The intergovernmental agreement giving Kenyan nurses a special path to temporary work in the UK, while poor in detail, is a step in the right direction.
For decades, Kenyan nurses have complained about how those in power belittle them and fail to recognize their contribution to health care. Failure to take this opportunity would mean the nurses shoot each other in both feet.
Kenya is experiencing an unprecedented surge in cancer prevalence. The UK has implemented a cancer care model from which we can benefit greatly. UK High Commissioner for Kenya Jane Marriott explained how some of the skills nurses will learn in the UK will be aligned with cancer management.
The cancer care centers are run by specialist oncology nurses and underpin the role nurses play in modern medicine. You have the option of not only having oncology nurses, but also an oncologist, surgeon, and most importantly, scanning facilities.
Kenya trains oncology nurses and this is a good chance to further specialize them. Nursing is a scientific profession that requires the application of scientific methods to humans in order to achieve certain results.
Cancer is usually an accidental and sometimes accidental diagnosis in Kenya. Before it is diagnosed, patients were treated for stomach ulcers, typhoid fever, malaria, and, if the stars are targeted, Helicobacter pylori infection. When we call it out, it has spread like a California summer bush fire.
Cancer approaches not with the solemn internalized virtue of a descending angel, but with the brutal game of a nightclub bouncer. Cancer centers will enable clinicians to refer patients for evaluation.
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Pay for tests
Health care is becoming too expensive for many people in Kenya who blissfully ignore their own well-being. The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) must be able to pay for tests related to cancer research. But asking Kenyans to be screened for cancer is not enough. What now?
When the NHIF and other health insurers assure the Kenyans that they will take care of the clarification and the subsequent treatment, that takes away the worry of an already tense illness.
This interaction with the UK must not only benefit Kenyan nurses with modern expertise, but also create an environment in which they can put what they have learned into practice. In addition, Kenyan nurses need to learn to identify opportunities and make the most of them.
There is a misconception about who nurses are and what they do. Hollywood films portraying them as afterthoughts of medicine have not helped the image. I am subscribing to a new generation of nurses who reaffirm their role and are not afraid to question unhelpful traditions. These are the nurses who take this chance and have to walk with it.