Teso — Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has advocated for more youths to enroll for nursing courses, urging that the Kenyan nurses are most sought after worldwide due to the nature of training they have acquired at the medical colleges.
According to the CS, nursing is among lucrative courses worldwide and has attracted broad attention in the job market ranging from schools, hospitals, orphanage and homage thus giving nurses competitive advantage.
His sentiment comes days after Kenya signed a bilateral agreement with Britain, among other nations, the MoU that will see Kenya export medical practitioners.
“I want more learners to enroll for nursing courses. I have seen degree graduates taking up nursing courses and eventually secured one of the most prestigious jobs either here in Kenya or abroad,” noted CS Machogu.
Kenya has so far signed a deal to export nurses and midwives to the UK and Saudi Arabia, in a development the government says will help fight unemployment and also avail opportunities for Kenyan employees to earn better pay and invest back home.
During his visit at KMTC Teso Campus at Kocholia, the CS adviced learners to embrace research on health matters so as to give solution to some of the primary healthcare problems affecting Kenyans.
“I want you to be part of the solution to the medical problems most Kenyans face today. Kenya today we are advocating for preventive rather than curative, and you must be the solution,” said CS Machogu.
“If you perform well in your nursing and other related courses you stand a high chance of working abroad. The United States of America, the United Kingdom and other well-established countries are looking to employ Kenyan professionals,” the CS added.
The nurses working overseas earn approximately between Sh.350, 000- Sh.450, 000 a month. With some cases a nurse getting upto Sh.700000.
On August 21, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha flagged off a second cohort of Kenyan nurses to the UK on a bilateral labour agreement.
CS Nakhumicha applauded Kenyan nurses for living to the standards expected of healthcare workers.
“The Bilateral Labour Agreement between Kenya and the United Kingdom exemplifies the strength and benefits of international collaboration and partnerships,” Nakhumicha said.
Health department starts to benefit from this exchange program according to the two Cabinet Secretaries as it will broaden the level of expertise as they will be exposed to new skills and technology .
With the one government policy approach, Machogu noted that through coordination In various ministries, Kenyans nurses willing to work overseas will apply through the ministry of labour for a one year contract renewable based on satisfaction.
“You saw CS Nakhumicha flagging off the first cohort of Kenyans nurses to Britain and Saud Arabia, this is just part of Kenya Kwanza government commitment to mitigate high rates of unemployment in the country,” added CS Machogu.
According to the Labour Ministry, over four million Kenyans live and work abroad, the bulk of whom are in the Middle East and Europe.
During his address on Labour Day, president Ruto noted that while about 1.2 million Kenyans join the labour market every year, the formal and informal sectors have the capacity to absorb only 800,000 annually.
Thus the need for the government to enter into bilateral agreements with other nations support its labour force both skilled and semi-skilled.
“The money we get every year from Kenyans in the diaspora is Ksh. 400 billion. That is even more than what we get from our tea, coffee or horticulture exports,” said Ruto
According to Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data, Kenya earned more foreign exchange from diaspora remittances than each of its major exports (coffee, tea and horticulture) last year.
Tea, the country’s leading export, earned the country $1.2 billion, while horticulture brought in $901 million, chemicals ($521 million), coffee ($301 million) and petroleum products ($77 million).
“Many nations have built their economies by organising job opportunities for their citizens in other countries, so as we plan on creating jobs locally, we are also doing the same abroad,” President Ruto said. – Kna