, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – The first batch of Cuban doctors contracted to work in Kenya to offer a wide range of medical services arrived Tuesday night at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
According to the Ministry of Health, the second team is expected Thursday with the induction for the doctors set to take place at the end of next week before they are posted to their respective stations.
The medics were received by various top national and county government officials among them Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o.
“The Council of Governors are fully conversant with what is going and when it comes to delivery of universal healthcare, you can have no better example than Cuba,” Nyong’o said.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki stated that the Government is currently addressing the human resources challenges that have bedevilled the sector for a long time, even as union officials opposed the recruitment of foreign doctors.
Kariuki stated that at present, the country does not have enough specialists as per the norms and standards that are set.
“To bridge this gap and also to aid in skills transfer and service delivery, medical specialists from Cuba will have an exchange programme with their Kenyan counterparts under the Kenya-Cuba Health Cooperation framework,” she said.
She pointed out that the collaboration follows the successful State Visit to Cuba by President Uhuru Kentyatta in March this year which cemented the strong relations between Kenya and Cuba, particularly in the Health Sector. “The collaboration is also part of the Government’s foreign policy approach to strengthening south-south collaboration.”
She noted that as the Kenyan Government embarks on implementing the ‘Big Four’ in the context of limited resources, the Cuban model provides lessons and appropriate innovations to achieve the above priorities.
“Kenya will gain from Cuba’s many years of experience in strengthening its health systems and providing Universal Health Coverage to its citizens. The bedrock of the Cuban health system is anchored on a strong primary health care model that Kenya is now pursuing.”