By Beryl Okendo.
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) has passed an assessment for East Central and Southern Africa College of Physicians (ECSACOP) training.
This makes JOOTRH the fourth hospital in Kenya whose medical officers are set to gain skills that will enable them to deliver the most professional, impactful, and sustainable health services to patients within their facilities.
This means that JOOTRH physicians will undergo four-year training for post-graduate studies.
While conducting the assessment KAP considered the physical facilities and patient numbers and case mix assessment. They urged the facility to improve on documentation by making information readily available.
The objective of the studies is not only to equip physicians with vast knowledge in the medical field but also to create healthy communities through access to well-trained physicians.
ECSACOP is a regional college currently comprising Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The college currently seeks to contribute to the resolution of the manpower shortage of qualified and competent physicians within various level four hospitals in the regions and beyond.
It’s one of six constituent colleges of the East, Central, and Southern Africa (ECSA) College of Health Sciences which was established following a resolution passed at the 52nd Health Ministers Conference held in Harare, Zimbabwe 2010.
It was officially inaugurated in 2015 and has thus far held two scientific and annual general meetings in Zimbabwe (2016) and Uganda (2017). The College awards Fellowship through instructions and examinations. Enrolled trainees participate in full-time instruction in approved training institutions.
The Fellowship (Part 1) examination leads to admission into the final part of training. The Fellowship (Final) examination leads to the qualification of Fellow of the East Central and Southern Africa College of Physicians, FCP (ECSA).
This qualification is a recognition that the candidate has reached the level of knowledge and practice of internal medicine sufficient to practice independently at a consultant or specialist level.
ECSACOP is the first college of its kind in East, Central, and Southern Africa, which is locally led and innovative in its approach. It is specifically responding to the varying nature of postgraduate training within the ECSA countries, harmonizing standards through the introduction of a common curriculum and teaching methodologies.
Physicians tend to stay or practice where they train, and the vast majority train in large urban hubs. This means that rural centers tend to be understaffed and disadvantaged in terms of public health resource allocation, meaning patients often end up traveling large distances to access specialist care.
The college focuses primarily on developing training centers serving rural populations in this way, and in doing so, increasing access to care for those most in need.
In Kenya, the college has been able to work successfully with Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Matter Hospital, Coast General Hospital, and Kenyatta University Teaching and Research Hospital.
JOOTRH is honoured to be part of the team that includes Kisii level five Hospital and Defense Forces Memorial Hospital which are still prospective sites and which upon approval would need to produce a medical physician who will be a beneficiary of the program.