The Busia County Government and the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) have entered a partnership deal aimed at expanding training opportunities for students in the county.
Governor Sospeter Ojaamong who signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the county said the deal was long overdue and it will play a crucial role in improving the county’s health sector.
“The MOU is going to move us forward as a county. Apart from enabling the KMTC campuses to grow and offer better training opportunities to the students, the deal will also see our Community Health Volunteers helping people at the grassroots level undergo requisite training at the campuses now that we have recognized them in law,” he said.
Ojaamong lauded Teso North legislator Oku Kaunya for initiating the establishment of Teso KMTC campus noting that his administration will offer the necessary support to complete his efforts by factoring its funding in this year’s budget.
He said the Busia KMTC campus has played a pivotal role in increasing the number of trained medical personnel in the county since its inception unlike before.
“When we started the county government and we advertised vacant positions for nurses we could not even meet the target.
However, if you advertise for any medical position today you will receive thousands of applicants. This means we have not been sleeping as a country. People have been training in these professions,” Ojaamong stated.
The KMTC Chief Executive Officer Michael Kiptoo said the agreement will streamline the working relationship between KMTC and the county government.
He said apart from training medical personnel, the institutions are transforming the economic status of the county due to the large number of students joining them.
He said: “You can imagine the number of students. Currently Busia KMTC has about 509 and we are planning to increase the programs as soon as the classes under construction are completed. This means we shall have more students.”
Kiptoo said the two KMTC campuses (Busia and Teso) and an upcoming one in Butula Sub County are adequate for the county.
“Let us have only these three and make them centres of excellence for various courses so that we don’t have too many to an extent we cannot provide the required quality.
“My team will sit down with respective legislators and agree on which courses will be specifically offered in Teso KMTC Campus, here in Busia and in Butula. We have 18 programs but we want to look at those that will make an impact on the people of this county,” he said.
Kaunya said the partnership deal was long overdue and will enable the new KMTC campuses to get the necessary support to take off and move to the next step.
He called for collaborative support between the county and national government owing to the fact that KMTCs are a national government function while the health facilities required for training fall under the county government.
He added that the county government has adequate staff in various medical fields that can support the new colleges to take off as they plan to get more staff.
Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi who doubles up as County health executive said the partnership deal will strengthen the campuses.
He said the county is set to upgrade Bumala B Health Centre in Butula to a Sub County Hospital to enable the upcoming KMTC at Butula to operate just like a similar investment is being made in Kocholia hospital to ensure the facilities support training of students.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait