JKUAT School of Medicine staged a curriculum review workshop for the masters degree course on emergency medicine. The event held on Tuesday July 2, brought together stakeholders from various institutions in the health sector. The medics, scholars, managers and regulators who offered their insights on the content, structure and duration of the proposed programme.
Kenya’s emergency healthcare system has faced a number of challenges including personnel, equipment and logistics. It is these gaps that JKUAT hopes to fill by rolling out the programme.
According to the International Federation for Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine is, “a field of practice based on the knowledge and skills required for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute and urgent aspects of illness and injury affecting patients of all age groups with a full spectrum of undifferentiated physical and behavioural disorders.”
Speaking when he opened the workshop, Dean, School of Medicine, Dr. Reuben Thuo noted that the need for specialized emergency physicians was on the rise, as envisaged by the country’s universal healthcare coverage blueprint.
With an undergraduate course in medicine, Dr. Thuo added that the School will leverage the emergency medicine course to strengthen Kenya’s capacity to better respond to emergency needs occasioned by accidents and acute illnesses.
Prof. Okello Agina from Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board who made a presentation on the role of the regulatory body in academic programmes development, said the Board recognized the course as a specialty training. He added that the course will bring the much needed emergency medicine to Kenya; a practice that he noted, had taken root in the developed world.
Another participant, Dr. Benjamin Wachira, an emergency physician said emergency medicine was still at infancy in the country, having been established as a specialty in 2017.
Dr. Wachira said weak emergency system had led to lose of many lives and called for targeted collaborations among the various agencies and specialists involved in the value chain.
While passing a vote of thanks to the participants, the workshop convener, Dr. Jacqueline Andhoga said quality manpower was a critical component of effective emergency care. She added that JKUAT will integrate the suggestions and views of the stakeholders in the preparation of the final curriculum.
The stakeholders were drawn from JKUAT, University of Nairobi, Kenyatta National Hospital, Agha Khan University Hospital, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, Kenya Society of Anaesthesiologists, Red Cross – eplus among others.