Government dispatches team to assess status of doctors in Cuba

Written By: Edward Kabasa/Christine Muchira

The government has dispatched a team of experts to Cuba to assess and report back on the status of Kenyan doctors on scholarship in the Caribbean nation.

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Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman is leading a team of experts to Cuba to probe circumstances that caused the demise of Ali Juma, a Kenyan doctor on an exchange program in Cuba.

Juma who died on Sunday was among 50 Kenyan doctors undertaking an exchange program in the Caribbean country.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki however warned against the politicisation of the exchange programme saying investigations are underway to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of a Kenyan doctor.

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But even as the Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki was calling for patience, Senators demanded an expedited probe into the status of the remaining 49 doctors.

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The Senators allege harsh treatment of Kenyan medics in Cuba, calling on the government to interrogate the terms and conditions of the exchange programme.

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The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) Tuesday demanded the immediate termination of the training programme in Cuba claiming that it has not been beneficial to Kenyan doctors.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, KMPDU Secretary-General Dr Ouma Oluga said the Kenyan–Cuba arrangement has left Kenyan doctors vulnerable, frustrated, and in deplorable conditions.

Dr. Oluga claimed that the Kenyan Government has failed to secure proper housing conditions, pay the promised allowances and allow the doctors to reconnect with their families.

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“KMPDU demands an immediate termination of the training programme in Cuba as it has proven not beneficial to the doctors. Instead, we recommend that the sponsorship is provided though the five local Kenyan universities” said Oluga.

KMPDU is said the sponsorship should be provided through the five local Kenyan universities offering Family Medicine.

According to the government deal, the medics were entitled to a Sh36,000 monthly stipend for the two years of study.

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