General Electric Company has announced it is at an advanced stage to launch the first-of-its-kind in Africa institute dedicated to training healthcare specialists and technicians. The GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute will be located in Karen, Nairobi and is set to open its doors to practicing healthcare professionals and graduate students towards the end on 2015.
The institute, which will provide training to radiographers, technicians and radiologists, is part of GE’s partnership with the Ministry of Health to provide capacity building in Kenya and across East Africa, with the multinational committing $13 million over the next 10 years.
“Investing in the training and education of healthcare professionals to strengthen capacity is one of the greatest enablers for sustainable healthcare development. As a major force for change, we aim to increase access to localized education, training and skills development programs for more healthcare workers across Africa,” said Farid Fezoua, President & CEO of GE Healthcare Africa.
In February this year, the government signed a Sh38B per year leasing agreement with GE, Philips and three other manufacturers from Italy, India and China, to supply and service medical equipment in all the 47 counties.
Fezoua said capacity building and training is part of the 10 year agreement with the Ministry of Health and aligns with GE’s earlier plans to build an institute that aims to train over 1,000 healthcare professionals over the next 3 years.
“With specialized GE Healthcare training facilities across the globe, the centre is set to become GE’s first dedicated skills development facility in Africa when inaugurated in Nairobi that will serve Kenya and the wider East Africa,” added Fezoua.
Developing markets are facing a critical workforce shortage, with Africa ranking the lowest in the availability of health personnel. The continent, with 12 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s burden diseases, only 3 percent of the world’s health workforce is in Sub Saharan Africa, according to Building Strong Workforces to Power Africa’s Growth white paper.
The Kenya training center is part of GE Healthcare’s global commitment to invest over $1 billion in the development and delivery of localized offerings for the healthcare sector, including a new class of technology-enabled training solutions by 2020.