Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in partnership with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) have launched a Master of Medicine (M-Med) in dermatology and emergency medicine at the hospital in Nairobi.
Speaking during the launch of the programme yesterday, Ministry of Health Principal Secretary (PS) Susan Mochache said that the programme is a result of concerted efforts by key stake holders in the health sector to bridge the specialized training gap in the two fields.
“I regrettably note that we only have 34 dermatologists and three registered emergency physicians in the country, who have been trained outside the country at a great expense to the government,” decried Mochache.
She further stated that it was as a result of the dire need for quality emergency care, that the Ministry of Health launched an Emergency Policy and constituted a National Emergency Medical Care (EMC) Steering Committee in July 2021.
“This was done out of realization that the lack of an EMC system contributed to increase in the rate of diseases and deaths following medical emergency such as buildings collapsing and we hope that this training will bridge this gap,” said Mochache.
The PS added that capacity building in health is a key pillar of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) stating that, the government is committed to addressing health challenges for the benefit of all Kenyans.
“We envision that through this partnership in the next four years, we will be celebrating the achievement of the first batch of specialists trained in Kenya,” announced Mochache.
In his remarks KNH Board Chairman George Ooko said that the hospital is delighted to be the first in the region to launch such a programme.
“KNH has a total of six dermatologists all of whom have received their specialized training from different facilities abroad which is very costly and limits the number of specialists we can train against the ever growing need for specialized services,” revealed Ooko.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof. Victoria Ngumi announced that the programme will be offered on a full time basis for a period of four years. “This programme will help decongest hospitals and improve the care given to patients and save lives,” said Prof. Ngumi.
She urged the government to consider extending scholarships to the students who could be willing to take-up the course but are held back due to financial constraints.
By Faith Kinyanjui and Njeri Kariuki