Kaimosi Friends University to focus on health sciences

Kaimosi University

The entrance to Kaimosi University in Vihiga County in July.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

Exit Kaimosi Friends University College (Kafuco), enter Kaimosi Friends University (Kafu) which seeks to transform the institution into a medical, health sciences and nursing powerhouse.

The administration of the new chartered university says the upgrade of status will see it establish itself as the home of training in medical and science fields.

Kafu, in Vihiga County, was awarded a charter in August by former President Uhuru Kenyatta just before the country went to the elections. The acting vice chancellor, Prof Jack Nandi, says the new university will focus on offering training in health sciences to boost its relevance.

The charter came after about eight years of waiting. During this time, it was under the mentorship of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, which is in Kakamega County.

Prof Nandi said the resolve to prioritise health sciences will make the institution relevant to the community and country in the wake of competition in the crowded field.

Prof Nandi said the institution takes the plan to specialise in offering health sciences as its key platform that will ensure students gain access to the local and global job markets as well as venture into self-employment. Prof Nandi called on the Vihiga County Government to consider setting up a fully-fledged modern referral health facility to be used for training by the medical students.

Already, the School of Nursing has been started and is offering both diploma and degree programmes. Also on the agenda is a plan to start a School of Medicine with Prof Nandi saying Kafu has the capacity to run the programme.

“We want to be relevant to this community by training individuals who can be absorbed in the global job market and even start their own jobs. We don’t want to engage in traditional courses that in the end turn out to be irrelevant.”

“That is why we want to focus on health sciences. We became the first constituent university college to start a nursing programme. This is not an easy undertaking,” Prof Nandi added.

The institution was started in September 2014 as Kafuco. It has over 4,500 students with a hostel capacity of 700. Prof Nandi revealed that plans are underway to start ophthalmology training to create experts in eye treatment. The institution is also in the process of signing a pact with Sabatia Eye Hospital.

“Sabatia Eye Hospital is the best eye facility that we have around here,” he said. The elevation to a university is expected to spur student uptake with Prof Nandi calling on the neighbouring community to build decent houses for student accommodation.

“We will approve some of the facilities so as to ensure that the accommodation is safe for our students. We want the road network around here to be developed too. We call on the local leadership to pursue the matter of road upgrade,” said Prof Nandi.

The institution wants the Kaimosi-Shamakhokho loop road tarmacked. It passes next to the university and also serves other facilities within the Kaimosi education complex and the nearby Friends Jumuia Hospital.

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