The inaugural health workforce conference 2022 kicked off Monday with a call for competence based learning in the training and curriculum of health professionals to respond to technological advancements and changing health care needs.
President Uhuru Kenyatta officiating the three-day hybrid meeting outlined seven key areas for deliberations urging participants to provide solid solutions that will guide policy makers in improving the quality of health care, ensure access and service delivery.
“We are looking forward to the outcomes of this conference which I trust and believe will be useful to us as policy makers to ensure we are able to deliver the kind of healthcare to our people that we ourselves would also seek to enjoy” said the president.
Additionally, the president stated the timing of the conference marked a turning point in the country’s quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage and there was need to reform and recalibrate content, architecture and training of health care workers to deliver quality services.
“It is heartening to know that in some of our hospitals today private hospitals are referring their patients to some of the public hospitals because some of our public hospitals are more equipped than private hospitals,” added the president.
World Health Organization (WHO) Secretary General Tedros Ghebreyesus attending the conference virtually, pledged to continue supporting Kenya in its journey towards achieving universal health coverage.
“In the coming months, WHO will publish new evidence and guidelines on competency based education to support your national dialogue. Last year, we also broke ground on the WHO academy which aims to transform lifelong learning for health. There is no health without health workers’’, he stated.
The WHO secretary general also pledged to continue supporting Africa and the continent to suppress the transmission of COVID-19 and rebuild.
“The pandemic demonstrates how critical health workers are and why they need the investment, the decent jobs and most accurate information, competencies and tools to keep themselves and the community self and healthy” emphasized Tedross.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sen. Mutahi Kagwe commending the organizers of the inaugural conference, underscored the need to embrace technology in delivery of health services.
“Things have changed around us; the world has gone very far in the technological field this time round technology is one of the key aspects in terms of digital health. We are going to ask ourselves if what we are learning today is sufficient for the future? Is what we are learning today efficient or better than what we have out there? Posed the CS.
Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha highlighted the relevance of competence based learning in adapting to changing market needs.
“I can see the link between the competence based curriculum to what we are witnessing at the national level. You can start teaching in primary school about the beating heart and start interesting children in medicine and pharmacy as they mix substances in school” said Magoha.
Council of governor’s chair Martin Wambora called for fastracking of reforms in health care and provision of quality care. His sentiments were echoed by the president of the Association of the medical councils of Africa (AMCOA) Dr. Kgosi Letlape who challenged law makers across the continent to formulate laws that will help build quality health systems.
“I hope we will not build systems for the past, we will build systems that we will use so that we don’t have to fly out of the country for treatment” said Kgosi.
The three-day hybrid conference jointly organized by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education brings together academic scholars, researchers, public health experts, medical specialists and trainers from across the region.
More than 1,000 delegates are attending the hybrid conference with at least 100 international delegates from 27 countries attending in person. 30 exhibitors are also showcasing at the conference. The conference theme is “Re-positioning today’s health workforce for the future”.