University helps Western Kenya to take major step in healthcare improvement
A University of Manchester programme is aiming to level up healthcare provision and education between Nairobi and western Kenya and provide western Kenya with the healthcare powerhouse it desperately needs.
The move will help to promote the development of a Centre of Excellence for Healthcare Education and Training in western and central Kenya by the Ministry of Education.
The Centre will have its hub in Kisii University and its spokes in Maseno, Masinde Muliro, Egerton, Bomet and Kibabii Universities.
The approval of the programme by the Kenyan Cabinet will see the Ministry of Education seek just short of £1 billion from UK Export Finance and other Development Partners to build six new healthcare campuses in western and central Kenya and licence the Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Nursing programmes from the University of Manchester.
The Educational Hub will create a workforce capable of dealing with the challenges of providing patient-centred healthcare for non-communicable diseases in the region.
Professor Keith Brennan, Vice Dean for Internationalisation said: “By 2030 non-communicable diseases are set to overtake communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases combined as the leading causes of death in Kenya.
“Associated with this rise in mortality is an exponential increase in the morbidity burden associated with cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic diseases even amongst the rural communities.
“That is why establishing an education pipeline that can deliver a modern, flexible and resilient healthcare workforce capable of responding to the rising tide of non-communicable diseases is an urgent priority within Kenya.”
Establishing an education pipeline that can deliver a modern, flexible and resilient healthcare workforce capable of responding to the rising tide of non-communicable diseases is an urgent priority within Kenya
He added: “The WHO predicts by 2030 that the only continent to see an increasing deficit in healthcare workers will be Africa and that 40% of the global shortfall in healthcare workers, approximately 6 million, will be within the continent.
“That is why developing a resilient and flexible multi-professional health workforce, with strong inter-professional working in Kenya and East African Region is so important.
“New models for health education and training based on modern pedagogical methods, distance learning and competency based in-service training and assessments need to be explored systematically, so that this collective experience may drive further changes in Kenya and the wider region.”
Prof John Akama, Vice Chancellor of Kisii University. Said: “I would like to most sincerely thank The University of Manchester, for the strategic role it has played in the conceptualisation and realisation of the Centre of Excellence in Healthcare Education and Training. This will be a transformative project for the people of Western Kenya and Kenya in general.”
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization said: “"NCDs are becoming an issue of equity. They disproportionately affect low-and lower-middle-income countries, and in all countries the poorest and most vulnerable are the most at risk and the least likely to have access to treatment."
Image: Professor Graham Lord, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health in the Statehouse with HE President William Ruto and HE Simba Arati, the Governor of Kisii County