The Kenya Medical Training Colleges (KMTC) have been urged to take advantage of the funds set aside by the government for research through the National Research Fund.
The Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said there is need for the colleges to undertake research activities as it will enable them to drive innovative national policies towards a coordinated health response.
The CS made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman during the 89th, virtual Graduation Ceremony of the Kenya Medical Training College held at the KMTC grounds which saw at least 7,509 graduands awarded with Certificates and Diplomas.
He said KMTC plays an important role in propelling the country towards the attainment of specific health-related targets, including Sustainable Development Goals and the Kenya Vision 2030, noting that the over 17,000 new students admitted and the over 11,000 released to the job market each academic year, contributed to the attainment of the country’s national goals and targets in the health sector.
Kagwe also commended the KMTC Board for the critical role the college plays in the achievement of Universal Health Coverage through training of competent health workers to bridge the gaps in the country.
“Currently, the college contributes 85 per cent of the local middle-level health workforce. It’s indeed gratifying to note that every health facility in the country as well as some within the region have a KMTC Alumni or a Trainee,” he stated.
The CS reiterated the government’s commitment to provide world-class healthcare services, and added that currently it is implementing several policy reforms and programs in the health sector, among them the Kenya Health Sector Strategic Plan 2018–2023, the Kenya Vision 2030 and the Kenya Health Policy 2014–2030.
He said the Ministry of Health is also working on the review of legislations to strengthen the country’s health frameworks in line with emerging and re-emerging health conditions, which include the Health Policy, the Health Act of 2017 as well as the government’s Big Four Agenda, and in particular the Universal Health Coverage.
“I therefore call upon KMTC to actively participate in this process and work closely with regulatory bodies to ensure that the training of health professionals meets the set standards and quality,” he urged.
He told the graduands to be at the forefront in sharing their knowledge and expertise in order to enhance healthcare service delivery in the health sector and beyond, noting that the country is relying on them to deliver patient-centered healthcare services to all Kenyans at all times.
The CS said the government has invested heavily on state-of-the-art medical equipment, primary health care, free maternity program for expectant mothers, as well as strengthening human resource for health by increasing the levels of training and recruitment in a bid to enhance the country’s healthcare delivery experience.
He said the government continues to collaborate with county governments and development partners to enhance efforts of increasing the number of healthcare workers to meet health demands and improve the health worker population ratio, especially in hard to reach areas, in line with World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
“This collaboration is aimed at attaining a health workforce that is strong, skilled, motivated, knowledgeable, and responsive to the ever-evolving needs of the health systems,” said Kagwe.
He at the same time announced that the government has introduced reforms in the National Health Insurance Fund, and adopted the Essential Health Benefit Package and biometric registration of identified vulnerable households in order to provide health insurance cover for Kenyans.
To date KMTC has 71 campuses spread out in 43 counties in the country which are adjacent to health facilities. They provide an uninterrupted supply of human resource to over 450 Hospitals across the country.
KMTC has also established itself as world class training institution in East Africa and beyond, attracting students from all over the world, whose graduates work in Canada, Australia, USA and African countries thus contributing directly to national development through diaspora remittances and investments.
Regarding the third wave of the virus, the CS urged all essential service providers and the elderly to take the vaccine to achieve immunity as the country strives to flatten the curve.
By Bernadette Khaduli