The Kisii County Government and Kisii University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up a school of medicine at the Kisii Hospital.
Governor James Ongwae signed the MoU on behalf of the County while the Dean for the School of Health Sciences Dr. Wycliffe Mogoa represented Kisii University in a ceremony at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH).
The signing is a culmination of a process that began three years ago when the County entered into a collaborative arrangement with Kisii University on health care services.
Already, the curriculum for the School of Health Sciences has been developed and approved by the university senate ready for roll out this calendar year.
"This is a historic day for the County because healthcare is one of the priorities we identified at the inception of this County Government. Our dream is to avail world class healthcare to our people and this is a major step in realizing this," said an elated Governor Ongwae.
He said the County Government would expand the referral hospital’s bed capacity from 450 to 700 and constructing anatomy, histology and pathology laboratories in readiness for the school of health sciences.
KTRH Board Chairman Prof. Isaac Kibwage, CEO Dr. Enock Ondari, County Attorney Ken Onsembe and Chief Officer for Health Services Alice Abuki witnessed the signing.
"As a university, we support the support of the County Government especially at this hospital. We shall offer Bachelor of Science degrees in Clinical Medicine, Community Health Development, Nutrition, Public Health and Laboratory Science," said Dr. Mogoa.
He explained that the university had built pre-clinical laboratories and embarked on recruitment of staff to start the school of health sciences. Anatomy, histology and pathology labs will be located at KTRH.
"Once these facilities are ready and equipped, the Commission for University Education (CUE) and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) will carry out an inspection and accredit the labs before the programme is rolled out," added Dr. Mogoa.
Prof. Kibwage lauded Governor Ongwae for his vision of setting up a teaching and referral hospital saying this will attract additional funding from the National Government.
"It take a visionary leader to move in this direction especially in healthcare. Now, specialists teaching at the university will be offering healthcare services to our people as is the case at Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital," noted Prof. Kibwage.
He said medical school will not only benefit residents of Kisii County but also those from neighbouring counties such as Nyamira, Migori, Homabay and parts of Narok counties.
Dr. Mogoa hailed the County Government for modernizing the hospital by putting in place state of the art diagnostic equipment and starting projects that will help in training the students.