KENYA – The Ministry of Health in Kenya has secured essential medical kits from the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the country’s efforts in accelerating response strategies and distribution of nutrition support, emergency medicines and surveillance amid ongoing drought.

During an official ceremony at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) Embakasi Depot, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache flagged off the donated Interagency Emergency Health Kits that will aid drought response efforts.

PS Mochache acknowledged the WHO’s support for mobilizing to aid in addressing the drought situation saying the support comes in handy to synergize the ongoing Government efforts in drought response and recovery.

She further disclosed that the country is making efforts to heighten preparedness to respond the threat of Ebola while closely monitoring the cholera situation following an outbreak of acute episode linked to a private social event.

The Health Sector drought response coordination has been enhanced through the establishment of Health Sector Drought Disaster Task Force with the mandate to Accelerate coordination mechanism for the health sector drought response and to Strengthen disease and nutrition surveillance,” she said.

The PS further said that the task force is tasked to provide oversight to the procurement and distribution of lifesaving and essential nutrition commodities as well as to enhance early detection, treatment and referral of acutely malnourished children under 5 years old.

These Interagency Emergency Health Kits, equipment and medicines will be of great value to tame the increasing number of disease outbreaks encountered during drought situations but also support non-communicable disease program,” stated Mochache.

Additionally, the team is tasked to provide technical support to Kenyan counties while monitoring, evaluating and guiding in the implementation of drought response and recovery plan while calling for a multisectoral approach in addressing the impact of the drought to the affected-communities.

The consignment of medical supplies kits will be distributed to Nine (9) Counties worst hit by the current drought situation in the country namely: Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Samburu, Tana River, Isiolo, Masarbit, Turkana and Kajiado,” announced the health ministry.

The health ministry announced that it is working closely with the State Departments, County Governments and stakeholders in responding to the drought situation through various initiatives such as provision of technical support on drought response mechanisms.

The governmental departments have also partnered to enhance disease surveillance and response, support management of Acute Malnutrition along with the provision of food supplements and coordination of the medical management and referrals.

Drought brings with it a myriad of health issues including outbreak of diseases such as Measles, diarrheal diseases including Cholera, upper respiratory tract infections, Skin conditions, Leishmaniasis, Yellow fever, Chikungunya and Dengue fever,” concluded Mochache.

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