BY SILAS APOLLO
Aga Khan University (AKU) will now offer courses in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Direct Entry programme, after the government, through the Commission for University Education (CUE), licensed the two courses.
The institution intends to use the new courses, which are expected to kick off in September 2023, to bridge the gap in the doctor to patient ratio in the country, which according to statistics from the Ministry of Health is far below the figures recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Latest data from the government indicates that Kenya’s doctor to patient ratio currently stands at about 13.8 healthcare professionals per 10,000 people. WHO on the other hand recommends a ratio of 44.5 doctors, nurses and midwives per 10,000 people. This shortfall has been blamed for hindering the effective delivery of essential healthcare services and the achievement of Universal Healthcare Coverage.
Speaking during the official launch of the undergraduate degree programmes, Darius Ogutu, Directorof University Education at the Ministry of Educationand who was the chief guest, said that the new programmes were timely.
“The launch of the new undergraduate programmes in medicine and nursing is a significant development for the education sector and healthcare industry. The healthcare sector plays a crucial role in promoting the overall well-being of our population,” Mr Ogutu said.
“It is imperative that we invest in education and training that prepares healthcare professionals who are capable of providing quality care. I look forward to working with Aga Khan University and other stakeholders to nurture the next generation of leaders who will help us collectively improve healthcare outcomes and access to care for communities in need – which is our goal in achieving Universal Health Coverage,” he added.
AKU’s Medical College in East Africa will offer the bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB). The course is a six-year degree programme designed to prepare medical doctors who are well-grounded with knowledge, competencies and skills in humanities, social sciences and medical sciences. The MBChB degree programme is based on the principles of adult learning and incorporates concepts of best evidence-based learning in medical education.
AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery in East Africa will on the other hand, offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Direct Entry, a four-year direct-entry programme which seeks to equip nursing students with the skills and competencies needed to function in areas such as patient-centred care, evidence-based practice, quality improvement and use of informatics and technology to enhance the quality of care.
AKU’s Vice Chancellor Dr Sulaiman Shahabuddin said that the two programmes will help bridge the gap in the provision of healthcare in the country by providing high skill training to professionals in the field.
“Healthcare is one of the most important and rapidly evolving fields in the world today. The demand for highly skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals has never been greater, and our undergraduate programmes have been designed to meet that demand,” Dr Shahabuddin said.
Admissions for the two programmes are currently ongoing and will close on May 12, 2023.