HAVANA, 11 Oct. The Minister of Health of Kenya, Nakhumicha Wafula, announced this Wednesday that her Government is not going to renew the agreementthat she had until now with Cuba for the hiring of doctors from the Island.
“We have decided not to renew the agreement with the Cuban doctors because I want to believe that our own doctors are committed to the cause,” said Nakumicha during the official opening of the Pre-National Dialogue on Human Resources for Health at the Windsor Golf Hotel in Nairobi, in statements collected by the local press.
The minister also assured that they have implemented several measures to take into account the demands of national healthcare providers and expressed confidence that they will meet all the needs of Kenyan hospitals. “I have no doubt that we are going to have a very motivated and well-served workforce,” she said.
Since Cuban doctors arrived in Kenya in 2017 as part of the Universal Health Coverage program, their Kenyan counterparts have reported having been marginalized, claiming that they have the capacity to do everything that the island’s doctors could do. They only lacked, they cried, the appropriate equipment and remuneration.
Precisely last September, the Health Committee of the National Assembly suggested to the Government headed by William Ruto that it not renew the contract of the 120 Cuban doctors who have been in the Central African country for six years.
One of the main arguments was, according to statements by the organization’s president, Robert Pukose, that “their salaries are enough to employ at least three Kenyan doctors.”
They have implemented several measures to take into account the demands of national healthcare providers and expressed confidence that they will meet all the needs of Kenyan hospitals.
According to Pukose, for each Cuban doctor a salary of $4,257 is paid to the Island. Of that money, 851 dollars corresponds to the salary and the remaining 3,406 dollars, is a contribution from the Kenyan Government.
Furthermore, Pukose expressed his suspicions about the exchange of Kenyan doctors with the island. “In this exchange program, a whole group of our doctors went to Cuba to develop capabilities. Where did they go?” he asked.
As part of the agreements between Kenya and Cuba, specialists Landy Hernández and Assel Herrera Correa arrived in the African country in 2019, in April of that year were kidnapped by alleged members of the Somali jihadist group Al Shabab.
Four years after the event, despite triangulated efforts between the Governments of Cuba, Kenya and Somalia, the two doctors have not been released.
Since William Ruto came to power last year, the Executive has not publicly commented on the case of the kidnapped people, a silence that has also prevailed in neighboring Somalia, where the two doctors are supposedly still captive.
Ruto did not even have words last September, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, when he thanked Miguel Díaz-Canel for Cuba’s “links” with his country, which have allowed Kenya to improve its development. , “particularly in the healthcare sector.”
“No one knows the current whereabouts of the two Cuban doctors. Nor do we have updated information on the current state of their well-being,” a source from the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) told EFE last April on condition of anonymity because She is not authorized to speak to the media.
“They are believed to be still being held somewhere in an al-Shabab stronghold since their abduction,” the source said. “We have no further details at this time – he insisted – and nothing new has emerged in the last two years.”