Cuba to Send 100 Doctors to Kenya

Source:  The Star, Kenya / TeleSUR
March 18 2018

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks on direct engagement among African-Caribbean and Pacific countries during his state visit to Cuba, March 16, 2018. /PSCU

Kenya has announced that they will bring 100 Cuban medical specialists to fill gaps in county hospitals after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta ended a short visit to the Caribbean island.

One of President Kenyatta’s “Big Four Agenda” objectives is to implement universal health care for Kenyans, and that’s why medical assistance was one of their main discussion points during their visit to Havana.

Read: Kenya, Cuba bank on historical ties for stronger health, tourism sectors

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said Kenya had struck an agreement to bring in 100 medical specialists – with each county getting at least two – and that 50 doctors will be sent to Cuba for specialised training.

Research

Kenya will also work with Cuba on collaborative research projects, develop training for primary healthcare workers and collaborate to build capacity to undertake genetic engineering and biotech work.

What we discovered is that Cubans are very concerned and very dedicated to research and have a very strong research department and they have had many firsts, they have eliminated malaria from the face of Cuba all together,” said Mohamed Ali, the governor of Marsabit, who also visited the island along with Kenyatta.

Ali also said they would bring livestock vaccines from Cuba to help Kenyan pastoralists without damaging the environment.

“Timelines are as soon as possible,” said Aman, who was part of the delegation that accompanied Uhuru to the Caribbean nation globally known for its leadership in primary healthcare.

Cuban doctors will need to be cleared by the Kenya Medical and Dentists Practitioners Board but Governors Anyang Nyong’o of Kisumu and Mohamed Ali of Marsabit, who were also in the delegation and back the deal, said they expected no problems.

Nyong’o had been to Cuba twice before when he served as minister in the Grand Coalition Government. He had been been party to health cooperation agreements that were never implemented.

The Governor said he wants swift implementation of the plan because health is at the epicentre of a growing Kenya.

The President ordered Aman to remain in Cuba until he delivers an agreement with extensive detail on cooperation with Cuba.

Vaccines
 Essentially, the agreement will cover a raft of critical areas. These include the secondment by the Cuban government of doctors to Kenya to fill crucial gaps in county hospitals and that of technical experts to operate equipment.

It also covers participation in research and advanced trials of medicines in areas in which Kenya is vulnerable. This will be through the use of therapeutic anti-HIV and anti-prostate cancer vaccines; vaccines to control influenza and meningitis; and control of diabetic foot ulcer amputation.

It will also cover the vector control in the fight against malaria.

Kenya will also look to Cuba for vaccines against ticks, guaranteeing healthy animals and cleaner environment due to a reduction of chemicals used in tackling ticks at the moment.

The sum total of these agreements is that Cuban experts will come to Kenya within the next few weeks and roll out a range of medical interventions that will radically change how we manage a large number of life-threatening diseases.

Related: Mobile app, study tours to combat crop-munching armyworm in Africa

If the recent political handshake had the potential to change political discourse, the agreement with Cuba will be of seismic proportions when it comes to the management of Kenya’s healthcare systems.

The key approach for the Cubans concerns preventive measures so the country stops the spread of disease before the economy is drained.

Collaboration with Cuba is likely to become a major strategy in how Kenya deals with the preventive options in disease management. The main goal is saving billions of shillings that go to global pharmaceutical majors each year for treatment, at the cost of growing the economy and delivering shared prosperity to all.

Read:  Kenya: Protesters Demand US Ambassador Step Down

President Kenyatta travels to Cuba for a State visit

Source:  Daily Nation
March 14 2018

uhuru kenyattaPresident Uhuru Kenyatta. State House says the agenda of the trip will be
boosting cooperation in health, sports and culture.
PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Uhuru Kenyatta heads to the Caribbean in a historic visit to the island of Cuba on Tuesday, seeking a helping hand for his healthcare policy in the Big Four Agenda.

The president will be visiting the region for the first time since he took office in 2013.

It will also be the first visit by a Kenyan head of state since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 2001.

State House said on Monday that the agenda of the trip will be boosting cooperation in health, sports and culture.

Opportunity

“Cuba has a well-developed health sector which has achieved great milestones such as discovery of vaccines against lung cancer, and the eradication of malaria. Cuba is also home to a thriving pharmaceutical industry,” State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said.

“There is a great opportunity during the President’s visit for the two nations to expand the MoU on implementation for the achievement of universal healthcare, an important deliverable in President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda,” Mr Esipisu added, referring to an agreement signed between Kenya and Cuba last year.

Model

raul ridrignez cuba.jpg

President Kenyatta and outgoing Cuban Ambassador Raul Rodriguez Ramos

Officials say the President sees Cuba as important in helping him achieve some of the Big Four issues, which include universal healthcare, adequate housing, manufacturing and food security.

Cuba, under the leadership of Fidel Castro – who died in November 2016 – for five decades, has achieved what the World Health Organisation calls a model healthcare system.

Based on socialist tenets, Castro engineered a system based on accessibility and preventive medicine (vaccination) and regarded health as a basic human right.

Mortality rate

Health services are offered for free and include check-ups, surgery, medical dispensing and doctor visitations.

Under Fidel’s brother Raul, the World Bank reports that Cuba’s community health has remained intact, reporting an infant mortality rate of four in 1,000 live births and a life expectancy of 80.

Kenya’s infant mortality rate is 37 out of 1,000 live births while the life expectancy is 62.

Low salaries

In Cuba, one medical doctor can serve up to 150 patients, beyond the World Health Organisation standard ratio of one doctor per 300 people.

In Kenya, a doctor has to work harder because he stands for 16,000 patients.

A preparatory concept note for the President’s visit said Kenya could tap into Cuba’s pharmaceuticals as well as its medical missions.

While Cuban doctors earn little at home – sometimes less than Sh10,000 a month – Havana often gets good revenues by sending its doctors abroad, earning about Sh640 billion a year, in form of portions of salaries paid by foreign governments to the doctors.

Vector control

“The President will explore how to build Kenyan capacity, increase the number of medical specialists in orthopaedic surgery, oncology, neurology, and trauma management; and collaborate in research on cancer and diabetes drugs, and eradication of malaria,” State House said on Monday.

“Cuba is interested in registering and selling its pharmaceutical products in the Kenyan market. It is also keen to cooperate in vector control.

President Kenyatta will encourage Cuba to set up a pharmaceutical plant in Kenya to serve the East and Central Africa regional market.”

Sanctions

Cuba’s engagements with the outside world had been limited until 2016 when the US agreed to lift the sanctions it imposed on the country in the 1960s, and reopened its embassy in Havana.

President Barack Obama then made a historic visit to Havana. A few months later, Kenya announced it would open an embassy in Cuba.

On Monday, Kenya said it would support Cuba to have the remaining sanctions imposed to it dropped, in exchange for a vote for a temporary seat for Kenya at the UN Security Council in 2021.

Good image

The temporary seat is not influential when the UN’s most powerful organ votes on substantial matters but often provides a country with good image and opportunity to lobby for favourable policies within the UN.

A temporary member can chair the UN Security Council, granting it an opportunity to influence a particular stand on issues of regional security.

Kenya has been a member of the council twice, but not during President Kenyatta’s tenure.

Africans should not search for justice at the ICC, solutions must come from within

“It is foolish to think that the forces that enslaved the African people, destroyed our history, colonialized our past, propped up dictators and assassinated revolutionary African leaders, destroyed our young economies in the name of loans/aid and views us as inferior due to the color of our skins will today become our saviors.”

kenya-flagThe International Criminal Court (ICC) has now become a permanent news item in Kenya, and a major issue across all of Africa.

Ever since Kofi Anan and the Chair of the commission investigating the Post Elections Violence Justice Phillip Waki introduced the possibility of the masterminds of the Post Elections Violence (PEV) being tried by the ICC, the Court has indeed become a player in the local Kenyan politics.

iccI have written on this blog before, and the fact remains that the ICC is an imperialist court. Some members of Parliament, the President, his Deputy and some African heads of state seem to have come to this realization just a year or a few months ago.

It is true that this court targets and is pleased to try Africans, right from the African Presidents to small time rebels. This is despite the fact that other than the Democratic Republic of Congo, the worst war crimes in the recent years have taken place outside of Africa.

It is also not just any other criminal African President/rebel that the ICC targets. Some can actually survive their dragnet if they have good relations with the western powers. In Libya for instance, armed rebels toppled and murdered Muammar Gaddafi with the support of the imperialist countries. In the process, they killed thousands of dark skinned Africans Workers who were operating in the different economic sectors in Libya. Today, it is Gaddafi’s son, Saif who is standing trial at the ICC and not the racist Al Qaeda linked rebels. (Nobody is telling us who is currently mining Libya’s oil). In the case of Ivory Coast, a rebel leader, Allasane Ouattara violently ousted President Laurent Gbagbo from power, with direct combat involvement of the French Army. While Ouattara had destabilized the north for many years, causing uncountable deaths and untold suffering to the people of Ivory Coast, it is Laurent Gbagbo who is sitting at the ICC, and not Ouattara. The biggest culprit in the DRC conflict which has claimed over 6 million lives is Rwanda’s Paul kagame, who at this moment a darling of imperialism hence untouchable by the ICC.
These few examples show the imperialist nature of the ICC.

Kenya: U.S., Britain – Who Will Cast the First ‘ICC Stone’ At Kenya?

iccCan an American be guilty of crimes against humanity? Is it possible that some American individual, or group, can be involved in the kind of offences that constitute a serious attack on human dignity, and/or a grave humiliation or degradation of human beings, as part of an ‘organised’ system? Can Americans be involved in torture; rape; political, racial or religious persecution, or other inhumane acts, as part of a widespread or systematic practice, as the International Criminal Court defines as crimes against humanity?

Does ‘Gitmo’ apply; the military prison located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, established in 2002 by the American government to detain extraordinarily dangerous prisoners, interrogate them in an ‘optimal setting’, and to prosecute such prisoners for war crimes.

Read more at: Kenya: U.S., Britain – Who Will Cast the First ‘ICC Stone’ At Kenya?