By Muli wa Kyendo
So Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is in India looking for Indian medical doctors who can come to work in Kenya. The reason is that Kenya’s medical system in in shambles. Apparently, corruption has eaten into the very fabric of the Kenyan economy. And worse it has spread to the county governments where a new culture has developed: Talk much, do little.
The President and his Deputy are busy dreaming grand ideas, but the ideas remain pipe dreams. Among these pipe dreams are ideas about hospital revamping. Grand schemes are announced every now and then only for us to hear that nurses and doctors have not been paid their salaries. Which self-respecting Indian doctor who has children to feed and educate will come to the unpredictable employment climate in Kenya?
The Second reason Uhuru is looking for India doctors that is that he wants to reduce the cost paid to India and Indian doctors by Kenyan patients. To pay much money to India is truly painful to Kenyans. Every Kenyan hopes that more facilities would be installed in Kenya so that medical services can be accessible to all. But the obvious fact is that India and Indian doctors are happy with the situation. That is precisely why they used their brains and God-given skills and talents to put up these facilities. They wanted to create wealth for India and Indians. And that is what a good, well administered country should do.
How India developed
The Indian economy is build on traditional knowledge. Meditation, traditional medicines and art of healing were the key exports of India. Modernization of these, mixed with a little religious mysticism, exposed India to the world. And Indians could thus enter the world market. They were enabled to create international organizations to spread Indian ideas and collect money from the international community.
And that is how India has built universities and hospitals – even technology based companies such as Airtel.
Kenya can do the same. We have our own cultures with similar knowledge and skills that can be developed. But where is the help from the government?
Uhuru’s trip to India reminds me of a story of British Minister who, faced with collapsing motor Industry called one of the Japanese motor companies for assistance. The Minister was offering the Japanese y alluring benefits so that they could set factories in Britain to help revive the British industry. “ What!” the Japanese asked in disbelief.
“We want you to train our people. Your motor industry is very successful!”
According to the CEO of the Japanese company, the offer was rejected. “So you want us to become resident tutors to teach the British how to take away the motor industry from us! And all that for free!” And with that, the CEO reported, the conversation was terminated.