KENYA – HealthCabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe has called for more collaboration among East African member states to better address emerging health threats during a meeting with senior World Health Organization (WHO) officials.
At the meeting with United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya Steve Jackson and the newly appointed WHO country director Dr. Abdourahmane Diallo, Kagwe said recent events particularly the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the need for coordinated approaches to health emergencies.
Mutahi Kagwe commended Dr. Diallo on his appointment, noting that his past experience as a health minister in Guinea as well as having worked in leading roles at the national, regional and global levels on a range of key public health issues made him a perfect fit.
Prior to his appointment as the WHO country Director, Diallo was the Chief Executive Officer for the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, a position he had held since 2019.
“Dr. Diallo is someone who will understand from the word go. When you are seated on a problem where everyone’s disease is your problem, you need someone who understands,” Kagwe observed.
He pointed out that the World Health Organization remains a key partner in supporting respective governments in their emergency health mechanisms as well as reforms in the health sector.
“Kenya is the chair of East Africa Community Council of Health Ministers and WHO officials in the region will need to think regionally for better coordination especially now that DRC has joined the community,” stated the Health CS.
Mutahi Kagwe further said that Kenya and WHO have established a strong partnership which is a bond that the government seeks to sustain as he pledged to support the global body in its latest plan to establish a regional centre in Kenya.
Kenyan First Lady calls for more investments in disease resilience
Meanwhile, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has rallied health sector stakeholders to invest more in interventions aimed at strengthening Kenya’s disease resilience and health systems through collaborative efforts.
The First Lady made the remarks as she officially opened the International Conference on Health Promotion at Kenyatta University held under the theme, “Promoting Health during and Beyond COVID-19″.
She reflected on the negative impacts of COVID-19 while acknowledging that the conference brought together stakeholders with the aim to develop synergies, create partnerships and find solutions to Kenya’s health challenges.
She said that partnerships will contribute to identifying sustainable practices that will build on collective efforts of improving the wellbeing of Kenyan communities especially vulnerable populations who have been impacted the most.
She explained that inadequate resilience to disease outbreaks among Kenyan communities especially among vulnerable groups has the potential to disrupt the country’s march towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Margaret Kenyatta proposed the creation of a health promotion mechanism that will take all stakeholders on board so as to ensure that Kenyans have access to adequate health information.
She also emphasized the need for unity of action among health sector stakeholders since their diversity of knowledge and experiences could be harnessed to develop meaningful solutions to global health crises.
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