Kenya and the United Kingdom have committed to finalising the implementation of an agreement on the collaboration of the health workforce as they seek to enhance bilateral knowledge exchange and capacity improvement.
A meeting held in London on Thursday between Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and Lord Kamall, the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Technology, Information and Life sciences at the Department of Health and Social Care, resolved to prioritize the full operationalization of the pact including on trade and investment in the health sector.
According to Kagwe, Kenya and the UK will benefit from each other’s comparative strengths and experiences through the mutual agreement.
“We are keen on specialised training. We now have more people in the region depending on Nairobi as a result of the partnership between Kenyatta University, Teaching and Referral Hospital and the University of Manchester/Christie NHS Foundation Trust that has improved cancer treatment in Kenya and promoted it into a regional hub for cancer management and treatment,” observed the health CS.
He said the agreement on health workers signed between the two governments last year, involving Kenya’s surplus health workers who are qualified but unemployed are employed in the United Kingdom, is progressing with Kenya now embarking on training for those selected for the program.
According to Kamall, the United Kingdom is ready to work with Kenya and explore further engagement not just in human health but also in livestock. He said developing a comprehensive cancer service for Kenya given the rising burden remains one of the priorities in the agreement.
“We are happy to work with Kenya. There has to be a genuine concern for engagement. We need to find out where we can partner,” said Kamall.
While calling on British pharmaceutical companies to set base in Kenya, Kagwe said the nation now has a good investment climate as evidenced by multinational companies who are already investing in Kenya.
“You may be aware that Moderna is setting up a facility in Kenya, its biggest out of the United States. WHO is also setting up a hub in the country. It’s good for British manufacturing companies to know they can set up in Kenya. We have learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic that there is value in local manufacturing.” Said Kagwe.
The two countries also agreed to collaborate in dealing with the challenge of Anti-microbial resistance, technology transfer as well as the push for equity in the regulatory framework on drugs production licensing.