UK envoy pledges to support multi-billion research centre

Kisii Governor James Ongwae takes British High Commissioner Jane Marriott on a tour of Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital on Tuesday last week. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

The UK Government has pledged to support a multi-billion-shilling centre of health and research.

British High Commissioner Jane Marriott said her country will collaborate with the Kenyan Government in supporting the centre.

Kisii County is set to have a training centre on a 100-acre parcel of land owned by Kisii University at Nyosia in Nyaribari Chache.

The research centre will be a regional hub for healthcare research, innovation and training of advanced-level medical personnel for Kenya and Eastern Africa countries.

It will have various training centres for all types of cancer, radiography and other ailments.

In a meeting with Kisii Governor James Ongwae, Marriott said the visit was a follow up on the discussion between UK officials and President Uhuru Kenyatta in Glasgow, Scotland, a month ago.

President Kenyatta and the leadership team of the Kenya-UK Health Alliance (KUKHA) had agreed on the implementation of the broad strategic partnership, including the roll-out of the Jomo Kenyatta Scholarship programme and the building of a state-of-the-art training centre under Kisii University.

The Jomo Kenyatta Scholarship is a specialised medical training and capacity enhancement programme that will see Kenyan healthcare providers trained in the UK in a wide array of specialised medical areas.

The scholarship will also provide for the exchange of postgraduate medical students between Kenya and the UK with a view of enhancing research on oesophageal and breast cancers which are rampant in Kenya.

The British High Commissioner announced that Kisii had already secured 15 fully paid medical scholarships in the UK. “We are committed to fulfil our part. Our aim is to transform lives and stimulate the economy.”

Ongwae said they had secured collaborations with reputable institutions in the UK to help the Kisii County healthcare workers offer quality health services to the public. 

“As a county, we continue to implement the president’s Health pillar that is anchored in the Big Four Agenda and more so in achieving Universal Health Care (UHC).”

Kisii County is putting up a cancer centre with funding from the Kenyan Government and the Arab Bank for International Development and Saudi Arabia Government.

The bidding for the construction of the cancer centre is set for next week, according to the County’s Economic Advisor Onchari Kenani.

The centre will be the second largest in Kenya and the only cancer center in Western Region.

Radiographers, radiologists and other staff interested in cancer care from Kisii will be trained at the National Breast Imaging Academy on imaging and treatment of breast cancer patients.