Coast residents have a reason to smile following completion of a state-of-the-art Sh266 public funded school of medicine at the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM).
The four-storey building school of medicine, whose construction was started on April 7, 2017, has been completed and ready to start offering degree in medicine and surgery among other related degree courses.
The new medicine school comprised six laboratories,18 classrooms, a cold room, a library, a computer lab, a board room, seven offices, a cafeteria and basement parking.
TUM Vice Chancellor Prof Leila Abubakar said they were ready to admit the first batch of 560 trainee doctors by September this year immediately they were done with installation of equipment and furnishing of the building.
“Our new school of medicine will admit 560 students in September this year. We received Sh12 million from a Belgium partner and we are looking for more support from the stakeholders,” Prof Leila told a team of principal secretaries who visited the institution to inspect the project.
She hailed the national government for gifting the Coastal region with the first medicine school saying it was a dream come true for many parents who have been taking their children to Nairobi and beyond to study the valuable courses.
Prof Leila said she expected the new medicine school to be the ‘university of choice’ for many qualified students beyond its Coastal ecosystem.
“We are currently offering other health related courses at the school of applied and health sciences. We expect this new school to elevate our status locally, regionally and globally,” she added.
Abubakar further indicated that they required an additional Sh306 million for furnishing and installation of laboratories equipment in order to admit over 500 first lot of the students.
“We expect The National Treasury to support us so that we can finish the remaining work and advertise for the various courses we have lined up,” she added.
Abubakar stated that funding is required to accommodate the rising students’ population and hire additional teaching and none teaching staff.
The university, which is also a heritage site under the National Museum of Kenya (NMK) is faced with challenges of land grabbing and high maintenance cost as it requires Sh70 million to refurbish its buildings.
Abubakar said they expected the student population to increase from the current 16,889 to 24,104 by 2028. This she stated would require expansion of teaching band boarding spaces.
“The available teaching space is 23,052 square meters and projected space needed by 2028 is 156.721 square meters hence a need for an amphitheater at a cost of Sh665,578,00,” she stated.
The new TUM School of Medicine is unique in the country as it overlooks the breezy Tudor creek that enters to the Indian Ocean at the famous Port Jesus in Mombasa’s Old town.
The university traces back to the late 1940s when it was started as the Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education (MIOME) to provide technical education to Muslim students of East Africa.
MIOME offered technical courses including mechanical and electrical engineering, seamanship and navigation, and woodwork before its conversion into Mombasa Technical Institute (MTI) until 1976 when it became Mombasa Polytechnic.
The Polytechnic expanded courses to include business studies, electrical and electronics engineering, building and civil Engineering, mechanical engineering and applied sciences.
The institution was later elevated by President Mwai Kibaki in August 2007as a constituent college of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
The National government later gave it a university status when it was unveiled as Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) with satellite campuses in Kwale and Lamu counties.