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Health Ministry Flags Off First Batch of Kenyan Nurses to The UK

by Zablon Ondari
2 mins read

The first batch of Kenyan nurses recruited to work in the United Kingdom is set to leave the country for their new workstations on Tuesday, 28th June, as part of an agreement between Kenya and the United Kingdom.

The 19 nurses have been recruited for the prestigious Oxford University Hospital with 13 of them flying out on Tuesday while the remaining six will follow in two weeks; time after completion of the clearance.

Speaking during the flagging off ceremony, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said 80 more qualified nurses have already passed the test and are awaiting review and possible placement to other UK hospitals.

CS Kagwe lauded the role played by nurses across the globe towards the achievement of the universal health coverage.

“Nurses are at the heart of the world’s current health priorities, from fighting non-communicable and infectious diseases to addressing health emergencies and stemming pandemics,” he stated.

With Kenya having received a number of requests from different countries for nurses, Kagwe said the Ministry of Health would set up a task force to deal with all the international recruitment for health workforce.

“We have received a number of requests from different countries. This calls for a mechanism to manage the process as we also check and control shortage of specialized nurses and midwives in the country,” he said.

He congratulated Mercy Wasike, a Kenyan nurse who has been appointed Deputy Chief Nurse in UK’s National Health Service, urging those travelling to Britain to be Kenya’s good ambassadors.

He said the agreement between the Kenyan and UK governments further allows for a smooth partnership in many other perspectives in the health sector including education and continuous professional development.

British High Commissioner Jane Marriot said the flagging-off was a key milestone in the implementation of the health workforce agreement.

“While Kenyan nurses and healthcare workers, in general, have worked in the NHS for decades, today marks the beginning of a new era of international recruitment of Kenyan nurses through a government-to-government arrangement,” said Marriot.

She said the arrangement would extend to other cadres of healthcare workers, adding that Kenya should put in place a system of rolling ouy applications to meet the expected high demand.

Present during the ceremony were Health PS Susan Mochache and scting Director-General for Heath Patrick Amoth.

The agreement between Kenya and the UK was signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January 2021.

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