The Association of Public Health Officers- Kenya has opposed a proposal by the Ministry of Health to introduce a three year Higher National Diploma in Clinical Nursing and Clinical Medicine courses in all Medical Training Colleges across the country.
They termed the move ill-advised since the country already have trained nurses and clinical officers who are yet to be employed by the government
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According to Secretary General Mohammed Bagajo Duba the proposed introduction of the two courses will affect the running of rural health facilities which are manned by nurses and clinical officers once they are transformed into community health workers. Duba further termed the move as a probable way that would waste tax payers’ money
“We would like chairman of the Board Chairman of the Kenya Medical Training Colleges (KMTC), Prof. Philip Kaloki to know that Kenya already have trained professionals in the two proposed fields who graduated at degree, diploma and certificate levels who are experts in hygiene and sanitation. They should be used to drive the government’s Big Four Agenda of Universal Healthcare to Kenyans,”Dubo said.
He said that the Ministry of health should instead hire over 2000 trained public health officers and public health technicians who are still jobless many years after they graduated from the same KMTCs.
“We have very many public health officers and technicians still in government service and many others tarmacking without jobs who can be absorbed to drive the rolling out of the Universal Health care agenda’, said Duba during a press conference at the Association’s offices in Nairobi Sunday morning.
Dubo asserts that Kaloki sidelined the Public Health Officers and Training Council which deals with training for public health officers, technicians and other cadres in the field of promotive and preventive health when making the decision. In this sense, he argues that there is no clarity on which entity will be charge of formulating the syllabus.
He swiped at the Ministry for abdicating its role of coming up with tailor-made policies designed to ensure good standards in the public health sector.
The Secretary General states that such energy should be redirected elsewhere. One area being rolling out a training programme for community health workers on community health hygiene since they work closely with PHOs on promotive and preventive health services.
This comes two weeks after Prof. Kaloki was quoted by a local daily saying that KMTCs have already introduced two courses to equip health workers in preparation for the government plan to roll out universal health care.
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Kaloki who was speaking at the Mwingi KMTC in Kitui County further said the two courses have been tailor made to not only address the shortage of highly trained community health practitioners, but also provide skilled medical personnel for realizing the implementation of the universal health coverage agenda.