NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Two consecutive strikes by health professionals
in Kenya in 2017 have caused crippling consequences to the
country’s health system as a few facilities struggle with influx
of patients, a global charity said on Wednesday.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the current nurses strike,
which follows a 100-day doctors’ strike earlier this year have
left many public health facilities closed and thousands of
people without access to essential medical services.
"It is crucial that all parties work on a solution to restore
access to emergency and life-saving care, and referral
services," Head of Mission for MSF in Kenya Abubakr Bashir Bakri
said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The charity said many Kenyans are unable to afford care in
some of the private facilities, which remain open during the
current nurses’ strike.
It said other people have had to travel long distances to
reach free services provided by non-profit organizations,
sometimes ending up with grave outcomes due to delays.
In some ministry of health facilities that MSF supports,
patients are simply not coming, assuming they are closed.
"During the doctors’ strike for example, MSF covered the high
costs of intensive care in private facilities for severely ill
"This is unacceptable; life-saving services need to be
reinstated as a matter of urgency," Bakri said.
The nurses have boycotted work in some parts of the country
since June, citing a breach of a collective bargaining agreement
(CBA) they signed with the government.
The response to the cholera outbreak in the country has also
suffered as there are no nurses working in nearly all public
MSF said it had to open a cholera treatment unit in Nairobi’s
Mathare area, to treat patients who would otherwise not have
"While essential medical services remain suspended, others
may not be so lucky.
"With thousands cut off, we are urging that lifesaving
activities are maintained to alleviate the suffering of those
most in need," said Bakri.
China helps boost
technical, vocational training in Kenya
MOMBASA (Xinhua) --
China has handed over a batch of modern equipment
meant to help empower Kenya’s technical and vocational training
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William
Ruto and officials from the Ministry of Education attended a
ceremony held at Kenya Coast National Polytechnic in the coastal
city of Mombasa to mark the handover.
The first batch of equipment came in the phase II of a
Kenya-China project for boosting technical and vocational
education to the east African country.
Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya Yao Ming and Su
Tianshu, chief representative of Kenya office of Avic
International Holding Corporation, which supplied the equipment,
were also among the attendees.
The equipment, loaded by 10 trucks, includes conventional
mechanical workshops, automotive maintenance workshops and
welding workshops, according to Su, who added that they would be
dispatched to 20 technical and vocational training institutions
across the country after the ceremony.
The Avic International Holding Corporation signed with
Kenya’s Ministry of Education in 2010 an agreement worth about
30 million U.S. dollars on the phase I of Kenya-China project on
the establishment of technical and vocational laboratories in
The Chinese company helped equip 10 vocational and technical
institutions in the country and provide solutions on areas
including curriculum content and instructor training for them.
About 15,000 Kenyans were trained in the implementation of
the phase I of the project.
In 2013, the company inked the agreement on the phase II of
the project, which is valued about 158 million U.S. dollars and
will equip a total of 134 institutions of technical and
vocational education and training across the county.
According to the company, about 1,500 teachers and some
150,000 students will be trained in phase II, which is scheduled
to end in 2020.
Su said that the rest of the equipment in the phase II of the
project will be handed over to the Kenyan institutions by the
end of 2018.
Geoffrey Mwaniki, a first year student who majors in
electrical engineering, spent some time studying a set of
mechatronic workshops, which were shown during the ceremony.
Mwaniki told Xinhua that he was excited to know he would be
able to use some of the modern equipment in the next semester.
"China is fascinating," he said.