NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18- The government now says that the 20 Cuban doctors who flew in to support war against COVID-19 will be paid like their local counterparts.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe says the specialists are in the country to exchange skills and expertise with their Kenyan counterparts who are in the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.
“We are not paying more than what we pay our own (doctors) and I want this to be noted clearly. It is a small brigade of doctors who are specialists in their own areas who have come to help us, we learn from them and they also learn from us,” said Kagwe.
Kenya registered 688 new virus cases Saturday from 4,522 samples, raising the national tally to 12,750.
“That brigade will be moving together with our own so that in case of serious outbreak, they can all come together to offer their assistance. We are continuing to hire doctors as we are short of them at the Ministry and this is a continuous process,” Kagwe said of the Cuban doctors.
He said the doctors who are specialised in internal medicine, oncology, cardiology, renal and pediatrics will be based at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH).
“With the COVID-19 cases rising, these specialized doctors will go a long way in supporting our doctors in managing the disease and also in exchanging of skilled development,” he said.
The doctors are from the Brigade of Henry Reeve, a contingent of doctors specialized in Disaster Situations and Epidemics in Cuba.
President Kenyatta personally made a phone call to his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel to send in the doctors who will offer their services in the country for a period of three months with a possible extension.
“We are really grateful for that gesture from the Cuban government,” he said.
Kenya is a long-standing partner of Cuba in the field of medicine ostensibly in facilitating training of her doctors in Cuba.