India Offers Medical Expertise for Cancer Treatment in Kenya

India and Kenya are going to set up a cancer hospital and oncology school in the African country.


India and Kenya are making strides in setting up a cancer hospital in the African country and hiring Indian medical experts to prevent Kenyans from travelling to Asian countries for treatment. The agreement worth Sh2 billion was signed between Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi two years ago.

The Kakamega County General Hospital opened this week in the Kakamega town of Kenya for primary and secondary cancer treatment. Plans are afoot to hire Indian doctors for the facility.

The Kakamega county had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with centers of excellence in India to bring specialized medical personnel to treat patients there, instead of referring them to India, Deputy Governor Philip Kutima said. The Indian doctors will include specialists in heart and kidney transplants.

“We have very few specialists in these fields. The few available ones are found at either Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret or Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi,” Victor Zimbulu, a consultant at the center, said, according to the Star.

Meanwhile, India and Kenya are also working towards establishing a multi-billion shilling cancer hospital and oncology school in the African country.

“We are finalizing financial agreement before we can start the project. We have identified the land within the expansive Kenya National Hospital premises. We have over 60 acres of land that will be enough for the project,” Health Principal Secretary Julius Korir said, according to Business Daily Africa.

As part of the deal, 15 Kenyan doctors and some paramedics have received specialized training for cancer treatment in India.

“It is my expectation that the tendering will be done this year. As part of the agreement, we shall undertake 35 per cent of the work and 25 per cent for local or third party. We will source the civil engineering work locally as we bring equipment, technology and other specialized manpower among others from India,” Suchitra Durai, the Indian High Commissioner to Kenya, said.

However, the plan to hire Indian expats for the roles also met with opposition after questions were raised about their qualifications. Over 55 per cent of allopathic doctors in India have no medical qualifications, according to a report called the Health Workforce in India released by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016.

“India’s healthcare is actually worse, what is good with it is the marketing aspect. The private sector is doing well but the government side with its subsidiaries end up only favoring medical tourism and drug manufacturing,” Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Ouma Oluga said in January 2017, according to Standard Media.

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