Netizen 24 KEN: MoU on Cuban doctors signed

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MoU on Cuban doctors signed

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MoU on Cuban doctors signed
Kirinyaga  governor Anne  Waiguru with health CS Cecily Kariuki  during the signing of an MOU of the Cuban medical doctors./KENNEDY NJERU
Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru with health CS Cecily Kariuki during the signing of an MOU of the Cuban medical doctors./KENNEDY NJERU

Four counties will get the biggest share of the 100 Cuban medical s pecialists coming to Kenya next month.

Mombasa, Kisumu and Embu will each get two specialists in addition to one family physician, while Samburu will get three family physicians and no specialist.

Laikipia, Kitui and Kirinyaga will get two family physicians, but no specialist.

Other counties will each get one specialist and a family physician, the share-out released by Council of Governors yesterday said.

All counties signed a memorandum of understanding in Nairobi yesterday, allowing the medics to travel to Kenya end of this month and report to work next month.

Read : Kenya's universal healthcare plan: A noble cause with many challenges

The MoU shows the Health ministry will take care of the medics’ airfare and salaries.

The counties will mainly take care of their housing and transport as well as security.

CoG Health committee chairman and Isiolo Governor, Mohammed Kuti, said no county will ‘own’ its specialists and they w ill have to share.

"These doctors are not enough and sharing is important. The specialists should be available to other counties. They have only been designated to particular counties for purposes of housing and salaries,” he said.

Health CS Sicily Kariuki said the doctors will build capacity of Kenyan medics in various areas.

"The 100 Cubans had to go through rigorous vetting by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board. They can also speak English and should therefore interact well with our people," she said.

The Cubans will further be involved in malaria eradication programmes and development of HIV vaccine.

"The project is projected for piloting in eight counties where we have prevalence rates of malaria above 20 per cent. These include Kisumu, Bungoma, Kakamega, Siaya, Homa Bay, Vihiga, Busia and Migori," Kariuki said.

Read : Healthcare talks top devolution forum agenda

In September, 50 Kenyan doctors will travel for a two-year family health training in Cuba.

Kenya is keen to learn from Cuba’s family doctor programme, which has resulted in one of the world’s highest life expectancy and lowest infant, child and maternal mortality rates.

Council of Governors deputy chairperson Anne Waiguru said the Cubans will fill in critical gaps because some counties lack specialists who prefer to work in cities.

"If we can do this consultative sharing of Cuban doctors, we can also do the same for the local Kenyan specialists to help equitable distribution of health workers across the county," she said.

Embu Governor Martin Wambora said the specialists will work across the four sub-counties.

They will also build capacity at the ultramodern Embu Referral Hospital’s theatre and renal units.

Collaboration with Cuba is likely to become a major strategy in dealing with preventive options in disease management. It could potentially save bill ions of shillings that go to global pharmaceutical companies each year for treatment â€" at the cost of growing the economy and delivering shared prosperity to all.

Universal healthcare is one of four pillars that President Uhuru Kenyatta has prioritised in his second term. The others are food security, manufacturing and affordable housing.

Also read : Kenya’s universal health plan to mirror Thailand experience

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