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Health & Science
The ratio of nurses to patients in Nairobi is nine to a 10,000 population.

The ratio of nurses to patients in Nairobi is nine to a 10,000 population with counties like Mandera, Wajir, Tana- River, Nandi and Samburu having the fewest number of nurses.

According to the World Health Organisation an estimate requirement of the nurse to population ratio should be 25 per 10,000 population.

Worldwide, there are 27.9 million nurses, this includes 19.3 million professional nurses, 6 million associate professional nurses and 2.6 million unclassified.

The shortage of health workers still bites in Kenya and Africa generally.

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To address this shortage by 2030 in all countries, there's need to increase the total number of nurse graduates by 8 per cent while at the same time improving employment capacity and retention.

WHO recommends a minimum of 21.7 doctors and 228 nurses per 100,000 population respectively.

Kenya had 14 doctors per 100,000 population and only 42 nurses per 100,000 according to a policy brief in 2016.

As the effects of coronavirus bite in the country, the health workers in the frontline have little to celebrate today being World Health Day under the theme support nurses and midwives.

Across the country, nurses and mid-wives toil through some of the most challenging conditions; some with low salaries, long working hours in unfavorable working environment, the threats of being infected with the deadly diseases among other challenges.

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WHO estimates that the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

In a statement, the Africa Regional Director for World Health Organization, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, wants countries to do more to recognize the contributions of nurses and midwives in empowering patients and communities, facilitating multidisciplinary teamwork, and providing holistic care.

According to Dr Moeti some of the actions required to improve the capacity of healthcare in the country, it is important to better understand the challenges and develop evidence-based policies, come up with a health workforce data collection, analysis and use the needs to improve.

Education and quality training is also essential to improve the quality of our health force.

With a number of healthcare providers being in the frontline here in the country, many still lack the personal protective equipment.

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According to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union secretary-general Dr Mwachonda Chibanzi, there is little to celebrate today for the Kenyan health providers.

“We appreciate that the government said that it will be employing an additional 6,000 health workers during this COVID 19 pandemic but still much is needed to be done, doctors are human beings but when they are anxious due to lack of enough personal protective equipment’s and capacity training it beats logic why they are in the frontline.” Dr. Chibanzi.

April 7 marks the celebration of World Health Day since the inception of the first Health Assembly in 1948.

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