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20 Cuban medical personnel to jet in Kenya tonight

By Saada Hassan | July 17th 2020 at 04:29:11 GMT +0300

From left, Coast General Hospital administrator Dr Iqbal Khandwalla, Mombasa County deputy governor William Kingi with Mombasa bound Cuban doctors. [Mkamburi Mwawasi/Standard]


Bilateral agreement between the Kenyan government and the Cuban government have been extended giving room for 20 medical doctors to arrive in the country tonight.

According to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe the doctors will be adding their expertise to what the country has in fight against the pandemic.

“The doctors will serve and offer services in the next six months. The idea is for these doctors to work with our doctors to gain knowledge from each other. Since 2018 we have worked to improve healthcare services with the Cuban government,” said the CS.

In 2018, the Kenyan government received 100 Cuban doctors – 47 specialists and 53 family physicians – who were flown in to address human resource challenges that have rocked the public health sector since independence.

“These particular one is a special brigade that will be stationed at Kenyatta University and not across the country. They are specialized doctors in Internal medicine, Oncology, Cardiology, Renal and Paediatrics. With the Covid-19 cases rising, these specialized doctors will go a long way in supporting our doctors in managing the disease and exchanging in terms of skill development,” added Kagwe.

The government is also setting up an Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre (MIC) at the Kenyatta teaching, Research and Referral hospital.

According to the CS, the centre will be the first public Molecular Imaging Centre of its kind in the country as well as in the East and Central African region.

“The centre which will be ready for use in about nine months will see no need for Kenyans to go to India or South Africa to access PET-scan machines and other key equipment to diagnose and treat cancer. The centre will also set the first public manufacturing plant for consumables used in the PET-scan machines. This machine called Cyclotrone and is only available in South Africa and North Africa,” he added.

Cancer treatment has over the years been regarded as a costly affair in the country with many Kenyans preferring to seek medication overseas.

Statistics from Kenya's ministry of health shows that there are 27,000 cancer related deaths and 40,000 new diagnoses annually.

According to Kagwe, President Uhuru Kenyatta has approved the project to save lives of Kenyans who wait for long periods to get proper and fast diagnosis of cancer. The project is expected to break grounds in the next few weeks.


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