• Virginia Maina

Upclose with Dr. Arero Duba

1. Tell us about your journey to get to where you are.

I went to S.K.M primary (2006) and St. Paul’s Secondary Schools (2010). Both in Marsabit. Did Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) with Information Technology (IT) at Maseno University. Graduated in 2018. Did my Internship at Nanyuki County Referral Hospital (2019). After that I was briefly contracted by Caritas-Kenya to Work in Sololo Mission Hospital before joining Marsabit County Government early this year.

2. What would you say is your greatest work achievement to date?

To work towards improvement of Perinatal care as ETAT+ National Champion representing Marsabit County. We have established routine Continues Medical Education and Mortality audits for ANC/Labour ward/Postnatal Ward and NBU team. I also analyze and report on Maternal and Perinatal mortality on monthly/quarterly basis to keep track of our progress. This is in addition to my routine work as Medical Officer.

We are also working towards departmentalization of Paediatric and Newborn Units.

3. Describe your typical patient.

My typical patients hail from rural areas of the vast Marsabit County. They have poor health seeking behavior and often come when it’s too late. The barely afford services. They are typically illiterate with poor understanding of their conditions and the care available.

4. What challenges do you face in your day to day work?

Geographical distance between the Sub county facilities.

Cultural, religious beliefs that negatively affect health seeking behavior. Many people are still into traditional medicine/alternative health and this is often detrimental.

Also, the “3 rd world medicine” and “marginalized” mentality among some of my clients.

5. Despite these challenges, tell us what keeps you going.

The satisfaction that comes from saving lives keeps me going.

I am also passionate about changing the disheartening statistics like Marsabit being the leading county with perinatal mortality in Kenya and having 4th highest maternal mortality in the Country.

Additionally, most of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity are within the scope of my training and can be handled with minimal resources e.g. newborn resuscitation care, use of partograph, diarrheal illnesses just to mention a few.

The non-locals are unwilling to work in rural areas and so it’s upon people like me to provide the much needed health care services.

The marginalized mentality must change and I want to be part of the history when the change is effected.

6. What changes have you had to make to adjust to the ‘new normal?’

Try to be as versatile as possible to work in all departments. I am trying to come to the level of our clients to understand their inherent issues

Work closely with renowned people who offer alternative medicine.

Maintain ties with our senior colleagues from other counties for ease of referral

7. Who do you look up to in the health sector?

Dr. S. Ndanya- For his communication skills, efficiency, team work and organization in addition to his mastery of his specialty.

8. What would you like to be known for in the medical world?

As a doctor who would have revamped health care in Northern Kenya and opening up and bringing health care in Arid and Semi-arid region to ideal or close to ideal, with special interest in Minimally-Invasive/Laparoscopic Surgery.


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