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Meet Dr Rose Nabi Muthuri, the Youngest Female PhD holder in Kenya


-Dr Rose Nabi Muthuri is Kenya’s youngest female PhD holder, having attained the feat at 24 years old

Dr Nabi has undoubtedly set a new standard for Kenyan and African women in general.

She received her PhD in Health Systems from the University of Pretoria in 2022 at the age of 24.

She was born in South Africa to Kenyan parents and relocated back to Kenya when she was a year old.

Dr Nabi is an outstanding health scientist, mental health researcher, health systems and public health specialist, counselling psychologist, and transformative leader.

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She graduated from United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (magna cum laude) and a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (magna cum laude).

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Her passion is improving health systems’ performance through research.

In order to enhance the effectiveness of the national healthcare system, her doctoral thesis emphasised the need to enhance the health and wellbeing of healthcare professionals.

“I realised that there was a gap in the positive mental health aspects among the health workforce and chose to pursue a PhD in Health Systems to gain an in-depth understanding of these workers and their well-being.”

“Earning a PhD is one of the biggest highlights of my academic career. It was an extremely challenging journey, but also a blessing and a dream come true. I hope this will inspire more young people to pursue their dreams.”

“Putting God first keeps me motivated and inspired to contribute to improving the health and well-being of others,” said Dr Rose Nabi Muthuri.

Now then, how has Dr Nabi been able to achieve so much at a relatively young age?


Dr Rose Nabi Muthuri. Photo/courtesy

She says that her secret is focusing on the idea of self.

“The idea is never to lose one’s concept of self, because that is what makes an individual unique. Putting God first keeps me motivated and inspired to contribute to improving the health and well-being of others,” she said.

Dr Nabi follows closely in the footsteps of Dr Purity Ngina. Dr Ngina became the youngest biomathematics PhD graduate in Kenya at the age of 28.

At the moment, Dr Nabi works as a researcher at the KEMRI Welcome Trust.

Her bio on the USIU alumni profile describes her as a skilled researcher with expertise in psychology, public health, and health systems.

She is the author of 35 publications and has written two novels.

Dr Rose Nabi Muthuri has conducted research and has also worked with young adults. She has also worked with senior people, people with special needs, and children ages 1 to 7 as a psychologist.

Dr Nabi has a strong desire to actively enhance people’s lives on a theoretical and practical level.

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She attributes her drive in her career as a health systems and psychology researcher to her love of learning and her ability to use what she learns to better the lives of others.

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