Tuesday, July 5, 2022
HomeMedical SchemeMedical students at KU suffer as labs are turned into morgues.

Medical students at KU suffer as labs are turned into morgues.

HIGHLIGHTS ;

•The university and the University have been embroiled in an ownership stalemate

• Details have emerged that specialised laboratories meant for training neuro, orthopaedic, gastroenterology, cardiothoracic surgeons were turned into a funeral home

Kenyatta University medical students have continued to bear the brunt of the ongoing ownership dispute between the college and Kenyatta University Teaching, Research, and Referral Hospital.

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The hospital turned specialized laboratories meant for training neuro, orthopaedic, gastroenterology, and cardiothoracic surgeons into a funeral home, according to information released on Tuesday.

Medical students, particularly sixth-year students who spend long hours in hospitals as part of their training, must commute daily to Kiambu Level 5 Hospital because the hospital has locked them out.

Medical students of Kenyatta University

The university administration has fought a long battle with the hospital administration to allow students to train at the hospital, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

The university and the hospital are at odds over who owns what. The National Assembly Health Committee has summoned the Cabinet Secretaries for Health and Education, the Attorney General, and the National Treasury to resolve the impasse.

As a result, KU will be unable to begin post-graduate programs in anatomy and pathology, as planned when the hospital was built.

Both programs were supposed to begin in May 2020, but they have now been postponed.

The hospital administration did not appear before the committee to address concerns. The invitation has been extended until next week by MPs.

The Ministries of Education and Health did not send a representative as well.

“We learned from the hospital that the number of students has been limited and that only certain study years are supposed to be considered, even though they are supposed to have their experience.” “According to Dr Kenneth Iloka, a lecturer and biomedical engineer at the university,

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“So, how do we proceed if you say first years can only have 10 people in a session and we have a class of 40?

“There are a number of programs that were supposed to start in May 2020, but this has yet to happen because the university does not have access to the facilities needed for this work,” Dr Iloka explained.

According to the university administration, the decision to establish teaching, research, and medical services facility was made because the institution relied on other institutions to train its students.

Kiambu Level 4 Hospital, Thika Level 4 Hospital, Mathare Mental Hospital, and Mama Lucy Hospital were among the facilities.

Despite the dream of having a training facility to aid in research, no joint research has been conducted between the university and the hospital.

The university is still struggling with research in the same way it has since the medical school’s inception.

“We were going to break even in three years, but that hasn’t happened because some of the hospital’s rooms have been empty, and some of our students who should be benefiting aren’t,” university council chairman Prof Shem Migot-Adholla explained.

President Uhuru Kenyatta separated the hospital from the university’s ownership and control in a gazette notice published on January 25 and established it as an autonomous parastatal.

The hospital, which was built on Kenyatta University land with state-guaranteed loans to be repaid by the hospital, has been owned and managed by the university since its inception.

In 2019, Vice-Chancellor Paul Wainaina testified before a Senate committee, denying that the university lacked the resources to function to run the hospital.

The university claims it has reached an agreement with the Chinese government on how to repay a loan used to build the hospital, dismissing claims that it is cash-strapped.

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According to the VC, the loan’s first three years were designated as a grace period in the agreement with the Chinese government.

“The university was supposed to start repaying the loan in the fourth year because by then, we would have reached the break-even point,” Wainaina explained.

“We had indicated that we would be able to pay based on the fact that it is a 20-year loan.”

Joshua Kutuny, the vice-chair of the parliamentary committee, promised to resolve the issue once and for all.

“We need to call the Education and Health Ministries, as well as the Attorney General and the Treasury.”

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