Seventy nurses from 12 of Kenya’s rural hospitals are attending an advanced nursing course that includes anaesthesia, intensive care and operating theatre techniques. The course is part of the “Support for district health services and development of public-private partnership (PPP) policies” that is receiving 4 million euros in funding from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
The programme is operating at two levels. At the national level, it envisages legislation to regulate public-private partnership (PPP) policies in the health sector. And at the province level, a series of initiatives to boost infrastructure, equipment and training in 12 hospitals in the Eastern and Nyanza Provinces.
The need for nursing training courses arose from Kenya’s grave shortage of specialist nurses. Figures published by the Ministry of Health in October 2011 indicate a shortfall of over 1000 nurses in the country’s hospitals. This is a result of the funding shortages for training courses and even salaries. The PPP programme includes an agreement with trainees, who undertake to return to their hospitals for at least three years. This translates into benefits for the hospitals, in the form of better-trained staff, and for local communities, in the form of fuller and more efficient health services.
The courses are being held at the Kenya Medical Training College in Nairobi and Siaya and the Maua Methodist Hospital. The needs to which the courses respond were identified through meetings with the central and province-level authorities, in collaboration with hospital management teams.