Global technology company, General Electric, will launch a healthcare training institute in Kenya at the end of this year as part of Sh1.3 billion investment in the country in the next decade.
Making the announcement Thursday ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) to be held in Nairobi from July 24 – 26, in Nairobi, GE Healthcare Africa president, Farid Fezoua, said this investment is part of its new commitment to addressing some of the most critical health challenges in East Africa.
“As a cornerstone of the mega-modernisation program, GE (General Electric) will launch the new GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute in Kenya, representing a long-term investment of at least $13 million over the next 10 years.
With specialised GE Healthcare training facilities across the globe, the centre is set to become GE’s first dedicated skills development facility in Africa when inaugurated in Nairobi later in Q4 2015 that will serve Kenya and the wider East Africa,” Mr Fezoua, said today in Nairobi.
The training institute will address critical shortage of healthcare skills especially in the counties following the implementation of the Sh38 billion medical leasing equipment, which has partly been hit by a scarcity of specialised medical personnel.
The institute will initially offer biomedical and clinical applications training courses and, at a later date, offer leadership, technical and clinical education courses. It expects to train over 1,000 healthcare professionals over the next 3 years.
General Electric, which has its Africa headquarters in Nairobi, was, in February this year, selected by the Kenyan government as a key technology partner in the Sh38 billion healthcare transformation plan for Kenya.
“Investing in the training and education of healthcare professionals to strengthen capability building is one of the greatest enablers for sustainable healthcare development.
As a major force for change, we aim to increase access to localized education, training and skills development programs for more healthcare workers across Africa,” Mr Fezoua said.
The global health sector, especially in developing markets such as Kenya, is facing critical workforce shortages, with Africa ranking the lowest in the availability of health personnel.
“With 12 per cent of the world’s population and 25 per cent of the world’s burden of diseases, Sub-Saharan Africa has only 3 per cent of the world’s health workforce,” the tech giant indicated, underscoring the need for governments and development partners to invest aggressively in enhancing skills.
The company would spend a further $1.7 million investment in the Biomedical Equipment Training and Safe Surgery programs in Ethiopia.
Globally, GE Healthcare has committed over $1 billion in the development and delivery of training in the health sector by 2020.
As part of this commitment, GE Healthcare aims to deliver enhanced training for over two million health professionals globally, a move expected to benefit at least 300 million patients worldwide by 2020.