The preparedness of Masinde Muliro University to open a school of medicine has been questioned by regulatory agencies.
The school was supposed to admit the first batch of students in September. But the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board and the Commission for University Education inspected the facilities two weeks = ago and doubted their adequacy.
The board directed the university to build more laboratories and employ lecturers before it can commence operations.
“The board gave us until August 25 to have fulfilled the requirements and we’re hopeful we’ll beat the deadline,” the school of medicine dean Prof Charles Chunge said.
The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service has placed 20 students at the school and if the university fails to meet the deadline, they will have to be placed in other universities offering the course.
Chunge said the board wants the university to build a stand-alone unit for laboratories, lecture halls and an administration block.
“I had recommended against sharing because I know the board doesn’t allow sharing but the university thought it would get away with it. The board declined to grant that chance,” he said.
“Only the anatomy laboratory is complete and ready for use but we need to build biochemistry, physiology and public health labs. The structures are prefabs and can be done within the deadline so we’re still on course.”
Chunge said the school is supposed to hire at least 12 lecturers and heads of departments. The school has only two lecturers.
Vice chancellor Fred Otieno did not answer calls yesterday. He had said on Saturday that he was in a meeting and would respond later.
The Kakamega government supported construction of the anatomy laboratory.
The government is constructing a Sh10 billion teaching and referral hospital to be used by the school.
The first phase of the hospital will be opened in October. The 750-bedfacility will be the first of its kind in the former Western province.
Patients from Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga seeking specialised treatment are referred to either the Moi Teaching and Referral or Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral hospitals.