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Home / Health & Science

Over 30,000 Kenyan nurses to get jobs in UK

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy JACOB NG'ETICH | Thu,Aug 19 2021 19:11:00 EAT
By JACOB NG'ETICH | Thu,Aug 19 2021 19:11:00 EAT

 

President Kenyatta at Mansion House, the Official Residence of the Lord Mayor of London, where he attended the Kenya-UK Investment Forum on July 27, 2021. [Reuters]

About 30,000 nurses will be eligible to work in the United Kingdom following the signing of a deal for an exchange programme with the Kenyan government.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is coordinating the process and has already invited qualified nurses interested in working abroad to apply.

The recruitment is part of the new Kenya-UK health agreements entered into in July, where unemployed nurses and health workers will have an opportunity to work in Britain.

The arrangement was requested by the government and launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month during his London visit.

Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui told The Standard that the registration of 30,000 nurses with degrees and diplomas began on Monday till October.

"We signed a deal in the UK, negotiated by President Kenyatta, and we are urging unemployed nurses to turn up and register for an opportunity that will help them gain employment and world-class experience," said Mr Chelugui.

The CS said the nurses will be working under the UK National Health Service (NHS).

"In a programme to share knowledge and expertise, Kenyan health professionals and health managers will benefit from a special route to work in the UK, before returning to work in Kenya," said Chelugui.

He noted the opportunity has opened doors for Kenya’s surplus health workers who are unemployed.

During the president's visit, Chelugui and UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid signed the agreement on Kenyans recruitment into the NHS.

Labour Ministry will facilitate recruitment and migration of qualified candidates to the UK carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. 

The interested health professionals are required to fill a form with the National Employment Authority Integrated Management System, share details on education background, passport and certificate of good conduct.

Jane Marriott, the British High Commissioner in a letter dated August 10, noted that the CS and UK Health Secretary had agreed that the first nurses should be in place by the time President Kenyatta visits the UK on November 1 for the COP26 summit.

"This is an ambitious timeline, but one we can deliver if we move quickly," said Mariott and asked the Kenyan team to establish a joint committee between the two countries to begin discussions on next steps. 

Marriott said UK health partnership with Kenya is 30 years old and the new agreement allows both countries to share skills and expertise.

“From Covid-19 vaccines and genomic sequencing, to exchanges on cancer research and treatment to help Kenya treat more cancer patients at home, the UK has a long and proud history of support for Kenya’s health sector. The signing of the Kenya-UK Health Alliance by President Kenyatta on his visit to the UK is the latest chapter in our flourishing partnership,” said Mariott.

According to statistics from the UK government, in the NHS there are 894 Kenyans working across all roles making Kenyans the 30th largest nationality group in the UK. 

The pact formalises all cooperation and partnerships between non-governmental institutions on health, such as universities, hospitals and research institutions.

The arrangement includes Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital; Kisii University; Egerton University; University of Nairobi and Maseno University.

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