Kenya Medical Training College has introduced two new courses to better equip health workers in preparation for the government’s plan to roll out universal healthcare.
The two specific courses have been tailored to not only address the shortage of highly trained community health practitioners in the country but also provide skilled medical personnel for realising the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda.
According to KMTC Board chairman Prof Philip Kaloki, the college introduced three-year higher diploma in clinical nursing and a similar one in clinical Medicine, in a policy shift towards President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ‘Big Four’ agenda.
“We admitted the pioneer group of 1000 students for the two newly introduced courses in March and they are expected to graduate at the end of the year 2020”, Prof Kaloki told journalists yesterday during a tour of KMTC’s Mwingi campus.
The curriculum change will fill gaps faced in the delivery of healthcare by linking families to essential services and equip them with information and skills to prevent disease, promote good nutrition, sanitation, and hygiene.
Prof Kaloki said these medical staff will specifically be deployed to get health data from rural households required for the ambitious universal health coverage.
“We’ve refocused our overall training and all our programs are geared towards the Cuban healthcare model of community health prevention rather than treatment” he said adding as KMTC they will play a major role in delivering the Big Four Agenda.
He said KMTC was training 85 percent of all Kenyan health personnel after an ambitious expansion programme that saw the college establish 65 campuses spread across the country boosting student numbers to 35,000.
KMTC Chief Executive Officer Prof Michael Kiptoo noted that the development of the new courses was informed by the need to enhance the skills of community health workers to deal with health challenges at household levels.
“The health industry needs well-equipped experts to guarantee functional health systems which will ease the implementation of basic healthcare interventions” said Prof Kiptoo adding come 2022, there will be sufficient personnel to roll out the program.
The two were in Mwingi to address a standoff between the campus administration and Muslim female students over dress code, which had been barred them from entering the college compound last week for wearing hijabs.
The students protested that they were being discriminated on the basis of their faith, prompting intervention by the head office.
Prof Kaloki said KMTC drew students from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds and therefore the Muslim dress code will be respected while maintaining uniformity in all its campuses.