Why Nyong'o wants Cuban doctors to continue working

 Cuban doctor Maikel Rodriguez Tamajo examines a patient at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Kisumu on July 5, 2018. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o has challenged the national government to rescind its decision to terminate Cuban doctors’ contracts.

He said the decision is a setback in the health sector and will plunge counties into a health crisis. He claimed counties are already grappling with a shortage of specialised doctors.

Speaking in Kisumu, the governor urged the government to consult with the Council of Governors before terminating the services of the doctors.

“It is not a wise decision because we have very few doctors. The government has not talked to us about replacement, and nobody is yet to be trained to take iup from them. The government made this decision without proper planning,” he said.

Prof Nyong’o described the decision as irrational and claimed it would have serious implications for the entire country. He claimed the doctors have been filling a huge gap.

“As a former minister of medical services, I want to make it very clear to the government that the sudden withdrawal of the Cuban doctors is an irrational decision bound to plunge the nation into a terrible health crisis,” he said.

In Kisumu, three Cuban doctors were stationed at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital. They were an oncologist, dermatologist and cardiologist.

According to the governor, finding their replacements will be a tall order. 

“What will happen to our people with cancer cases? Where are we going to find replacements for these doctors?” he posed.

Kenya signed a health agreement with Cuba in 2017, which saw the two countries embrace an exchange programme where Cuban doctors would help fill gaps in county hospitals. Kenyan doctors would also be sent to Cuba for specialised training.