The demand for medical personnel is expected to rise as the government seeks to expand Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Mount Kenya University (MKU) chairman Simon Gicharu noted that with expansion of UHC more personnel will be required hence the need for youth to enroll for medical courses.
Gicharu, who is also the chairman of the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (Rerec) was speaking at the Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort in Mombasa during the 16th Annual Scientific Conference for the Kenya Pharmaceutical Association (KPA) whose theme is 'Pharmacy Practise in Provision of Universal Health Coverage.
Rerec chief executive Simon Mbugua and secretary general Dorcas Too were also present at the event.
KPA chairman Patrick Adera said while they welcome the health-for-all plan, it was prudent for the county governments to employ more pharmacists.
Supply of medicine
"You cannot have a successful UHC if there are few trained medical personnel. For instance, we only have 2,000 pharmacists employed by the Government with over 13,000 in private practise and some jobless," Mr Adera said.
Gicharu noted that about 85 per cent of World Health Organisation countries have less than one pharmaceutical personnel per 1,000 population.
"Pharmacists have an important role to play in health care more than just selling medicines in pharmacies. They play an integral part in health care team and assume varied functions ranging from procurement and supply of medicine to pharmaceutical care services as well as helping to ensure best treatment for patients," he said.