HomeBIOGRAPHYSylvia Vigehi Shitsama Nyamweya Kenya’s First Female to become a Neurosurgeon

Sylvia Vigehi Shitsama Nyamweya Kenya’s First Female to become a Neurosurgeon

Real Name Dr. Sylvia Shitsama Nyamweya
Age 39 (As of 2022)
Nationality Kenyan
Education Level University
Place Of birth Kakamega County, Kenya
Birth Sign Taurus
Year of Birth 1983
Religion Christianity
Spouse N/A
Children N/A
Profession/Career Doctor
Net Worth N/A

Kenya has not mor than 40 neurosurgeons in total, solving to approximately 1 neurosurgeon per 1.25 million people. The standard advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is at least one neurosurgeon for every 200,000 individuals. Hold on to that idea. Did you also know that the country brags only five female neurosurgeons? In this comprehensive report, WoK introduces the intelligent Dr. Sylvia Shitsama Nyamweya, outstanding as Kenya’s first female neurosurgeon, Brain & Spine Specialist. We will look into her private life, academic background, profession achievements & the journey that led her to neurosurgery.

Early Life and Family history

Dr. Sylvia was born in Kakamega County, Kenya, circa December 1983 as the firstborn kid in a family of four. Her dad was a great lawyer. Her function as the eldest of her siblings without a suspicion, shaped her leadership skills from a very youthful age and led her siblings by example in academics and other globes of life.
eShe grew up aspiring to be a lawyer with her father’s power, although this would evolve and take a completely different form. Her more immature brother was asthmatic and Sylvia would always attend him to hospital. She would grab the opportunity to ask doctors and nurses queries about the medical career which would later turn out to be her profession field.

Dr. Sylvia Early Education background

Sylvia’s education journey is one to admire and an motivation to many. She successfully finished her primary school education at Mukumu Girls Primary School found in Khasoko, Shinyalu, Kakamega county, Western Kenya. During this stage, she became curious in neurosurgery when she began reading Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands &Think Big. As a result, she was admitted to Lugulu Girls High School situated in Kituni sub-location, Misikhu location, Webuye division, Bungoma county where she excelled in the National exams. As a result, Sylvia secured a postion to pursue Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery, MBChB, at the University of Nairobi then she graduated in mid-2006.

Her journey to Higher Education

University of Nairobi did not offer neurosurgery possession program at the time Sylvia finished her first degree in Medicine. This led to her pursuing an training and seeking practical knowledge as she weighed on her options.

Early Career Journey

Dr. Sylvia started her career journey at the Kericho District Hospital. She was an intern for 1 year and then proceeded to be a medical administrator at the Kajiado County Referral Hospital.
Pursuing a Neurosurgery Residency Programme & Further Education
Throughout this term, she still had the drive to seek neurosurgery and luckily, the University of Nairobi was eventually launching a Neurosurgery Residency schedule at the institution. In October 2008, she registered for the program despite being dissuaded by naysayers who told her the program was intensely rigorous and no woman had successfully completed it.

The challenges she faced were balancing work and parenthood as she welcomed her first child while undertaking the six year program. To make it successfully to the program end, she had a support system around her. These included her husband, a innovative nanny, and her supportive family. In February 2015, she made history upon graduating as Kenya’s first female neurosurgeon.

In mid-2019, she enrolled at the University of Toronto to pursue a Clinical Fellowship in general neurosurgery concentrating on spine and Skull Base Surgery. Moreover, she was granted a CNS Foundation Women Leaders in Neurosurgery Scholarship that will see her follow a course in Career Advancement and Leadership Skills for Women in Healthcare at Harvard Medical School.

Further Career Practice

Between January to December 2016, Dr. Sylvia was a tutorial associate at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT) and later on moved to be a lecturer in the Department of Surgery, School of Medicine. From the year2017, she has been working as a Advisor Neurosurgeon at Sage Surgical Clinic found at KMA Centre’s 3rd Floor, Room 308. Most of Dr. Sylvia’s neurosurgical practices cater to spinal and brain difficulties that result from congenital disabilities like spina bifida and hydrocephalus, cancers, & road accidents. She has also performed at the Kenyatta National Hospital and Thika Level 5 Hospital.
Dr. Sylvia Shitsama previously served as a Kenya Medical Association Sacco (KMA) member.

Life Beyond the Hospital

Dr. Sylvia is a key figure in developing awareness in preventing the conditions she manages in her neurosurgical practice. Some of these include early diagnosis and therapy of cancer and adhering to road safety measures. Standing as one of only two female neurosurgeons in the country, she is keen to mentor girls and women to take the less troden and link them to local and global opportunities. She said in an discussion, “When I was studying neurosurgery, I didn’t have any females role models to look up to or close for advice. This was a major challenge. That’s why I desire to be there for others now. I want them to understand that if I did it, they also can.”


Dr. Sylvia was anointed Top 40 under 40 women in Kenya in mid-2016 and again the following year in early 2017. This award was first awarded in mid-2008 to honour women who achieve extraordinary feats in various economic globes such as social entrepreneurship, sports, law, medicine, & creatives. Making it to the list double is a remarkable achievement, given that it is heavily contested.





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular