Kenya and the UK have signed an agreement on health workforce collaboration that provides for capacity building and exchange of health workers between the two nations.

It is a dream about to come true to over 5,000 health workers across the country as they will be allowed to work in the United Kingdom.

This is after the two countries signed two key agreements that will lead to the opening of job opportunities in the health sector.

The agreements were signed on the third day of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official visit to the UK.

The first pact, signed by Labour CS Simon Chelugui and his counterpart from the UK, Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid, is a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Health Workforce Collaboration.

The second agreement, also an MoU, is on the launch of the UK-Kenya Health Alliance, signed by University of Manchester’s vice-president, Prof Graham Lord, Dr Richard Cowan of Christie hospital, John Wareing of the University of Manchester Foundation Trust and Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Manoah Esipisu.

The agreement on health workforce collaboration provides for capacity building and exchange of health workers between Kenya and the UK, while the health alliance is a collaborative platform for healthcare providers.

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Speaking at the Royal College of Physicians in London where the agreements were signed, President Kenyatta expressed optimism that the two pacts will deepen the Kenya-UK ties in the provision of healthcare.

“These two new MoU’s will create a platform for health workers exchange and capacity building of healthcare professionals not only in Kenya but also across our region. But more importantly, it will also strengthen the management of cancer and therefore be able to provide our people with the kind of healthcare that they deserve,” Mr Kenyatta said.

Kenya’s medical research has seen an immense advancement through various partnerships enjoyed by the two countries since early 1980s,  such as Medical Research Institute (Kemri), Welcome Trust and UK Aid, said the President.

“I applaud UK for its partnership with Kenya in Covid-19 research, a groundbreaking exercise that saw Kemri undertake sero-surveillance, transmission modelling and testing for the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said, adding, “This work will help us as a country to model our health systems capacity and determine how best to enhance the capacity of the systems to manage Covid-19 cases.”

Mr Javid said the signing of the MOU on health workforce collaboration will go a long way in supporting Kenya’s efforts towards achieving universal health coverage.

“My university and Christie hospital will establish two scholarships named after Kenya’s founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta to help support Kenyans in the medical field at the university,” said Prof Graham.

The UK-Kenya Health Alliance seeks to improve cancer care in Kenya and development of a center of excellence for cancer research at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital, and further promoting the exchange of health workforce between Kenya and the UK as well as developing a centre of excellence for health education and training at Kisii University in Kenya to serve the whole of East Africa.

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