The Higher Education Loans Board, HELB, loan applications

The Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) will soon sign a collaboration service contract with the Higher Education and Loans Board (HELB) to operationalize the KMTC Revolving Fund, that will see students get extra HELB allocations. This was announced when the new HELB Board Chairman Hon. Ekwee Ethuro paid a courtesy call to the Office of the KMTC Board Chairman Prof. Philip Kaloki on 21st May, 2019 to explore other opportunities on how to strengthen collaboration between the two institutions.

Hon. Ethuro commended the leadership of the College for their role in ensuring the right to highest attainable standards of health as envisioned the Kenyan Constitution and the Governments “Big Four Agenda” of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is achieved by availing highly trained medical personnel. He said that the proposed collaboration between HELB and KMTC will ensure the aspiration of Kenyans as envisioned in the Constitution is realized.

While appreciating Hon. Ethuro for honoring the invitation and visiting the College, Prof. Kaloki observed that HELB is a key partner to KMTC in the achievement of (UHC) as KMTC students have been benefiting from HELB funds under the Afya Elimu Fund, where beneficiaries receive Kshs 40,000 towards their education. The funds have been able to assist many needy students access and complete training in KMTC. He requested HELB to consider increasing the number of students who benefit from the fund.

The Afya Elimu Fund was established in 2013 by HELB in partnership with USAID-funded FUNZOKenya, Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) and the Ministry of Health. The aim of the fund is to increase the number of mid-level healthcare workers that are responsive to current and future disease patterns, through provision of loans to bright and needy students interested in careers in the health sector. The fund also seeks to increase the number of critical cadres needed for health service delivery.

Since inception of the Afya Elimu Fund, KMTC has been the recipients of Kshs 1.296 billion of the total Kshs 1.6 billion that has been disbursed to middle level Colleges translating to 81% utilization of the funds. The total amounts of the Afya Elimu Fund disbursed to KMTC has grown from Kshs 116.3 million from inception of the funds in 2013/2014 to Kshs 331.6 million in 2018/2019, representing a growth of 185%.

The two institutions are seeking to partner in setting up a Kenya Medical Training College Revolving Fund, to specifically support the College students. The proposed Revolving Fund will have a model similar to but distinctively separate from the Afya Elimu Fund. Whereas the Afya Elimu Fund finances 30% of the tuition fee for students at the College, beneficiaries will now have an option to apply for both facilities in order to increase the amount of funding. This will ultimately go towards ensuring a higher completion rate among students at the College.

Prof Kaloki said that the College will also be contributing by putting some seed money in the investment of the HELB organization so that future students can benefit. The proposed funding from KMTC towards the fund is projected at Kshs. 500 million over a period of five years with an annual contribution of Kshs 100 million annually. This will fund tuition fees and partial upkeep for over 10,000 students studying at KMTC.

To benefit from the revolving fund, students from all KMTC Campuses will be required make online applications, and based on an automated selection criteria and available funds, a list of successful applicants will be shared with KMTC for vetting and approval. Once KMTC gives the approval to disburse, the funds will be wired to the College. Periodic reports on funds disbursement and confirmation of receipt by the College will be prepared and shared between HELB and KMTC.