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Manchester in Kenya healthcare partnership

The UK’s University of Manchester has entered into a tripartite partnership with six Kenyan universities and county governments to train manpower in a wide range of healthcare fields.

The WHO predicts that Africa will be the only continent to see an increasing deficit in healthcare workers – 40% of the global shortfall in healthcare workers, approximately 6 million, will be within the continent, the university noted. Photo: iStock

Manchester will support the development of the healthcare curricula through licensing of programs, staff development and technical advice

The move will include the setting up of a Centre of Excellence for Healthcare Education and Training.

It will see county governments from the western region of the East African country raise nearly £1 billion from the UK Export Finance to build “six new healthcare campuses” to train health personnel in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing programs, under licence from the UK university, the institution said in press statement .

It will involve seven local universities spread in the region with one of them, Kisi University hosting the CoE that will have its spokes in local institutions of Maseno, Masinde Muliro, Egerton, Bomet and Kibabii universities.

Under the arrangement Manchester will support the development of the healthcare curricula through licensing of programs, staff development and technical advice in the design of “teaching spaces”, said Manchester’s vice dean for internationalisation, Keith Brennan.

“In the longer term, we will support the development of research capacity as we are already doing with another Kenyan institution, the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral & Research Hospital,” he said.

“The Ministry of Education (Kenya) is the project sponsor and they are currently working with the treasury to obtain development partner funding to support the project. The estimated costs of the whole project are close to £1 billion currently,” the dean told The PIE News.

“There will be a significant legacy”

“One of the development partners who will be approached will be UK Export Finance, but I am sure others will also be approached too.”

The involvement of the county governments under the auspices of the Lake Region Economic Bloc is due to healthcare being a devolved function in Kenya.

“While the University of Manchester will be supporting the development of the healthcare curricula… other members of the Kenya UK Healthcare Alliance will support clinical uplift,” Brennan explained.

The alliance facilitates partnerships between UK institutions on health, including hospitals, research institutions and six Kenyan universities, the dean added.

Proper establishment of hospitals and associated healthcare education departments, schools of medicine under the CoE will start within the next 12 months dependent on sourcing funding.

“This will be a long-term project. The development of the curricula will take at least five years but the University of Manchester expects to be a much longer term partner and that there will be a significant legacy,” Brennan further explained.

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