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Kenya Defends Plan to Export Nurses Amidst Surge in Graduates: Health Official Clarifies Position

Boom RadioNG | February 15, 2024
Kenya's Health Principal Secretary, Mary Muthoni,

Kenya’s Health Principal Secretary, Mary Muthoni, has stepped forward to justify the government’s initiative to export skilled health workers to other nations, despite concerns about a shortage of medical personnel in public healthcare facilities.

Muthoni defended the move, stating that the country currently faces an issue of surplus in the production of health workers, countering assertions of human resource depletion in the sector.

Kenya's Health Principal Secretary, Mary Muthoni,

Kenya’s Health Principal Secretary, Mary Muthoni,

“We are overproducing human resources for health from all the campuses, from all the Kenya Medical Training Colleges (KMTC) that we have. Last year alone, we had over 22,000 graduates from KMTC alone. Not counting the private colleges and universities that also train for the same,” she emphasized.

Highlighting the disparity between the number of qualified nurses and available local positions, Muthoni explained that only a fraction of well-trained nurses find employment within the country.

“We cannot talk about draining human resources from the country when we are still producing and even overproducing,” she reiterated.

The plan to export health workers is seen as a strategic move to provide opportunities for the multitude of graduating health workers, particularly nurses, from local institutions. Kenya recently entered into a health partnership agreement with the United Kingdom (UK), set to dispatch a total of 20,000 nurses to UK hospitals by 2025.

Last year, 76 Kenyan nurses embarked on roles in the UK following a rigorous selection process out of 701 applicants. This endeavor stems from the Bilateral Labour Agreement (BLA) inked between Kenya and the UK in July 2022, underscoring the competitive edge of Kenyan nurses in the global healthcare market.

Written by Boom RadioNG

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