By Lorraine Anyango.
Kisumu County is considering a County- Cuban arrangement to continue the services of the Cuban doctors.
The County will hold conversations on modalities to continue the services of the three doctors. working at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH).
Kisumu County Governor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o said that three specialists, an oncologist, a dermatologist, and a cardiologist who were working at JOOTRH were exceptional adding that data from the facility is a testament to the impact they have made as the demand for their services rose.
The trio served with compassion and commitment, their exceptional skills had an impact on many lives, registering remarkable clinical services.
“We will do this as a county, we need to continue the services, what will happen to our people with Cancer cases, we know for certain that Cancer is on the rise everywhere in Kenya.” He said.
Governor Nyong’o was speaking during a fare well dinner party for Dr. Yurisleidy Orraca, Dr. Yosvany Garcia Nabrega, and Dr.Yamisleidy Hernandez piovet.
Governor Nyong’o said that the budgetary reasons that led the Ministry of Health to suddenly withdraw the Cuban doctors were not well thought through, he said it was important to generate feedback on what the doctors were doing to inform their decision.
“You can’t make decisions on budgetary allocations alone, has there been some impact? If good, how can we continue? You can always borrow to ensure that necessary services are availed to the local Mwananchi he emphasized.
The dinner was attended by the three doctors, the County Executive Committee Member for Medical Services, Public Health, and Sanitation Dr Gregory Ganda and the Chief Executive Officer of JOOTRH, Dr. George Rae, Mr. Festus Achila JOOTRH’s Board Member, Director of Nursing Teresa Okiri, Director Administration and finance Mr. Alex Ochieng, Head of Procurement Mr Steven Ondouuh, among others.
“We have had the experience we only read in books, we did not just offer services, our skills have improved over time through sufficient practice, JOOTRH becomes family and I’m Nyar Kisumu.” Dr Yuri who has even learnt the local dialect said.
The doctors appreciated Governor Nyong’o for speaking up for them, noting that the coming of the Cuban doctors in Kenya was his brainchild.
While appreciating them for their exemplary performance Governor Nyong’o handed them plaques and traditional stools, to Dr. Yuri he said. “Kisumu County congratulates you on your outstanding clinical achievements as an oncologist at JOOTRH. Your tireless efforts in patient care will remain forever.”
The trio of doctors are leaving following remarks by Health Cabinet Secretary Wafula Nakhumicha that Kenya would not renew the contracts of Cuban doctors who have been working in the country since 2018.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has since expressed support for the government’s decision.
However, Governor Nyong’o had faulted the Government’s siting challenges in replacing the Cuban doctors?” he had asked the national government to rescind the decision to withdraw the services of Cuban doctors in the country.
He said the move was likely to halt key health service provisions in county hospitals that had Cuban doctors adding that health is a devolved function and the national government ought to have consulted the county governments before making such a move.
He added that the sudden withdrawal was irrational and would plunge the nation into a terrible health crisis noting that it takes years and lots of resources to train such specialists adding that the government must withdraw the decision or replace them.
In 2018, former President Uhuru Kenyatta signed a deal with the Cuban government that saw 100 doctors hired to treat in Kenyan hospitals.