MOH steps up fight against Kala-Azar in Kenya

Head of Quality Assurance,Standards and Regulation Dr. Anne Wamai hands over guideline for Kal azar to the head of Neglected Tropical Diseases Dr. Sultan Matendechero after its launch.

Nairobi, KENYA, 28 February 2018 – The Ministry of Health today launched the Kenya National Guidelines on Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis, VL (Kala-Azar) in Kenya.

A key milestone in the guidelines is the introduction of a new treatment regimen to address cases of side effects, poor compliance due to long duration of treatment and high cost of treatment. Also recommended is the use of rapid diagnostic test, which will boost high quality diagnoses in health facilities at all levels of health care provision.

The Ministry has been implementing various interventions aimed at Kala-Azar control including ensuring availability of medicines for and diagnostic tests. The Ministry has also been conducting trainings to help strengthen capacity of health workers in the 6 affected counties of Turkana, Baringo, West Pokot, Marsabit, Isiolo and Wajir.

The Ministry will continue to build capacity in line with the new guidelines at an estimated cost of Ksh.60 Million over the next 5 years, pointed out the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko in a speech read on his behalf by the Head, Department of Health Standards Quality Assurance and Regulations, Dr. Anne Wamae.

The Ministry with the support of partners has so far trained 265 health workers including 25 Health Records Officers, he noted.

Further, the Ministry will continue to encourage, support and conduct relevant research activities Dr. Kioko observed, adding that the Ministry is specifically keen on exploring even further the discovery of more efficacious and user-friendly medicines and more effective and reliable diagnostic tools.

Dr. Kioko said that Integrated Vector Control is an essential component of Kala-Azar control and as such the Ministry will continue to encourage and support implementation of vector control measures like the use of treated (bed) nets, indoor spraying and destruction of vector breeding sites.

He thanked partners and stakeholders for their significant contributions in reviewing of the guidelines which had ensured that all important elements of Kala-Azar control were addressed in the new guidelines in tandem with the current global best practice.

Present at the launch ceremony which took place at a Nairobi Hotel: were the Head of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Dr. Sultan Matendechero, and representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the six counties affected by Kala-Azar among others.

Head of Quality Assurance,Standards and Regulation Dr. Anne Wamai launches guidelines for Kal azar.

Head of Quality Assurance,Standards and Regulation Dr. Anne Wamai and the head of Neglected Tropical Diseases Dr. Sultan Matendechero consult during the launch of guidelines for Kal azar.

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