Mount Kenya University has now joined institutions offering public health programmes as the government moves to address a severe shortage of the medical professionals.
Public Health Officer and Technicians Council (PHOTC) registrar Dr Kepha Ombacho, speaking at the University during the award of the certificate, said the council is working on a standard curriculum for all institutions of higher learning.
“We started this journey with MKU in 2010 and we are happy to report that they have adhered to all the set conditions to be accredited, the first institution in the country to achieve this fete among both public and private universities,” said Dr Ombacho.
Some of the conditions a university has to meet ranges from having enough lecturers and technicians to standard laboratories. Council chairman Simon Kimani said the university has now an opportunity to train more professionals in order to address the shortage.
He said the county has 4,000 registered public health officers against a population of approximately 45 million citizens.
“This means that means that one officer is responsible for the health and safety of 11,250 citizens. This is an enormous task and hence the challenges the country in experiencing in monitoring public health,” said Mr Kimani.
A new environmental health skills laboratory at the university was also opened. The university will offer Bachelor of Science in environmental health programme for a period of four years.
Mr Kimani said records at the council show that an additional 4,000 public health officers and technicians are urgently required to address the emerging environmental health challenges across the country.
He said the council has a mandate to offer technical and professional support towards full programme accreditation of all public and environmental health programmes in all institutions of higher learning in Kenya.
He said the council in partnership with the institutions will implement minimum training standards to bridge the current shortage in health workforce at the community level.
MKU vice-chancellor Prof Stanley Waudo said the university had made a deliberate decision to invest in quality assurance for better training.
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