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KMPDU demands termination of doctors training programme in Cuba

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The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) is demanding immediate termination of the doctors training programme in Cuba following sudden demise of a Kenyan doctor Mr Hamisi Ali Juma.

According to KMPDU, Dr Juma was found dead at his hostel in Havana Cuba. His death has been alleged as suicide with the Kenyan Embassy in Cuba and police forces investigating the circumstances that led to his death.

“The circumstances resulting in the death are not clear yet as investigations by the Cuban authorities are ongoing,” read a statement released by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The late doctor is survived by his wife Dr Zeyana Rasul and an eight-month-old baby.

Dr Juma was among 50 Kenyan doctors in an exchange programme sponsored by the government to study family medicine in Cuba.

The medics union has accused the government of neglecting the Kenyan doctors in susceptible conditions in a foreign country.

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They further stated that some doctors, including the late Dr Juma had expressed desire to pull out from the programme due to their poor living conditions.

“The Kenyan-Cuba arrangement has left Kenyan Doctors vulnerable, frustrated and in deplorable conditions. This follows failure by the Kenyan Government to secure proper housing conditions, pay the promised allowances and allow doctors to reconnect with their families,” said Dr Ouma Oluga the Secretary General KMPDU.

“The KMPDU can authoritatively report that Dr Hamisi Ali Juma (deceased) had expressed desire to terminate the program for the reasons mentioned above,” added Dr Oluga.

It is reported that the doctors in Cuba have constantly expressed their frustration with the manner in which the government has withheld or completely failed  to pay their living expenses in a foreign country.

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The doctors in Cuba had requested for Sh144,000 monthly stipend due to high cost of living in the foreign country but the MoH slashed it to Sh36,000.

The stipend covers for the doctors meals, buying text books and transportation fare to and from the training centre to their hostels.

The doctors have further complained that they cannot afford a simple meal like tea which costs Sh600 and books that are bought at Sh800.

The given monthly stipend which are at times delayed when complaints reach the media, cannot sustain the daily needs and the internet cost.

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The Kenyan Embassy in Cuba are also at the receiving end for exhibiting high-handedness when concerns are raised.

Interestingly, Cuban specialists flown in the country through the MoH are receiving royal treatment with chauffeured transport, lavish living and a fat pay check.

The 100 specialist doctors fall under Job Group S whose basic salary falls between Sh160,600- Sh315,700.

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Brenda Gamonde
Brenda Gamonde
Brenda Gamonde is reporter with Business Today. Email: [email protected]
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