Unemployed nurses and health workers from Kenya will have the chance to work in the United Kingdom (UK) as part of a new scheme launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta during his visit to London.
The first pact, signed by Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui and UK’s Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid, is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Health Workforce Collaboration.
In his address, Secretary Javid said that the two countries have a historic and mutually respectful relationship.
“This has been strengthened by working closely with Kenya during the pandemic and sharing UK vaccine doses to support Kenya’s fight against Covid-19,” he said.
He said the healthcare agreement will make the most of UK and Kenyan health expertise which will be beneficial to both countries, with the exchange of knowledge and training which will provide first class healthcare.
Jane Marriott, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, said, “Our health partnership with Kenya is 30 years old and growing stronger by the month. This new agreement on health workers allows us to share skills and expertise even further, and is a fantastic opportunity for Kenyans to work in the UK.
“From Covid-19 vaccines and genomic sequencing, to exchanges on cancer research and treatment to help Kenya treatment more cancer patients at home, the UK has a long and proud history of support for Kenya’s health sector. The signing of the Kenya-UK Health Alliance by President Kenyatta on his visit to the UK is the latest chapter in our flourishing partnership.”
In a programme to share knowledge and expertise, Kenyan health professionals and health managers will benefit from a special route to work in the UK, before returning to work in Kenya’s health sector.
The agreement is open to Kenya’s surplus health workers who are qualified but unemployed, ensuring the process is managed for Kenya’s benefit.
It came on the third day of Kenyatta’s visit to London, on a tour of the Royal College of Physicians in London.
The special programme came at the request of the Government of Kenya to channel nurses currently unemployed into jobs.
The President also witnessed the signing of the Kenya-UK Health Alliance, which will bring together UK and Kenyan institutions – universities, teaching hospitals – cooperating on health partnerships.
One of the flagship partnerships is on improving cancer treatment for Kenyans, thanks to a tie-up between Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital and the University of Manchester/Christie NHS Foundation Trust.
It will help improve prevention and management of cancer in Kenya, and promote Kenya a regional hub for cancer treatment.