Kitui and varsity in deal to train medical students

From left: Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, South Eastern Kenya University Chancellor Titus Naikuni and Vice Chancellor Geoffrey Muluvi during the institution's third graduation ceremony. [Photo: Paul Mutua/Standard

The Kitui County Referral Hospital has agreed to offer health sciences students from the South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) internships.

Governor Julius Malombe said the collaboration between the county government and the university would facilitate training and capacity building of medical students and other personnel.

The governor said the initiative would attract experienced medical staff, including consultants and specialists in the health sector, who will provide care to the people of Kitui.

Speaking during the university’s third graduation ceremony Mr Malombe said: “The consultants and specialists will engage in health research whose findings will inform and facilitate relevant health interventions and innovations, complement the health staff and in some cases reduce the need for the county to spend money hiring staff.”

The governor said to promote equity in accessing health facilities, the county government would operationalise 90 facilities in the next four years to increase the population living within a 5km radius of a health facility to 97 per cent in all wards.

He further said his administration and SEKU have agreed on a joint initiative that would see the construction of 2,400 sand dams in the next three years.

Master Plan

The initiative, which forms part of the county government’s master plan to end food and water scarcity, is expected to ensure construction of 60 sand dams in each of the county’s 40 wards. “We want to ask the university to help in mapping out all the streams where we can build 60 sand dams per ward in the next three years”, he said.

Senator David Musila regretted that the county had a shortage of more than 4,000 teachers in both primary and secondary schools.

SEKU Vice Chancellor Geoffrey Muluvi said he was happy that the institution had recorded impressive growth in academics.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the Government was evaluating and reviewing the curriculum at all levels to align the education sector with the needs of the job market.

“The overarching goal of this review is to ensure that learners’ potential and unique areas of strength are identified at the right time and stage and harnessed in the best way possible,” Dr Matiang’i said.

Prof Muluvi said out of the 823 students who graduated yesterday, one received a doctorate degree in agricultural economics and 48 received various Master’s degrees.