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Cabinet Advances Healthcare Resilience: Approves Kenya Health Project and Pandemic Treaty Negotiations

Kisumu, Kenya- 9th October 2023 -  Today, His Excellency the President chaired a historic Cabinet meeting at State Lodge, Kisumu, marking the Administration's commitment to decentralizing government activities.
This was the third Cabinet meeting held outside our nation's capital and the first in the Nyanza Region. 

To bolster local health systems and advance Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Cabinet has approved the Kenya Health Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Resilience Project. This transformative initiative, in collaboration with the World Bank, comprises several key components:

  1. Establishing the capacity for local 'fill-and-finish' production of human vaccines at the Kenya BioVax Institute.
  2. Strengthening the regulatory capabilities of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. 
  3. Enhancing the Quality Control and Assurance capacity of the National Quality Control Laboratory. 
  4. Reinforcing the capacity of the National Public Health Institute. 
  5. Fostering human resources capacity, learning, development, and technology transfer in bio-manufacturing. 

This program is poised to champion the 'one health' approach, emphasizing local production, research, and innovation. These efforts are integral to improving the social determinants of health in Kenya.

In line with this approach, Cabinet has directed the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) to prioritize the procurement of locally manufactured pharmaceutical products over imports. This aligns with the Buy Kenya Build Kenya initiative, a cornerstone of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

Additionally, to enhance Kenya's preparedness for future pandemics, Cabinet has given the green light to establish an inter-ministerial committee tasked with negotiating the Pandemic Treaty with the World Health Organization (WHO). This strategic intervention seeks to address past challenges, including vaccine inequity and hoarding during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

The committee will advocate for equity in shaping the Pandemic Treaty and call for the review of the WHO and International Health Regulations, last updated in 2005. Kenya will also champion the establishment of a global health supplies framework for pandemic preparedness based on principles of equity.