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With 3,800 of doctors who graduated in the country since 2014 being unemployed, Tanzania has agreed to provide 500 medics to Kenya to reduce shortages, especially now when their Kenyan counterparts are still on strike.
President John Magufuli agreed to provide the doctors at the State House in Dar es Salaam recently, after holding talks with a delegation of Kenyan leaders sent by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The head of a delegation from Kenya who doubles as the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr Cleopa Mahilu, told Dr Magufuli that due to the ongoing strike and the devolution drive in the health sector, it was established that the country had a shortage of medical practitioners that could not be solved by doctors trained in Kenya only, but through assistance from other countries.
Flanked by the Kisumu Governor, Mr Jack Ranguma, Dr Mahilu said the Kenyan government was ready to pay the 500 Tanzanian doctors well, starting from salaries, allowances and housing facilities.
Dr Magufuli gave a nod to the Kenyan request, saying the two countries were relatives, neighbours and friends, directing the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, to expedite the process of getting the doctors so that they can quickly rush to the neighbouring country to offer their services.
“The problems of Kenyans are equally ours; we will give you 500 doctors so that they can offer their services to our relatives in Kenya and because you gave an assurance to accommodate and pay them well, I have no problem with your request,” said the head of state.
In her remarks, Ms Mwalimu said her ministry was ready to provide the doctors immediately, insisting that Tanzania had enough and best doctors who graduated from universities, but were yet to be employed while others had their contracts expiring.
Tanzania Daily News