The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has revealed that Kenyan doctors studying in Cuba on an exchange programme are being mistreated and their efforts to return back home frustrated.
According to KMPDU deputy secretary-general, Chibanzi Mwachonda Kenyan doctors in Cuba are among other things forced to contend with a minimal stipend that can barely sustain their basics.
“There are many problems — non-responsiveness of the embassy and the Ministry of Health, stipend cannot sustain daily living, internet costs are astronomical, coercion from all sides you dare not walk out of the programme,” Dr Mwachonda said.
Dr. Mwachonda further added that the cost of living in Cuba is high compared with Kenya yet the allowances the doctors were supposed to receive were allegedly slashed from Sh144,000 to Sh36,000 monthly.
The revelations of the state of Kenyan doctors in Cuba are coming in the wake of the death of Dr Hamisi Ali Juma in what his colleagues are terming as mysterious circumstances.
Dr. Hamisi Ali Juma, who was among 50 doctors who were sponsored by the government to study family medicine in a deal between Kenya and Cuba, allegedly committed suicide, just hours before is scheduled flight back home.
Dr. Mwachonda said that Hamisi had consulted KMPDU about his plans to return home, saying he was frustrated.
KMPDU is now demanding for the government to bring back all the Kenyan doctors in Cuba.