her job as a nurse, and she was doing a manual job to support the education of my brother and my sister. This is what forced me to work as a watchman.


George Orlale

As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Therefore, when I was working as a watchman, I had to follow my passion to learn IT. I used part of my little salary to enroll in one of the computer schools in town. I could not manage to pay for a full course on IT — my dream career. I did not finish the whole office package, but I studied the rest of the courses on my own.


In May 2006 I moved from watchman to an IT position, because the center needed someone with computer knowledge. This was a big shift, a big turning point in my life — from being a watchman to working in an administration office. My first assignment was to come up with graphs in Excel showing disease trends seen at the outpatient clinic. The KUAP program director, Sr. Bernadette Nealon, was so happy with my work that she offered me full employment in the health program.


With support from KUAP Pandipieri, I registered for additional IT training where I earned my diploma in 2013, then enrolled in the Great Lakes University of Kisumu in 2016. I graduated this year on August 23 with a B.S. in IT.


During the period I was studying for my bachelor’s degree I gained a lot of technical know-how from Mike Oloo, who has been doing maintenance on the WiRED Health Center computers at KUAP Pandipieri. My breakthrough came when we began designing and building the EMR system for the outpatient clinic. This opened my eyes to programming, and I must sincerely thank Brian, Sameer and Gary for putting me on this. Through their guidance, I managed to install the EMR and server successfully; the program is now operational. I also conducted clinic staff training on the use of the new EMR.


Today I am the head of the IT and Data Department at KUAP Pandipieri. As to my personal life, I have a wife and three children (two girls and one boy), and I like reading and going to the gym.


Thanks KUAP Pandipieri. Thanks WiRED International.


— George Orlale







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