KENYA – Kenya has resolved to fast-track construction of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) logistics hub that will be equipped with emergency medical personnel, commodities and equipment to support disease management in Kenya as well as other countries in the African region.

The logistics hub comes at a time when there is significant need for Kenya and the African region in general to adequately prepare for the next pandemic since the COVID-19 epidemic provided critical lessons especially for developing nations.

The hub will facilitate pandemic preparedness for local supply of what might be needed in an emergency since the facility will also double as local manufacturing support to address supply chain challenges witnessed at the onset of COVID-19.

The logistics hub is expected to be inaugurated before end of June 2022 next to Kenyatta University, Teaching, Referral & Research Hospital (KUTRRH) in Nairobi County where Africa CDC and Kenya National Public Health Institute have also been allocated land in the area.

It will also help in disease detection and response and reduce the time it takes to identify and control public health risks thus stopping dangerous outbreaks before they spread through coordinated collaborations between the Kenya government and other governments in the region.

Kenya is among three African Countries selected by the World Health Organization to host a Logistics Hub which is expected to build and support capacity in disaster management systems as well as technical expertise besides prioritizing high profile disease-specific strategies and timely risk assessment.

WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti emphasized there is a need to work around partnerships especially building an efficient workforce bearing in mind Kenya’s expanded role, adding that the logistics hub will also be a Centre of Excellence in Emergency Medical Training.

Research in Africa is funded from outside thus we need to do additional national investments. On training, we are keen on ensuring we have the people we require when we need them not just from Kenya but the African region,” added Dr. Moeti.

The groundbreaking for the construction of a logistics hub in Nairobi will further address human and economic toll of COVID-19 which exposed the need for better regional disease surveillance and control to the forefront of the policy discourse around global public health.

In addition, the logistics hub will help African countries in battling various outbreaks including several devastating Ebola virus disease epidemics and the recurrent ravages of cholera, yellow fever, meningitis among other persistent endemic diseases such as malaria, typhoid and HIV.

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