The Aga Khan University (AKU) has officially launched two new undergraduate degree programs Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Direct Entry having received a license from the Commission for University Education.
The Commission for University Education (CUE) approved these programs, expected to kick off in September 2023, attesting to AKU’s programmatic growth as it seeks to create leaders in professions and communities from where its students are drawn.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, Kenya has a ratio of 13.8 healthcare professionals per 10,000 people. This falls short of the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 44.5 doctors, nurses, and midwives per 10,000 people. This hinders the effective delivery of essential healthcare services and achievement of Universal Healthcare Coverage – a gap that the University hopes to bridge.
Speaking during the official launch of the undergraduate degree programs, the Chief Guest, Director, University Education at the Ministry of Education Darius Ogutu said; “The launch of the new undergraduate programs in medicine and nursing is a significant development for the education sector and healthcare industry. The healthcare sector plays a crucial role in promoting the overall well-being of our population. Therefore, it is imperative that we invest in education and training that prepares healthcare professionals who are capable of providing quality care. I look forward to working with Aga Khan University and other stakeholders to nurture the next generation of leaders who will help us collectively improve healthcare outcomes and access to care for communities in need – which is our goal in achieving Universal Health Coverage.”
AKU’s Medical College in East Africa will offer the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), a six-year degree program designed to prepare medical doctors who are well-grounded with knowledge, competencies, and skills in humanities, social sciences, and medical sciences. The MBChB degree program is based on the principles of adult learning and incorporates concepts of best evidence-based learning in medical education.
While AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery in East Africa will offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Direct Entry, a four-year direct-entry program that aims to equip nursing students with the skills and competencies needed to function in areas such as patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, quality improvement and use of informatics and technology to enhance the quality of care.
AKU’s Vice Chancellor Dr Sulaiman Shahabuddin said; “Healthcare is one of the most important and rapidly evolving fields in the world today. The demand for highly skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals has never been greater, and our undergraduate programs have been designed to meet that demand. The Aga Khan University is ranked among the top 2% of universities in the world. This means that the students applying to these programs are going to learn from the best faculty, with access to state-of-the-art facilities, and acquire a globally recognized degree at the end of their studies.”
The two programs aim to transform the higher education landscape in the region and will be offered simultaneously in a unique setting that brings student doctors and nurses together to gain interprofessional education.
Currently, the Medical College, East Africa offers nine residency programs through its Postgraduate Medical Education and nine fellowship programs in Nairobi and over 60 percent of its graduates are currently working in public and private sector hospitals in the countries they serve.
The School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa prides itself in transforming its students from learners into leaders and has so far graduated more than 3,000 nurses and midwives across the region.