Dr James Mageria, one of the founder members of the Karen Hospital, is dead. He succumbed to cancer on Friday morning.
Until his death, he was the board chairman of the Karen Hospital.
The Hospital co-founders, directors and current proprietors, Dr Daniel and Betty Gikonyo mourned Dr Mageria as a visionary leader who was committed to developing quality healthcare in Kenya.
“I would say he was both a personal friend of ours as well as a visionary with us because the three of us took up the vision of developing quality medical services for Kenyans. We discussed it many years ago and we were able to carry it through and execute it by the Grace of God. It required very hard work and commitment,” said Dr Betty Gikonyo.
She described the deceased as a principled and resourceful man whose services will be missed.
“He was a man who kept time. He was very particular about time, routine and policies and he led our board very ably for 14 years,” she said.
“Here at Karen Hospital, we had a person who was a giant in terms of experience, in terms of ability to communicate with stakeholders as well as to teach and mentor and he has left a big gap that we shall find difficult to fill.”
On his part, Dr Dan Gikonyo eulogised Dr Mageria as a down-to-earth man full of humility and honesty.
“He worked very hard and those who were there will remember him as being one of the people who worked but did not want any glory for it. All he wanted to do was to finish the job that he did,” said Dr Dan Gikonyo.
“He is somebody who I tried to emulate and follow in his footsteps. If nothing else, in the footsteps of working honestly, diligently and without any hint of corruption. In summary, if we had three of four people like him in the country, this country would get very far.”
Dr Mageria studied in Alliance Boys in the 1960s.
After school, he joined the police service where he rose to the position of Commandant in charge of Kiganjo Police Training College in 1966.
He later left Kiganjo after being deployed to run the traffic department of Nairobi City.
He was also the CEO of Express Kenya in the early 80s.
In the 80s, he also worked in the United States with a group called Prison Fellowship International where he was involved with rehabilitating prisoners in the US and worldwide.
He later joined World Vision and became the vice president of World Vision in Africa before co-founding the Karen Hospital.