Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mr James Macharia, opened a newly constructed Annex at the Amref Health Africa Training Centre and Headquarters in Nairobi that will expand the organization’s capacity to train health workers from across the continent.
The new building, funded by USAID’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad programme at US$400,000, has a capacity of 215 students, as well as information and communications technology to support eLearning and mLearning.
Mr Macharia commended Amref Health Africa for its commitment to training health workers to meet the huge need for skilled health care across the continent, and to strengthening healthy systems.
“Amref Health Africa recognizes the fundamental importance of training in achieving sustainable development, and I appreciate the strategies it has put in place to address health personnel shortages," he said.
“I believe that this learning hub will nurture generations of health care professionals who will make critical contributions at all levels of health care.” He noted that in Kenya, Amref Health Africa was expanding to meet the needs of the developed governments and also repositioning itself as a centre of excellence for training health workers in the country and the region.
Amref Health Africa, said Mr Macharia, continues to play an important role in mobilizing resources to improve health care, and has proven to be a trusted partner of the Government of Kenya for many years, with results evident in areas such as malaria, and water and sanitation. “The fact that international development agencies continue to entrust large amounts of funding to Amref Health Africa is a reflection of the integrity and trust that the organization has built over the years,” he said.
Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Mr Isiah Parnell, said that the U.S. Government was committed to helping build the quality and quantity of health care workers in Kenya.
“The funding USAID provided to expand this training centre complements the U.S. Government’s broader investment of close to Ksh 45 billion in Kenya’s health system,” said Mr Parnell.
The Chair of Amref Health Africa’s International Board of Directors, Mr Omari Issa, announced that that the organization’s International Board of Directors had decided to set up a university to train health workers.
The decision, he said, and construction of the new annex, were in line with Amref Health Africa’s plans to expand its training portfolio and increase access to health care training. “We are investing in training people because we recognize that people are the most important element of the health system.”