Health workers to gain from skills upgrade plan

A nurse at Nakuru Level Five Hospital
A nurse at Nakuru Level Five Hospital attends to a patient. Kenyan hospitals still lack health workers. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya will benefit from a programme that targets to upgrade the skills of 10,000 mid-level health workers across Africa.

The East, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing (ECSACON) will upgrade skills of nurses and mid-wives through in-service and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes.

The training whose implementation period is yet to be disclosed will also upgrade certificate holders to diploma level, boosting Kenya’s efforts to achieve universal health for all.

“The training of mid-level workers will lead to trust and better patient-centred care, especially in facilities run by nurses,” Dr Joachim Osur, Director of the Regional Offices for Amref Health Africa said.

ECSACON will partner with Amref in the programme that seeks to build the capacity of nurses and midwives particularly in the area of specialized trainings.


The programme will help Kenya plunge the deficit of skilled health personnel that continues to hinder its goal of achieving universal health care for all by 2030.

Kenya still lags behind in the globally recommended ratio for health workers compared to the population.

The country had 14 doctors and 42 nurses per 100,000 population respectively, according to industry report released in 2016.

Kenya is grappling with a shortage of 42,800 health workers, according to Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

This is despite an increase to 160, 749 last year, a 9.02 per cent rise from 147, 439 in 2016, according to data by Economic Survey 2018.

The globally recommended ratio by World Health Organisation is 21.7 doctors and 228 nurses per 100,000 people.

The government also intends to unveil its Nursing Policy that will articulate issues of numbers and skills to be upgraded for the improvement of quality of care.

ECSACON is a professional body for nurses and midwives established in 1990. It seeks to promote and strengthen professional excellence in nursing and midwifery in the East Central and Southern Africa region.

The organisation is also partnering with World Bank and International Finance Corporation to improve the education and labour markets in the region.

The study once complete will make recommendations on who to train, how to train them and where to place them upon qualification.