KENYA – The M.P Shah Hospital has launched the M.P Shah Hospital School of Health Sciences to build capacity in the nursing profession as well equip the nurses with best practices of patient care, research and innovation.

The school was officially inaugurated by Mrs Edna Tallam-Kimaiyo, CEO of the Nursing Council of Kenya, M.P. Shah Hospital Chairman Dr. Manoj Shah, Vice-Chairman Dr. Manilal Dodhia and our CEO Dr. Toseef Din.

Currently, there is a significant deficit of nurses in the healthcare sector. Kenya faces an acute shortage of nurses with just 60,000 nurses serving a population of more than 50 million Kenyans.

This makes it difficult for Kenya to achieve sustainable healthcare and ensure healthy lives for all.

The world has an estimated 28 million nurses, who make up about 60 per cent of the global health sector professionals.

Even though nursing is the largest occupational group in the healthcare industry, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there is a global shortage of six million nursing professionals and the number is likely to rise to nine million by 2030.

Africa and Asia are the worst hit continents by this crisis and the situation is getting worse, as the population grows faster than the rate of increase in graduates from nursing care training facilities.

However, Kenya is among the top six countries in Africa with the highest concentration of health workers, a new World Health Organization analysis shows.

Nigeria tops followed by South Africa, Algeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya in that order.

Nevertheless,  Kenya still does not meet the WHO health worker-to-population ratio. The country has in the last 10 years established medical training colleges in 44 of the 47 counties.

The study, titled “The health workforce status in the WHO African Region: findings of a cross-sectional study”, was published this week in the British Medical Journal Global Health.

The study surveying 47 African countries finds that Africa has a ratio of 1.55 health workers (physicians, nurses and midwives) per 1000 people.

This is below the WHO threshold density of 4.45 health workers per 1000 people needed to deliver essential health services and achieve universal health coverage.

Using this index, Kenya’s ratio is only 13.8 per 10,000 population, according to the human resources for health policy brief by the Ministry of Health

The ministry says Kenya has a shortage gap of 3,238 medical officers, with the required number being at least 5,317.

There is also a deficit of 2,313 consultants, 1,070 dentists, 4,614 public health officers, 1,020 pharmacists, 4,167 pharm technologists, 3,970 specialist clinical officers and 9,301 general clinical officers.

Lab technicians and technologists deficit stand at 13,309, community health workers at 19,294 and at least 72,000 for other health cadres.

There were approximately 3.6 million health workers in the 47 countries surveyed by WHO as of 2018.

Thirty-seven per cent of them are nurses and midwives, nine per cent are medical doctors, 10 per cent laboratory personnel.

Community health workers(14 per cent) and 12 per cent are administrative and support staff.

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