Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has renewed a deal with the Cuban government allowing at least 97 of its doctors to continue working in Kenya after the expiry of their initial two-year contract.
According to Menafn, a news site, the renewal of the deal is for six months although there are expectations that it will be extended for more years.
“We have renewed the agreement for six months, but we are planning to do it for more years. We are waiting for the Covid-19 pandemic cases to be reduced so we can travel to Cuba to have a conversation with the government,” CS Kagwe is quoted.
Further, the CS is reported to have notified the Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Wycliffe Oparanya of the renewed extended deal.
This means that the county government will continue footing the doctors’ bills including accommodation, transport and other work-related expenses while at the same time the National government takes care of their salaries.
“This is to notify you that the Ministry has renewed the bilateral agreement between Kenya and the Republic of Cuba on the provision of specialised healthcare services, through the deployment of Cuban doctors,” a letter by the Health CS dated June 12 to Governor Oparanya reads.
In June 2018, the state flew in 100 Cuban doctors comprising of 47 specialists and 53 family physicians. The doctors were to bridge the gap in the health sector as well as address the challenges facing the country including the shortage of medics.
The deal was sealed with the Cuban government and other research projects undertaken.
However, one year after their arrival, two of the doctors were kidnapped and taken to Somalia on April 12 by suspected Alshabaab militia.
Relevant authorities have indicated that efforts are underway to secure their release with the kidnapped medics identified to be a surgeon and a general practitioner.