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KMTC to offer English lessons to nurses

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, KMTC Board Chairman Amb. Zachary Muburi, Deputy British High Commissioner to Kenya, Ms. Josephine Gauld other invited guests launching English Language training Programme, at KMTC Nairobi on Tuesday, 1st, February, 2022. [Samson Wire.]

Health workers in Kenya are set to benefit from the newly-launched English training programme, to aid in the quality of nursing in the country.

Speaking during the launch of the program at Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe acknowledged that it would create an internationally recognised workforce.

The CS maintained that several nurses were missing out on opportunities offered abroad after failing English proficiency tests, hence, the need for training.

His statement was in reference to remarks he made in October 2021, saying only 10 out of the 300 nurses who sat the English language proficiency test, had passed.

"I was vilified for saying we (Kenyans) are failing in the English language. Kenyans can speak good English but that is not to say that we will pass professional exams as required in the international community," Kagwe noted.

The CS said an estimate of 12,000 health workers were being churned out of colleges yearly but some were yet to get jobs in the Kenyan market.

"It is those extra workers we have trained that we are trying to create opportunities for," he added.

About 250 students will be trained online and twenty-five others trained physically.

Kagwe called on authorities to exercise fairness while selecting nursing students who acquire opportunities in the UK.

Speaking to journalists at the sidelines of the launch, he also outlined the need to bring down the cost of healthcare in the country and called out private facilities for exaggerated billing on some procedures.

"A procedure can cost Sh4000 in a government hospital and Sh400,000 in another institution. We must standardise and harmonise all these procedures,” he said.

"The business models that private and faith based healthcare institutions are using must change with the time.”