Roche joins Beyond Zero program to train more nurses from ASAL regions

NAIROBI, 6 FEBRUARY, 2019  (PSCU) —Swiss multinational healthcare company, Roche, has partnered with the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero Initiative in an ongoing programme to train more nurses  from Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) regions.

The World Bank funded training programme for Enrolled Community Health Nurses (ECHN) aims to specifically populate rural health facilities in hard to reach areas with qualified personnel as a strategy to increase service provision by skilled attendants.

The training is in line with the First Lady’s 2018-2022 Strategic Framework which aims to provide accessible, appropriate, effective and sustainable health interventions in all parts of the country.

The training of the ECHN nurses is being channelled through the Ministry of Health and executed through the various campuses of the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), specifically those in the ASAL regions.

The first cohort of 300 beneficiaries of the World Bank scholarship graduated in December of last year. The second and third cohorts are expected to join the training programme  this year

“The aim of the programme is to mitigate the shortage of human resources for health in hard to reach areas through production of a critical mass of enrolled community health nurses equipped with knowledge and skills to provide quality health care to mothers and children in their home areas,” said Dr. Leah Bii from the KMTC when she accompanied the Roche team to State House where they met with the First Lady, Tuesday.

Dr Bii was accompanied by KMTC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Michael Kiptoo.

The Roche team was led by its Manager for East Africa, Frank Loeffler who pledged support for the training of 100 nurses every year for the next three years.

Currently, the students are trained in KMTC campuses in Lodwar, Kapenguria, Kabarnet, Bomet, Kitui, Loitokitok, Kilifi and Msambweni.

KMTC has proposed that the next cohort of 100 students be placed in KMTC campuses in Lodwar, Kapenguria, Loitokitok and Msambweni.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta thanked the Roche team for agreeing to partner with Beyond Zero and KMTC in the training programme and invited more partners to come on board.

Beyond Zero hopes to sponsor the training of an equal number of nurses, to match the 1200 health professionals trained under the World Bank sponsorship.

The World Bank/Beyond Zero partnership is expected to aid in the reduction of maternal and child mortality, hence contributing to the attainment of the government’s universal health coverage pillar of the big four development agenda.