, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – Kenya has an average health worker ratio of 38.2 per 10,000, but the Human Resource for Health (HRH) is not equally distributed.
While there are 170,000 registered health workers in Kenya, more than 50pc are based in Nairobi.
Speaking at a multi-stakeholder partnership initiative for specialized Health Professionals, Kenya Healthcare Federation Chairman Amit Thakker noted the need to form new partnership models that supports among others training and deployment of specialized health professionals in Kenya.
“Nairobi plays an important role in absorbing most of our health workers, reason being education services are available. We have a national hospital which is a centre where all the training place,” noted Thakker.
“Everyone wants to live in the city because of the exposure and network that is available.”
Also top of the agenda was the realization that more students are shying away from taking up medical courses with nursing, technicians, and nutritionists being among the departments affected.
Thakker highlighted the lack of interest as a result of instability in payment of salaries mostly characterized by industrial strikes and failure to provide conducive working environment.
“The youth are taking on opportunities that are more clinical driven. Many of the specialized health cadres like the technician, nutritionists are all declining.
“If we don’t do something about this allied health professions we will have a crisis where supporting health workers will be very weak and we will have an oversupply of clinical officers.”
He further stated that by establishing specialized cadre associations, the quality of health services will be enhanced towards universal health coverage.
“By strengthening health system services in the country, this will increase the availability and deployment of specialized health professionals in Kenya addressing the shortage in specialized health care.”