• Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said 80 more qualified nurses have already passed the test and are currently awaiting review and possible placement in other hospitals in the UK.
• British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot said the flag-off was a key milestone in the implementation of the health workforce collaboration agreement.
The first batch of Kenyan nurses recruited to work in the United Kingdom is set to depart the country for their new workstation on Tuesday.
This is in accordance with a part of a bilateral agreement between Kenya and the UK on the recruitment of the Health workforce.
According to the Ministry of Health, the 19 nurses have been recruited to the Oxford University Hospital with 13 of them taking off on Tuesday while the remaining six will depart in two weeks’ time after completion of the clearance process.
Speaking during the flagging-off ceremony, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said 80 more qualified nurses have already passed the test and are currently awaiting review and possible placement in other hospitals in the UK.
"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," Kagwe said.
He added that the MoH will set up a task force to deal with all international recruitment for the health workforce in the country.
This is considering that the country has received a number of requests from different countries for nurses.
"This calls for a mechanism to manage the process as we also check and control shortage of specialized nurses and midwives in the country," the CS added.
Kagwe congratulated Mercy Wasike, a Kenyan nurse who has been appointed Deputy Chief Nurse in UK's National Health Service.
The CS urged those travelling to the UK to remain Kenya's ambassadors.
He said the agreement between the Kenyan and UK governments allows for a smooth partnership in many other perspectives in the health sector including education and continuous professional development.
British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot said the flag-off was a key milestone in the implementation of the health workforce collaboration 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 to the UK through a government-to-government arrangement."
Among those present were Health PS Susan Mochache and Acting DG for Heath Patrick Amoth.
The agreement between Kenya and the UK on the recruitment of the Health workforce was signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson in Jan 2021.