- Next door, the Kenyatta National Hospital School of Nursing graduated 223 students with higher diplomas, certificates, and merit awards.
- According to the Ministry of Health, Kenya faces an acute shortage of nurses with just 60,000 nurses serving a population of more than 50 million Kenyans.
Hundreds of nurses graduated in Nairobi at the weekend, giving a boost to the Universal Health Coverage.
At the Nairobi Hospital, most of the nurses who graduated on Friday specialised in various areas such as cancer and critical care.
These are some of the specialties with a shortage of trained nurses in Kenya.
The 123 nurses graduated from the hospital’s Cicely McDonell College of Health Science.
Zainab Bangura, the director general of the United Nations Office in Nairobi, was the chief guest at the event on Friday at the hospital.
She said nursing specialisation would also help the country achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal number three of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.
“The acute shortage of nurses makes it difficult for Africa and the rest of the world to achieve sustainable improvement in healthcare services. The biggest challenge for Kenya is the low number of nurses who serve the entire population,” she said.
She said Kenya has only eight nurses per 10,000 population, compared to the World Health Organization’s recommended 25 per 10,000 people.
“These figures mean that Africa has a long way to go because the demand for nursing services has increased in recent years in response to the unprecedented disruption of the healthcare sector by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
Next door, the Kenyatta National Hospital School of Nursing graduated 223 students with higher diplomas, certificates, and merit awards.
Chairperson of the Council of Governors Anne Waiguru said the output would contribute to the achievement of UHC.
“We reaffirm our commitment to fostering a culture of continuous learning, research excellence, and community empowerment,” she said.
Also present during the ceremony were the KNH board chairman Dr Samier Murravej, CEO Dr Evanson Kamuri, fellow board members, senior management and SoN faculty.
Students from the two institutions join a job market characterised with high under-employment of nurses.
At the Nairobi Hospital, board chairman Dr Chris Bichage said the hospital is keen on developing the required human resource capacity to take the health facility to the next level.
“As a leading private healthcare facility in East and Central Africa, offering patients the best care using advanced technology in an atmosphere of trust, safety and comfort, our College of Health Sciences remains a strategic resource providing the human capital that drives the hospital’s growth,” Dr Bichage said.
The Nairobi Hospital college awarded diplomas to 74 nurses after three years of training. In addition, 54 higher diploma nurses were awarded after completing one-year training.
Out of the 54 higher diploma nurses, 31 qualified in critical care, eight in perioperative nursing, five in neonatal nursing and ten in oncology nursing.
According to the Ministry of Health, Kenya faces an acute shortage of nurses with just 60,000 nurses serving a population of more than 50 million Kenyans.
This makes it difficult for Kenya to achieve sustainable healthcare and ensure healthy lives for all.
The world has an estimated 28 million nurses, who make up about 60 per cent of the global health sector professionals.
According to the ministry, the country also has a shortage gap of 3,238 medical officers, with the required number being at least 5,317.
There is also a deficit of 2,313 consultants, 1,070 dentists, 4,614 public health officers, 1,020 pharmacists, 4,167 pharm technologists, 3,970 specialist clinical officers and 9,301 general clinical officers.
Other areas with human resources gaps include the cadres of nursing staff that stand at 38,548.
Lab technicians and technologists deficit stand at 13,309, community health workers at 19,294 and at least 72,000 for other health cadres.
There were approximately 3.6 million health workers in the 47 countries surveyed by WHO as of 2018.