The Aga Khan University has pledged closer working ties with government agencies to improve healthcare training programmes at tertiary and university level.
Aga Khan University (AKU) President Firoz Rasul Wednesday said increased involvement of AKU scholars would help improve the quality of programmes at diploma, degree and fellowship level thereby helping Kenya train health professionals at much lower costs.
“Together with our fellow agencies within the Aga Khan Development Network, AKU is working to make that vision a reality through investment in education, research and training,” he said.
The AKU President spoke when he presided over the AKU’s 2017 graduation ceremony where 60 students received Bachelors of Nursing, Education and Masters of Medicine degrees.
Mr Rasul said they had formulated a Cancer Nursing Specialist course that will soon be introduced at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital .
He said this would help create a pool of terminal caregivers at the grassroots level with more speciality courses scheduled to be launched at its School of Nursing and Midwifery in Nairobi.
To supplement gains made last year when an advanced course in Infectious Diseases was launched, Mr Rasul said plan were at an advanced stage to launch a fellowship cardiology course for physicians thereby defraying costs doctors incur when undertaking specialised medical programmes abroad.
University Education Principal Secretary Professor Collette Suda urged universities to set aside more funds for research saying only AKU which had set aside 13.2 per cent of its annual budget and 10 others out of the 70 universities in the country had met the 2 per cent threshold.
Professor Suda said the government would continue creating a conducive environment for private players to invest in education and healthcare training.
This, she said, would promote uptake of innovative technologies and infrastructural investments that boost healthcare.
“Private entities’ involvement in training and service delivery have helped deliver innovative technologies that better public services and boosts the country’s business environment as well as industries associated with infrastructure development such as construction, equipment and support services,” she said.
Mr Rasul said that AKU’s Institute for Human Development which has been offering training for community organisations working with children living with Aids plans to introduce health and nutrition interventions specifically targeting children in marginalised communities.
Since inception, AKU has trained 970 medical professionals who are currently working in private and public hospitals across Kenya.
AKU also offers media studies at its Graduate School of Media and Communication where it has trained 720 journalists.