Follow Us


Post by : jedidah

The second batch of Kenyan nurses hired to work in the United Kingdom will travel beginning next week. Seventy-six registered nurses were selected in the last three months, but six have already travelled.  The remaining 70 were flagged off on Monday by Health CS Susan Nakhumicha accompanied by officials from the ministries of Labour, and Foreign Affairs, and the British High Commission.

At least 700 nurses had applied to work in the UK, the ministry said.  Those flagged off yesterday will leave in batches, beginning next week, until December.

The Nursing Council of Kenya has paid their airfare while the receiving institutions in the UK will offer advance pay to help them settle.

Kenya and the UK signed the agreement in 2021 agreeing about 20,000 nurses would be hired within three years.

However, the programme was briefly halted because Kenya had not complied with the World Health Organization requirements to protect Kenyans from excessive migration of health workers.

“I reckon that questions abound on the impact of this agreement regarding the drain on our domestic healthcare resources,” Nakhumicha said on Monday.

“Let me allay these fears today by stating that this agreement bears testament to a common spirit of mutual respect and shared responsibility.”

The WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel discourages hiring of health workers from developing countries. Although voluntary, it acts as a safeguard to stop rich countries poaching from poorer countries with staff shortages.

Nakhumicha said once Kenya fulfils all the requirements of this code, more nurses would be sent to the UK, Saudi Arabia and Germany. She said the country is producing excess nurses and there won’t be a shortage in Kenya.

“The capacity to send skilled nurses abroad reflects the strength of our own healthcare workforce. Thus, we have worked tirelessly to invest in training, education, and career development for our nurses at home, ensuring a sustainable pipeline of skilled healthcare professionals for the future,” she said.

Joseah Cheruiyot, the newly appointed board chairperson of the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), said the college produces about 5,000 nurses every year. He said they are actively preparing them to work abroad because of limited opportunities locally.

Kenya had about 76,000 registered nurses in 2022. The public sector employs only about 30,000 nurses.

“One of the requirements for the UK programme is to pass English course. So, KMTC has been training nurses in English to prepare them. The mode is virtual from 4pm to 10pm. The college also has an exam centre in collaboration with British Council.  We are also training French online on the Mathare campus. We plan German and Arabic to serve these countries,” he said.

Collins Midenyo, a registered nurse midwife, was one of the selected nurses. The current batch was selected from public, mission and private training colleges.

They were a mixture of diploma and degree holders, with the main qualification being a registered nurse with the NCK.

“I studied at Pumwani School of Nursing,” Midenyo said.

“I finished school last year and was jobless. I did Locums and when I saw the advert and applied, I was accepted.”

Former Health CS Mutahi Kagwe flagged off the first batch of 19 nurses, in June last year.

The bilateral agreement between Kenya and Britain was signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June, 2021.

By Emodia Hallan

Latest Posts


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.