NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – Kenyan doctors in Cuba will now get enhanced allowances from the current Sh50,000 to Sh144,000 monthly.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki on Wednesday said that the decision was made after a team sent by the ministry to Cuba found out that cost of living there is relatively expensive.
“The team observed that the cost of living in Cuba is very high and the Ministry of Health has already moved to address the challenges by providing an enhanced allowance,” she said.
According to the CS, the team was sent to Cuba on March 20, 2019 to assess the progress regarding the academic programmes and the welfare of the students sent to study there.
The team held a series of meetings with Kenyan Embassy officials, Kenyan student doctors and interacted at length at both postgraduate and undergraduate level with the Cuban Minister for Public Health, among others.
This came after Hamisi Ali Juma who is one of the 50 Kenyan doctors sent to Cuba for specialised training died in unclear circumstances.
The incident caused outrage among Kenyan doctors, with some citing frustrations and depression due to tough living conditions might have led to his death.
The deceased was brother to Likoni Member of Parliament Mishi Mboko.
CS Kariuki was put to task by journalists to explain the findings of his death, but said the report was with family of Juma and they requested to be given that space hence it wouldn’t be made public.
Kariuki further said the Kenyan Embassy in Cuba and Cuba’s Public Health Ministry will ensure that the student doctors’ welfare is taken care of.
The team also reported that the students have officially commenced medical training after successfully completing a course in Spanish which is used in Cuba, and that they expressed satisfaction with the quality of teaching and the academic staff.
“It was noted that the students had been posted to various polyclinics across Havana for their postgraduate training, following successful completion of the language course in January this year,” she stated.