Olanya Denish is a 27-year old licensed clinical officer from the village of Kalongo in the Agago District of northern Uganda. Denish graduated in 2012 as a clinician with a diploma in clinical medicine and public health from the Gulu School of Clinical Medicine.
After graduating, Denish helped co-found and run the Northern Uganda Medical Mission Clinic in Pader, northern Uganda. This venture was undertaken in an attempt to apply his recently acquired skills in clinical medicine to the task of helping to rebuild his local community in northern Uganda. Denish continues to serve on the board of directors for the NUMEM clinic while beginning his studies to become a licensed physician in Uganda.
Denish’s motivation for founding NUMEM and now returning to complete his medical studies stem from personal tragedy in his life. As an eight-year old boy, Denish watched as his father pushed his then pregnant mother out of their rural village on the family’s bicycle as she yelled in pain. It was the last time Denish saw his mother, as she died of a pregnancy related complication before his father could get her to the nearest medical facility. As a result of this tragic event, Denish is extremely passionate about reducing the high child and maternal mortality rates in Uganda, and hopes to one day specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, and then return to become the Pader district’s first licensed OB-GYN physician.
Denish’s commitment to child and women’s health was only deepened when, as a teenager he endured another heartbreaking loss, as his aunt, who raised Denish after his mother’s death, passed away from breast cancer.
Denish is currently attending Kampala International University and is enrolled in their medical degree program.