NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – The Health Ministry and County Governments have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cuban doctors, with first batch of 100 specialists contracted by the National Government to help in the fight against malaria and other diseases set to arrive in the country on May 28.
According to the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Rashid Aman, the doctors will be deployed to various hospitals in the country from June 1, with each county set to receive at least two medical specialists.
“The Cuban experts are here to fill identified gaps in the health sector and pose no threat to their Kenyan counterparts. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will trigger the airlifting of the doctors by the first week of June and the document spells out the obligation of the Ministry of Health and the County Governments,” he said.
The move to bring the experts was agreed on in March this year by President Uhuru Kenyatta in a bilateral agreement with the Cuba Government which allowed specialist doctors to work in Kenya.
The visit was followed with Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki signing a contract with the Cuban Government to bring 100 specialized doctors in a country a deal that will also see 50 Kenyan doctors travel to Cuba to receive specialized training, which will be mostly be on family medicine.
Speaking during the signing of MoU between the County Government and National Government on Monday, the Health CS said that the Cuban specialists had undergone vigorous vetting in a bid to ensure that they were qualified to work in the country.
The CS further explained that the government would also seek to partner with the County Governments in launching a nationwide immunization program, re-orienting the curriculum in the Kenya Medical Training Schools (KMTC) and ensuring full implementation of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), upon completion of UHC roadmap formulation.
“The President, declared affordable healthcare for all as one of the Big Four action plan. He further instructed the Health Ministry to pursue health cooperation projects with the Ministry of Public Health in Cuba.”
“Some of the highlights in the corporation include, Malaria control project, training of 1000 nurses and clinical officers in a higher diploma course in family medicine, collaboration in research in the areas of HIV vaccine development and Hepatitis Vaccines and the exchange programs of medical specialists,” Kariuki said.
Speaking in the same event Deputy Chairperson of the Governors’ council Ann Waiguru, said counties will enhance funding for health projects with 20 per cent of county budgets currently going to health.
“The counties heavy investment in health in the last five devolution years has paid off. We have witnessed a huge drop up to a 39 percent in infants death per a thousand life births.”
“There has also been an increase in the accessibility to specialized medical care for diabetes, renal care and cardiovascular care,” Waiguru said.