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GYN CHRONICLES On The Cuban Doctors Manenos Dr. Maureen Owiti O n June 6th 2018, I watched with awe the hero welcome the first batch of Cuban doctors received. The saying came to mind when we are told that a prophet cannot be a ‘prophet’ in their own home. Thus is the folly of the Kenyan doctor. I remember my first posting to Coast Provincial General Hospital many years back as a Medical Officer Intern, when we had to find our own way to the hospital (luckily at that time internship was only in big centers) and had to survive on the good will of friends and relatives till you received your first pay 6 months down the line. The only benefit was probably that you could be lucky to get a house that was unfurnished. So here you are just a roof no bed, beddings or anything to cook with. An intern is expected to report on duty on time and work extra hours I think only by God’s grace and the good will of friends and neighbors and lunch given by the hospital did we manage. To get your salary it involved several trips to Nairobi and every time you find that your file does not exist. I hope and pray that this is a thing of the past. But you can imagine that you now have to borrow money from the hospital or Having trained outside for my undergraduate I remember vividly going through tough board exams and worse internship (done by all med- ical doctors in their respective countries). It was only after this process that I earned the honor to treat people in Kenya. Why is this be- ing flouted to have foreigners treat us without undergoing any form of certification? What is so special about them and if this be the new way of doing things can all Kenyans who are study- ing abroad then be exempt from this rigorous process. 32 MAL25/18 ISSUE friends to finance these trips and by the time the money came you are seriously in debt. But we thank God we lived to tell the tale. Yet we have foreigners who arrive to a red carpet welcome. I am happy for them and hope they live up to expectations. I just wish people could also recognize their own local heroes! Both the government and the courts have maintained that the Cuban doctors were hired to fill the gap in the public health sector. At face value, in my opinion this is a very noble initiative: however its execution leaves a lot to be desired. Hiring Cubans will not solve the crisis in health care: it is an honest commitment to health and other sectors such as education, agriculture and so on that may make a difference. Medicine is a noble profession and we strive to uphold the profession. The recent mass action by doctors has not been because we want to go on strike and it is unfortunate that we have to reach such levels. All Kenyans are expected to be patriotic and in my own way I feel doctors and most honest people working in the Civil Service are patriots. A patriot is someone who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies and detractors. A different dictionary gives the definition as a person who loves, supports and defends his or her country and its interest with devotion. I like the