The Ministry of Health has said that it will consider bringing in more Cuban doctors in the country to meet the health human resource gap in the country.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said that to achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country, the health sector is in need of more health workers to meet the resource gap.
“We need to be innovative and if it means we bring in more medics then we shall. We will however engage the union and not just the doctors but all cadres on the matter,” she said.
The CS said that they are currently experiencing an increase in patients in the public hospitals in the counties piloting UHC which means that more has to be done to equip the health sector.
It is however not clear whether the medics will be offered furnished homes, air fares for holidays, paid utilities and transport on top of their salaries as in the case with the current 100.
Ms Kariuki said that the government expects more Cuban medics who will implement the malaria vector control project using biolarvicides in eight counties in Western Kenya.
Kenya is also expected to welcome an unknown number of research team from Cuba who will develop joint projects with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).
The training deal, signed between Kenya and Cuba during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Havana in March last year, was meant to develop a pool of much-needed skills in the ailing Kenyan healthcare sector.
The deal would see 100 Cuban doctors come to Kenya, of which 47 work as specialists while 53 family physicians were deployed to the counties.
Kenya in turn secured space for its 50 doctors to study in Cuba, famed for its world-class healthcare system. That number has since gone down to 48 following the death of one medic and the withdrawal from the program by female medic.
Currently, American doctors make the biggest number of foreign medics licensed to operate in Kenya with Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board’s (KMPDB) 2018 breakdown of the nationalities of foreign doctors showing that there were 1,019 foreign doctors licensed to practice by the end on March 2018.
There are 358 American medics with Tenwek Hospital in Bomet County accounting for the bulk of the US doctors with 149, AIC Kijabe Hospital had 86, 42 at Ampath Brase Clinic (17), while PCEA Chogoria Clinic and AIC Cure International Hospital had 15 each.
India has the second highest number of licensed foreign doctors at 143 most of who work at Mediheal Diagnostic and Fertility Centre.
Congo has the highest number of licensed African medics in Kenya with 45 doctors spread across various mission hospitals.
Kenya has 11,334 registered doctors, 6,394 of them active, in the 2018 register. There are also 1,302 registered dentists out of who only 683 are retained in this year’s register.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.