The Ministry of Education has allowed nine universities offering medical courses to recall their final year students to undertake their mandatory clinical examinations but under strict guidelines.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha in a letter dated August 31 to Vice-Chancellors, granted them the authority but warned that failure to adhere to the relevant Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols on Covid-19 will be closed immediately.
“In light of the Covid-19 situation which has precipitated an urgent need to train and assess medical students to support the dearth in adequate healthcare personnel to fight the pandemic, consideration has been given to the request for face-to-face learning and assessment of medical students. This is further informed by a physical inspection of facilities to ascertain the level of preparedness for resumption of face-to-face learning,” reads the letter.
: “As a result, re-opening of the College of Health Sciences for final year medical students to undertake their mandatory clinical examinations is granted subject to conditions.”
Personal Protective Equipment
The Cabinet Secretary said students must use the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when rotating at the hospital and they must be trained on the proper donning and doffing of PPE gear.
“The University must manage any suspected Covid-19 cases affecting their students in their isolation and quarantine facilities awaiting results. The decision of home-based care or hospital management must be in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols,” added Prof Magoha.
He also directed that the number of students per rotation be limited to permit social distancing norms; and all ministry of Health guidelines be adhered to in order to mitigate COVID-19.
Prof Magoha’s decision follows a communication by the Chief Executive Officer/Registrar, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council addressed to Deans of School of Medicine and Dentistry dated August 21.
The Ministry of Health through the council directed all deans of medical and dental schools to urgently put in place mechanisms to allow final year students to undertake their mandatory clinical exams.
Council chief executive officer Daniel Yumbya asked the deans to ensure that all the Covid-19 containment measures issued by the government have been strictly adhered to during the exercise.
The Universities are; University of Nairobi, Mount Kenya University, Moi University, Egerton University, Kenya Methodist University, Kenyatta University,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and technology ,Maseno University and Uzima University