Buy barcode scanners for my pathology lab

Joshua Chege

Meru, Kenya

100% repaid



Joshua Chege

Member since

October 2017

On-time repayments

30 installments  •  70%

About Me

My names are Joshua Kibera Chege. I was born first to a family of 4 boys in Nakuru, Kenya 36 years ago. My home town was small, dusty and largely a farming town in the northwest of Kenya. We were famous for our lake and the many flamingos that live there but now probably more famous for being a refuge town during the post-election violence of 2008.

My childhood was simple and happy. I did well in my studies, later earning a spot at the medical school at the University of Nairobi. My father, Rev. Samuel Kibera was a church minister (now retired) and my mother, Jeri Kibera, a shopkeeper turned nurse assistant. They were elated that I was pursuing my dreams but were soon overwhelmed by the financial cost of taking me through medical school.

I had to transfer to a cheaper medical school after a year. We decided on Makerere University across the border in Uganda. At around this time my father fell ill and my mother's shop had to close down. My parents had to sell precious assets including parcels of land and their car. My mother left the country to look for job that would see me through college. It was a tough time for our family and I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices they made to see me through my days in med school.

Medical school brought the effect that poverty has on health and healthcare into sharp focus. It was extremely disturbing to watch preventable diseases causing suffering and death on a daily basis. In particular, I will never forget the day I stopped a woman who looked lost and confused, pacing the corridors of the medical ward at the teaching hospital.

Can I help you? - I asked. Are you lost?
She stopped, turned and looked at me but didn't answer. I felt like had interrupted her in the middle of an important thought process and I was not sure she heard my question.

How much is does it cost to buy this drug in town? she asked abruptly. I'm told they don't have it here at the teaching hospital.

She handed me a prescription for a drug needed in the treatment of cryptoccocal meningitis. I knew how much the drug would cost having prescribed it several times before.

I can't afford that! She wailed as soon as I told her the price.
Now what am I going to do? I've spent all our money on lab tests and now I have almost nothing.

As we spoke it became clear that she had to choose between buying a drug to save her son's life and buying food for the day. She was desperate - a mother at the end of her means, trying to save her dying son. It felt so hopeless. In my pocket were a few shillings meant for a student's evening meal. I pulled them out and placed them in her hands, mumbled something inadequate and walked away. The whole experience was depressing but it profoundly changed my life. I swore that one day I would do something for people like her.

Today I am married to a beautiful wife and we have been blessed with two lovely boys. We live in leafy Meru, a small farming town in central Kenya. I am a pathologist and my days are spent mostly looking down a microscope and recently, starting a cancer centre serving a region of over 2 million people.

I still think of the woman in Uganda who so touched my life 14 years ago and a life unnecessarily lost.

My Business

We have a private pathology laboratory which serves about 3000 patients per year. This year we have partnered with an oncologist to establish a cancer centre in Meru, Kenya to serve a population of over 2 million people.

We recently moved to a new and larger facility. The lab is fully operational but there are some items we have not bought yet so we have not begun treating cancer patients. We need about $25,000 to complete setup of the chemotherapy unit and begin serving patients.

This application is meant to slowly build our line of credit towards this objective. The money will be used to purchase supplies and run the office until we invoice our clients at the end of the month.

Loan Proposal

I need about $4770 to buy equipment, upgrade the processing ability of my lab and digitize workflow. This will reduce the processing time for each report which means that patients will get their diagnosis faster.

It will also increase the quality of the results by standardizing the report format. This will make the practice more sustainable in the long run.

The money will be spent on an additional microtome, a server, label printers and barcode scanners.

This first loan will buy 3 barcode scanners costing about $65 each. These will be part of a list of equipment needed to install a lab information system (LIS). Future loans will be used to purchase the next missing items on the list. Below is the list of equipment:

1. Barcode scanners - 4
2. Desktop computers - 2
3. Server - 1
4. Label printers - 2

Installation of the LIS should increase the number of patients efficiently served in a day from a current maximum of 15 to hopefully about 40. It should also help us set up systems to follow up cancer screening clients for 3 - 5 years.





Loan Info

Project Type

Classic Loan

Disbursed amount


Date disbursed

Nov 10, 2017

Repayment status

On Time

Projected term

5 weeks

Cost to entrepreneur

Service fee: $7.27



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Ask Joshua a question about this loan project, share news and photos of your own, or send a simple note of thanks or inspiration.

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  • Joshua Chege    Apr 20, 2019

    I want to thank everyone who has contributed. This will help complete the setup of the new office space. I'll keep you all posted. Thank you so so much.

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  • Joshua Chege    Apr 15, 2019

    Hey Emma

    Thanks a lot for your loan! We have not yet actively started seeing cancer patients. We are currently only running the referral lab and raising money to put up a chemotherapy unit.

    I am a firm believer that nutrition is fundamental in recovery from any disease and especially cancer. It feels nice to know that there is someone out there who cares about this too! We plan to use an approach called integrative medicine that looks at the patient as a whole taking into consideration all the determinant of disease. In short we plan to treat the patient not the disease.

    Have a good one and thanks again for your support and your kind words


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    • Emma    Apr 17, 2019

      You're a good egg Joshua :-) What a lovely response! So good to hear all of that... It sounds like you really are going to be running a wonderful clinic that actually cares :-)

      Yeah, I definitely agree! I think people forget that many serious diseases have at least a partial link with the body being in a more acidic state, which is definitely affected by nutrition... Glad to hear you're passionate about what you do :-)

      Truly hope everything glides along nicely for you, particularly while you're getting everything going...

      All the best :-)

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  • Emma    Apr 15, 2019

    Wishing you all the best with the new facility Joshua :-)

    Just wanted to check if you happened to also inform cancer clients about the link with their diet? Obviously you're focusing on more advanced treatment methods :-) But I just thought I would try make sure this doesn't get forgotten too... Too often I've found nutrition doesn't even get mentioned.

    Anyway, you're doing great things, & you sound like a kind soul. Really wish you all the best with your endeavours :-)
    Emma from Australia.

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  • Joshua Chege    Apr 15, 2019

    The loans given on this platform have been instrumental in keeping the business afloat and assisting with cashflow especially when clients pay later than expected.

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  • Johannes    Aug 20, 2018

    Hello Joshua Chege how are you.
    I hope good.
    I'm writing to you, because of that you are a few weeks overdue loans.
    When can we expect the repayment.'
    Remember that due to the lack of repayments, other borrowers will have to wait for their allocation.
    Please let me know.
    Best regards

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  • Joshua Chege    Jun 17, 2018

    I am unable to pay this installment this weekend because of a business emergency.

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  • Joshua Chege    May 15, 2018

    Thank you all so much for lending so quickly! This will make it possible to get Ann back to her efficient self.


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  • Dao Nguyen    May 14, 2018

    Good luck, Joshua.

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  • Joshua Chege    May 13, 2018

    Thank you Daniel!

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  • Daniel Hoepfner    May 13, 2018

    Great touching Story, all the best

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  • Joshua Chege    May 9, 2018

    Our reliable lab admin and her unreliable computer!

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  • Joshua Chege    May 9, 2018

    Dear lenders,

    I appreciate your willingness to loan to my pathology business. The last loan was useful in installing extractor ducts for our grossing station. Our lab is now one of the safest in the region!

    Kind regards,

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  • Joshua Chege    Apr 3, 2018

    We can now work without suffocating fumes! Thank you lenders! You have no idea the help you are to my lab. I pray that you are rewarded richly for your giving. With every loan, my lab services get better and we are able to provide diagnostic help to the patients who would otherwise not have had a place to go.

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  • Joshua Chege    Apr 3, 2018


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  • Joshua Chege    Apr 3, 2018

    Work started last week on the grossing station. In this picture, local technicians are installing the airducts

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  • Joshua Chege    Mar 2, 2018

    Thank you for approving this loan. We will complete the installation of the grossing station and start working in a healthy environment!

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  • Joshua Chege    Feb 28, 2018

    Thank you Michiel Rauws and Nancy Hull!

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  • Joshua Chege    Feb 26, 2018

    Incomplete installation in the new premises

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  • Joshua Chege    Feb 26, 2018

    Our grossing station in the old premises..

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  • Joshua Chege    Feb 26, 2018

    We used the previous loan to purchase barcode scanners in order to automate our systems. We continue to develop and perfect our system so that we are both accessible and efficient.

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