Health services for the poor in Marsabit earn nurse Dahabo Bagaro recognition
A year after graduating from nursing school, Ms Dahabo Bagaro fund-raised to establish a nursing home in 2008, which has since grown into a reliable health facility in a remote outpost in Marsabit County.
Ramata Nursing Home in Sololo sub-county, which is at the heart of Sololo town, has grown to a level 3B hospital with a lab for diagnostics, examination rooms, high-tech imaging equipment, a maternity ward and sexual and gender-based violence and a psychosocial support desk.
“My love for nursing began immediately after graduating from KMTC (Kenya Medical Training College) when I spotted the existing wide gaps in health in the rural areas of Marsabit. Since then, I have given service to my people a very special place in my heart,” Ms Bagaro says.
When her career started back in 2007, she never thought she would one day establish one of the most cherished health facilities in her home area.
Her quest to do something to change the poor health situation among pastoralist communities was underscored by the worrying maternal morbidity and mortalities in Marsabit County and particularly Sololo.
“You can imagine my delight when I established the nursing home and realised that the community had quickly embraced it and was loving their services,” she added.
The ever-radiant nurse tells us that she has not yet fully achieved her plans, saying she wants to set up a state-of-art maternity complex in Sololo.
In the meantime, through her Healthy mama-Healthy baby initiative, she has been part of efforts to reduce the high maternal mortality rate in Marsabit, which stand at 488 per 100,000 live births.
At least 150 to 200 mothers have been receiving prenatal and antenatal health care monthly at the facility free of charge. The poor mothers have also been benefiting from mama’s kits that include sanitary towels, baby sterile canvas, soap and baby powders, among others.
The nursing home’s integrated outreaches have been extending to the remotest camps in the grazing fields. Pregnant mothers are screened and treated for minor health issues and provided with multivitamins, supplements, or referrals in case of complications.
Due to the rampant female genital mutilation and early marriages in the county, several mothers develop complications during delivery and after.
Those suffering fistula, which see them leak urine and stool, have also benefited from the facility as it has helped them to get reconstructive or corrective surgeries and psychosocial support.
As a result of the outstanding services offered to the less privileged, Ms Bagaro has bagged several national and global awards and recognitions.
She has now been nominated in the health category of #ZuriAwards2023 by the Eczema Society of Kenya. She was one of the shujaas named by President William Ruto during the 2022 Mashujaa Day, Best Nurse in the Beyond Zero Health Awards and 2022 Best Achiever in Midwifery in African Women Awards.
Ms Bagaro’s eyes are currently set on boosting reproductive, menstrual health and SGBV education. She is also keen on expanding the health facility to be able to deal with more complex health cases that they currently refer to other hospitals.
Ms Bagaro is currently pursuing Advanced Midwifery Sonography and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Kenya Methodist University.
Shuba Malicha, who had come from a remote area of Sololo due to labour complications, was full of praise for the nursing home.
She said that despite having no relatives in Sololo town she was welcomed and attended to, given psychosocial support and accommodation. The hospital bills were also cleared.