Migration of nurses to Diaspora dips by 37 percent


Kenya: The number of nurses leaving the country for greener pastures abroad has significantly reduced in recent years, a new report has revealed.

The Kenya Nursing Workforce Report released in Nairobi yesterday, shows that between 2008 and 2012, at least 1,149 nurses applied to the National Nursing Council to have their qualification certified so that they can migrate.

From 2008 to 2012, the average number of annual applications to migrate decreased to approximately 256, representing a 37.4 per cent decrease in annual applications compared to the previous nine years.

Sixty-two per cent of applications to migrate were to the United States and three per cent to the United Kingdom compared to 33 per cent in the previous nine years.

Applications to Canada stood at 13 percent and Australia got 10 per cent. In the previous nine years, Canada and Australia recorded two and five per cent respectively. Applications to other African countries remained steady at six per cent. The report also indicated that from 2008-2012, 826 nurses left the public health sector, with causes being retirement (37 per cent), death (28 per cent), dismissal (19 per cent), resignation (10 per cent) and transfer (6 per cent).

However, the report shows that there are still very few nurses in the country with the ratio being 103.4 nurses per every 100,000 people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 250 health care workers (doctors, nurses and midwives) per every 100,000 people.

As of 2012, there were 50,025 nurses aged 60 years or younger registered to practice nursing in Kenya with 5,066 of them being older than 60 years.


When comparing the ages of nurses employed in the public and faith-based sectors, the latter employs a higher percentage of young nurses aged between 21 and 30 years (26 per cent) compared to the public sector (six per cent). On the other hand, the public sector employs a higher percentage of nurses aged between 51 and 60 years (28 per cent).

In Kenya, nurse deployment differs with respect to facility type.

While hospitals only comprise 8.4 per cent of health facilities, 67.9 per cent of the nursing workforce is deployed in hospitals. Dispensaries comprise 72 per cent of health facilities, but only account for 17.7 per cent of nurses’ deployment.-standardmedia.co.ke/

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