The Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Gradian Health Systems has launched a Kshs 14 million Simulation Laboratory to train health workers for the country.

The laboratory, the first of its kind in a Public Medical Training Institution, will help Kenya churn out critical care health workers needed in the fight against emerging diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acting Director-General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth lauded KMTC, noting that such innovations in training will strengthen healthcare provision across the counties.

He reported that Kenya has 1,200 critical healthcare workers with 20 critical care intensivists and 200 physician anesthesiologists.

“This facility is coming in handy to train healthcare providers and students to increase critical care workforce for better health service delivery,” he said.

Acting Director-General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth with KMTC training specialists in the simulation laboratory

The laboratory includes a mock Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and operating theatre in which routine and complex clinical cases can be performed under the guidance of KMTC specialized trainers.

It is fitted with a Comprehensive Care Ventilator (CCV) as well as Universal Anaesthesia Machine (UAM), several mannequins, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed, patient monitors, oxygen cylinders and accessories, machines to simulate different types of breathing, airway kits, and other devices, accessories, and consumables that help simulate a real clinical environment.

Board Director Mr. Fredrick Wamwaki appreciated Gradian Health Systems for recognizing that investments in anesthesia, critical and emergency care equipment can only lead to improved services with long-term and strategic investments in healthcare workforce development.

“As the Government invests in national healthcare systems which will enhance access to medical services, the College continues to strategically complement these efforts by bridging the identified Human Resource for Health gaps.” Mr. Wamwaki said.

KMTC CEO Prof. Michael Kiptoo enumerated the various benefits of simulation laboratory training noting the training model has gained popularity in medical education with a majority of medical programmes around the world incorporating it as a training approach into their curricula.

Simulation is an ideal way of learning without causing harm, inconvenience, or putting patients at risk.

It is envisioned that the training of general nurses and medical personnel in anesthesia, critical, and emergency care skills using this Simulation Laboratory, will solve the existing acute shortage and improve the healthcare worker staffing ratios in Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

Acting Director-General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth (2nd Right), KMTC CEO Prof. Michael Kiptoo (3rd Right), Gradian Health Systems Managing Director of Africa Mr. Kenneth Otieno (2nd Left) and KMTC Board Director Mr. Fred Wamwaki (Left) during the launch of the simulation laboratory.

Gradian Health Systems CEO Ms. Lina Sayeed said the launch of the lab in Kenya is an important step toward serving the training needs of the health care providers.

“For us, this training is a requirement. It’s not a perk or an added bonus. It is something we’re responsible for in order for our equipment to be used effectively and safely. I am very proud that Gradian and KMTC have partnered to make this training a space reality,” she said.

The laboratory also includes a classroom set up for lectures and debriefs as well as a full audio-visual suite that allows higher numbers of trainees to observe simulation scenarios as they are being performed, regardless of their location.