KENYA —Kenya has reaffirmed its dedication to accelerating the implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), placing it at the forefront of their agenda at the 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

Leading the Kenyan delegation is Health CS Susan Wafula, accompanied by a distinguished team of representatives, including Ag Health DG Patrick Amoth, Ambassador Cleopa Mailu, members of the National Assembly’s Health Committee, and technical staff from the Ministry of Health.

Kenya’s commitment to UHC is exemplified by its focus on investing in primary healthcare and integrating mental health services.

Health CS Susan Wafula emphasized this during her address at the assembly, underlining the significance of preventive and promotive health measures.

She stated, “Building on our achievements in addressing both communicable and non-communicable diseases, Kenya has embarked on a transformative path, shifting our focus from curative measures to the primacy of preventive and promotive health.”

One of the key strategies is investing in a well-trained and motivated health workforce, particularly Community Health Promoters, who play a vital role in delivering healthcare services at the community level.

The government recognizes the importance of their contribution and aims to provide the necessary resources and training to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Wafula added, “The Kenyan government is investing in our health workforce, with a focus on Community Health Promoters who are well trained, fit for purpose, and motivated to deliver health services at the community level.”

To achieve sustainable healthcare financing, the government is reviewing the country’s health financing system, with a specific emphasis on Social Health Insurance.

This approach aims to ensure that vulnerable and marginalized populations receive the necessary support and access to quality healthcare.

The government acknowledges the need to prioritize these populations in their efforts to bridge healthcare gaps.

As countries engage in negotiations for a new Pandemic Treaty, Health CS Susan Wafula highlights the importance of addressing the gaps that hampered effective responses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learning from past experiences, Kenya is committed to strengthening national capacities for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.

This proactive approach will enhance the country’s ability to tackle future health crises efficiently. Kenya also plans to bolster health commodity security by investing in local manufacturing.

This initiative aims to increase access to and affordability of essential health commodities, ensuring that the population can readily obtain vital medical supplies.

Leveraging integrated digital technologies, the country seeks to deliver efficient healthcare services while maintaining end-to-end visibility and accountability in the supply chain pipeline system.

The 76th World Health Assembly serves as the paramount decision-making agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), with representatives from 194 Member States in attendance.

This prestigious gathering sets the stage for critical discussions on pressing global health issues.

In addition to the assembly meetings, the Kenyan delegation actively engages in technical briefings, side events, and bilateral meetings with key stakeholders, fostering cooperation and exploring emerging areas of collaboration.

This year’s opening session holds special significance as it coincides with the WHO’s 75th anniversary. With the theme “WHO at 75: Saving lives, driving health for all,” delegates convene in Geneva to deliberate and shape policies that will determine the future of healthcare worldwide.

The assembly’s agenda covers a wide range of topics, including the proposed program budget for 2024-25, the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health (2016-30), and Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Discussions will also encompass the standardization of medical device classification and preparedness for public health emergencies.

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