Kenya short of 24,000 nurses - Daily Nation

Kenya short of 24,000 nurses

Tuesday October 6 2009

Nurses at Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital in Nakuru attending to an accident victim . Photo/JOSEPH KIHERI

Nurses at Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital in Nakuru attending to an accident victim . Photo/JOSEPH KIHERI  

By CHARLES WANYORO

Kenya requires about 24,000 nurses to address the biting shortage, the National Nurses Association of Kenya has said.

Association chairman Luke Kodambo said the problem had been occasioned by meddling by the donor community who gave limitations on the number of workers to be absorbed in key public sectors.

He appealed to the government to urgently address the deficit as it had hampered quality healthcare provision in the country.

“We are aware that the IMF and the World Bank have imposed sanctions limiting hiring of health personnel,” he said.

The official regretted that Kenya still lagged far behind the recommended ratio of one nurse per 1,000 patients.

Mr Kodambo was speaking to journalists in Meru Town ahead of this year’s annual nurses’ conference that starts on Wednesday at Kenya Methodist University — Meru campus. 

The chairman defended the government’s move to split the ministry of health to Public Health and Sanitation and Medical Services, noting that the move had boosted preventive healthcare in the country.

On swine flu, Mr Kodambo said the emergence of the disease in the country had been blown out of proportion, leading to stigma. Instead, he said, more attention should be directed to diseases like malaria, TB and cholera which were claiming many lives.