Marsabit-based Kenyan nurse Anna Duba has won the first-ever Global Nursing Award in Dubai.

The event took place on International Nurses Day, May 12. The day is set aside to celebrate nurses for their extraordinary contribution worldwide.

Anna Duba and Jirma Bulle, both Kenyans attached to the Marsabit County Referral Hospital, were shortlisted from more than 24,000 applications from more than 180 countries for the award sponsored by India’s Aster DM Healthcare.

Anna Duba is a former 2013 Miss Tourism Kenya winner. She was the first graduate from her village and the only educated child in her family. Ms Duba used her crown and nursing to advocate for gender equality and education in her community under the Qabale Duba Foundation. She has helped build a school in her village where children studied in the morning and adults in the afternoon.

Improved literacy has helped people learn new things besides changing harmful culture. Families now understand the significance of antenatal care, skilled deliveries, and sexual reproductive health and rights.

Her educational initiatives helped reduce Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage. More women now give birth in hospitals and more mothers enroll their daughters in school. Ms Duba received the 2019 Waislitz Global Citizen’s Choice award which carried a $50,000 (Sh5 million) cash prize.

Jirma Bulle has been in the Health business for 21 years. He was one of the volunteers who helped tackle the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

He heads First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero campaigns aimed at improving maternal health. He faced multiple challenges such as accessing remote villages but still managed to spearhead children’s immunisation of children under five years.